Apple disabled web apps in the EU to limit competition – Epic Games CEO

Apple has admitted that it deliberately disabled web applications on iPhones in the EU and blamed the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the danger to users. However, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney believes that this is not the only reason.

According to TechCrunch, in a post on the X platform, Sweeney wrote that Apple simply doesn’t want to see any competition on iOS.

“I suspect Apple’s real reason for killing PWAs is the realization that competing web browsers could do a vastly better job of supporting PWAs – unlike Safari’s intentionally crippled web functionality – and turn PWAs into legit, untaxed competitors to native apps,” the post says.

Earlier, the EU forced the company to open iOS to third-party browsers, which would have given developers the opportunity to release web applications that could be analogous to native iPhone apps. Later, the company announced that its web applications would not work in the EU.

The reason given was that such applications installed from third-party browsers could use smartphone permissions to commit fraud or collect confidential information. Since the company has no control over third-party browsers, it would not be able to protect users, and therefore decided to disable support for web applications altogether.

Instead, users in the EU will now only be able to bookmark certain websites instead of installing full-fledged web applications that could be an alternative to apps downloaded from the App Store.

Despite the fact that Sweeney and Epic Games don’t have the best relationship with Apple, his words also have their own arguments, because even in an official statement on its website, Apple said that in theory it could have dealt with the problem, but did not want to.

“Addressing the complex security and privacy concerns associated with web apps using alternative browser engines would require building an entirely new integration architecture that does not currently exist in iOS and was not practical to undertake given the other demands of the DMA and the very low user adoption of Home Screen web apps,” the website says.

From this statement, we can understand that Apple could create a new architecture, but does not want to do so for one reason or another.