This is thanks (or no thanks) to the US Senate Judiciary Committee who passed the Open App Markets Act that would allow alternative app stores and in-app payments on devices like the iPhone. However, before you rejoice, keep in mind that there is still quite a long ways to go before this is passed into law.
The bill will now have to head to the Senate floor to be voted on, debated on, and be further amended, which means that it could be a while before we will see it come into effect, if at all. This wouldn’t be the first antitrust bill to be proposed, but if it does eventually clear all the necessary hurdles, it could change the iPhone experience as we know it.
However, as you can imagine this isn’t sitting too well with Apple. In a letter sent to the Committee earlier this week, Apple’s government affairs head Tim Powderly said, “Sideloading would enable bad actors to evade Apple’s privacy and security protections by distributing apps without critical privacy and security checks. These provisions would allow malware, scams and data-exploitation to proliferate.”