Apple is preparing to allow rival app stores on iPhones and iPads as part of a significant overhaul to meet rigorous European Union standards in 2024.

Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Apple’s operations, software engineering and services staff are working hard to open up crucial aspects of the company’s platforms.

It’s expected that customers will eventually be able to download third-party software on their iPhones and iPads without depending on Apple’s App Store, circumventing the tech giants’ limitations and up-to-30% commission charged on purchases.

The changes, which constitute a reversal of long-held principles, are a reaction to EU rules aimed at promoting competition by breathing life into third-party products and improving customers’ digital lives.

Apple is the first domino to fall

If other countries and world forces pass similar laws, Apple’s overhaul could become the foundation for worldwide change, according to Bloomberg’s sources. The company’s adjustments will initially take effect in the EU.

The news saw shares in app development companies jump. Dating app provider Match Group saw a 10 percent increase while Bumble rose 9 percent, which signals that developers expect a reprieve from Apple’s commissions.

Digital Markets Act

Apple’s shares didn’t change much. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the impending transformation. The upcoming law, known as the Digital Markets Act, takes effect in the coming months, though companies are only required to comply starting in 2024.

The act requires major technology companies to support third-party software installations and help users change default settings. Major messaging apps will have to be compatible with other platforms while third-party developers gain the right to access core features in popular apps and services.  

Regulation-wise, government officials in the US and other countries have little traction compared to the EU.