Apple claims that iOS is safer than Android due to its closed nature

Apple continues to defend its proprietary approach to device and software development. In response to the European Commission's proposed Digital Markets Act, which could result in Apple being forced to allow users to install apps on iPhones from third-party sources, the company has shared a document highlighting the security and privacy risks associated with such a feature. 

Apple's document, “Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Apps,” says mobile malware and associated security and privacy threats are becoming more prevalent and are predominantly present on platforms that allow downloads of unpublished applications. For example, Apple cited Nokia Threat Intelligence Reports for 2019 and 2020, according to which Android devices have about 15-47 times more malware infections than iPhones. 

The study found that 98% of mobile malware targets Android devices. This is directly related to downloading apps from third-party sources. For example, in 2018, Android devices that had non-Google Play apps installed were eight times more likely to be exposed to potentially malicious apps than those without third-party installations. 

Apple said that if it were forced to implement such a feature in iOS, users would be exposed to more malware and have less control over apps once they are downloaded to their devices. Apple added that some of the proposed third-party application download laws also remove protection from third-party access to proprietary hardware and closed operating system features, posing security and privacy risks to users. 

Moreover, Apple believes that even those users who do not want to use the ability to install software from outside the App Store will suffer in such a situation, because some users may have no choice but to download a third-party application that they need to work, study or for some other reason. In addition, Apple said that criminals could trick users into downloading apps by mimicking the look of the App Store or promoting free or exclusive features.  

However, it is difficult to say whether such arguments of Apple will influence the decision of the European Commission.  

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