In its early stages, the App Store has prohibited third-party app stores from appearing on its platform. It may not be the case for much longer, at least in the EU. It is expected that Apple will be required to open its doors by next year.
The European Union (EU) passed a new law called the Digital Markets Act in November 2022. This law aims to increase competition for big tech companies. After the law passed, the EU told Apple it must let other app stores and payment options be available on iPhones and iPads sold in Europe.
Apple fought against this at first. However, in recent financial documents, Apple admits it expects to follow this new EU law. The company says it will comply with the Digital Markets Act by March 2024. Apple fears this change may reduce the number of app sales through the App Store. It also thinks it will earn less money from the commission or fee it charges on each app sale.
The Digital Markets Act gives Apple until March 2024 to make these changes in Europe. The EU is also looking into whether the law should apply to iMessage, the messaging app that comes on iPhones.
In the next year, iPhone users in Europe may see new options for finding and paying for apps outside of the default App Store for the first time. This could bring more choice and competition which is what the EU wants with its new Digital Markets Act.