Opinion | Legislation Could Force Apple to Allow iOS App Sideloading (Here’s Why It Just Doesn’t Make Sense)
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Last week, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Open App Markets Act with 20 votes in favor and just one against it. This bill would force all App Stores with more than 50 million users in the United States to allow developers to use a different payment system and offer apps through alternative platforms. The bill would also allow people to download apps from other companies instead of only downloading applications through the official App Store included with the iPhone. But this is unlikely.
The next step would be approval of this bill by the House Judiciary Committee. After this, a supermajority of senators would have to vote Yes. Then a majority of the whole House would also have to approve it. Lastly, President Joe Biden would have to sign this bill into law.
Considering everything currently on the agenda, I would have a hard time believing Congress will vote for this before the end of the year.
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Let me tell you what I think about this. I’ll go straight to the point. I would love iOS sideloading on my phone; I’d use it every day, and I’ve been asking for it for years. However, I’m a firm believer that no individual or company should be forced to do something they’re against or they don’t want to do. Unless, of course, their inaction is causing damage to someone. But this is not the case.
I’d say, think of sideloading and third-party app stores as features – something manufacturers can offer to their potential customers. Apple has decided not to include these features in its products, contrary to Android, who has decided to include them.
From a consumer standpoint, I see no logical argument in favor of any law to force Apple to allow iOS sideloading or third-party app stores.
What’s Wrong with the Legislation?
I’ve been following this matter for days on social media and news outlets. One of the main arguments presented is, “If I buy a phone, I want to do whatever I want with it.” Good. I agree with that sentence. People should be able to do whatever they want with the products they’ve bought. But if you wish to do a specific task with a phone, you should buy one that allows you to do so.
This is like buying a farm tractor and wanting to participate in a race. It’s not going to work. And it’s not the manufacturer’s fault. You should have bought a quicker vehicle.
Imagine buying a microwave then complaining to the manufacturer a week later because you can’t toast bread with it. You should have bought a toaster then, not a microwave. The same thing applies to the smartphone industry.
Some phones don’t offer third-party stores like the iPhone, and others like Samsung phones do. You can’t buy an iPhone and complain because you can’t sideload apps; if you wanted to do that, you should have bought an Android phone. I think it’s pretty easy to understand.
There is, however, another standpoint I haven’t covered yet: developers. All who want to launch an app for the iPhone must upload it to the App Store, wait for Apple to approve the app, and comply with Apple’s 30% tax for every transaction. Is this fair? I don’t know. But what I can tell you is that Apple has every right to do it.
Like it or not, the App Store is a service as a product, and Apple decides how much its product is worth. Just as every other business does. Could you imagine owning a store and getting requests from brands wanting to sell their products in your store without giving you a cent from the sales their products made? I think we could all agree that doesn’t make sense.
Then how about letting those developers offer their apps to iPhone users without going through the App Store? As I told you before, that’s not a feature the iPhone offers, nor one Apple could be forced to include in their products.
Consumers have a choice between phones that offer that feature and phones that don’t offer it. It’s their freedom to buy whatever phone they see fit, and it’s also the manufacturer’s freedom to add whatever features it deems suitable.
If the government can’t force consumers to buy a particular phone, I think we would all agree it can’t force companies to add features they don’t want to add to their products – and we are not talking about obvious stuff such as safety belts in a car.
So to sum everything up, I would sideload apps on my iPhone. Still, I understand it’s Apple’s decision to either allow it or not.
I wouldn’t support any law to force the company to do it. If I valued third-party app stores over all the things the iPhone offers me, I always have the chance to buy a different device that allows me to access them. That’s what freedom is about.
I don’t understand why the “American dream” is so promoted. When a company does too well, thanks to that “American dream,” people want the government to step in and force the company to do something else it doesn’t want to do. Maybe Apple is the most valuable company globally because it is not doing what these people suggest. If these people are so good at running tech companies, they should start their own, and I’m sure they’ll beat Apple very soon – note the sarcasm.
Anyway, everyone has the right to defend an opinion, so if you think something different, please let me know in the comments below. If you really want to debate this, make sure to send me a DM. I’m open to all discussions. Hope you found this article helpful. As always, thank you for reading. Have a nice day.