a revolution especially for the iPhone

The new European digital regulations will come into force in Europe next Thursday, March 7, 2024. The “Digital Markets Act” includes around twenty obligations and prohibitions which target six giants including Google and Apple.



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Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Monday February 26, 2024, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  (BENJAMIN VINCENT / RADIO FRANCE / FRANCE INFO)

From this Thursday, March 7, Apple – in particular – will have to allow, in Europe, the purchase of mobile applications on stores other than its own. It’s a revolution in Europe, embodied by version 17.4 of iOS, undoubtedly the most anticipated update for the iPhone.

The big news will therefore be this possibility, unique in the world, of installing a mobile application on an iPhone, from a store other than the Apple App Store. Publishers including Epic Games and certain developers, who have been calling for this end of the monopoly for years, are therefore on the verge of obtaining it in Europe.

The challenge is to avoid the tithe owed to Apple: up to 30% commission. The Cupertino giant, whose hand Europe is forcing, does not intend to give any gifts. Apple will charge 50 euro cents in technical fees for any download that no longer goes through the App Store, or 500,000 euros to be provisioned for one million targeted downloads. Among the conditions for accepting that a third party creates an alternative store for the iPhone, Apple also requires a letter of credit of one million euros.

“Welcome to Europe! But we have our rules and if they don’t apply them, there will be sanctions, up to 10% of global turnover.”

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market

at franceinfo

There are now only three days left for Apple, but also for Google, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, and ByteDance, the publisher of TikTok, to comply with the DMA. Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, came to remind us of this, Monday February 26, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​speaking to franceinfo:

“My role is to ensure that everyone does what they have to do! And they will. You know why? Because it’s the law! So, obviously welcome to Europe. But there you go, we have our rules . And so, they will obviously have to apply them. I have no doubt: they will apply them ! And if they don’t apply them, there will be sanctions. I remind you that it can go up to 10% of global turnover.” For Apple alone, this 10% could have represented more than 38 billion euros in 2023.

Fortnitethe return announced on iPhone, four years later

For Europeans, what will change from March 7? Fortnite, after four years of banishment, will make its return to iPhone, via its publisher’s Epic Games Store. Other alternative stores have already been announced, notably SetApp Mobile, from the Ukrainian publisher MacPaw, promised for release in April.

It remains to be seen whether the game will really be worth it for the 450 million Europeans. Some of them have been downloading from the App Store for 15 years, without asking any questions and in complete security.

Will publishers lower prices to attract customers to their own app store? The objective being rather to increase their margin, these alternative App Stores could just as easily be a flop, if they fail to change our habits while adding complexity.

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