Apple: Japan is also ready to impose sideloading of applications


Following the path beaten by Europe, even Japan would be ready to impose sideloading on Apple, thus making it possible to install applications from platforms other than the App Store. Furthermore, the rules drawn up by the Japanese government should include several other requests, including that of allowing in-app payments for iOS and Android applications to be managed by third-party platforms.

Apple is working on app sideloading on iOS 17, still absent from the beta of the operating system but destined to become an integral part of the ecosystem of Apple mobile devices by 6 March 2024. This, in fact, is the expiry date set by Digital Markets Act (DMA) in order to ensure a climate of greater competition in all 27 countries that are part of the European Union.

According to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, preventing sideloading would make iOS devices more secure, but that hasn’t stopped European lawmakers. On the contrary, the Japanese government seems to have liked the initiative a lot, which has already drawn up, at least according to the Japan Times, a series of rules designed to impose sideloading on Apple and beyond. For the moment it is only a proposal, but it will be discussed in 2024 and could therefore translate into reality with iOS 18.

The changes envisaged by the Japanese government, as anticipated, should also affect Google which already allows sideloading of applications, although 97% of users still use the official Android store, but like Apple directly manages the in-app payments, cashing in a large chunk of the amount. He therefore runs great risks if the proposal were to pass and push other countries to do the same, with the risk of lost profits, in the order of billions of dollars, for both companies. It is no coincidence that Apple has fought strenuously with the Dutch government on the issue of payments, putting up as much resistance as possible.

In addition to the above, the two companies could be forced to review other policies considered monopolistic. The new rules, in fact, would include the request to facilitate the removal of pre-installed applications and the request that Apple and Google not favor their own services in search results. And it is something that, like payment management, could spread like wildfire all over the world, forcing both companies to radically rethink their commercial policies.

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