back to article Apple says if you want to ship your own iOS browser engine in EU, you need to be there

Apple's grudging accommodation of European law – allowing third-party browser engines on its mobile devices – apparently comes with a restriction that makes it difficult to develop and support third-party browser engines for the region. The Register has learned from those involved in the browser trade that Apple has limited …

  1. perkele

    Apple behaving like shitty sulky teens. Sigh.

    -long-term, disappointed Apple user.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Yep - this is just fuck-a-boutery

      1. short a sandwich

        This will be followed by find-outery and howls from the shareholders at the penalty.

    2. krakead

      Malicious compliance at its twattiest best. Read the room, Apple!

      1. mansplainer

        No, it's not "malicious compliance", it's plain old non-compliance. Allowing only EU developers access to their platform is clearly a ploy to reduce competition against their own browser engine. I don't know who was the legal genius here, but EU regulates the sale of EU phones regardless of where the developers are located. If you remove from the Appstore all Taiwanese developers and sell your device in the EU, you still get the 5 bln fine.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's when a company switches to be driven by bookkeeping instead of innovation (no, I don't call incremental more-of-the-same innovation, sorry).

      Sadly for Apple, it's been there before. It's now big enough for this lack of innovation to eat away much slower at the company, but it is still a returning rot they should fix.

      It didn't get this big by me-too or doing more of the same but faster or tweaked just a bit.

    4. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      It's nothing new from Apple or any other company... it even has it's own term.

      'Malicious compliance'

      1. mirachu

        Malicious non-compliance. Apple doesn't get to decide the terms.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      well this sort of shit is apple users doing, they went along with apples twatty behaviour, and kept buying the overpriced crap.

      so thanks idiots

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    How does Apple determine location ?

    Two ways occur to me, both of which can be worked around:

    • IP address. use of a VPN with a European exit point could be used

    • GPS. At last a valid reason to use GPS spoofing! (Need to be within a large faraday cage)

    The above, especially GPS, are are not easy so only really usable within a corporate environment.

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: How does Apple determine location ?

      Probably via the modem, the mobile networks will give away the devices location which is how devices detected when they are roaming.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How does Apple determine location ?

      Wireless access points.

      All devices report where they are according to GPS and which AP they're near, and that feeds a large database (can't recall who runs it, but it exists - been ages since I looked at this). Collect that data long enough (you don't need access to a WiFi network to see its name) and you can drop one or the other and still have a reasonably accurate fix.

      The problem with a VPN is that you're still logging in to a wireless network before you start a VPN tunnel, which may be visible to your vendor or specific app.

      1. mpi Silver badge

        Re: How does Apple determine location ?

        > Collect that data long enough

        Imagine collecting all that data specifially for this purpose, and then some random guy changes the (B)SSID on his access points to a random string. ooops :D

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How does Apple determine location ?

          Initially I thought that would be bypassed because the MAC address remains the same, but I'm not sure that's visible until you have actually access to the AP.

          However, given that that data is picked up by multiple devices (and so validated) I'm certain that that will be updated soon. Besides, people changing their SSID on a regular basis is very rare.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How does Apple determine location ?

            Some APs randomize MACs by default.

        2. Wayland

          Re: How does Apple determine location ?

          It used to be called Wombling after the Orinoco WiFi card. You gather WiFi MAC addresses whilst running GPS. It was once used as a poor man's GPS. Obviously Access Points go missing or get moved but you triangulate between the ones you can see. You young'uns don't remember the dayz....

    3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: How does Apple determine location ?

      No theres a third way...

      Stop wasting your life soo much on your phone so it doesnt even matter if it has a browser.

      1. Mike007 Bronze badge

        Re: How does Apple determine location ?

        Imagine being one of those people who hears something unbelievable and goes "oh, well, I guess it's impossible to ever know if it is true or not" instead of being able to immediately correct them with factual information...

        1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

          Re: How does Apple determine location ?

          How sad.

      2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

        Not Wasting One's Life Messing w/Smartphones

        In news today, the EU sanctioned Apple for its anti-competitive marketing of the not-a-smartphone Apple iPDA ...

        Posted from my PalmPilot III.

    4. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: How does Apple determine location ?

      The above, especially GPS, are are not easy so only really usable within a corporate environment.

      Pokémon Go users find GPS spoofing on an iPhone to be a trivial matter.

    5. mirachu

      Re: How does Apple determine location ?

      No need for a Faraday cage. Get a suitable transmitter or just spoof the location.

  3. seven of five

    Apple really, really, REALLY wants the EU to park a tank on their their lawn, do they?

    This is going to end well...

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Apple really, really, REALLY wants the EU to park a tank on their their lawn, do they?

      But the EU will like this as it means IT jobs moving to Europe.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple really, really, REALLY wants the EU to park a tank on their their lawn, do they?

        Not if the EU finance industry doesn't fix its investment strategy.

        US investors will take the occasional gamble and accept that that comes with a percentage of duds (but when they win they win big because they always want a LARGE chunk of anything before they invest), EU investors want to see proof in triplicate that their investment will yield at least a 10x before they part with a cent, and by the time they have that proof a US investor has swooped in and walked away with the concept and the profit. Add to that a single market which Europe is not (despite desperately trying to pretend it is) and innovation has a harder time getting off the ground and is typically parked in universities.

        The US is *far* more agile in that respect.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Apple really, really, REALLY wants the EU to park a tank on their their lawn, do they?

          Two questions any investor should ask:

          1) Is the business model legal decent and honest?

          2) How much profit could I make and at what risk?

          Guess which question US investors never get around to asking until long after they've started and then act all surprised when called out on it?

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Apple really, really, REALLY wants the EU to park a tank on their their lawn, do they?

          "The US is *far* more agile in that respect."

          Telling porkies? Delusional? Fleecing the poor?

        3. Casca Silver badge

          Re: Apple really, really, REALLY wants the EU to park a tank on their their lawn, do they?

          Ah, yes. Europe dont have any succéfull companies or innovative countries... sure...

          1. pklausner

            Re: Apple really, really, REALLY wants the EU to park a tank on their their lawn, do they?

            Europe does have sucessful compnies and innovation. But relative to its size and GDP it's not doing well and it seems to get worse by the year.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple really, really, REALLY wants the EU to park a tank on their their lawn, do they?

      Yeah, finally Apple will buy EU and be done with it.

  4. Furious Reg reader John

    Cunning move?

    Are Apple trying to appease the EU by making more EU based jobs, and so hope Apple will then be allowed to get away with other shithouse moves?

    Shame that Apple themselves won't be moving devs to the EU to implement this bit of fuckery.

    1. joed

      Re: Cunning move?

      Hopefully they'll get a taste of the Streisand effect.

      As for me, I jumped the ship onto platform that let's me use proper firefox. I like green bubbles.

      1. Bebu Silver badge

        Re: Cunning move?

        "I like green bubbles."

        Took me a moment to catch on. I thought it was a reference to Streisand (Barbara -> bubbles") then the EU -> chamelon popped into my head. "Green Bubbles" is a great name for the SuSE mascot. ;)

        Mostly in RHEL/CentOS environments over the years but have always been impressed with SuSE's offerings and the company's apparent lack of dick behaviour make their products more attractive when compared to those of their North American competitors.

      2. Wayland

        Re: Cunning move?

        Green bubbles, yeah Apple's attempt to 'other' people who are not one of the Apple Family in the messaging.

      3. Casca Silver badge

        Re: Cunning move?

        Super green

    2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Cunning move?

      No Apple get billions from google to be the selected browser, which would probably be at risk if there were other browsers.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Cunning move?

        Apple gets $$ from Google to be the default search engine - there are no other browsers on iDevices - that's what the Eu is complaining about.

        It's also useful for Google to show that they aren't a monopoly. If the Google had a monopoly in search then Apple would have to pay them, instead of them having to pay for visitors

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: Cunning move?

          Exactly and this is why Apple wants to be the only browser.

  5. Tron Silver badge

    I absolutely adored my Mac Classic.

    But I gave up on Apple completely some years ago because of their arrogance, restrictions and absurd pricing. Apple are not essential to computing. You can walk away. The sky doesn't fall in. Microsoft are a pain in the arse, but not quite as irritating as Apple.

    Much fun can be had playing with early Macs, but the days when I would consider using an Apple anything for daily computing are long gone.

    Can the Pi folk please use their loot when they go public to start selling a works-out-of-the-box, cased, retail Pi PC for the mainstream user. Then we can start having some fun again, 80s style.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: I absolutely adored my Mac Classic.

      "Can the Pi folk please use their loot when they go public to start selling a works-out-of-the-box, cased, retail Pi PC for the mainstream user. Then we can start having some fun again, 80s style."

      What's the point? They kind of already embraced that with the Raspberry Pi 400, which isn't really any more boxed than a normal one other than providing a basic case with a keyboard on it but it certainly looks 1980s-ish. However, using a normal Pi, all they would have to do is to put the board in a case of which there are hundreds of options, preinstall and preimage a card, and ship with whatever set of peripherals you don't want to buy separately. Lots of resellers already do some or all of that. What more do you expect from a retail version and what benefits do you hope will accrue by doing so?

    2. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: I absolutely adored my Mac Classic.

      The starter kits come with a preflashed card and assembly is basically clipping 3 parts together. Personally, I buy my Pi's as boards because there are some much nicer cases out there.

    3. Tessier-Ashpool

      Re: I absolutely adored my Mac Classic.

      If you’re an Apple fan who does movie reviews, you really have to slum it when taking movie screenshots. Basically, you have to use your iPhone to take a picture of the screen. Second rate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I absolutely adored my Mac Classic.

        Er, there's this thing on Apple devices called Screenshot. About 5 seconds thought suggests that you call it up, choose a delay, decide whether you want a still capture or recording and start... You don't use Apple devices do you?

    4. Electronics'R'Us

      Re: I absolutely adored my Mac Classic.

      The closed ecosystem is nothing new for Apple.

      This is from a humorous article from 1995.

      Mac Airways:

      The cashiers, flight attendants, and pilots all look the same, talk the same, and act the same. When you ask them questions about the flight, they reply that you don't want to know, don't need to know, and would you please return to your seat and watch the movie.

  6. Jason Hindle

    Inside the letter

    Never the spirit may be

    Really bad Apple

  7. that one in the corner Silver badge

    I offer my services

    to any US devs who need to have a pile of iPhones believe they are in Europe.

    Post them to me, with a set of tickets, and I'll take them to a lovely little French village for a week, to build up a GPS history.

    Then I'll pop 'em into faraday cage bags and personally chaperone them back to your offices, whichever ones are the most picturesquely situated in the US. You give me the next batch, I'll take 'em around Eire for a month, on your behalf (and your credit card).

    To use them, you just need a dev office that is itself a faraday cage, with a brand-new WiFI AP (I can pick you up a Eurotrash model in Le PC World) connected via a VPN back to

    La Belle France.

    You just have to be ABSOLUTELY sure that nobody takes into the dev area any other iDevice, Bluetooth tracker, laptop with an active AP or any other radio emitter that could be tagged to your real location in the US. If you do, I have special rates for a fast pickup run, but those 'phones may believe they ate in Margate - that should be close enough to the EU to fool Apple, right?


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many people like Apple because of the restrictions and security, and we hate Android because it's too free, open and obviously is much more of a dangerous environment for data. Apple doesn't sell my data, Google do. Apple checks all apps on the App store and Google permits some very dodgy apps on theirs.

    If the EU want Apple to be more open, then fine, but Apple are taking the right approach to be restrictive, it's one of the reasons why I buy Apple products.

    1. zimzam

      As has been said about 40 billion times already, you aren't required to use any of this. If you don't want sideloading or non-Apple browsers, just don't enable/use them.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        If you don't want ... non-Apple browsers, just don't enable/use them

        If only it were that simple. Let's say Apple allows the full Chrome browser on iOS. What do you think web developers will do, now that Chrome is by far the leader on all non-Apple platforms and Apple users have the ability to download Chrome? They are going to support only Chrome, because that's easier than supporting Safari - they are always whining how it is behind on standards (because Google writes most of the web standards these days, and that's why you get privacy raping crap like APIs to give the browser access to bluetooth and USB devices)

        Then I will eventually be forced to use Chrome because more and more of the web will be broken for anyone using Safari. What's worse, I'll be forced to use Chrome on my Linux desktop too, because as long as they have to support Chrome and Safari they've also been supporting Firefox (not everyone, it is obvious some developers have stopped testing it with)

        The EU would get a much worse outcome if they were able to force Apple to open to third party browsers worldwide. Instead of Apple having a browser monopoly on its own hardware (which are a minority in the EU compared to either Android or Windows) they will hand Google a browser monopoly on a silver platter. Yes, there's Edge, but it is effectively Chrome - Microsoft unconditionally surrended to Google on that front already.

        So what will be the EU's remedy when Chrome/Edge is 99% of the browsers on Windows, Mac, Android and iPhone?

        1. vekkq

          All the ungoogled Chromium forks work just fine. While the technical diversity in browser engines is nice to have, it is not necessary, when the one engine is freely modifiable to your needs.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Yeah, one browser totally beholden to Google.

            Creating an ad monopoly across ALL platforms. "ungoogled" chromium is a misnomer verging on an oxymoron.

            I hate Safari, and I hate Apple both locking it's mobile devices to it and also locking it to OS updates so older devices can't run a current build of the browser. AKA giant permanent security holes.

            So they need to figure out the law or policy to keep Google in check BEFORE they open the floodgates. A non trivial part of the complaints trying to re-frame this away from creating a ad monopoly are literally coming from astroturfing operations. And it's not like Google hasn't been busted doing that over and over. Net neutrality? Ring any bells?

            And to close out the idea that the Chrome codebase is being sufficiently defanged, keep in mind that the architecture of the engine is allowing their tracking system to operate, blocking others tracking systems from operating, and maintaining layers of features that just happen to allow tracking cookies to be regenerated. Of course Google swears THEY aren't doing that, but they are happy to buy and sell the data from third parties and wash it through a network of other subsidiary ad companies it bought but left under their original names to maintain a veneer of distance and deniability.

            I applaud the EU for leading the fight against these clowns, but the ORDER WE TACKLE THESE PROBLEMS MATTERS. Break Googles ability to dominate one of the last pockets of the market it doesn't control, THEN force Apple to open it's platform to safe and ethical projects.

        2. tacitust

          Wow. There's a what-if-and-a-half.

          Anti trust legislation isn't a one shot deal. Google (and others) are already in the EU's sights, and privacy has long been an issue they care about, so to claim they would just surrender to Google is simply ridiculous.

          It's not "either Apple or Google."

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            But what is the remedy against Google? They use market based rules to try to increase competition - "hey Apple, no fair having your browser exclusive to your hardware, you have to allow third party browsers" "hey Microsoft, no fair having your browser tied to your OS, you have to give people a choice screen when they install Windows".

            How does that work when everyone is or soon will be running the same browser, give that it would be web developers acting in their own self interest (laziness and being able to get more work done if they don't spend any time testing on other browsers) that creates Google's browser monopoly? What rule can they enforce on Google to increase competition?

            If they force Google to divest Chrome it wouldn't change anything - the monopoly would persist under that new ChromeCo company. If they tried to penalize Google worse than that for having a browser monopoly Google could voluntarily divest Chrome itself to avoid the hassle. Then the EU has zero recourse against Google as far as browsers go, and would have to take action against ChromeCo to break the monopoly. And if ChromeCo has no business presence in the EU (which would make a lot of sense from an organizational standpoint for tech companies that can make that work, given the EU's aggressiveness on that front) what then?

    2. rompetechos

      Apple has Google paying them a whole lot in exchange for exposing us to Google, which is a nice percentage of their ad business' earnings. The rest comes from hoarding our data in exclusivity themselves, through their own apps and services, to send us ads despite us paying through the nose for the privilege of not "being the product".

      I wouldn't feel that comfortable with their hypocrisy.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You are indirectly saying that people prefer Apple products because they are toys.

      There is nothing insecure about the android model -- if you click "allow some dodgy bastard to request premium rate texts on your phone", then don't be surprised if some dodgy bastard requests premium rate texts on your phone.

      What next? The apple debit card that won't let you draw out cash, because "someone might give someone their PIN?"

      The Apple car that won't go over 10mph, because some people may crash it?

      The annoying thing about android, is since lollypop, they HAVE removed useful features because of idiots.

      Fisher Price toys have their place, but I'm old enough to require something more powerful.

      And this has nothing to do with a techie nerd expecting all users to be techie nerds. All it requires is common sense - as is expected of you if you have a bank account, drive a car, or generally live as an adult.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "All it requires is common sense - as is expected of you if you have a bank account, drive a car, or generally live as an adult."

        I see you're an optimist.

        1. DS999 Silver badge


          I'd say he's obviously an alien who just arrived here yesterday, and has so far encountered a very very very small sample size of the human race.

      2. v13

        Even more than that, you can get a very secure Android experience by joining the Advanced Protection Program which limits most of these things in order to protect the account. And that's optional and opt-in.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Thank you for saying that

        It inspired me... build a new browser extension that replaces lazy reactionary phanboi posts with ASCII art of kittens playing with string.

        Keep them coming, it's some prime stuff. The kitten and string part should be easy, but I would need at least ten million posts from poetic genius level shitposters like yourself to get the neural net to converge. I want it to capture all the subtle nuance of trash talking posts using recycled talking points from decade old flame wars that exemplify the parts of these forums that I'd like to spare my eyes and my brain from.

        The noise to signal ratio is really high here. No hit of awareness of the massive privacy problems baked right into the OS, the overly permissive defaults, the open sewer app store, and the train wreck that the ODMs, carriers, and Google have made of getting app updates out in a timely matter or at all.

        All I have to mask out is your one legitimate point about how Android has been the tip of the spear for enshitification. Users find and start to use the per app security settings to keep crapware apps from dialing home? First bury it in developer mode then remove it. Users annoyed with crapware and keep turning it off? Remove their ability to kill "blessed" crapware, even if it crashed. Then when the user flock to apps like Appzapper, start a game of cat and mouse to make them "unzappable". Spyware and trackers baked into the OS, browser, and nearly every app. Cross linking so your activity gets siphoned off and linked to your Google and YouTube accounts, which you have to sign into to even open your phone.

        Sadly, while there are lots of better hits to take against Apple, you manage to miss all the big ones, and all the ones relevant to the thread. So happy to let the hypothetical browser filter have those in the weaksauce category. Apple lost the legal case against jailbreaking and Cydia, yet congress failed to keep them from monopolizing them out of existence by leaving them locked out of app ecosystem so the only paying customers they had were mostly shady. If congress had forced Apple to let users take root on their own devices without resorting to bugs, a safe, legal Cydia marketplace could have allowed users to "fix" many of the more annoying parts of their phones without leaving their devices wide open to exploit.

        Instead, installing a patch that fixed the often dangerous security holes wiped out the users legally installed root and alternate software.

        Yeah Apple sucks in so many ways, but many people still use it because the trade offs are preferable to them, as individuals. Stability, relative privacy, long device support, actual QC on the software and device, and prompt software updates. Easy access to non-carrier locked devices. Android as it's own strong suits. There is plenty of room pick one or the other for good reasons.

        I think though, while Apple may only be the Leper with the most fingers, Google is still winning at being evil. By leaps and bounds. So another fair point to decide on would be to pick the lessor of two evils even if the user experience sucks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thank you for saying that

          Wow... You talk about me being a "phanboi" and then you post that rant?

          An apt quote: "Every accusation is a confession"

          I was saying that android is *better* than apple at let me doing what the hell I want to with my own phone. Yet I was still highly critical of them removing features over the years.

          I said nothing about how "evil" or snoopy they are. The article, and my post were about deliberate restrictions on usability

          Android sucks, but apple sucks even more. Is that any clearer?

          Bless your cotton socks - you see someone attack your "side" so you instantly assume they cheerlead for the "other" side.

          Are you MAGA by any chance?

          BUT THEN...... You go on to agree with the whole point of my post, and then criticise apple for the same things i did.

          Yes, it's shitty that (without root), android removed permissions being needed for internet access... and removed fine-grain monitoring and control of processes, and the ability to stop apps autorunning on startup (the fact that an app "needs" to run on startup to handle notifications is a crappy system that should have been fixed).

          So, either your account was taken over mid-post, or you agree with me, but don't have adequate reading comprehension?

          Very confusing., I would like to downvote your first half, and then upvote your second half, so overall, it's "NIL POINTS" from me.

      4. Wayland

        They had to abandon the Apple car because they could not afford to build the Apple roads to run it on.

    4. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      No, we hate Android because of Google doing what google does.

      1. Snake Silver badge

        Re: we hate Android because of Google

        whilst you use Apple's default search engine, that...being Google.

        The irony is strong with this one.

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: we hate Android because of Google

          Not sure if you meant me, but i barely use my phone for internet. I waste enouugh time on a computer that i will waste more time looking at a phone or any reason for hours.

        2. AndyMulhearn

          Re: we hate Android because of Google

          It’s trivial to switch default search engine on iOS and iPadOS devices.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Apple doesn't sell my data"

      How do you know? Or how would you know if they did?

    6. v13

      That's total BS. Apple allows other browser engines on Macs. What is it? Are Macs dangerous and unsafe? Or are iPhones needlessly restricting other browsers purely for profit?

      1. zimzam

        Or is iOS so poorly designed that it needs extra protections?

    7. Snake Silver badge

      "Apple doesn't sell my data"

      Really??!! I guess this story never happened them

      Did you forget that mobile ads are SALES??

    8. Wayland

      Apple make personal appliances. If you want a general purpose computer there are plenty to chose from. No one wants to have a general purpose operating system on their fridge or washing machine. iPhones are sophisticated Etch-a-Sketch devices designed to do a set of simple tasks.

      1. Snake Silver badge


        An Etch-a-Sketch with a terrible UI, one that makes no sense yet demands the USER adjust to it eccentricities. Which the Apple Faithful do, and then consider themselves above 'mere' computer users for doing so.

        iPhones are being used by the technical illiterate, which is fine, but then they consider themselves the computer elite for just making the purchase.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does the UK count ?

    Serious question.

    1. zimzam

      Re: Does the UK count ?

      According to this, no:

      My understanding is that the designation of gatekeepers (strategic market status in the UK's case) won't come into effect until the end of this year and then it'll be up to the government to figure out who it applies to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does the UK count ?

        Hopefully a new government, as all this government is able to figure out is how to give our money to their mates, and chastise poorer communities for it.

  10. stiine Silver badge


    Anything that keeps Google Chrome from being the only browser is fine with me.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: so?


  11. Mage Silver badge

    Bad form

    Breaking the intention of EU rules.

    They will be in trouble.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bad form

      They still seem to think the EU can be bought out like their US or UK counterparts.

    2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

      Re: Bad form

      If the EU intended something different from what their law says maybe it would have been a good idea for them to write the law so that it said what they meant.

      Oh. Did you mean the EU will be in trouble?

  12. jezza99

    This EU law will create unwanted consequences.

    If Google's spyware, er, Chrome, runs on the iPhone then web developers will develop apps which only work with Chrome. I know they really want to.

    I don't run Chrome because I don't trust Google. I don't use their search engine either except as a last resort. I don't want to be forced to use Chrome because it is the only way to access apps which I use.

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      We all have a choice.

      Nobody needs to use a phone browser that much, if you are then you are wasting your life. Just walk down the street, ignore your phone.

      1. I sound like Peter Griffin!!

        Apple has actually..

        made using a browser on iOS a pleasant experience.

        The web still exists outside of apps you know, and Google's way isn't the only way.

        Long live the resistance

        1. tacitust

          Re: Apple has actually..

          Weird to be calling the richest corporation in the world and one that got there by having most controlling and anti-competitive platform in tech, "the resistance".

          Up truly is down these days...

    2. jwatkins

      But the EU law only applies in the EU. So... in the rest of the world Apple only allows Safari and web developers still have to support it.

  13. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    How is this even legal in any western country ?

    Isnt this a illegal restriction of trade ?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      What is your "this"?

      If it's the EU's rules they're legal by difinition. If it's Apple's work-around we won't know until there's a ruling on it.

    2. Munehaus

      "Isnt this a illegal restriction of trade"

      It's unclear who you're refering to, but it is by definition an illegal anti-competative restriction by Apple. Hence why it's not allowed in the EU.

  14. v13

    Oh Apple!

    Oh Apple, you silly goose. With your shenanigans and your fat bottom line. Look at you. Living like there's no tomorrow. Being malicious and schizophrenic. Allowing other browsers on one of your OSes but not the other. Claiming insecurity for restricting them but also claiming security on the OS that you don't.

    Ate you alright? You don't make much sense lately.

  15. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    matter of time

    It's just a matter of time... for Apple to maintain two different types of functionality within their ios system (one for EU, one for everywhere else) is soon going to be more effort than just supporting one, and putting more protections into the OS. The pressure on Apple to stop being a petulant little child is just going to be too great.

    1. Test Man

      Re: matter of time

      It's trivial for an organisation of Apple's size. Right now they have to go through a ton of very different regulations that apply to specific regions and countries just to sell the "same" device (which technically speaking aren't actually exactly the same due to said differing regulations). Having to maintain separate code bases is nothing.

  16. mpi Silver badge

    Almost evertime I read news about Apple... decision to never use anything apple-related ever again, gets justified yet again.

  17. PBuon

    The actual technical and development protocol requirements seem reasonable. The geofencing of developers is definitely Apple being Apple though.

  18. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Better browsers

    "Browser makers have objected to this for years, because it limits competitive differentiation and reduces the incentive for Apple owners to use non-Safari browsers."

    Also Safari is crap. The Javascript, layout, and general technology is behind both Chrome and Firefox by a reasonable margin. It's like IE was on Windows, Apple has a monopoly on these devices so they have no pressure to keep their browser up to date.

  19. flayman

    I utterly despise Apple.

  20. swissPGOE

    scaleway, macstadium and others offer solutions

    Scaleway and macstadium, and likely also AWS have macs in Europe that can be remotely accessed.

    It's just adding extra cost...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I assume this Apple edict will adjust at some point. It will have to. It’s a complex issue.

  22. Justthefacts Silver badge

    It’s what EU wanted

    Sorry, why would an EU-only build be available outside the EU?

    Those of us on this side, pointed out months ago the stupidity of the EU wanting its own build. Even minor technical issues will mis-align the APIs etc within a couple of IOS versions. We pointed out the EU policy would balkanise: since non-EU devs couldn’t validate on the EU build, the EU would get only apps developed in the EU; EU App developers would lose any market outside the EU; and the only EU “benefit” was that devs inside the EU would have a captive market of EU firms needing apps developed. But Rest of World > EU by a factor of 10, so it seems fairly obvious the overall effect is that the EU app developers lose 90% of their business overnight. But if EU developers are arrogant enough to believe that estimate is wrong…..I don’t care. It’s their business if their business flourishes or not, but definitely not our problem to fix.

    So, the week after the thing EU demanded has been delivered, the disadvantage EU were told about has occurred….and now EU want it fixing? By imposing EU law on builds on sovereign territories outside the EU?! It’s not our job to fix the problems you made for yourselves. Keep the enshittified EU IOS out of the Rest of World.

    1. Casca Silver badge

      Re: It’s what EU wanted

      Nothing is forcing apple to have two builds besides apple...

  23. Bitbeisser

    There is a very simple solution: just don't buy any of the (c)(r)apple devices...

  24. DerekCurrie

    A Couple Points Explaining Apple's Point of View

    1) Maintaining WebKit's rendering relevance:

    Chromium derivatives are the current winners of the browser market. This is a problem for Apple on the web. Google come up with new formats and web code on a regular basis and toss them into Chromium. They don't work on any of Apple's WebKit derived browsers until Apple says so and adds the code, which typically takes years, not kidding. The big problem is with Google ruling the roost, WebKit derivatives end up NOT properly displaying a lot of web pages. FORCING the use of WebKit in iOS establishes WebKit as that platform's rendering engine, forcing those web designers who wish to be compliant to pay attention to WebKit web code and formats.

    2) Security:

    Apple has the very best, no exception or question, security for 'smart' devices, aka iOS devices including iPads. They were embarrassed into a corner by Blackberry's security and established themselves as superior via their 'walled garden' App Store. That remains the case today. (Don't argue with me. You'll lose). Part of that demand for security is the demand that they control the web rendering engine on iOS. Apple doesn't want to have to deal with some other rendering engine's security flaws. And yes there are plenty. Pushing other rendering engines into iOS means trouble for Apple security. That's the fact. Apple doesn't want the grief or the lack of control. Personally, as an iOS user, I don't want the security flaw grief either! WebKit already has regular security flaw discovery as it is, a plenty! Why would Apple want to have to worry about what problems are going on with the Blink, Gecko, Goanna, Servo, Presto, etc. rendering engines? I don't want the hassle either! The more simple the security concerns, the better. Software security is a massive PITA we humans either cannot comprehend or take the time to consider and solve. It's likely the biggest factor that keeps us in what I still consider The Dark Age of Computing. We have to get better. Simplifying our worries helps a lot.

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