EU Designates Apple’s iPadOS as ‘Digital Gatekeeper,’ Mandating Changes to App Distribution

April 30, 2024 – Recent reports indicate that the European Union has designated Apple’s iPadOS as a “digital gatekeeper,” subjecting it to the same new regulations as iOS. This signifies that iPadOS will soon allow European users to download and utilize alternative app stores and browser engines, among other changes.

To qualify as a gatekeeper, a platform must meet two criteria: firstly, it must have generated at least 7.5 billion euros in revenue in the EU for each of the past three fiscal years, or have had an average market capitalization of 75 billion euros in the preceding fiscal year, while providing its core services to at least three EU member states.

Secondly, the platform must operate a core service that has had at least 45 million monthly active users in the EU for each of the past three fiscal years, and must have served more than 10,000 EU business users annually.

Previously, the EU had already classified Apple’s iOS as a “digital gatekeeper,” and the latest version of iOS has already enabled sideloading, allowing users to install apps from third-party app stores.

Now, iPadOS is set to follow iOS’s footsteps and will soon enable sideloading as well. Apple is expected to push an update for iPadOS and adjust its app distribution rules accordingly in the near future.

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