Almost all tech companies are currently or have previously faced scrutiny around the world for their anti-competitive practices. Apple is no exception. The company has previously been scrutinized, from competitors and regulators, for prioritizing its in-house products to third-party alternatives.
In 2019, the company’s closed system was questioned by an antitrust panel in the US. The board pressed the company on whether users were allowed to set their default apps on sensitive categories like web browsers, maps, email, and music, all of which Apple has, for long, closed them from third-party alternatives.
As a result, the company is reportedly weighing in to let users switch their default apps the way they like. Specifically, Apple is considering to let users choose their default browser and Mail app – among the most used apps on the iPhone and iPad.
Usually, on every Apple device, the company has set its in-house browser, Safari, as the default app and Mail app as the default email app.
The company might also open up to third-party music streaming apps like Spotify on the iPhone and HomePod, according to a report.
To developers with alternatives to these apps, this closed nature of the platform has provided an unfair advantage.
The scrutiny of Big Tech has been on the rise, specifically from the EU, who have gone further investigating the companies for a potential antitrust violation. To Apple, setting their apps as default is paying off, especially for subscription-based services which substantially contributes to the company’s revenue.
The issue is yet to be finalized, specifically “still under discussion or early development,” according to Bloomberg. The publication says that if the move is finalized, these changes might appear later this year via the upcoming software update for the iPhone and HomePod. Apple now pre-installs 38 default apps on the iPhone and iPad, says Bloomberg.