MacRumors reported that due to new law which came into effect today, iPhones purchased in Russia will now show a list of Russian-made apps at startup. This prompt is a part of the standard iPhone setup process. This prompt will appear after the iPhone user has selected other options like whether to allow Location Services or App Analytics.
Before showing 11 apps, the dry text reads, “In compliance with Russian legal requirements, continue to view available apps to download.” The list includes various Yandex apps, a video live streaming service OK Live, an email app from Mail.ru, and popular Russian social network VK. Users will find a “Get” icon appearing next to each of these apps which is nothing but a short cut option to install those.
Interestingly, these prompts come in response to a Russian law that was originally passed back in 2019. The law requires manufacturers to pre-install Russian-made software on devices sold in the country. The law covers smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.
Reuters reported that this law is part of a broader attempt by Moscow to reduce its dependence on foreign companies and gain more control over the internet. By giving users the option to install Russian-made apps at startup, Apple agreed to comply with the law last month. From Apple’s end, this is a noteworthy concession because in general, Apple typically maintains tight control over the setup process of its devices.
Reuters pointed out Yandex and Mail.ru as the biggest beneficiaries of the new law. Last month, a Russian official stated that alternative apps will be added if they prove to be popular with users.
It seems Apple is willing to make changes to comply with Russia’s local laws. In the past, in order to comply with Russia’s laws, Apple changed its map to show Crimea as Russian territory and removed a gay pride watch face.