Apple’s introduction of significant changes to its iPhone and iPad software with iOS 17.4 has sparked curiosity as it selectively affects only EU customers. The core reason behind this geographical limitation is the company’s need to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a regulatory framework established by the European Union. Despite having the option to extend these modifications worldwide, Apple has chosen a different path.
The tech giant has expressed concerns about the potential risks the DMA-mandated changes could bring. Apple’s stance is that implementing these changes outside the EU could compromise user safety.
The company stated: “Apple is not offering these changes outside of the EU because this is not the safest system for our users. We’ve been very clear about new threats the DMA introduces — including increased risks for malware, fraud and scams, illicit and objectionable content, and reduced ability for Apple to respond to and remove malicious apps. The changes required by the DMA also involve new technologies and processes that are untested and may require further development.”
Apple has emphasized its long-standing commitment to user trust and security, explaining that its existing policies and practices, from operating systems to the App Store, are built with privacy and security in mind. The company has highlighted its efforts to maintain transparency in app data collection, combat malware and fraud, and uphold quality standards.
In its final remarks, Apple underscored that the changes in the EU are not voluntary but are a response to legal requirements. Despite complying with the DMA, Apple has maintained that its original policies are better suited for global users.
“In the EU, the Digital Markets Act requires us to make changes to a formula that has served users and developers exceptionally well — changes that introduce new options, but also new risks. The changes we’re sharing represent Apple’s work to comply with the law and to help reduce new privacy and security risks the DMA creates for our users,” the company explained.
The updates specific to the EU market include allowing the introduction of third-party app stores, alternative browsers and web engines, and a revised commission structure for developers.