Japan the latest country to consider forcing iPhone sideloading and third-party payments

Apple's iPhone could be forced to allow third-party app installation, app stores, and payments in Japan if new legislation comes into force.

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Japan is the latest company to consider forcing Apple to open its iPhone to sideloading and third-party payment systems, according to a new report. Installing an app on the iPhone currently requires for it to be available via the App Store, while all payments for digital goods made via those apps must be processed via the App Store also, allowing Apple to take a 30% cut.

That could all change if Japan decides to regulate Apple in a way that the European Union has been working to, allowing people to install apps outside of the App Store for the first time. The move would also allow apps to offer payment options when selling digital goods, something that could open the door to cheaper prices depending on how the system is implemented.

Japan the latest country to consider forcing iPhone sideloading and third-party payments 02

Nikkei Asia reports that Japan is preparing regulations that are designed to prevent Apple from abusing its dominant position in the Japanese market. Google is also in the firing line, although it already allows apps to be downloaded outside of its Google Play Store and always has done.

However, Japan appears to want to force third-party app installations so long as they remain secure and private, something that Apple has long argued is the main reason the App Store is the only option for iPhone users.

If the legislation comes into force companies like Epic Games would be able to offer their own gaming app store on the iPhone for the first time. Epic famously altered its Fortnite game to bypass Apple's payment system which resulted in it being kicked out of the store - it hasn't returned, and a legal battle has now been raging for years.

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NEWS SOURCES:asia.nikkei.com, apple.com

Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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