EU regulation on the horizon: Apple wallet soon erasable from iPhone

iOS 16 allows other pre-installed apps to be deleted, and wallet can probably also be removed in the future. Apple’s NFC blockade will not change for the time being.


With Apple Wallet, another key software from the manufacturer can probably be removed from the iPhone in the future: Text in the code of the first beta of iPadOS 16.1 clearly indicates that the operating system provides an “uninstalled” wallet app and in this case the download -Possibility to refer to the App Store. The lines of code can now be found in Apple’s PassKit framework, as reported by developers with access to the pre-release version.


A beta of iOS or iPadOS 16.1 is only available for iPads on which Apple Wallet does not even exist as a visible app. The code should be identical in the upcoming iPhone version iOS 16.1.

Wallet allows, among other things, the storage of tickets, reservations, boarding passes or vaccination cards with QR codes and is used to store digital NFC keys – for example for cars and hotels. In the first US states, Apple now also supports the filing of driver’s licenses and ID documents. In addition, the payment service “Apple Pay” is part of the wallet, which enables payment in shops and online trade.

Wallet would be the fourth pre-installed Apple app that can be deleted for the first time with iOS 16 and thus completely removed from the iPhone. So far it is only possible to remove them from the home screen and hide them in the app media library. Other future-erasable iPhone apps include Apple’s Find My location network, the Health app, which serves as a one-stop shop for health and fitness data, and Apple’s Clock app, which has alarm and timer functions. This will allow around 30 of the many pre-installed Apple apps to be deleted from iOS in the future. According to the current status, the Safari browser, the Messenger “Messages” (iMessage and SMS) and the App Store remain firmly anchored.

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With the expanded deletion function for standard apps, Apple is also anticipating regulation: the Digital Markets Act of the EU clearly stipulates for corporations like Apple in the future that the manufacturer’s pre-installed apps may not be prevented from being deleted. An exception only exists for apps that provide basic system functions and cannot be replaced by third-party apps. According to the preliminary opinion of the EU Commission, the sealing off of the NFC interface of the iPhone is a violation of competition law – only Apple Pay is allowed to make contactless payments via NFC.

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