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Apple's rules to allow third-party app stores in the EU are not beneficial for users
Quote:Apple has announced its plans to allow side-loading and third-party app stores in the European Union in order to comply with the Digital Markets Act in March. But, the changes that the company has announced aren't good for users or developers.

Let's forget the fact that sideloading will not be available for the rest of the world. The new rules are much more important, here is how they will impact users in the European Union region.

Changes to iOS

Users in the EU region who have an iPhone that runs on iOS 17.4 or above will be able to download third-party app stores on their device. The company calls these third-party stores as App Marketplaces. A user will be able to download a marketplace from a website.

The marketplaces will need to be approved by Apple, that's not all. Apps will need to by notarized by the Cupertino company. Apps will also need to pass automatic checks and a human review. Users will be requested to grant the marketplace permission to download and install apps, after which it can download apps and provide auto updates. The main difference is that these marketplaces can host apps that vate App Store guidelines. In other words, the App Store's app quality rules do not apply to third-party marketplaces.

Apple wants marketplaces to provide a "stand-by letter of credit from an A-rated (or equivalent by S&P, Fitch, or Moody’s) financial Institution of €1,000,000 to establish adequate financial means in order to guarantee support for your developers and users. Developers will need to pay a Core Technology Fee of €0.50 for each first annual. This fee will apply after an app crosses a threshold of one million installations in a year.

That being said, a support page on the Apple developer page mentions that developers who have registered with the Apple Developer Program as a profit organization, accredited educational institution, or government entity, and distribute free apps on the App Store without in-app purchases, and do not sell digital goods and services, are exempt from the Core Technology Fee. So, essentially, open source apps could be excluded from these restrictions. But this will not apply to all free apps.
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