The EU requires that the iPad and the iPhones follow strict rules

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Following an almost eight-month investigation into whether Apple’s iPadOS holds enough market power to warrant stricter regulation, the European Commission has now designated the iPad operating system as a Gatekeeper service under its flagship Digital Markets Act (DMA) rules.
“The Commission concluded that iPadOS constitutes an important gateway for business users to reach end users, and that Apple enjoys an entrenched and durable position with respect to iPadOS,” reads a statement published by the Commission on Monday.
“Apple now has six months to ensure full compliance with the DMA obligations as applied to iPadOS.” Under the DMA, which came into force on March 7th, iPadOS will now have to comply with a broad range of rules that allow users in Europe to download apps from outside the Apple App Store, uninstall apps preloaded on iPads, and select default services like browsers from choice screens.
If Apple fails to comply with the DMA rules for operating systems, the company could face fines of up to 10 percent of its global revenue, or up to 20 percent for repeat infractions.
The Commission says its investigation found that iPadOS users are locked into the platform, noting that the number of business users exceeded the quantitative gatekeeper threshold by “eleven times,” while end user numbers were “close to the threshold and are predicted to rise in the near future.” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager also said the investigation showed that “despite not meeting the thresholds, iPadOS constitutes an important gateway on which many companies rely to reach their customers.” The company’s iOS mobile operating system, Safari browser, and App Store were already designated as Gatekeeper services under the DMA in September 2023 (when the iPadOS investigation was announced) eventually forcing the company to introduce regional changes like alternative app marketplaces within the EU.
Despite extreme similarities between the two platforms, most of the DMA compliance changes Apple has made to iOS haven’t been extended to iPadOS.
While iMessage may have been spared from DMA compliance, the latest ruling on iPadOS is yet another prominent crack in the walled garden of Apple’s ecosystem.
The EU’s announcement comes just prior to Apple’s next event on May 7th, in which iPads — including a long-rumored OLED model — are expected to take center stage.

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After investigating whether Apple’s iPadOS has sufficient market power to require more stringent regulation for nearly eight months, the European Commission has now classified the iPad operating system as a Gatekeeper service under its main Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulations.

In a statement released on Monday, the Commission stated, “The Commission concluded that iPadOS constitutes an important gateway for business users to reach end users, and that Apple enjoys an entrenched and durable position with respect to iPadOS.”. “Apple now has six months to guarantee that iPadOS fully complies with the DMA obligations.”. “.

Following the DMA’s implementation on March 7th, iPadOS will now need to abide by a number of regulations that permit users in Europe to download apps from sources other than the Apple App Store, remove pre-installed apps from iPads, and choose default services like browsers from choice screens. Should Apple disregard the DMA guidelines for operating systems, the corporation may be subject to fines equal to as much as 10% of its worldwide revenue, or 20% in the case of repeated violations.

As per the Commission’s investigation, it has been determined that iPadOS users are confined to the platform. It has been observed that the quantity of business users has surpassed the quantitative gatekeeper threshold by a factor of “eleven,” whereas the number of end users is expected to increase. “Despite not meeting the thresholds, iPadOS constitutes an important gateway on which many companies rely to reach their customers,” as EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager added in her statement about the investigation’s findings. “.

When the iPadOS investigation was first announced in September 2023, the company’s iOS mobile operating system, Safari browser, and App Store were already classified as Gatekeeper services under the DMA. This ultimately forced the company to implement regional changes like alternate app marketplaces within the EU. Despite the striking similarities between the two platforms, iPadOS has not benefited from the majority of Apple’s DMA compliance changes to iOS.

Even though iMessage was exempt from DMA compliance, the most recent iPadOS ruling represents yet another significant breach in Apple’s ecosystem’s walled garden. The announcement from the EU comes right before Apple’s upcoming event on May 7, when iPads—including the much-discussed OLED model—are anticipated to take center stage.

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