Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated that App Store’s privacy and security will be drastically affected by sideloading when asked about regulators’ push to open the iOS platform at the Q4 2021 earnings call.
Apple is under investigation by antitrust regulators around the world, primarily, for its App Store policies. Considering the company’s control of apps distribution and in-app purchases structure on iOS devices anticompetitive, regulators are pushing Apple to open iOS platform to sideloading to allow users to download apps outside the App Store. Vehemently opposing the suggestion, Apple argues that App Store provides consumers a trusted digital marketplace that is working to preserve users’ privacy and security.
Research reveals Apple customers, in the two biggest markets, prefer App Store over third-party payment methods
Katy Huberty, an analyst at Morgan Stanley shared that their research revealed Apple consumers in U.S. and China prefer to download or purchase apps and services from the App Store over buying them directly from the developer; “They value the security, privacy, ease of transactions with the App Store.”
Building on that she asked, “how do you think about balancing the regulators push for more choice with a customer base that’s happy with the existing experience?” To that, Mr. Cook replied that consumes privacy and security are Apple’s top priorities and everything else is secondary.
The main thing that we’re focused on, on the App Store is to keep our focus on privacy and security. And so these are the two major tenets that have produced over the years a very trusted environment where consumers and developers come together and consumers can trust the developers on the developers and the apps or what they say they are and the developers get a huge audience to sell their software to. And so that’s sort of number one on our list. Everything else is a distant second.
He added that Apple will continue to engage regulators in dialogue over the company’s decision to oppose sideloading because of its devastating effects.
And so what we’re doing is working to explain the decisions that we’ve made that are key to keeping the privacy and security there, which is to not have sideloading and not have alternate ways on the iPhone, where it opens up the iPhone to unreviewed apps and also gets by the privacy restrictions that we put on the App Store. And so we’re very, very focused in discussing the privacy and security elements of the App Store with the regulators and legislators.
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