Apple Limiting Alternative App Stores and Payments to EU Due to Malware, Fraud and Scam Risks

In developer documentation outlining systemwide changes to the App Store in the European Union, Apple explains why alternative app stores, alternative payment options, and other updates are being limited to the EU.

iPhone Security Feature 1
Apple claims that these changes are introducing notable risks for users and developers, introducing "new avenues for malware, fraud and scams, illicit and harmful content, and other privacy and security threats."

Further, Apple says that the updates compromise its ability to "detect, prevent, and take action" against malicious apps, and also to support users impacted by issues with apps that are downloaded outside of the ‌App Store‌.

"We're limiting these changes to the European Union because we're concerned about their impacts on the privacy and security of our users' experience - which remains our North Star," Apple writes.

To limit risk, Apple is requiring alternative app stores to undergo a notarization process that will check for malware and viruses, but Apple will not evaluate an app's content. Though notarization will add safeguards, Apple says there is risk involved with the alternate app store system.

If not properly managed, alternative distribution poses increased privacy, safety, and security risks for users and developers. This includes risks from installing software from unknown developers that are not subject to the Apple Developer Program requirements, installing software that compromises system integrity with malware or other malicious code, the distribution of pirated software, exposure to illicit, objectionable, and harmful content due to lower content and moderation standards, and increased risks of scams, fraud, and abuse. Apple has less ability to address these risks, and to support and refund customers regarding these issues. Even with safeguards, many of these risks remain.

Going forward, Apple plans to engage with the European Union, developer community, and EU users about the impacts of alternative app stores.

Outside of the EU, app developers must continue to use the ‌App Store‌ and in-app purchase system as usual.

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Top Rated Comments

Kazgarth Avatar
20 weeks ago
Yes protect us with the 30% commission ?
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ItsASpider Avatar
20 weeks ago
There are no "malware, fraud, and scam risks" related to any of these issues. Unless Apple is saying here that macOS is also a globally insecure platform.

Let's just name it what it is; Apple is scared that they'll actually have to bother providing compelling services to developers instead of getting by default 30% of the revenue of anything and everything even if not only they don't do a single thing to earn that, but the party that has to pay them 30% is left with all other costs as well...

most customers don't give a flying **** about this. only the whiney minority is asking for this so they can pirate apps and install emulators because they miss their 90's childhood.
I don't care for emulators, nor do I care to pirate apps. I just want to be able to install apps that I should just be able to install and not be blocked from using my device for whatever I want to use it just because Apple has some arbitrary policy that blocks apps if it even remotely threatens their 30% cut for doing nothing. The fact that they are adjusting rules globally as well to allow services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce already shows what this is about; they are afraid that these would otherwise only be available through alternatives and that they'd be pushing their users to install these alternatives because they know they cannot beat them without accepting them as well.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ItsASpider Avatar
20 weeks ago

The worst of all is that the EU won’t get blamed for the issues this will cause - instead, people will complain to Apple because they didn’t get a refund, can’t install an app, etc.
The problem with this statement here is that none of that is based in reality and since every other platform has always worked this exact same way we know that this isn't the case. When Steam has issues, people don't complain to Microsoft they didn't get a refund, when an app installer fails on Android, people don't complain to Google that it doesn't work. This is just nonsense and you repeating talking points...
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stefanovago Avatar
20 weeks ago
Lucky EU users
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
falainber Avatar
20 weeks ago
Apple explains why alternative app stores, alternative payment options, and other updates are being limited to the EU. Apple claims that these changes are introducing notable risks for users and developers, introducing "new avenues for malware, fraud and scams, illicit and harmful content, and other privacy and security threats."

They are lying. We all know that they do it in EU only because only EU demanded them to allow alternative app stores and other countries did not (not yet).
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ItsASpider Avatar
20 weeks ago

Time to first iOS major malware/ransomware attack in EU... .02 seconds after 17.4 goes live.

Note to app developers: I *WILL NOT* download and install apps from other app stores. Offer it in Apple's mostly trustworthy App Store or I won't use it.
If iOS security breaks down due to this, that really is just Apples fault and would indicate some serious security issues that they just didn't bother to fix. That *would* in fact imply iOS is rotten to the core.

Not to mention that Apple regularly has to kick out scams and other fraudulent apps from the App Store, so there is that too.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)