Η Apple has been repeatedly accused of cracking down on iOS app distributions. However, the company claims that side loading applications on an iPhone could expose users to serious risks, that will damage their privacy and security. Sideloading refers to install applications from a source outside the official App Store (eg another app store or site).
In a new one document Apple said the way the App Store was designed helps keep users safe, as the company controls all applications and their updates to ensure that they are safe and that they are free from inappropriate content, malware or other information that violates the App Store Review Guidelines.
To support its argument, Apple quotes Nokia Threat Intelligence Report for 2020. According to the report, Android devices are infected with many more malware than iPhones. In part, this is because Android allows apps to be sideloaded (unlike the iPhone):
"One study found that the devices Android had 15 times more malware infections than the iPhone, and the main reason is that Android applications "can be downloaded from almost anywhere", while iPhone users can download applications from only one source: the App Store".
Apple emphasizes that if the sideloading of applications on the iPhone is allowed, many attacks will appear on the iOS platform:
"Due to the large size of the iPhone user base and the sensitive data stored on their phones - photos, location data, health information and financial data - sideloading would cause a plethora of new investments in platform attacks. Cybercriminals will seize the opportunity and carry out sophisticated attacks targeting iOS users… This increased risk of malware attacks puts all users at greater risk, even those who download apps only from the App Store".
Apple added that sideloading on the iPhone could put users at risk because of certain applications that are necessary for work, school or other tasks may no longer be available in the App Store. In addition, scammers can trick users into believing that they are downloading apps safely from the App Store, without this.
In the end, the company stressed that iPhone users should be constantly on vigilance if sideloading is allowed. Users will have to constantly look for scams and have much less trust, resulting in fewer applications being downloaded by fewer developers. Apple, on the other hand, described the App Store as "reliable place", Noting that the many levels of security provide users with a"incomparable level of malware protection".