Apple’s Secret Revealed: The Number of App Store Users in Europe Now Public
It is widely known that Apple is not fond of playing with numbers. However, the law on our continent prescribes what information must be disclosed. Consequently, data on the usage of Apple’s application store in Europe is now available.
To comply with the European Digital Services Act (DSA), Apple was obligated to disclose the number of monthly active users of the App Store in Europe for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. The leaked data was first noticed by iGeneration. The figures are based on an average for the six-month period ending in January 2023.
The iOS App Store has 101 million users in Europe, while the iPadOS has 23 million. The Mac App Store has 6 million users, the tvOS App Store has 1 million users, and the watchOS App Store has fewer than 1 million users. Apple also reported that Apple Books and Podcasts subscriptions are used by fewer than 1 million people per month in Europe.
The Act on Digital Services defines the rules that must be enforced against “very large online platforms.” Such platforms are defined as having 45 million or more monthly active users. Since Apple considers the App Store as a separate platform for each operating system, only the iPhone iOS App Store can be classified as a very large online platform.
However, Apple has announced that it will “adapt” all of its App Stores to comply with the requirements of the Digital Services Act, even though it is only legally obligated to comply with the iOS App Store. The DSA rules include protecting children from being profiled for advertising purposes, limiting the spread of misinformation, and more. According to Apple, “the objectives of the DSA align with Apple’s objectives of safeguarding consumers from illicit content.”
It’s important to note that the Digital Services Act should not be confused with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The latter will likely force Apple to support alternative app stores and the sideloading of apps, at least for its European customers. An interesting question is whether Apple will mention this change at its developer conference, scheduled for early June.
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