Research Updated Apr 05, 2024

Apple alternate App Stores in EU falls short of its potential

App Stores in EU

When the European Union compelled Apple to permit third-party App Stores within their ecosystem, anticipation surged among users eager to access a truly open platform for downloading games, apps, and tweaks. The significant development promised an end to the exclusivity of the Apple App Store as the sole distributor of iPhone apps. Nevertheless, Apple's implementation of this mandate has fallen short of expectations, failing to deliver the desired level of functionality and openness.

In alignment with the modifications introduced by the Digital Millennium Act, users within the EU now can install apps from alternative app marketplaces on iOS versions 17.4 and beyond. Users can acquire an alternative marketplace app directly from the developer's website. Moreover, developers can access these distribution options through App Store Connect, provided they have agreed to the pertinent business terms for apps in the EU. Sounds good, right?

The multitude of limitations and restrictions imposed on the new App Stores renders it practically impossible to operate an alternate distribution platform free from Apple's interference. Apple will closely monitor these new stores, imposing a high barrier to entry with a 1 million euro fee. Moreover, ongoing costs escalate for stores exceeding 1 million downloads, charging 0.5 euros per subsequent download. Small companies and visioners are excluded.

Region verification, incorporating SIM card data and nearby Wi-Fi networks, will severely limit region switching. Consequently, the stringent financial requirements and stringent regulations deter the inclusion of tweaks, hacks, and cheats, as developers are unwilling to risk substantial monetary investments. Furthermore, changing regions becomes nearly unattainable due to robust protective measures. Third-party App Store are just fiction on paper.

Screenshot of FlekStore, the App Store for EU.

Nevertheless, there exists a longstanding alternative – FlekStore. This App Store alternative not only facilitates the sideloading of popular apps and games without the need for a computer but also operates without any geographical restrictions, regardless of your country of residence.

FlekStore serves as a third-party App Store with all users satisfied, offering the ability to install a wide range of apps, games, tweaks, emulators, jailbreak tools, and more while circumventing the restrictions imposed by the official App Store owned by Apple. This on-device IPA installer empowers users to sideload apps onto their iPhones using not only the FlekStore Certificate but also their own developer account or certificate for signing apps.

The paid certificate offered by FlekStore App Store streamlines the process of issuing certificates for your device, seamlessly integrating with your developer account. This entire process is automated, eliminating the need for manual intervention on the user's part. Once the certificate is generated for your device, installing applications becomes a hassle-free experience, allowing you to enjoy a wide variety of software without constraints.

Drawing from my personal experience, I can attest to the exceptional quality and uptime of this service, which has been proven over time. While numerous third-party App Stores exist, this particular one stands out due to the superior quality and dedicated support.


Screenshot of FlekStore App Store IPA signer and notification system.

While Apple does offer the option to sideload apps, the process is not straightforward and is restricted for users lacking a developer account or access to a computer. In contrast, FlekStore simplifies the process by enabling users to easily sign IPA files directly on their device from various sources, facilitating hassle-free installation on their iPhones. Furthermore, FlekStore accommodates both the use of a user's own developer certificate or one provided by the FlekStore app itself, providing flexibility and convenience to users.

The alternate App Stores introduced by Apple in the EU have failed to fully realize their potential due to the company's reluctance to relinquish control over the app approval process to entities other than themselves. Nevertheless, FlekStore, a long-standing platform with a track record of satisfying users, serves as a viable alternative by circumventing Apple's verification procedures.

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