Apple explains why it will not make major iOS policy changes outside of the EU

Apple is introducing a wave of changes to iPhone and iPad software with iOS 17.4, but these changes are only impacting customers in the 27 countries that make up the European Union? So what gives?

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First and foremost, Apple has no choice but to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulatory policy set by EU regulators. Still, Apple could opt to make these changes globally if the company wanted.

To start, Apple stands by its position to changes forced by the DMA will introduce threats to customers that its policies prevented:

Apple is not offering these changes outside of the EU because this is not the safest system for our users. We’ve been very clear about new threats the DMA introduces — including increased risks for malware, fraud and scams, illicit and objectionable content, and reduced ability for Apple to respond to and remove malicious apps. The changes required by the DMA also involve new technologies and processes that are untested and may require further development.

Apple goes on to explain what it does to reduce those threats with its policies prior to today:

At Apple, we’ve always built every innovation on a crucial foundation: the trust of our users. And we’ve never taken that trust for granted. That’s why — from our operating systems to the App Store — we build in privacy and security protections from the ground up. We review apps and app updates to help make sure they’re transparent about the data they collect, to identify malware and fraud, and to uphold standards for quality and performance that meet our users’ expectations.

Lastly, Apple expresses its view that it is not making these changes in the EU by choice, and that it still believes its own policies are best for users globally.

In the EU, the Digital Markets Act requires us to make changes to a formula that has served users and developers exceptionally well — changes that introduce new options, but also new risks. The changes we’re sharing represent Apple’s work to comply with the law and to help reduce new privacy and security risks the DMA creates for our users.

Changes coming to iOS for EU customers include third-party app stores, third-party browsers and web engines, and a reduced commission structure for developers.

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