Apple reportedly tells support staff not to speculate on iPhone sideloading in other markets

The impending release of iOS 17.4 is bringing new features to the iPhone that are unique to the 27 member EU states. That’s thanks to the EU’s Digital Market Act (DMA) which has pressured Apple to make several changes. One big change will allow iPhone users in the EU to sideload apps which is just a fancy way of saying that they can install apps from third-party app stores. The changes must take place on or before March 7th.
Everywhere else, Apple maintains its walled garden approach which allows it to keep control over the apps listed in the App Store so that iPhone users don’t download malware-laden apps on their handsets. This is a valid point although malicious apps sometimes do make it through Apple’s security system. It might not be a good look to be an Apple apologist, but the truth is that iPhone users would not want to install any app that could access their financial apps and steal their money, slow down their phone, and reduce the battery life.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, writing in his weekly Power On newsletter, Apple is telling its AppleCare support staff not to speculate to customers about whether Apple will offer sideloading and third-party app store support in other countries. Gurman points out that Apple is expecting its customers to flood support staff with such questions considering that many iPhone owners want the freedom to install apps from outside of Apple’s App Store.

The argument over sideloading can be boiled down to two different ways of thinking about it. Apple, as we noted above, has long felt that it was doing iPhone owners a favor by preventing them from installing apps that they haven’t checked out first. But there are iPhone owners who argue that they spent the money to purchase an iPhone and what they do with it should be entirely up to them.

As for the question that Apple doesn’t want support staff to speculate about, considering that it took a set of regulations backed with the threat of big money penalties to get Apple to allow sideloading in the EU, it probably will take regulations or legislation similar to the DMA to get Apple to offer sideloading in other markets.

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