Apple’s new sideloading features set the stage for fight with Spotify

Apple’s sideloading and third-party app store changes may be due to EU legislation, but insiders think this is the future for the iPhone.

App store logo over a real life Apple store for Apple EU App Store news on the change to sideloading and external apps

Apple is making significant changes to its iPhone software very soon to comply with EU legislation. This change means that iPhones within the EU will become more customizable, with third-party apps, sideloading, and changes to Safari. While it might only affect Apple’s EU App Store for now, these changes may suggest more about the company’s future…

Writing in his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, tech correspondent Mark Gurman said that it’s “a peek at the future of the platform and one that the company will likely have to adopt globally.” As it gets ready to allow alternative payment methods – those that can sidestep Apple’s hefty 15-30% cut on App Store fees – it’s also implementing new fees to make up for it. This change certainly adds another layer of nuance to the old iPhone vs Android argument if you’re from the EU.

While its App Store fees drop to 10% and 17%, depending on the amount of revenue the developer makes, Apple has two new fees. There’s the core technology fee, which is €0.50 per app install and updates over the threshold of one million, as well as a 3% in-app purchase billing fee if they aren’t using outside payment methods.

How this all plays out is yet to be seen, but it sets the stage for Apple’s future fights with the big tech companies – think Apple vs Epic on a bigger scale. Gurman also reaffirmed the schedule for new Macbook Airs and iPads to launch at the end of March, so if you’re looking forward to Apple’s OLED iPad Pro, not long to wait.

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For more beyond Apple’s EU App Store debacle, check out all the latest rumors for the iPhone 16. We’ve also got the best Samsung phones, best Google Pixel phones, and best flip phones if you fancy something Android.