Apple And The European Union Butt Heads Over A New Proposed Side Loading Act

In light of proposed changes by the European Union, Apple has made their stance on side loading clear during the 2021 Web Summit.

Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi is an individual that, by virtue of the position he holds within the company's hierarchy, is well aware of all of the input that goes into both the business end as well as the technological aspect of everything that the tech giant does. Naturally, his reaction towards the EU's proposal of a Digital Markets Act is one of very vocal disagreement. The Act proposes that companies such as Apple not be allowed to run their own exclusive app stores, and downloads from other sources be allowed as well. It's quite easy to understand where both the EU and Apple come from when making decisions such as these.

First, let's take a look at the EU's stance. Apple, by virtue of its position in the mobile marketplace, is easily able to establish monopolies. The App Store's only major competition comes in the form of the Google Play Store, which is also inaccessible on all Apple products. This means that Apple can virtually charge anything on applications through its App Store, can virtually keep any percent of the profit from developers, and face no ramifications in the process. The EU needs a quick solution to this issue since, if let unchecked, Apple could start hiking prices even higher. The solution to allow more than one way to download apps on the company's devices, called side loading, ensures that Apple will very much stay in check.

Apple's opposition to this, made clear by Federighi's speech at the Web Summit, is not one that's business oriented (although to say that this has no influence is a bare faced lie). In fact, it comes down to quality control. Apple has always boasted of its low malware rates, and rightly so. The platform's extensive background checking of applications and developers ensures that nothing harmful or dangerous makes its way through. This helps add to Apple's image of a higher tier of product, especially when paired up to the likes of its competitors, which can get undoubtedly wonky. To allow side loading would be to allow its well-established numbers to plummet.

So, we all know what the problems are, but what solution can be offered to both the EU and Apple? Well, since Apple very much does need to be put in rein, limitations can be established on its pricing system. The EU can force the App Store to take a much smaller cut of developer profits, or reduce its app purchases to resemble something along the lines of what the App Store offers. Failure to comply can be reprimanded via fines or sanctions on the company's operations within the EU. This way Apple gets to maintain its quality, while the EU gets to do its job.

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