From April 1, users setting up a new iPhone in Russia will see a screen that allows them to automatically install apps that have been officially approved by the Russian government, in compliance with Russian law (Via Engadget).
Relevant law It was brought back in 2019, And requires smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and smart TVs sold in Russia to be pre-installed with specific applications produced by Russian companies by April 1, According to a Russian news site knowledge. (The law was scheduled to go into effect in July 2020, but has been postponed to April 2021.) knowledge It also says it won’t install apps if users don’t want them. Apple confirmed to the edge It will comply with the law by giving users the option to install apps when the phone is activated.
However, the exact apps that will be offered to users are still unclear knowledge It cites government services and applications from Russian companies including Yandex, Mail.ru and Kaspersky Lab. The government appears to be aware that it can be difficult to favor certain apps, and plans to expand its list over time: “The ministry is not at all interested in seeing popular apps on the mandatory preinstallation list take dominant positions. If alternatives emerge in the market, users are interested and quickly gain popularity. , Will be included in that selection and also offered for pre-installation, according to a Russian official knowledge.
Apple has historically maintained tight control over the iPhone setup process, and that appears to be changing now, if only in one market. While Apple has made changes in the past to stay on the side of local laws – it is Changing mapsAnd the Watching faces blocked Pride In Russia and Now it stores iCloud data on state-run servers in China This could be one of the more dramatic changes, as it affects the screen that every user will see when setting up their iPhone.
Apple is slowly allowing users to change the way iOS works out of the box, with the ability to Change some default apps in iOS 14But now it has been given a little bit of control over the Russian government’s setup process as well. As the company faces Legal challenges from the European Union And the The United States on antitrustAnd more This gives its competitors a level playing field, We might see that Apple has to give more control to governments if they want to sell their phones to their citizens – though it probably won’t have to ask users if they want to install Spotify upon setup. Likely.