TECH

Apple support staff warned to avoid side-loading speculation

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Apple has warned support staff not to talk to customers about the possibility of side loading and third party app stores for parties arriving in non-EU countries.

Apple is close to releasing iOS 17.4, which will bring major changes to Apple's App Store policies in the European Union. However, while Apple has to deal with the European Digital Markets Act, it doesn't particularly want the changes to spread to other parts of the world.

In Bloomberg's Sunday “Power On” newsletter, Mark Gurman writes that Apple is asking its support staff “not to speculate on whether side-app and third-party app markets will emerge in more regions.”

The list of changes coming in response to the EU DMA includes support for third-party app stores, sideloading of apps, more browser engines, and developer access to Apple's NFC system.

Although the DMA will come into force on March 7, it will only apply to the 27 member states of the European Union. These features will not be available in other territories, including the US and UK.

Anticipating that consumers in other markets would want the same features, Apple prepared for customer requests by informing customer service representatives not to discuss the topic.

As for Apple being able to do this, it is highly unlikely unless the company is legally obligated to make such changes, such as the EU DMA coming into force. Despite this, Apple has been slow to comply with the DMA and on Friday published a white paper detailing its work to protect EU users and highlighting the risks of opening the iPhone to competitors on the App Store.

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