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iOS development teams should be kept, but their skills should be diversified”

On May 12, at the “Import Substitution in Digital: Experience and Cases” meetup organized by Globus IT, representatives of the IT industry and large businesses gathered on one platform to discuss the current situation, emerging problems and find ways to solve them together.

Mobile development experts at Globus IT see the following possible scenarios:

Optimistic – soft rollback.

Medium – selective single blocking of applications and services both from the side of services and from the side of the Europe, however, stores and services remain available.

Pessimistic – a complete blocking of Apple and Google services – either by service vendors,

Let us consider in more detail each of the scenarios and the algorithms of actions in them.

Chinese and Iranian scripts

Development scenarios can be conditionally called Chinese and Iranian. What is the difference? In China, the authorities themselves block services, while in Iran access to them is blocked by copyright holders, such as Apple.

Globus IT experts compiled a comparative table: they took data from two countries ( Iran and China), looked at the population, the number of smartphones and what is blocked.

“According to some data, there are 12 million iPhone users in Iran, and if you count by share, it’s only 6%,” explains Anton Kazenyuk. “The reason is that without a VPN, it is useless to use an iPhone there, and if you connect through a VPN, you are not considered an Iranian user. Eastern Europe also has a lot of iPhones, and China has a lot, despite all the restrictions. It turns out that people use both iPhones and Android phones. This means that there is an audience for devices – you need to figure out what to do in the conditions of blocking.

Iranian script

● 12 million iPhone users per 84 million population

● All Apple services are unavailable (including the App Store)

● Registration of Apple ID from Iranian phone numbers is not available, register for SIM cards purchased in other countries

● Local apps are removed from the store

● From under the VPN, you can install applications from the App Store

● Mostly local iOS apps are PWA (browser based web app icon)

● Strong position of local stores – like in China

Dmitry Lemaykin: “All Iranian stores are designed for PWA applications (Powerful web application). The point is: you have a certain search engine that allows you to select web applications by keywords that you can install on your iPhone through a link. The important point is that this is not a native iOS application, this is a link to a web application.”

Chinese script

● Xiaomi does not install GMS on its smartphones from February-2021

● Huawei has its own analogue of GMS – Huawei Mobile Services

● Google left the Chinese market in 2010

● Firewall blocks residents from accessing resources such as Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook

● In November 2021, it was revealed that China’s General Administration of Cyberspace Control was drafting detailed new rules that would penalize individuals and organizations for helping Internet users bypass the Great Firewall and for accessing censored information from abroad.

● Hundreds of android stores

● The App Store is available, but some applications are being removed at the request of China

● As of Q3 2020, AppGallery has reached 350 billion app downloads. As of 2020, AppGallery had almost 1.6 million developers. As of March 1, 2021, AppGallery has over 530 million active users

What direction is the market heading in now?

Dmitry Lemaykin: “We have a rather pessimistic scenario, more similar to the Iranian one, because it is Apple that blocks its store. This is much worse than the Chinese scenario, because all iOS applications are created with one goal – to be sold on the App Store. The App Store is the most convenient way to get mobile apps on iOS. All other paths listed below have serious limitations.

1. AltStore

Dmitry Lemaykin: “This is a local server that can install your .ipa file, a native iOS application for seven days, on a local device under developer certificates. However, you need a wire to renew this certificate every seven days. This option has many disadvantages. There are, of course, pluses. The main thing is independence from the App Store, you don’t need to jailbreak, modify the .ipa application, but you yourself will have to look for the .ipa file. All this is extremely inconvenient, so AltStore is not an industrial story that can be recommended to users.


Dmitry Lemaykin: “You are hacking your phone. On the one hand, after a jailbreak, you can do whatever you want on your phone: install any applications, avoid Apple policies. Similar to root access on Android. But it’s not safe. The phone will be open to external cyber threats.”

3. Enterprise application

Dmitry Lemaykin: “An application that can be distributed inside a large corporation, organization. The most important disadvantage of this approach is Apple can also easily block it by withdrawing your Enterprise Service.

Banks tried to do this, as far as I know, giving a link to their application posted on their website instead of the AppStore. This story worked for a while, and then it was still covered from Apple. ”

4. PWA applications

Dmitry Lemaykin: “It is PWA applications that are actively used in Iran with local local companies. These are not native iOS applications. These are web applications that develop front-ends. They have advanced functionality: access to geolocation, even to Apple Pay, but Touch ID or features associated with iron operation will not be available.

In the case of PWA, you will not be able to use all the capabilities of your iPhone. The link to the PWA application will look like an icon of an ordinary iOS application, but when starting, a browser will open.

This works in Iran because they don’t have alternatives. ”