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Meta, Spotify and more are set to storm Apple’s walled garden in Europe

But will Apple be able to fight back with new rules, fees and restrictions in order to stay on top?
Meta, Spotify and more are set to storm Apple’s walled garden in Europe
  • The DMA only applies in Europe and will require Apple to create a new version of iOS (in both iPhone and iPad flavours) that will allow ‘sideloading’ for the first time
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When the European Digital Markets Act legislation kicks in on March 6, 2024 Apple’s iron rule over who can put apps on iOS devices effectively ends with legislation forcing them to open up their ‘walled garden’ and let anyone in. And - according to The Wall Street Journal’ - plenty of big names are ready to invade the space and create their own potentially lucrative app stores alongside Apple’s.

The DMA only applies in Europe and will require Apple to create a new version of iOS (in both iPhone and iPad flavours) that will allow ‘sideloading’ for the first time.

The WSJ now reports that Meta is working on a system that will allow Facebook users to simply download apps directly from Facebook ads. The system will doubtless prove a lucrative boon for the company as app makers buy ads to circumvent Apple’s UA blocks elsewhere.

Similarly Spotify are working on an app download directly from their streaming service on desktop, allowing sign ups on desktop to install the app and enjoy the service on mobile without going anywhere near Apple’s Store and being in any subject to Apples 30% of transaction fees.

And it’s safe to say that thousands of similar big name services - if they haven’t got their system in place yet - will be sure to follow.

Apple's counterstrike is incoming

Apple, however hasn’t yet announced its plans and how it intends to comply with the new regulation but but you wouldn’t have to be a genius to work out that a) they’re not happy about it and b) they’ll be shoehorning in as many fees and restrictions as the new law will legally allow.

Only last week Apple surprised alternative app store makers by levying a 27% fee on third-party transactions that effectively makes the provision of using a third party app store more expensive than simply using Apple’s existing system and paying their 30% cut.

That move was in retaliation to the case they lost against Epic which - on paper - meant an end to Apple’s rule and a clear path to dodge their fees.

It’s not yet clear how Apple plans to pull off the same trick in Europe for the advent of the DMA, but you can bet that some kind of law-skirting dodge that keeps the money flowing will soon be unveiled.

Watch this space..

UPDATE: Apple just made their move - here.