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Apple rolls out 5G support for iPhone 14, other top models in India

New Delhi: As India moves into the 5G era, Apple announced on Tuesday that 5G cellular support has been enabled for new iPhone 14, iPhone 13, iPhone SE and iPhone 12 lineups in India.

To use a 5G connection with Reliance Jio and Airtel on an iPhone 12 model or newer, customers need to update to the iOS 16.2 update which also comes with other numerous features.

Apple enabled 5G in its iOS 16 Beta software program week last month for select iPhone users in the country.

Apple Airtel and Jio customers who participated in the iOS 16 Beta software program were able to try out 5G.

Apple worked closely with its “carrier partners in India to provide iPhone users with the best 5G experience once network validation and testing for quality and performance are complete.”

As India rolls out 5G in phases starting with major metropolitan areas, smartphone players are working to make 5G available on their devices.

Apple conducts extensive testing with carrier partners to ensure a great experience for iPhone users.

iPhone offers users super-fast downloads and uploads, better streaming, and real-time connectivity with 5G to help them stay connected, share, and enjoy content.

Support for 5G on iPhone has now expanded to more than 250 carrier partners in more than 70 markets around the world, with expanded support for standalone networks.

Prioritizing software upgrades would enable the early adoption of 5G in India.

Apple plans to allow rival app stores on iPhones in the EU

Apple Inc is preparing to allow alternative app stores on its iPhones and iPads in the European Union as early as next year to comply with a new European competition law it had been battling, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday, citing sources who are familiar with the issue.

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Opening up third-party app stores could pose a major threat to Apple’s burgeoning services business, but rivals would first have to overcome the hurdle to convince consumers to abandon the security and simplicity of using Apple’s own store.

The magnitude of the impact depends on how the US

company complies with additional mandates in European law known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Microsoft Corp., Meta Platforms Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and other app store companies could see an increase in sales as a result of Apple’s planned change in rival storefronts.

Apple declined to comment. Meta, Amazon and Microsoft did not respond to requests for comment, but a coalition of app makers said Apple must be fully compliant with the DMA to have truly open competition.

As part of the reportedly planned change, Apple customers will eventually be able to install apps without using the company’s App Store. But Apple hasn’t made any decisions about whether or not to comply with other legal provisions, such as allowing alternative payment systems to its own systems.

Allowing the payment tool to be bypassed would threaten billions of dollars in revenue that Apple collects by charging a commission of up to 30% on App Store purchases.

According to estimates from mobile analytics company Sensor Tower, about $10 billion in transactions flowed through the App Store last year. At least 70% of the money goes to app makers.

Angelo Zino, an equity analyst at CFRA, said he expects less than 0.2% of Apple’s total sales to be impacted by competing app stores in Europe.

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“The ultimate impact will be minimal as most consumers are creatures of habit and very satisfied with the platform,” he said. “We expect that a majority of consumers will maintain the status quo by using (Apple’s) existing app store.”

Enforcement of the European Union DMA is expected to begin in mid-2024. The law requires large tech companies to open their systems to competitors in hopes of increasing consumer choice.

The big gatekeepers, as the law describes them, risk fines of up to 10% of annual global revenue for violations.

The iPhone maker has said that allowing sideloading, which bypasses the App Store, exposes users to security and privacy risks. But some regulators and critics, such as “Fortnite” maker Epic Games, have said those concerns are overblown.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted Tuesday that the U.S. Congress must pass proposed legislation similar to DMA or it would “leave U.S. developers in serfdom.”

Alphabet Inc’s Google has allowed sideloading on phones powered by the Android operating system for years. But to take advantage, users must tweak settings and swipe past security warnings, meaning 90% of downloads still come from Google’s official app store, Epic claimed in court.

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