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New antitrust law would ban Apple from preinstalling apps on the iPhone

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How to fix iPhone battery life problems (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new antitrust could change the iPhone forever.
  • The law could prohibit Apple from preinstalling its apps on iOS.

Since the dawn of the iPhone, Apple has shipped the device with some of its apps preinstalled on the device. Apps like Messages, FaceTime, Safari, and more are expected when you buy a new iPhone. That could all change if a new antirust law passes in the United States.

As reported by Bloomberg, the United States government is debating on whether to pass a new antitrust law that is aimed at stopping tech companies from giving themselves an unfair advantage on their platforms. If passed, it could prevent Apple from preinstalling its own apps on the iPhone.

Democratic Representative David Cicilline, who ran the antirtust hearings last year, told reporters this week that the law would not allow Apple to preinstall any of its own apps on iOS.

"It would be equally easy to download the other five apps as the Apple one so they're not using their market dominance to favor their own products and services," the Rhode Island Democrat said.Cicilline said the self-preferencing prohibition would also apply to Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime subscription service because it disadvantages some sellers who rely on the e-commerce platform.

According to the report, the new antitrust bills aimed at big tech will be marked up by the House Judiciary Committee next week, paving the way for them to be heard and debated in Congress.

The proposal is part of a package of bipartisan bills that would impose significant new constraints on how tech companies operate, restricting acquisitions and forcing them to exit some businesses. The House Judiciary Committee will mark up the five bills in a hearing next week, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the committee's chairman, said.

Apple has been under fire for potential antitrust practices concerning the App Store, its services, and its control of its operating system.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

2 Comments
  • Coming from Android to iPhone, I am for this. The amount of bloat that comes on a Android phone is nauseating.
  • Really? You think this is a good idea? When you get right down to it, your new device might come with nothing but an app store, maybe more than one. Considering on Android, even the phone app is replaceable, Samsung couldn't install one, theirs or Google's, lest it be unfair to other offerings. iPhones wouldn't come with an SMS capability because iMessage is that, and it's not fair to Whatsapp to not give new users clear choices. When you get a new PC with Windows it would come with a browser selector and that's it. After that you are on your own for file manager, picture library, productivity suite, even Notepad would be gone, because we wouldn't want unfairly disadvantage other text editors. This isn't about limiting bloat, it's about Apple not being able to promote Apple, Google not being able to promote Google, Samsung not being able to promote Samsung, MS not being able to promote MS. Before you know it my local ABC affiliate will have to let me watch NBC and Fox programming, because it's not fair they only show their own programming.