The iPhone users in Russia are seeing apps approved by the government on the App Store. A few weeks ago, a deal was finalized between the Cupertino tech giant and the Russian government to show users a list of approved apps when setting up their new iPhones.
It was reported that in compliance with a new law passed by the Russian Ministry of Digital Affairs on consumer protection, manufacturers in the country are required to sell all smart devices with pre-installed apps including antivirus, social media, services, and others. Therefore, the Russian App Store shows a prompt to iPhone users when initially configuring the smartphone to install government approve apps. Users can opt-out of installing a few apps.
In Russian iPhone users first see the government-approved apps on the App Store
This change was noticed by @KhoasT, who shared the short clip of the configuration process. Apple’s prompt reads, “In compliance with Russian legal requirement, continue to view available apps to download.”
Here is how it looks in the actual setup. pic.twitter.com/QOUwwIGSnx
— Khaos Tian (@KhaosT) April 1, 2021
Apple has also been very skeptical of third-party pre-installed apps. The company argues that those apps make their devices susceptible to jailbreak or damage by malware. However, contrary to its policy, the company agreed to the Russian governments’ demands like it removed 39,000 apps from the Chinese App Store over licensing issue.
As per MacRumors report, iPad users will also see the government-approved apps on the App Store when configuring their tablets.
Apple told Vedomosti that beginning on April 1, “users will be offered a choice of applications from Russian developers, which they will be able to choose for further installation on their iPhone or iPad.” Furthermore, Apple is reportedly discussing adding a new section to the App Store in Russia specifically dedicated to promoting Russian apps.
The Ministry of Digital Affairs assures that it is not seeking to create a dominant position for itself on the list of pre-installed apps. In fact, the Ministry says that if there are other apps on the market, they should be added to the list for users to pre-install.
The Ministry is not interested in the fact that popular programs included in the list for mandatory pre-installation occupy a dominant position. If there are alternative offers of interest to users and rapidly gaining popularity on the market, they will be included in this collection and will also be offered for pre-installation.