Apple Could Lock Some iPhone Features Based On Location

Apple could be about to start locking some iPhone features based on what location you’re in at any given moment, according to a new report.

Apple already limits some features based on where the iPhone is sold, like FaceTime doesn’t work in the UAE for example. But now it seems that Apple could be ready to block features based on where an iPhone actually is.

9to5Mac reports that a new feature has been added to iOS 16.2 and later versions that could allow such a thing to happen. It isn’t being used right now, but it surely will in the future.

Based on our findings, the new system internally called “countryd” was silently added with iOS 16.2, but is not being actively used for anything so far. It combines multiple data such as current GPS location, country code from the Wi-Fi router, and information obtained from the SIM card to determine the country the user is in.

It’s thought that this will be used to block features based on a country’s regulations. It’s also been suggested that it could be used to allow third-party app stores in countries or regions where they are required by law. That will include the EU soon enough, with Apple thought to be adding third-party app store support with iOS 17 later this year.

If that’s the case it will mean that the third-party app stores and sideloading may not be available to those who don’t live in areas where Apple has been forced to allow them.

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