Russia delays forcing government-approved apps onto iPhones and Macs


Putin adds power to your iPhone case.
Apple now has until 2021 to decide if a Russian law forcing apps onto the iPhone is enough for it to pull out of the country.
Photo: Caviar

A Russian law requiring all phones and computers, including iPhone and Mac, sold in that country come bundled with third-party software localized for Russia won‘t go into effect July 1, as had been originally planned. Instead, implementation won‘t occur until early next year.

This comes as a temporary reprieve for Apple. The company has such privacy concerns over this legislation it might withdraw from the country rather than comply with the law.

But there’s now additional time for the iPhone maker to decide how it will react. Reuters reports that Tuesday the Russian government pushed back until January 1, 2021 the deadline to install these applications.

Russian iPhone apps for convenience or spying?

Russia says its law that requires computers, phones, tablets, and/or smart TVs to come with software approved by the Kremlin is intended to help Russian developers compete with foreign ones. And it’ll save people the hassle of downloading Russian apps when they buy new devices.

However, companies, including Apple, expressed fears that these apps will be used to spy on Russian citizens.

Apple takes a strong stance on user privacy. When the legislation was still being debated, Apple obliquely threatened to pull out Russia, according to the International Business Times. An Apple rep told the Duma that it may cause the company to “revise its business model in Russia,” reports The Bell Explains.

Nevertheless, the law passed and was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December.