Apple is gearing up for a significant shift in its App Store structure, prompted by impending European Union (EU) regulations. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the tech giant is set to divide the App Store into two distinct entities—one for the EU and another for the rest of the world. This move is in response to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) set to be enforced in the region, requiring Apple to permit third-party downloads of apps.
Gurman’s recent revelations in the Power On newsletter indicate that Apple is diligently working on adapting its App Store to align with the impending DMA. The company faces a March 7 deadline to implement the necessary changes, leaving just over seven weeks to execute the required modifications. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, engaged in discussions with Margrethe Vestager, the EU antitrust chief, during a meeting at Apple Park last week. Vestager emphasized Apple’s commitment to enabling users to install third-party app stores and apps, a key aspect mandated by the DMA.
During the meeting, Vestager reinforced the upcoming changes under the DMA, emphasizing that Apple must not only allow third-party app installations but also empower developers to promote their offerings outside the confines of the App Store. Additionally, developers should gain the freedom to use third-party payment systems. The DMA is anticipated to bring about substantial alterations to the App Store, FaceTime, and Siri functionalities in Europe, notes NIXSolutions.
As Apple works against the clock to comply with the EU’s regulatory framework, the impending App Store split underscores the transformative impact of the DMA on one of the tech industry’s leading platforms.