Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

U.S. bills that would require major changes to the App Store would ultimately cause consumers to be targeted with malware, ransomware, and scams, Apple's Senior Director of Government Affairs Timothy Powderly said in a letter that was sent today to the Senate Judiciary Committee and that was obtained by MacRumors.


Apple sent the letter as the Judiciary Committee prepares to consider the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open Markets Act, which were first introduced in June 2021. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act will be examined first, and if implemented, would prevent "dominant platforms" from "abusing their gatekeeper power" by favoring their own products and services over those of competitors.

In short, the legislation would enable sideloading, which Apple is stringently against. Sideloading would allow apps and content to be installed on iPhones and iPads through alternate app stores, bypassing Apple's App Store and the privacy measures that Apple has put in place.

Apple says that bills would "hurt competition and discourage innovation" by making it "much harder" to protect the privacy and security of personal devices in the United States.
These bills will reward those who have been irresponsible with users' data and empower bad actors who would target consumers with malware, ransomware, and scams. [...]

The bills put consumers in harm's way because of the real risk of privacy and security breaches. In addition to making privacy and security protections nearly impossible to defend, the bills would actually allow predators and scammers to side-step Apple's privacy and security protections completely. This circumvention is possible because the bills would mandate "sideloading," or the direct installation of software from the internet in a way that circumvents the privacy and security protections Apple has designed, including human review of every app and every app update.
Apple claims it would also be restricted from providing new privacy and security protections under wording that maintains such features must be "necessary" and "narrowly tailored," which the company says is a "nearly insurmountable test" that could prevent customers from having access to a "smart mobile device that provides them with the highest-level of security and privacy protection."

The App Store and Apple's human review process protect customers from "malicious and dangerous code," and consumers would lose that protection should these bills be implemented. In the letter, Apple again highlighted a study that showed iOS devices have 98 percent less malware than Android devices as proof of the effectiveness of the App Store.

Apple says that the bill would be a "big win for those who would profit by collecting even more personal information," and that "millions of Americans" could be deceived into installing unwanted malicious software and would suffer preventable malware attacks. Regulators "should not ignore" the benefits that consumers receive from Apple.
Among other things, the bills would undo much of the progress Congress has made bolstering American competitiveness, rebuilding supply chains, and encouraging domestic manufacturing by instead codifying a structural advantage for foreign competitors in the vibrant technology sector.

At the launch of iPhone in 2007, Steve Jobs said that "we're trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once: provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task."
Apple is urging the Senate Judiciary Committee not to approve either act that's under consideration in their current form, and the company asks for the opportunity to work with the Committee to find solutions to "address competition concerns while protecting consumers' privacy and security."

Article Link: U.S. Bills Allowing Sideloading Would Cause Consumers to Be Hit With 'Malware, Ransomware, and Scams,' Says Apple
Last edited:


macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
yah part of the reason I stick with Apple instead of Android is that I don't want a bunch of random apps in the App Store written by shady and untalented developers, and prefer a curated set. I mean, even the most basic of editorial control over the App Store is so much better than zero control.

Imagine having to go through the curation process yourself in an unfiltered App Store...


macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2004
Why is America dogging on its own industry? Why don't they ban all trade with China until China gets rid of its great firewall which stops foreign competition, or fine any company that does business with any country that has an internet firewall.

Instead of restricting your own industry, try to expand it to other countries and put pressure to stop the great chinese firewall.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2016
I like the mostly effective vetting in the App Store. But I think allowing sideloading would be a good thing overall, as long as Apple made users approve non-App Store installations every time one is initiated, as well as making sideloading restrictions available in Parental Controls.


macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2021
Should this ultimately go from discussions to a signed law, that choice will still fall to the owner of the device, no?

Therefore, those of us who are against it can simply stick to the Apple "seal of approval" on their own App Store and apps and say no to other options.

now i see it

macrumors G3
Jan 2, 2002
They’re hiding behind “security and privacy” to rake in the billion$. While it’s their marketing strategy, it’s doubtful they actually care - except how things affect their bottom line.

Does anyone think they’d be kicking and screaming as they are now if this new scheme would double their profits?


macrumors 601
Nov 9, 2015
Silicon Valley, CA
I was looking at this from the article.
The bill would prohibit dominant platforms from abusing their gatekeeper power by favoring their own products or services, disadvantaging rivals or discriminating among businesses that use their platforms in a way that harms competition on the platform.
While I am not at all interested in the mobile games for iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS its hard not to think about all the attempts from gaming companies to get Apple to allow cloud based gaming, instead of all games being filtered though the App Store service. Then you have Apple creating their own Apple Arcade service. So even if you see the ecosystem secure and protected, its almost impossible to ignore their absolute gatekeeper power. Its a tough call where you draw the line, but its seems like Apple could budge a bit and find ways to allow cloud based gaming to remove this impression.


macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2020
These grandstanding politicians are clueless attention getters. What a waste of time and taxpayer money. It’s unbelievable. I sent emails telling all of them how ridiculous this is and a friendly warning that there are 16b shares outstanding of apple alone and many voters who hold Apple stock. You may want to consider those unhappy voters who will show their disapproval come election time


macrumors G3
Oct 10, 2011
If that legislation should move forward and pass, Apple should not be responsible for any adverse consequences (bricked phones, stolen data, ransomware, etc) to customers should they choose to side load apps.

Rather it should be on the customer to take responsibility for their poor choices and actions. No doubt people will whine that should instead be on Apple.


macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2013
The article is basically true but misleading.

Ultimate control of a device is better security but it is also what consumers do NOT want.

The day consumers accept the point that they can only install apps from their own singlular store will be the day that Apple can make this argument -- but it is not true. This is why the world largely (still) runs on Windows and Android. People like choice.

And the second point would be to get a decent malware scanner and it's not a problem anymore.


macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2014
To this day you still cant run IOS apps on the Mac desktop in Monterey like APPLE promised Can you??

You can run Android Apps in Windows 11.
You literally can? Lol. It's limited to Apple silicon though.

And the Windows 11 comparison is a bad take - I've had it since day launch and I still can't run Android apps. I believe the feature is currently limited to US and it's only in betas, or some kind of bs.


macrumors 68030
May 18, 2015
I have no problem with Apple's way being the default. I also think that opening up competition by sideloading can also be a good thing given the appropriate warnings. (one time warnings!) Having only one way to get apps means no outside competition that Apple doesn't allow and that's bad for consumers.

The not allowing sideloading of iOS apps on MacOS also really leaves a bad taste in my mouth as that capability is one of the reasons I bought my M1 MBA, and now there's nothing to be had from it.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.