iOS 14.3 will prompt some users to install selected third-party applications during setup, in what is likely an attempt to stifle any allegations of anticompetitive behaviour from regulators.
The feature, which is buried deep within the beta version of the upcoming iOS release and was first spotted by 9to5Mac, is believed to be activated depending on the location of the user, and states: “In compliance with regional legal requirements, continue to view available apps to download.”
Although iOS is not the most widely installed mobile operating system (that particular crown belongs to Android), it is unique insofar as the control exerted by Apple on the ecosystem, famously dubbed the Walled Garden. This limits where users can download third-party software – exclusively the App Store – and forces developers to use Apple’s payment processing methods, which take a 30 per cent cut of all transactions. Moreover, until recently, users were unable to select third-party products for their default browser and email apps.
This has prompted antitrust investigations in several jurisdictions, including the US, Japan, and the EU, often prompted by the complaints of competitors, such as Spotify and Rakuten. This is in addition to the legal action taken by Epic Games, which has claimed Apple deliberately tries to disadvantage third-party developers through its app store policies.
This is something I have been talking about since early 2019 and it’s good to see action happening on it