Apple Wants The Senate To Reject A Bill Pushing For Third-Party App Stores On The iPhone, iPad

Apple has asked the Senate to reject a bill that, if passed, would require that Apple and other device makers allow third-party app stores be allowed on devices like iPhones. Side-loading of apps would also be required.

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple says that the idea of allowing third-party app stores and sideloading would potentially open up security and privacy issues that don’t currently exist under the App Store model of app delivery.

The company said the bill, S. 2710, would harm user security and privacy, create expansive liability exposure and legal uncertainty, and would deny consumer choice. The company made the statements in a letter, obtained by Bloomberg News, that was sent to Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin and ranking Republican Chuck Grassley ahead of their committee’s discussion of the bill.

Apple has been fighting to prevent similar moves in international cases of late and has already been told to allow third-party payment systems in at least two countries — although in limited circumstances. However, if the United States forced Apple to allow third-party stores we could see Fortnite come back to iPhone and iPad via its own Epic-owned store and app delivery system.

Apple believes that allowing apps to be installed that haven’t been through App Store review could be problematic. Tim Powderly, the company’s head of government affairs in the Americas, wrote the letter.

“Sideloading would enable bad actors to evade Apple’s privacy and security protections by distributing apps without critical privacy and security checks,” he said. “These provisions would allow malware, scams and data-exploitation to proliferate.”

Whether Apple’s stance is legitimate or not is complicated and while some developers would like to be able to distribute their apps outside of the App Store, it isn’t fair to say that everyone wants sideloading to be an option. Apple is, obviously enough, very much against it.

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