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Third-party App Stores will only work for 30 days if you leave the EU

Apple updates how developers are affected by its EU DMA compliance

In a document spelling out the limitations of the third-party App Store process, Apple has made clear how long third-party app stores installed on an iPhone will continue to work when the user leaves the European Union.

Starting on March 7, European Union customers will be able to buy iPhone apps from third-party stores. Beyond limitations for the app vendor, there are some applied to users as well.

A support document published on Thursday details that Apple will not be able to support users that are dealing with alternative app marketplaces not functioning as expected, nor be able to help with malfunctioning apps.

Furthermore, Apple is clear that privacy may be an issue, and the company will not police fraudulent apps.

Should a purchaser leave a European Union country, an app downloaded from one of these app stores can only be updated for 30 days — but it will function beyond that time frame. Users can still use the marketplaces to manage previously installed apps, but they must physically be in the European Union to install marketplaces and new apps from those stores.

The support document clearly states Apple's disdain for the concessions it is required to make in the European Union to comply with the Digital Markets Act. It further discusses app notarization, what happens when a third-party App Store closes down, content that may be allowed on third-party app stores that Apple doesn't permit, and more.

The ability to run alternative app marketplaces or download apps from outside of the App Store is enabled by iOS 17.4. Apple released iOS 17.4 to the public on Tuesday.