Apple’s iPhone needs to be fixed, the new law can help

Apple Inc.’s technology walled garden. synonymous with the iPhone maker as well as the iPhone itself. It’s Apple’s way of getting consumers to buy expensive headphones, watches, and speakers that work seamlessly with that rectangular plate in their pocket, and ultimately what keeps people hooked on Apple products.

That’s great for Apple’s business, but not always for consumers. Now, a European law is forcing the company to loosen its iron grip on its products. That could eventually lead to a more dynamic experience on the iPhone as developers create more feature-rich apps for the platform that leverage more of Apple’s technology.

The change, long rejected by Apple, could also be a boon for the company.

Many of Apple’s 1.2 billion iPhone users appreciate how the tech giant has kept things simple over the years. But in doing so, the company has shied away from larger innovations. In an increasingly saturated market for mobile devices, the once-amazing iPhone has begun to feel dull and sales have faltered.

The situation isn’t resolved by Apple restricting developers’ access to many of the iPhone’s application programming interfaces, software tools that help them expand the capabilities of their apps to make them more appealing. .

But according to Bloomberg News, Apple is now laying the groundwork to allow outside app makers to use some of the company’s most tightly controlled iPhone technologies, including cameras and communication chips that allow payments to be made. contactless math. That means iPhone users can soon tap to pay for everything with their banking and finance apps, instead of just Apple Wallet.

Apple’s decision to allow alternative app stores on its iPhone and iPad, similar to how Alphabet Inc’s Google. already enabled non-Google app marketplaces on Android devices, which will also give consumers a wider selection of apps.

This is not the first time Apple has won big when it was forced to open its doors. Steve Jobs famously opposed having apps on the iPhone that weren’t built by Apple itself, fearing that they would infect the device with viruses or “contaminate the integrity of the device,” according to the writer. Jobs biography, Walter Isaacson When the Apple co-founder changed his mind, setting the stage for a thriving market of third-party services, ushered in the phrase “There’s an app for that.”

These days, using non-Apple apps to do everything from planning travel and checking the news to shopping and watching TikTok videos is something iPhone users take for granted. And that’s a big part of what makes the iPhone one of the most successful consumer products in history.

The European law driving the changes at Apple is the Digital Markets Act, or DMA, which is intended to address the monopolistic practices of big tech companies. In Apple’s case, it draws from a number of pending European Union investigations into the company’s alleged abuses of dominance, including music streaming apps and its use. Use Apple Pay for purchases made in the App Store. According to Anne Witt, an antitrust scholar at EDHEC Business School, Augmented Law Institute, in Lille, France, these circumstances are why the DMA includes rules that specifically affect Apple.

Apple is wisely preparing to cooperate with the law, having learned from Microsoft’s famously painful disputes with both US and European antitrust officials in the early 2000s about how they integrated Internet Explorer into Windows. Microsoft was forced to allow other browsers like Firefox and Opera to Windows, which opened up the platform for third-party software.

Making its core products more interoperable could potentially help Microsoft grow its fledgling cloud business, where integration with existing systems and building stronger relationships with other technology partners will be critical to the company’s success.

Consumers also benefit. Without that litigation, “we might be living in a world where only software designed by Microsoft,” said Witt, and companies like Google and Facebook, the parent company of Meta Platforms Inc. may not even exist. Now, the same is happening with mobile operating systems.

For all the walled garden’s touts for value and security, Apple also missed the opportunity to have newer, more enjoyable experiences on its platform. Being forced to open up a bit can be a blessing in the long run.

This story was published from the wire dealer’s feed without text modification.

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