Apple’s Walled Garden Might Soon Open Gates For European iPhone And iPad Users To Sideload Apps – (AAPL)

Apple Inc. AAPL is inching closer to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), working on a way to let users sideload apps and games from third-party application stories.

What Happened: Sideloading apps on iPhones and iPads could become a reality “in the coming weeks” at least in Europe, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

In his latest “Power On” newsletter, Gurman says that the App Store will soon be split between the European Union and the rest of the world.

Apple has until Mar. 7 to comply with the EU’s DMA, leaving the iPhone maker nearly seven weeks to adjust its app store model.

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This news comes close on the heels of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s meeting with EU’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager. She reminded Cook about sideloading apps and the EU’s ongoing antitrust investigations into Apple’s businesses.

Apple had previously hinted at adding the ability to sideload apps on iPhones with the iOS 17.2 update, but that feature has not yet materialized.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, had earlier said that the company is “working with the EU” on this matter.

Why It Matters: It has been expected that Apple would enable sideloading apps on iPhones and iPads for a while.

This is even after the company debated that it should not operate one but five different App Stores in order to escape the EU’s gatekeeper rules under the DMA.

While the European Commission determined that Apple’s App Store is a “single core platform service,” Apple has disputed it, according to a Reuters report.

However, for now, it looks like Apple is moving ahead with enabling app sideloading, at least for the European market. iPhone and iPad users worldwide are not expected to be able to sideload apps similarly, at least for now.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Consumer Tech coverage by following this link.

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Photo by William Hook on Unsplash

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