Apple's reportedly ready to open the iPhone to sideloading soon, but there's a catch

Apple's reportedly set to open the iPhone to sideloading for the first time, but it's only going to do it for people in EU member countries.

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Apple has a long history of being very much convinced that the only way people should be allowed to install apps on their iPhone is via the App Store. Web apps are also allowed, but real iPhones apps can only be downloaded via the App Store. Over on Android, apps can be sideloaded from just about anywhere with third-party app stores also available to companies who want to run them. Now, it appears Apple is closer than ever to allowing the same thing on the iPhone - but it isn't quite that simple.

With the European Union's Digital Markets Act set to force Apple to allow sideloading, the company is gearing up to do exactly that. However, reports suggest that anyone who had hoped Apple would open the door to all iPhone owners around the globe will be left disappointed. Instead, it looks likely that Apple will only offer sideloading to those in the EU, meaning iPhone owners in countries around the globe will have to make do with the App Store instead.

Apple's reportedly ready to open the iPhone to sideloading soon, but there's a catch 01

That's something that Bloomberg's Mark Gurman believes, reporting in his weekly Power On newsletter that Apple will split the App Store in two. ONe version will be offered in EU countries, while the other will be used everywhere else.

All of this is set to happen relatively soon, too. Apple has until March 7 to make the changes, after which it must allow third-party app downloads and installations on all iPhones in countries that are members of the European Union.

However, it's expected that other countries will look to follow the EU's lead and potentially require a similar sideloading capability in the future, so much could ride on the success of March's switch.

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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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