Apple now required to offer Russian iPhone users local apps at setup

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple is now required to offer Russian iOS users a selection of local apps when setting up a new device, per legislation passed in the country in 2019 and took effect on April 1.

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider
Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider


The Russian law, passed in November 2019, requires that companies present a list of government-approved apps on devices sold within the country. Initially slated to go into effect in January, it was then delayed until April 1.

As of Thursday, the law affects all new devices sold and set up in Russia -- including iPhones and other Apple products.

The law mandates that Russian apps come preinstalled on devices, but Apple was reportedly able to come to an agreement with the Russian government on a compromise.

Under the terms of that deal, iPhone and iPad devices activated from April 1 onward will present a setup screen to users that offers a selection of Russia-based apps. Users will then be able to select which apps they wish to install as part of the setup process.

Apple maintains that every Russian app will be checked for compliance with its own security, privacy, and content policies.

Some of the apps approved on the list include Yandex, Mail.ru Group, Kaspersky, Rostelecom, and Channel 1. However, a full list of the apps that will be offered is still being discussed, and could evolve other time.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,477member
    In Russia iPhone listens to you. Coming to the U.S. any day now. When you buy a new iPhone during setup you will be required to choose your browser, choose  your email client, choose your message app, choose your music app, choose your gaming app, choose your social media app, choose your health app, choose your streaming app, choose your... It will take hours but it will be ‘fair’.
    edited April 1 jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,741member
    Right now Putin is requiring Apple to "offer" Russian apps.  I wonder how long the logical next step will take for Putin to "require" that certain apps BE installed on iPhones.

    Just wait.... it's going to happen.
    Japheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 732member
    sflocal said:
    Right now Putin is requiring Apple to "offer" Russian apps.  I wonder how long the logical next step will take for Putin to "require" that certain apps BE installed on iPhones.

    Just wait.... it's going to happen.
    Apple bowing to foreign pressure 
  • Reply 4 of 13
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 311member
    Very foxy and scary move from the Russians. 
    With forcing the users to make choices during the set-up, the authorities will perfectly know 
    who of those users is pro-western oriented and who isn’t.

    rcfajony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,475member
    What does "and could evolve other time" mean?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    sflocal said:
    Right now Putin is requiring Apple to "offer" Russian apps.  I wonder how long the logical next step will take for Putin to "require" that certain apps BE installed on iPhones.

    Just wait.... it's going to happen.

    Did you read the article? That’s exactly what they are requiring companies to do, but Apple was able to get them to agree to let the users choose during setup instead.

    Kuyangkoh said:
    sflocal said:
    Right now Putin is requiring Apple to "offer" Russian apps.  I wonder how long the logical next step will take for Putin to "require" that certain apps BE installed on iPhones.

    Just wait.... it's going to happen.
    Apple bowing to foreign pressure 

    Hate to tell you this, but for any company to operate in any country, they have to abide by the laws of that country. This is nothing new and certainly not just an issue with Apple.
    twokatmewviclauyycjony0watto_cobraFlytrap
  • Reply 7 of 13
    Samsung went much further. They pre-install them on all devices, old or new, with a software update and users cannot uninstall any of those apps…
    twokatmewviclauyycjony0watto_cobraFlytrap
  • Reply 8 of 13
    jpolsterjpolster Posts: 12member
    This really is pretty clever by the Russian government. It looks like they gave in to Apple but in reality they pretty much got what they want. By installing the apps they will call home and at least tell their masters that they now are installed plus all the info that Apple rules allow them to send over (and more)

    If you don't install them the government still knows that you have not installed them as they know the owner of every phone through the SIM registration anyway. And I think that tells them at least as much about you ....


    beowulfschmidtjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    twokatmewtwokatmew Posts: 30unconfirmed, member
    Yes. I got sick of that. Part of why I switched to iPhone a few years ago. 

    Samsung went much further. They pre-install them on all devices, old or new, with a software update and users cannot uninstall any of those apps…

    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,395member
    qwerty52 said:
    Very foxy and scary move from the Russians. 

    I don't want for even a second to give the impression that I approve of this law (which Apple has to follow in Russia), but ... it's not particularly scary. It's a set of popular apps made in Russia, all of which conform to Apple's standards for privacy and security. This isn't Russia trying to further spy on its citizens;they already have myriad ways of doing that, just as the US does. This is Russia trying to promote and develop the Russian software development industry. There's innumerable countries that would be likely to do something like this to foster adoption among their own software industries, from China to the UK.

    I don't think forcing a screen in the setup process to encourage installation of the apps is the right way to go about it, but thanks to Apple the choice to install the recommended apps or not is still up to the buyers. Apple itself features pages on its App Store (outside the US) that highlight apps made in that country (the right way to go about this, imo).
    jony0watto_cobraFlytrap
  • Reply 11 of 13
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 630member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    sflocal said:
    Right now Putin is requiring Apple to "offer" Russian apps.  I wonder how long the logical next step will take for Putin to "require" that certain apps BE installed on iPhones.

    Just wait.... it's going to happen.
    Apple bowing to foreign pressure 
    More accurately - Apple following local laws where they do business.  Words matter.
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    FlytrapFlytrap Posts: 56member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    sflocal said:
    Right now Putin is requiring Apple to "offer" Russian apps.  I wonder how long the logical next step will take for Putin to "require" that certain apps BE installed on iPhones.

    Just wait.... it's going to happen.
    Apple bowing to foreign pressure 
    Apple obeying the local law, just like it does in every other country where it does business.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    FlytrapFlytrap Posts: 56member
    Samsung went much further. They pre-install them on all devices, old or new, with a software update and users cannot uninstall any of those apps…
    Wow... from my reading of what other OEMs have done, Samsung is going far beyond what the law requires them to do.

    This is the first time that i have seen an interpretation that the pre-installed apps (selected during setup, in the case of Apple) cannot be uninstalled or changed later. I don't think Huawei and the other big OEMs are doing what Samsung is doing.
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