Apple defends not allowing apps outside of App Store by detailing Android malware problems

zakislam

Posts: 52   +1
In context: Amid an antitrust investigation against Apple by EU regulators, as well as the discussion subsequently generated around the topic, the iPhone maker has published a 31-page report defending why its iOS ecosystem is limited to the App Store. The tech giant attempts to justify its refusal of allowing app sideloading onto their smartphones by highlighting how Android has been heavily exploited by malware.

Apple's report, "Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Apps -- A threat analysis of sideloading," stresses that supporting sideloading via direct downloads and third-party app stores would "cripple" the privacy and security protections of the iPhone, which would expose users to "serious security risks."

"iPhone is a highly personal device where users store some of their most sensitive and personal information. This means that maintaining security and privacy on the iOS ecosystem is of critical importance to users," Apple said. "However, some are demanding that Apple support the distribution of apps outside of the App Store, through direct downloads or third-party app stores, a process also referred to as "sideloading."

The European Commission's antitrust charges against Apple claim the company broke EU competition rules pertaining to policies associated with the App Store. The case was triggered due to a complaint from music streaming service Spotify.

In an effort to alleviate concerns surrounding the monopoly Apple has established over iOS, it stressed security problems are rampant for Android as Google's operating system allows sideloading. Specifically, Apple points out how "over the past four years, Android devices were found to have 15 to 47 times more malware infections than iPhone."

Another statistic used in the report was that nearly six million attacks per month were detected by a large security firm on its clients’ Android mobile devices. If Apple were forced to support sideloading, it said cyber criminals would inevitably target iPhone users through harmful apps. Users would also have less information about apps up front, Apple states, as external app stores would not "be required to provide the information displayed on the App Store product pages and privacy labels."

Some may consider Apple brings up a valid point when factoring in how Android malware has become a prominent security issue for the OS. For example, a trojan that was found on 200 malicious apps on both the Google Play Store and third-party app stores infected millions of devices, extracting tens of millions of dollars from victims. Because of the open platform Android is based on, security firm Eset asserts that it’s more "interesting" to cybercriminals than iOS.

However, others may counter by showing that it's in Apple's best financial interest to reject sideloading -- Apple generates tens of billions of dollars from the 30 percent cut it takes from developers on the app store for both the initial payment for paid apps, on top of in-app purchases. It could be set to enjoy that sizable slice of revenue for at least a few more years due to an appeal in its Epic Games lawsuit.

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m4a4

Posts: 2,613   +3,216
TechSpot Elite
Not a good enough excuse.

The least techy/casual of people will not use it. And those that like to own their phones will use it how they want.

And the majority of people will still use their precious money printer (Appstore).
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,334   +2,607
You could just let your users make up their own minds on whether they want to take the risk of a 3rd party app store. Think different, be an individual and such.

I don't think Apple has ever let users make up their own minds about anything, ever. It was not until severe market pressure from competitors forced them to make more than 1 phone in fact and while the line up seems numerous now, it's still like a tiny fraction if you look at Android phone makers and the bewildering variety of different models on offer.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 280   +243
I don't think Apple has ever let users make up their own minds about anything, ever. It was not until severe market pressure from competitors forced them to make more than 1 phone in fact and while the line up seems numerous now, it's still like a tiny fraction if you look at Android phone makers and the bewildering variety of different models on offer.


Right, it's never been about selling the single device, it's always been about the Lock-in Potential of that single purchase Iphone

You buy an iWatch first (you have no other fitness device choice, and according to Apple Ads "everyone has one"), then an iPad (to make better use of you Apple services), plus Apple TV plus eventually a Mac.

Once you've been suckered once, the rest are so much easier for your dumb brain to justify (and given the vast array of lock-in among all these devices, you end up paying Apple for specific apps on every one!)

The only malware you might discover for yourself if Apple opened up the App Store is the poor desiccated corpse of your Long-Dead Wallet.
 
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p51d007

Posts: 2,892   +2,272
I've had Android, since my Dell Streak 5. I don't have ANY issue with someone who't preference is Apple. They have a great eco-system. The only real problem I have with Apple, is that I want to set up my phone MY WAY. I want certain apps on the home screen in folders, I want a huge digital clock (the old HTC sense clock/weather). I want to run the phone and operate it how I WANT.
Apple is too locked down.
I haven't rooted my phone since Android 4 Honeycomb. I only use stock OS, but, I want it to look and work how I WANT, not how Apple wants.
 

Aceseven

Posts: 124   +180
You could just let your users make up their own minds on whether they want to take the risk of a 3rd party app store. Think different, be an individual and such.
sadly or maybe not sadly, the locked down nature of apples ecosystem is a type of plus for some users, its stupid simple once you enter it.

I think android is great, have a fold 3, but android is segmented, different per hardware maker and sometimes it feels like google is trying to sabotage it.

imho I sorta like having apple as the antithesis to android and if they want to lock it down then let them, all the money theyve made shows their model works very well.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 662   +503
What I don't get on tech sites - is tech users raving how wonderful the Apple system is. That the more control Apple has - and the less choices you have the better . If makes you wonder if they have to get someone to help upgrade their PC/Mac hardware .

Yes I get it for your Ma & Pa - but a tech follower ?
Imagine if MS tried to control you this much - you would be screaming .

The reality is - both Android and Apple systems are really very safe for savvy users - Not downloading dubious apps on either , not clicking on proffered links etc .
The fact that both phones suffer from zero day exploits - That companies that sell to State actors often paid more for Android zero days no inputs .

Plus Plus plus
Ultimately your phone, PC, browser should be safe independant of crap apps .

So people racing to shut W11 protection is kind of weird .
A lot of us rely on Chrome - which can be used on Apple devices .
We need Chrome to be fully sandboxed - and super hard to break out of .
Apps on Android and Iphones should be highly controlled by the phone - sideloaded or not . Ie get warnings should trigger with info tap window if needed .

Even on Android - some permissions are so vague - Camera needs to access files or some such message - yeah otherwise it wouldn't save - but it kind of implies it gets permission for all your files - really - it should say - do you want Camera to have a sandboxed file space
 

bviktor

Posts: 541   +879
You could just let your users make up their own minds on whether they want to take the risk of a 3rd party app store. Think different, be an individual and such.

People have no idea what they're doing. I like my restricted iPhone *because* it is restricted, not in spite of it.

To put a spin on your logic, they should just allow Apple do what they want with their own platform. People chose Apple the way they are. There are alternatives - you don't like it, go somewhere else, instead of ruining our platform, thank you kindly.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,976   +2,306
TechSpot Elite
Imagine if MS tried to control you this much - you would be screaming .

There's no equivalency there. A phone is a computer with a screen that's too small to effectively use as a full time computing device. It's a compromise to fit in your pocket and the vast majority of people use it in that way - a convenience device but necessarily imperfect. So a more locked-down device is not as much of an issue for those people as it already doesn't do things well enough. Perhaps *especially* as a tech-follower. I play games on my phone and if they have an analog on the desktop, the desktop version is always better due to screen size and input capability. Phones suck except that they're always with you.

A computer has no sensible restrictions on screen and input/interaction devices so needs to be more flexible and has a more flexible OS. Not only Windows, but see: macOS vs. iOS.

I get that some people like Android because of the supposedly non-locked downness of it but in reality, both Android and iOS suck toads compared to even a decent desktop, so it's like arguing between 2 crappy things about which is slightly less crappy.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 325   +574
People have no idea what they're doing. I like my restricted iPhone *because* it is restricted, not in spite of it.

To put a spin on your logic, they should just allow Apple do what they want with their own platform. People chose Apple the way they are. There are alternatives - you don't like it, go somewhere else, instead of ruining our platform, thank you kindly.
Some people were using Apple before they reinvented themselves as a closed platform.

How about we go back to the way things were before, huh?
Say, why don’t you go somewhere else instead?
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 662   +503
There's no equivalency there. A phone is a computer with a screen that's too small to effectively use as a full time computing device. It's a compromise to fit in your pocket and the vast majority of people use it in that way - a convenience device but necessarily imperfect. So a more locked-down device is not as much of an issue for those people as it already doesn't do things well enough. Perhaps *especially* as a tech-follower. I play games on my phone and if they have an analog on the desktop, the desktop version is always better due to screen size and input capability. Phones suck except that they're always with you.

A computer has no sensible restrictions on screen and input/interaction devices so needs to be more flexible and has a more flexible OS. Not only Windows, but see: macOS vs. iOS.

I get that some people like Android because of the supposedly non-locked downness of it but in reality, both Android and iOS suck toads compared to even a decent desktop, so it's like arguing between 2 crappy things about which is slightly less crappy.
I get some of this Android phone makers have often followed Apple - no headphone port , no SD card access.

Before the likes of Spotify and Apple music - etc and fast & cheap cloud integration ( eg ISP data caps of say 100Gb/month - or expensive telco data charges ) - why would you want your photos/videos/music/media curtailed by itunes .
I wouldn't feel it right the need to buy a IPAD Pro just to be able to entertain myself or kids in a Telco dead spot - with plug and play say Samsung T5 ( probably with an expensive Iadaptor )- Apple remove this ability on lessor Ipads on purpose - as the hardware can do it.
Buy some cheap chromebook or android tablet and most likely no problem attaching some cheap mouse or keyboard to it .- The tablet will have a SD slot - even if it's power slot can't handle data attachments
That controlling access to my files on my phone/tablet on early Apple products turned me off - they haven't change . It's not like Itunes couldn't scan a folder for new files that may have been dragged in.
Plus I saw Itunes on a PC - it was dreadful - so really me wonder about other Apple software
 

psycros

Posts: 3,717   +4,707
Leave it to Apple to produce an apples-to-oranges argument. Android's malware problem has almost nothing to do with sideloading and almost everything to do with Google's failure to block the spread of malicious apps on the Play Store.
 

trparky

Posts: 976   +1,073
Leave it to Apple to produce an apples-to-oranges argument. Android's malware problem has almost nothing to do with sideloading and almost everything to do with Google's failure to block the spread of malicious apps on the Play Store.
We’ll, not really. There have been reports of pirated games containing malware. Then again, if you’re stupid enough to load a pirated game you’re stupid enough to get malware installed on your device.

Stupid is as stupid does.
 

Ravey

Posts: 326   +143
I have both an android and an apple phone (android for work). I choose my apple phone over the other every single time. It faster, it's cleaner, it's more user friendly and it's also brainless! Yep I like that in a phone! I have a enough crap in my lift to deal with without adding irritating phone issues to it.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,043   +870
Apple don’t have a monopoly on mobile apps. Anyone with common sense can see that and a judge even stated it recently during the epic vs Apple lawsuit. So if you don’t like these practises just buy an android phone.

Or to put it bluntly, you’re a fool if you have a problem with this and you bought an iPhone. And if you haven’t bought an iPhone then you are welcome to install whatever you like already!
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 662   +503
It is their right to do so. It all comes down to business and any business knows what side their bread is buttered on.
Never disputed it - you are absolutely right - my point is do you want big brother - controlling what you see -trawling all your photos, videos, files to see if it can report you for naked baby photos.
You see everyone forgets - the Apple mind blank - But Apple data mines you & controls you - But you forget - because they are nice warm and nice.
Reminds me of a homily about a serial cheater. It sounds stupid - yet it's so true - Apple sell you emotion.
The cheating hubby to wife
"would you rather believe your lying eyes or your loving husband"
Apple to put upon users
"would you rather believe the facts or your loving protector "
Apple = Green
Apple = Good Employer
Apple = Fighting the big fight against the bad guys
Apple= It just works- if not it's your fault
Apple = Mega Profits where it is at
Apple = Freedom
Can you pick the only one true statement