Apple will reportedly start showing a dialog box to Russian users when they set up an iPhone, iPad, or a Mac for the first time to install some pre-approved government apps on the device.
The company will be making this move to comply with the new law from the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Apple has struck a deal with the Russian government to show this dialog box to users when setting up their iPhone or Mac for the first time. Users will always have the option to not install the listed apps on their iPhone.
The new regulations were added to the “On Consumer Protection” law and require that all smartphones, smart TVs, PCs, laptops, and tablets sold in Russia starting April 1, 2021, come pre-installed with selected apps like anti-virus, social media apps, along with “Public Service” apps used for payments and civil services. The total number of pre-installed apps will vary depending on the device, though on Android smartphones, the number of pre-installed apps could be as high as 16.
When the law was first proposed by the Russian government, Apple had called this move equivalent to jailbreaking an iPhone and said that it poses a security threat.
Apple confirmed this move saying the changes will take place starting April 1. It will only be applicable for devices sold in Russia. The company notes that users will be offered a bunch of apps from Russian developers for installation on their iPhone or iPad.
From April 1, through the screens for activating new devices, users will be offered a choice of applications from Russian developers, which they can choose for further installation on their iPhone or iPad, Apple told Vedomosti, stressing that the company complies with the laws of the countries in which it operates.
As per a source of the publication in the Russian Ministry of Digital Science, the ministry will keep updating the list to include popular apps that are rapidly gaining popularity. The ministry is not interested in only listing popular apps and providing them with an unfair and dominant position.[Via Vedomosti]