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Apple set to split its App Store regionally before EU ruling

The Apple App Store sideloading deadline is fast approaching, and it looks like the iPhone manufacturer is splitting its regional stores.

Image of different apps from the App Store icons for App Store sideloading news

The App Store has to change the way it operates soon, as the EU forces Apple to offer third-party app stores on their devices. This Apple App Store sideloading debacle has been long in the making, and the company’s solution seems to be quite a drastic one.

As reported by Mark Gurman in the paid part of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg (via MacRumors), Apple is splitting its App Store in two, with the EU version acting separately from the rest of the world. This means changes to the EU App Store will not affect other users.

This comes after the Digital Markets Authority in the EU brought in legislation to force large companies like Apple and Google to allow third-party services on their devices, including both iPhones and Google Pixel phones. It’s not the first time the EU has forced Apple to make changes, either – the iPhone 15 line only has USB-C because of EU legislation.

Apple has always had a vertically integrated model – meaning it makes the hardware, software, and services. Anything from other developers comes through its App Store, where Apple takes a cut of the profit and controls what they can and can’t do on its devices. Apple says third-party app stores could hinder the security of its devices.

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It’s not long now until we expect to see changes – sometime at the beginning of March – so keep your eyes peeled for updates. For more, we’ve got guides to the best gaming iPhones and the best 5G phones to cater to your Cupertino needs.