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Apple AI and other iOS 18 features won’t launch in the EU over regulatory fears

Published Jun 21st, 2024 1:03PM EDT
iPhone mirroring in macOS Sequoia
Image: Apple Inc.

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During the WWDC 2024 keynote, Apple introduced several new features for iPhone users coming later this year, including Apple AI, iPhone Mirroring with iOS 18 and macOS Sequoia, and SharePlay Screen Sharing.

Now, in a statement seen by Bloomberg, Apple announced it won’t bring these features to the region due to DMA concerns. “We are concerned that the interoperability requirements of the DMA could force us to compromise the integrity of our products in ways that risk user privacy and data security,” Apple said in a statement.

Apple started complying with the Digital Markets Act with iOS 17.4. This software update required the company to agree with several new legislations, including opening the iPhone to third-party app stores and payment systems, offering browser options during smartphone setup, and more. These are some of the changes Apple made to comply with the DMA:

  • Marketplaces – or alternative app stores: App developers in the EU can choose to offer their apps in alternative app stores as long as they meet Apple’s criteria for customer experience, support, and fraud prevention, among other changes.
  • Notarization for iOS apps: A baseline review that applies to all apps, regardless of their distribution channel, focused on platform integrity and protecting users. Notarization involves a combination of automated checks and human review. 
  • Default browser options: EU users can choose a new default browser from a list of the most downloaded browsers on iOS devices just after they update to iOS 17.4.
  • NFC third-party access: Banks and third-party payment services can be offered for European iPhones.
  • More access: Developers can ask for additional hardware and software features for Apple.

Now, the company says it will delay the introduction of Apple AI features, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing to European users as DMA could force Cupertino to open up these technologies for third-party developers—something like Android Mirroring or other third-party AI models interacting with iPhone data before Apple firms a partnership.

While this might be a bucket of cold water for European users, this is how Apple is handling DMA. Bloomberg notes the countries that won’t be able to use these features once they launch later this fall: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.