New Japanese law may force Apple to allow sideloading in iOS
A report claims that Apple may soon have to allow sideloading in iOS to comply with an upcoming regulation in Japan. This could also affect Google's app store and payment systems.
Apple has already been facing the heat from antitrust regulations in other countries, notably in the European Union. The EU passed the Digital Markets Act recently, which has strict regulations for gatekeepers, essentially banning them from manipulating their market share to promote their own services. The legislation comes into effect in March 2024, and Apple will need to comply with it, opening up iOS to allow users in the EU to sideload apps from third-party stores and other sources. Failure to comply with the DMA law will result in a fine worth 10% of the company's global turnover.
The Japanese Government began antitrust investigations in 2020, against several companies including Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon. In 2023, the regulators found that the mobile market was dominated by Apple and Google. Apple and Google take a cut from all transactions that go through the App Store and Google Play Store payment systems, this results in a 30% fee paid by developers. Sometimes this may lead to subscribers paying a higher fee on iOS and Android than on desktop platforms. These are the reasons why the new laws are expected to be passed, to prevent such monopolies from dominating the industry.
New Japanese law could allow sideloading in iOS
Nikkei Asia reports that a new legislation will be discussed in the Japanese Diet (parliament) in 2024. The new regulations are expected to be similar to the law in Europe. The antitrust watchdog wants to ensure fair practices by companies with large user bases, who may prevent rivals from benefiting from their platforms. The laws will affect app stores and payments, search, browsers, and operating systems. The new legislation will require companies such as Google and Apple to allow third-party app stores and payment systems on their respective platforms. The only thing that third-parties will need to do is to protect the user's privacy, and provide a secure way to download the apps or make transactions. The Japan Fair Trade Commission is expected to penalize violators of the new law with a fine of 6% of their revenue.
The anticompetitive provisions related to search engines would prevent companies from preferring their own services over others, so Google will not be able to place its own services, such as flight-booking or restaurant reservation tools, at the top of search results.
As 9t05Mac reports, Apple's executives have been against sideloading, claiming that it could lead to security issues, and have often pointed that Android is insecure because it allows apps from other sources. The Cupertino company believes iPhones are secure because of the restrictions it imposes for iOS. However, it has been working to allow sideloading in iOS 17, at least in Europe. The upcoming legislation could be great for users in Japan as it may grant them more options to get their apps from, it would also benefit app developers who wish to promote their apps outside the regular stores. Likewise, companies that are operating in the Country would be able to host their own app stores. They will also be use local banks as payment methods, instead of relying on Apple's payment system.Advertisement