How the US lawsuit against Apple could make the iPhone experience more consumer friendly

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The US has filed a lawsuit against Apple aimed at increasing competition for the iPhone and boosting smaller companies whose apps work with the ubiquitous device.

In the $2.7 trillion lawsuit against the company, the US argues that the iPhone maker harmed smaller rivals and raised prices, and the Justice Department is asking the court to “restore competitive conditions in markets affected by Apple's unlawful conduct.” Is saying.

Apple said the lawsuit threatens the company and the principles that differentiate its products in a competitive marketplace.

In Europe, consumers have already benefited after a number of rules and regulations forced Apple to make several user-friendly changes to its popular smartphones, suggesting that the US could face significant losses if the Justice Department lawsuit is successful. Similar changes may also occur.

Below are several areas where EU competition authorities have changed the rules and Apple has changed its product.

charging cable

Apple's switch to USB-C chargers – the standard for Android-based devices – may be the most obvious change for users.

In 2022, the EU passed a law making charging ports a mandatory standard across the 27-nation bloc by the end of 2024. This made it easier for consumers to power their device using a charger they already had or borrow a related charger. Other.

app Store

In Europe, new regulations have created alternatives to Apple's App Store, meaning users can download applications from rival sources, including websites and rival app stores.

This allows developers to avoid the tech giant's 30% commission fee, which could theoretically mean apps will become cheaper. Once fully implemented, users should enjoy access to a wide range of apps.

Payment using non-Apple websites

In both the EU and US, app developers can direct users to their own websites to purchase items instead of using Apple's in-app purchasing system, which also takes a 30% cut.

This change was made in line with the recently implemented Digital Markets Act in the EU. In the US, Apple was forced to step down following a lawsuit from Fortnite-maker Epic Games, which has long been critical of the tech giant's business practices.

Browsers

Another change in Europe concerns the default web browser to comply with EU digital markets law. Safari has been the default browser on iPhones since the device was first released in 2007.

While iPhone users could already change their default to a competitor like Google Chrome or Opera, they'll now be given the option to automatically switch when opening Safari in the latest Apple software update, iOS 17.4.

Opposing the changes in the EU, Apple said users would be presented with a list of options without a chance to learn about them, and warned it would disrupt their browsing experience.

© Thomson Reuters 2024


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