The #AppleBrowserBan Ends in the EU!

After 3 years of campaigning by @OpenWebAdvocacy and in a victory for developers and consumers, Apple has been forced to allow third-party browsers in the EU.

The Digital Markets Act compels them to finally allow browser vendors to port their real browsers to iOS by March 7th, 2024, offering users in the EU (for the first time) a legitimate choice.

This news is tempered by the fact that Apple's proposed solution to comply with the DMA rules to allow browser competition has not been well received.

Apple’s proposals fail to give consumers viable choices by making it as painful as possible for others to provide competitive alternatives to Safari
Damiano DeMonte - Mozilla spokesperson

Others in the industry we have spoken to described Apple's compliance plan as it relates to browsers as "unworkable", "a massive problem for us" and "doing everything they can to make the DMA fail".

Competing via the Web

Apple claims the Web is the alternative.
  For everything else there is always the open Internet. If the App Store model and guidelines are not best for your app or business idea that’s okay, we provide Safari for a great web experience too. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store.

Apple claims repeatedly, if you don’t like their app store, don’t use it. You can use the web and web apps to reach your customers.

They say this, while at the same time preventing this from happening by not providing the tools needed in their own browser and blocking other browsers from providing them.

It is clear that Apple far from being embarrassed at, for over a decade, having effectively banned all third party browsers will only change this policy where legally compelled to do so.

Further, Apple’s language is rife with fear mongering:

“Apple argues (without any particular merit or evidence) that these other engines are a security and performance risk and that only WebKit is truly optimized and safe for iPhone users.”
David Pierce - The Verge

Apple's decision to geo-lock this change underscores their on-going resistance to a truly open web. We will be actively analysing their compliance solution as well as identifying and challenging any loopholes that hinder fair competition.

We need your help to scrutinise every aspect of the compliance proposal for anything that is designed to undermine the DMA’s intent. You can read about Apple’s proposal for compliance here:

This victory wouldn't have been possible without your unwavering support. While we celebrate this important step, let's remember the fight for global browser competition continues. Stay tuned, and let's work together to ensure browser choice for all users, everywhere!

Your browser, your choice!