Apple pandering to Russia by blocking Telegram app updates globally

Greg S

TS Evangelist

Following the release of iOS 11.4, developers have been working to fix issues encountered when running the latest version. However, Telegram is one app that will not be getting an update. In a statement posted by Telegram, it has come to light that Apple is not allowing the company to make any updates to its app.

In April, Russia asked that Telegram be removed from the Play Store and App Store. As of writing, Telegram is still able to be downloaded and installed from both of the two major app stores. A few weeks later, Russia began banning VPNs and proxy servers in attempt to cut off access yet again.

Moving forward to today, Telegram has officially stated that it cannot update its own app for iOS users. One consequence of this is that certain features are broken on iOS 11.4. So far, only stickers appear to be having problems so the app is still usable, but future iOS updates could render the app completely broken without a way to correct issues.

Russian users account for just 7 percent of Telegram's total user base. However, European users make up a significant portion. Since no updates can be pushed to iOS users, Telegram cannot become GDPR compliant. If you have not heard of GDPR yet from all the updated privacy policy emails, know that it is expensive and will lead to severe consequences for non-compliance.

Without any ability to fix an app, the future of Telegram on iOS can be called into question. Not only is the future of one app in particular hanging in the balance of Apple, there needs to be further questions raised about how Apple is handling its approval of apps.

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