Apple makes cybercrime risks argument to keep control of all iOS apps

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Apple doubled down on its criticism of the European Union’s draft rules that would force it to allow users to install software from outside its App Store, saying the move will bolster malware and cybercrime risks.

The Coalition for App Fairness, including Epic Games, Spotify, and Match Group, have all dismissed these arguments saying that security measures like encrypted data and antivirus solutions offer security to devices. It’s not the App Store itself that offers protection.

The group would like regulators to loosen Apple’s grip on its App Store, allowing them to bypass it to get to the hundreds of millions of users.

The anti-competitive stance Apple has chosen

Bypassing the App Store means that the group members and others can avoid paying commissions of up to 30% for in-store purchases. Apple has fiercely criticized EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s proposed rules announced in 2020.

The rules intent to curb the growing power and influence of big tech firms, which pay as few taxes as possible, exploit users with few or no consequences, and engage in anti-competitive behaviour to kill smaller players. Apple on Thursday published an analysis of the threats posed by sideloading apps.

Sideloading complaints are only a distraction

In Apple’s report, the company says that sideloading means more harmful apps will reach users because cybercriminals will supposedly have an easier time reaching their targets.

The study cites figures from Kaspersky Lab which recorded nearly six million attacks per month on Android mobile devices. Damien Deradin, a lawyer for the group attempting to free itself from Apple’s chokehold, insightfully pointed out that the sideloading complaints are a distraction. The alternatives can be just as safe as what Apple claims to offer exclusively.