Bloomberg reported that Apple is considering letting iPhone users switch their default apps to non-Apple versions.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the report said this would include allowing users to use alternatives to Apple’s Safari browser and Mail app.
For example, iPhone owners could use Google’s alternative services – Chrome and Gmail.
This would be the first time since launching the App Store in 2008 that Apple would allow users to replace pre-installed Apple apps with third-party alternatives.
Additionally, Apple is reportedly considering allowing users to set Spotify as their default music service on HomePod devices.
Apple did not provide Bloomberg with comment.
Strong iPhone sales
The change is not being considered due to slow iPhone sales, as the company’s smartphone sales were reportedly a key reason their holiday-quarter revenue beat expectations on Wall Street.
Apple said that sales were expected to be between $63 billion and $67 billion – higher than analysts’ predictions of $62.3 billion.
“The strength is coming from the iPhone and continued really strong growth in wearables and the App Store,” said Shannon Cross of Cross Research.
“The iPhone was very strong.”
Safari security flaw
Google engineers recently said that Apple’s tool to protect users from web tracking on Safari is fundamentally flawed and creates more problems than it solves.
“I can assure you that they still haven’t fixed these issues,” said Justin Schuh, engineering director for Google’s Chrome browser.
He added that Apple “didn’t disclose the vulnerabilities or appropriately credit the researchers.”
Researchers had previously been complimentary of Apple’s approach to tracking, but Google’s claims mean security researchers are now less certain on Apple’s anti-tracking measures.
“This bug is quite counter-intuitive, but rather very serious,” said independent cybersecurity researcher Lukasz Olejnik.