As part of a larger story about Apple’s plans to allow third-party app stores on the iPhone and iPad in EU countries, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman claimed that Apple is also considering removing its requirement for iPhone and iPad web browsers to use WebKit, the open source browser engine that powers Safari.
Well, well, well. The EU might actually force Apple to turn iOS into a real operating system.
This is all good news, but I do wonder if we’re already in “too little too late” territory. Timing is everything. It’s significantly harder to re-balance now that the market is already encumbered by duopolies, Even assuming regulators do manage to curtail anticompetitive abuses going forward, the market share for small competitors will still continue to reflect years of an imbalanced playing field. The new/small competitors who lost the opportunity to grow during the nascent years can no longer grow with the market, instead now they must chip away at the market share of larger competitors.
Stamping out anti-competitive practices is hugely important to competitive markets, but I still think apple is going to have an advantage for years to come simply due to momentum.