Apple gives in, lists anti-spam app in Indian App Store to prevent iPhone ban in the country

Apple gives in, lists anti-spam app in Indian App Store to prevent iPhone ban in the country
Back in July, we told you that the Telecom Regulatory Agency of India (TRAI) developed its own anti-spam app called DND. Being the telecom regulator in the country, TRAI also added a new regulation that required all smartphones in the country to have the app installed. Because the app uses an iPhone's phone and messaging logs, Apple refused to allow it to be included in the Indian App Store due to privacy concerns.

The TRAI regulation was written for carriers since the agency has no power over phone manufacturers. So back in July, the agency told the wireless operators in India that if Apple didn't allow the DND app to be listed in the country's App Store within six months, it would ban the iPhone from the networks belonging to all Indian carriers.

As we've noted before, India is the second largest smartphone market in the world. However, its low per capita income means that low priced and older smartphones are big sellers in the country. For example, it wasn't too long ago that the iPhone 5s was the top selling iOS powered handset in the market. It also explains why Apple manufactured the iPhone SE  in India, and now churns out the iPhone 6s in the country.

Considering the potential of the Indian smartphone market, Apple did not want to have the iPhone essentially banned in the country. So it blinked first according to Venture Beat, and has now listed the DND app in the Indian App Store. With the average smartphone user in the country receiving up to 10 spam calls and texts a day, the app allows users to join a "Do Not Disturb" list and report unwanted calls and messages.

Indian consumers sporting an iPhone running iOS 12.1 or later can install the DND app for free by clicking on this link.

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18 Comments

1. cncrim

Posts: 1535; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

LOL, Apple will bend over to any government that have 40+ millions population to expanding market share for satisfy their hungry shareholder and their own interesting. Talk is cheap, follow the money.

5. rouyal

Posts: 1550; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

It’s on the App Store, but can telecoms know if the iPhone owner chose to install the app or not?

13. ullokey

Posts: 172; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

yes they can

6. koioz

Posts: 132; Member since: Nov 29, 2018

Lmao. Desperation in the name of money. When a privacy wannabe company bended by money, so satisfying to see.

8. rouyal

Posts: 1550; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Or, maybe, to keep current Indian’s iPhones on the network.

11. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

At elast apple has privacy concerns. Unlike your google who doesn’t care anymore and there’s no talk about it.

9. Tech-shake

Posts: 202; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

Whoever wrote this article just wanted to creat a war in the comment section and drive traffic to the websit. Apple didn’t bend over or allowed an app they didn’t previously allow. In iOS 12/12.1 Apple introduced new features for spam apps that would include all the functionality TRAI wants and similar apps yet the personal data of the users wouldn’t be shared or known to the app maker. Everything happens locally. Hence, the TRAI took advantage of the app modified it and re-released it. For everyone who wants to make sure I am not just bsing just go read any article about this subject else where!

10. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1182; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

The didn’t really bend over. IOS 12 has a new feature which the app can use without needing to read call logs and history, so basically, the App Store version of the app is different from the play store which directly reads the call logs from phone

16. DigitalBoy05

Posts: 274; Member since: Jun 04, 2011

that's a pretty good point if true but the one flaw may be iOS 12 isn't supported on the vast majority of iPhones in circulation there. If the article was also accurate and the 5s truly was a best seller till recently then there's a good probability that theres a high percentage of iPhone 4, 4s, and iPhone 5 out there to.

14. zennacko unregistered

On tomorrows news: "China threatens to ban Apple and now they allow full access to any and all iPhones, iPads and MacBooks in the country, even if they belong to tourists or foreign authorities!"

15. DigitalBoy05

Posts: 274; Member since: Jun 04, 2011

How does the Indian spam block differ from USA available apps like Mr. Number or even T-Mobile's Name ID app? I mean bravo to India for trying to be proactive in a way that's best for them, but wouldn't disabling millions of iPhones belonging to consumers who did nothing wrong / preventing emergency services access be a bigger problem than what they are trying to resolve?

17. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1275; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Here's the thing. The Indian government approved a law and it went into effect. I'm sure that manufactures were notified months in advance. Apple did not want to obey the law and were going to suffer the penalty for not obeying that law.

18. DigitalBoy05

Posts: 274; Member since: Jun 04, 2011

That would mean that they did due process but a bad policy is a bad policy wether or not the paperwork was filed correctly.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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