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EU pressuring Apple to implement further changes to the iPhone

Apple is being mandated by the DMA to enable iPhone users to sideload third-party apps, but this change will likely only apply to the 27 EU member countries. Previously, Apple prohibited users from sideloading apps in order to prevent accidental installation of malware. However, with this new development, the responsibility to keep infected apps off of iPhones will now fall on the device owners themselves.

While this change may be seen as a step in the right direction, there is concern that those who are not well-versed in malware and trojans could fall victim to malicious apps, resulting in financial loss or compromised device performance. It’s important to note that sideloading will be restricted to the 27 EU member countries.

In addition to the sideloading issue, the EU’s pressure on Apple has also led to the announcement that the iPhone’s on-device NFC technology will be opened up to third-party payment platforms. This move will allow third-party firms in the 27 EU countries to offer contactless payment options for iPhone users, posing competition to Apple Pay.

Apple’s commitment to the European Commission involves providing third-party developers in the European Economic Area with an option to enable their users to make NFC contactless payments from within their iOS apps, separate from Apple Pay and Apple Wallet.

It is expected that Apple will only allow third-party NFC contactless payment systems to gain iPhone support in the EU, and these services will not be integrated into the Wallet app or Apple Pay.

As part of the agreement, Apple will be required to allow access to the iPhone’s on-device NFC tech for a period of 10 years. Failure to comply could result in a fine amounting to 10% of the company’s worldwide revenue, which in Apple’s case could potentially reach a hefty $38.3 billion penalty based on fiscal 2023 revenue.

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