At the very beginning of 2020, the so-called law on Russian software came into force in Russia. He required manufacturers to provide pre-sale installation of a set of about a dozen domestic applications on their smartphones. Thus it was planned to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, to make life easier for people who find it difficult to install software on their own. And, on the other hand, to increase the popularity of software from local developers. However, there was at least one other secondary goal. And the fact that it was not possible to realize it is the biggest loss, because of which we all now suffer.
The side goal I’m talking about was to change Apple’s policy. After all, as you know, in Cupertino they don’t preinstall other people’s software on their devices at all. And here they would have to do this, and even allow the use of third-party payment services. because MirPay on iPhonewhich required the installation of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation, would never have worked due to the closed NFC.
Mandatory installation of Russian applications
I remember well how when the FAS published a list of applications required for installation, many began to stand up for the company. The fans pressed on the fact that she owed nothing to the authorities, and they were just mad with fat, trying nothing more than to suppress her. How is it even possible to force Apple to allow third-party payment services on iPhone? It’s not safe, fans echoed each other.
What exactly is the insecurity of using third-party contactless payment services on iOS, then no one explained. Everyone simply perceived the requirement of the FAS to pre-install on MirPay iPhone application like populism. After all, it was quite difficult to believe that this would really happen. But from reliable sources, we know that the department really wanted to put the squeeze on Apple, forcing it to make concessions.
But either the antimonopolists were afraid of their own courage, or Apple’s agents of influence – and they definitely exist – worked at the highest level, but in the end everything did not go according to plan. It turned out that the law on Russian software – so strict and uncontested at the start – had changed a lot by the time it was adopted. Items on the mandatory installation of third-party applications disappeared from it (only the need for a recommendation remained), and the list of promoted positions was allowed to vary if they are not available in the manufacturer’s proprietary application store.
I have consistently spoken out against such an indulgence. Not because I’m so bloodthirsty and wanted to annoy Apple, but because I understood that diversity is better than monopoly. I was of the unpopular opinion that there should be contactless payment services on iOS other than Apple Pay. I wanted users to be able to choose what to use.
Mir Pay for iPhone
Well, think for yourself: if you are afraid of something (although I don’t really know what exactly), then don’t use MirPay or other payment service. Keep using Apple Pay and enjoy. The same, by the way, applies to third-party app stores, which would certainly not be as popular. But Apple is afraid to admit even the very idea that it will have to compete with someone on its territory.
As a result, neither Mir Pay nor Alice from Yandex for iPhoneof course, they didn’t pre-install, but let the whole story go on the brakes, making an exception specifically for Apple, allowing it not to actually follow law on Russian software. Then some simply did not pay attention to it, and some were delighted – they say, bloodthirsty Russian anti-monopolists have been added to Cupertino. But there was nothing to be happy about.
Only now can we understand how we all lost then. Having lobbied for their interests and abandoned Installing Mir Pay on iPhone, Apple received a long-term tool of influence, and we iPhone owners were left without a single means of payment when Cupertino decided to turn off Apple Pay for Russia. Is it good? I don’t think there is even one person now who will say that everything was done right then. After all, whatever one may say, it is much more convenient to pay with a smartphone than with a card.
Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not on either side. In this case, I’m only on my side and the side of other users. Having given up the original plan, the FAS allowed Apple not to install Mir Pay on iPhone and not even add the service to the App Store. And if this were done, today we could continue to pay with iPhones without worrying about turning off Apple Pay and not worrying that Apple just ditched us.