The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) saw evidence of a monopoly in Apple’s requirement that developers use only the WebKit engine to build browsers for iOS, and the existence of only one application store for that platform. But in response to the suggestion to lift the restrictions, Apple said it would turn its system into an Android clone.
Late last year, the CMA conducted a market study and found “Evidence that the quality of all browsers on Apple devices is limited by the slow pace of WebKit development, developers are forced to give up some features due to their lack of support in WebKit, and companies face higher costs due to the need to use native applications instead of web applications and due to fixing inherent WebKit bugs and crashes”.
In response to a proposal to remove the WebKit monopoly, the company said it would “Removes the unification when updating applications, as is the case with Android”. The ability to install third-party software and app stores on iOS, according to the manufacturer, “will reduce Apple’s strong user protection.” All of these actions, Apple said, will turn iOS “into the next version of Android.” – although Apple and Google have formed an effective duopoly in the UK’s mobile ecosystem, according to the CMA. After all, Apple in principle does not want to change the policy on cloud gaming platforms – their clients are not published in the App Store, since according to the platform’s rules a game must correspond to an application.
Incidentally, Google also dismissed the CMA’s accusations of dominating the mobile browser market, reflected in Chrome being the default browser in Android. The company believes that Chrome has become a victim of its own success – it is objectively the most popular browser on Android, although replacing it is not difficult: browsers on all engines are available on the platform, and 80% of UK users can this Change the default settings, the company charges.
It was recently revealed that Google is developing a full iOS version of its Chrome browser on its own Blink engine, and Mozilla is preparing an iOS version of Firefox on its native Gecko. Support for third-party app stores could, according to unconfirmed reports, appear later this year with the release of Apple iOS 17 – this is required by the Digital Markets Act (DMA) passed in Europe and issued by Japan’s Fair Trade Commission with the same recommendation the company.