Apple agrees to preinstall govt-approved apps in Russia

Apple has agreed to abide by the Russian laws to give users a notification to pre-install government-approved apps when they first use an iPhone or other company device.

Moscow: From April 1, Apple will comply with the provisions of the law on the mandatory pre-installation of Russian software on its devices, reports Russian publication Vedomosti.

Apple agreed to this during negotiations with the leadership of the Ministry of Digital Affairs of the Russian Federation, the report said on Tuesday, citing a source in the Ministry of Digital Industry.

Now, when the Russian users first turn on an Apple device, they will see a dialog box during the setup, in which they will be prompted to install applications from the list approved by the government by default.

“It will be possible to refuse the installation by unchecking the boxes in front of certain applications, explains the source of the publication,”

… the report noted. Vedomosti said Apple has confirmed these plans to the publication.

“The Ministry is not at all interested in the dominant position of popular programmes included in the list for mandatory preinstallation. If alternative offers that are interesting to users and are rapidly gaining popularity appear on the market, they will be included in this selection and will also be offered for pre-installation,”

… the report cited the source as saying.
According to new laws, Russian software must be installed on all smartphones, tablets, laptop and stationary computers, as well as smart TVs that will sold in Russia from April 1, 2021.

Among these applications are browsers, antivirus and mapping software, instant messengers, mail agents and agents of online cinemas, the application of the State Services service, the application of the Mir Pay payment system, and more. The mandatory list approved by the government includes products from Yandex, Group, Kaspersky Lab, Rostelecom, Channel One and other major Russian Internet and media companies.

The aim of the law is to support Russian developers and help citizens use their devices.