Apple has now released a report that points out the risks of so-called side loading. IN the report the risks to the mobile ecosystem appear if side loading is allowed. According to Apple, the threats have been exacerbated by increased reliance on mobile devices, which are driven by the corona pandemic.
The reason for Apple’s charm offensive is that the pressure on them has increased since the trial with Epic Games began. The arguments presented in the report are both factual and doomsday prophecies.
However, sideloading is a recognized security threat. Governments and international authorities around the world, including Enisa and Europol in Europe, advise against downloading apps from third-party app stores. Apple believes that the Digital Markets Act (DMA), in its current form, provides a mandate for page loading, which opens up for more cyber threats and malicious code. The DMA would undermine the goal of cybersecurity by making mobile devices the weakest link.
At the press conference, Apple was asked how it is that Mac OS does not have the same limitations as iOS. The answer was “Mac and Iphone are not the same thing, you have more sensitive and personal data on your phone, such as information about your health, which is not as common on the computer.” Of course they have a point, but there are still as many as possible who have equally important information on their computer.
In its latest State of the Union-tal Last month, European Commission President von der Leyen said it was important to strengthen the EU’s cyber defense: “If everything is connected, everything can be hacked. […] We must not only be happy to deal with the cyber threat, but also strive to become a leader in cyber security. It should be here in Europe where cyber defense tools are developed. ”
As recently as last week urged The European Parliament to strengthen Europe’s cyber defense capabilities and build “a common vision for achieving online security”.
Apple has a point in that side loading opens up for malicious code, extortion attempts and a lot of other junk that is mainly found on Android. And at the same time, they have a point when they said yesterday that “anyone who buys an Iphone knows that it is locked to the App Store.”
But the elephant in the room are, after all, links that lead to payment outside the App Store, something that Apple does not want to talk about at all. Of course, there is a lot to say about this. Apple earns between 15-30 percent on all purchases made within the app. Given that there are over 2.5 billion active iOS devices, a lot of money is rolling in to Apple. This report from Apple is a bit reminiscent of how a magician tricks us into looking at his right hand while the rabbit disappears into the left sleeve of his shirt. They like to talk about the dangers of side loading, but not reason why they talk about page loading.
If Apple were to allow links leading to payment outside the App Store, the page loading debate would not end, but at least be reduced to a whisper. On the other hand, Apple offers a secure solution with the App Store. Apps are checked before they are approved, an app that still slips through the check can be stopped even if it has already been installed.
A security system implemented by Apple costs money. Likewise, the platform that Apple provides with the App Store and which according to Statista paid out a total of $ 200 billion to developers. It’s easy to call Apple greedy, but then you close your eyes to the fact that they have turned thousands (if not more) small app developers into dollar millionaires, created 10,000s of jobs and that they have given us a platform that is much safer than Android .
One thing is for sure, Apple needs to review some of its draconian rules for the App Store. Otherwise, it will surely lose its special position as the only platform to download apps to your Iphone.