Apple is facing growing pressure to open its devices up to third-party app stores. Europe has already passed the Digital Markets Act which will force Apple to allow third party app stores and sideloading, among other requirements. Nikkei believes that Apple's trip to Japan was an effort to prevent similar regulation from gaining momentum in the country.
Earlier this year, a government report expressed concerns about high entry barriers and a lack of consumer choice in the smartphone OS market. It suggested regulations could be introduced to ensure fair competition.
During the meeting, Cook noted that Apple has invested over $100 billion in Japanese supply chains over the past five years, and stressed the company's continued focus on the country.
Kishida called on Apple to enable a digital version of the country's My Number identification cards on iPhone. These cards can also be used as proof of insurance.
Cook said he planned to work on it, sources familiar with the matter said. But he also said Apple had strong concerns over the handling of My Number IDs. He urged Kishida to ensure that regulations regarding app distribution do not undermine the privacy and security of its users.
Although Apple is already preparing to allow alternative app stores and sideloading on iPhone in Europe, the company allegedly wants to make these features exclusive to Europe and does not plan to grant users in other regions the same freedoms.
Please download the iClarified app or follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and RSS for updates.