New laws in Japan could force Apple to allow third-party app stores and payment providers on iOS

The Japanese government is in the early stages of drafting a proposal that would see Apple and Google forced to open up their respective platforms to allow third-party app stores and payment providers on Android and iOS, according to The Japan Times.

The legislation is said to be drafted by Hirokazu Matsuno, the Japanese government’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, who also chiefly manages Japan’s digital market competition watchdog. The government aims for the law to be voted on by the country’s parliament sometime next year before going into effect.

The proposed regulation is still in the drafting process, which reportedly commenced today. Japan hopes that the move will increase app pricing competition on iOS and Android, where users would be able to download apps at a lower price than the one stipulated on the App Store and the Play Store.

The law, if passed, would be markedly similar to the EU’s Digital Market Act (DMA) which goes into effect in 2024. The DMA forces “digital gatekeepers” to open up their platforms for third-party app marketplaces and payment providers in a bid to reduce a gatekeeper’s monopoly over their own platform. Apple is rumored to allow “sideloading” apps as part of a future iOS 17 update that could go live in early 2024, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

In addition to third-party app stores, Japan would also like to open up payments to go through external platforms other than Apple and Google. App developers will be able to bill their customers through low-commission providers, therefore bypassing Apple’s and Google’s fees, which can reach up to 30% of the total transaction.

The drafted law will also target the “preferential treatment” Apple and Google give to default first-party apps. If passed, default apps that come preloaded on iOS and Android devices will be required to be deleted easily. Preloaded services and search engines would also be required to be easily swapped out for third-party offerings. Apple already allows iPhone users to set up their own default mail and browser apps, but the proposal would theoretically be extended to other services, such as maps or music streaming.

It remains to be seen how much of an effect these laws by the EU and Japan could have on the iPhone’s user experience. According to a recent survey by Setapp, most developers seem reluctant to abandon the App Store in favor of a third-party marketplace. Out of 701 surveyed developers, only 14% stated they would completely abandon the App Store, whereas 46% of surveyees said they would deploy their apps on a third-party platform besides Apple’s.

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Omar Moharram

Omar Moharram

Omar is Senior Editor at Supercharged and an Apple devotee since his early teens. He graduated with a computer engineering degree in 2022, which aids him in his technical content writing. Outside of work, he can often be found critiquing music or a film, or tinkering with a bass.

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New laws in Japan could force Apple to allow third-party app stores and payment providers on iOS

The Japanese government is in the early stages of drafting a proposal that would see Apple and Google forced to open up their respective platforms to allow third-party app stores and payment providers on Android and iOS, according to The Japan Times.

The legislation is said to be drafted by Hirokazu Matsuno, the Japanese government’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, who also chiefly manages Japan’s digital market competition watchdog. The government aims for the law to be voted on by the country’s parliament sometime next year before going into effect.

The proposed regulation is still in the drafting process, which reportedly commenced today. Japan hopes that the move will increase app pricing competition on iOS and Android, where users would be able to download apps at a lower price than the one stipulated on the App Store and the Play Store.

The law, if passed, would be markedly similar to the EU’s Digital Market Act (DMA) which goes into effect in 2024. The DMA forces “digital gatekeepers” to open up their platforms for third-party app marketplaces and payment providers in a bid to reduce a gatekeeper’s monopoly over their own platform. Apple is rumored to allow “sideloading” apps as part of a future iOS 17 update that could go live in early 2024, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

In addition to third-party app stores, Japan would also like to open up payments to go through external platforms other than Apple and Google. App developers will be able to bill their customers through low-commission providers, therefore bypassing Apple’s and Google’s fees, which can reach up to 30% of the total transaction.

The drafted law will also target the “preferential treatment” Apple and Google give to default first-party apps. If passed, default apps that come preloaded on iOS and Android devices will be required to be deleted easily. Preloaded services and search engines would also be required to be easily swapped out for third-party offerings. Apple already allows iPhone users to set up their own default mail and browser apps, but the proposal would theoretically be extended to other services, such as maps or music streaming.

It remains to be seen how much of an effect these laws by the EU and Japan could have on the iPhone’s user experience. According to a recent survey by Setapp, most developers seem reluctant to abandon the App Store in favor of a third-party marketplace. Out of 701 surveyed developers, only 14% stated they would completely abandon the App Store, whereas 46% of surveyees said they would deploy their apps on a third-party platform besides Apple’s.

Share this Article

Supercharged is not just another news outlet. We’re a platform on a mission to offer personalized and ad-free news directly to you. Discover more of Supercharged.

note icon

Did you know?

Easily add Supercharged to your Home Screen and stay informed on the go! Get instant updates and breaking news stories via push notifications directly on your iPhone and Apple Watch. Just tap the share icon, then "Add to Home Screen," and be the first to know.

Omar Moharram

Omar Moharram

Omar is Senior Editor at Supercharged and an Apple devotee since his early teens. He graduated with a computer engineering degree in 2022, which aids him in his technical content writing. Outside of work, he can often be found critiquing music or a film, or tinkering with a bass.

Read More

note icon

Did you know?

Easily add Supercharged to your Home Screen and stay informed on the go! Get instant updates and breaking news stories via push notifications directly on your iPhone and Apple Watch. Just tap the share icon, then "Add to Home Screen," and be the first to know.

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