India's telecomm regulatory agency could ban the Apple iPhone from India's wireless networks



In an effort to reduce the number of spam calls that smartphone users in India must put up with, the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Agency of India) has made some changes. One of the new regulations requires the installation of an anti-spam app called DND (now at version 2.0) on all smartphones in the country. But Apple will not allow the TRAI developed app to be included in the App Store, citing privacy fears. The app obtains phone and messaging logs belonging to a smartphone user, which explains Apple's reluctance to list it.

Since the regulatory agency has no jurisdiction over the handset manufacturers, the regulations were written for the country's carriers, who are obligated to follow TRAI directives. As written, the regulation gives the wireless providers in India six months to make sure that all smartphones registered on its network have the ability to install the DND 2.0 app. If Apple doesn't allow the latter to be listed on the App Store, the agency could direct the country's carriers to block all iPhone handsets from access to their networks.

Apple is giving developers the ability in iOS 12 to add an Unwanted Communication app extension that will allow users to report spam calls and texts through a third party app. Perhaps if Apple can convince the TRAI that this would be as useful as its own DND 2.0 to fight spam, iPhone users in the country could breathe a sigh of relief. But if the TRAI plays hardball, what will Apple do?  Even with the current problems that face Apple in India, CEO Tim Cook has high hopes for the future of Apple in the country.


Apple has given in to demands from China regarding the App Store. Last year, under pressure from the Chinese government, Apple removed VPN apps from the Chinese App Store. This year, China's government told Apple to remove apps from the App Store that had CallKit (Apple's dialer interface for third party apps) active. Apple did comply with the demand. Since Cook expects big things from the Indian market, and is even manufacturing a couple of handsets in the country, the executive might decide to appease the powers that be and add some version of DND 2.0 to the App Store in India.

source: TRAI via IndiaToday

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16 Comments

2. RevolutionA

Posts: 392; Member since: Sep 30, 2017

So they basically want bloatware on an iPhone. Lol

3. maddy996

Posts: 125; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

I'm an Indian and I wish Apple won't allow TRAI to implement it's DND app in any of it's iPhone... Govt just want to control the privacy of every single Indian not even this they are forcing many big companies (payment apps) to provide their user's data to govt which is completely against the law. I wish not just India, US and China even world's every countrymen should have their own control on their privacy and data...

4. RevolutionA

Posts: 392; Member since: Sep 30, 2017

Live in EU. They are for you

5. Cat97

Posts: 1861; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

It's clear to me that this DND app is the Indian government's way to get a handle of their citizens.

6. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

If a person get spam calls, they could just block or ignore it, right? Why the need for a third party app for a small problem?

11. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

This should be unacceptable by Indian consumers. Who the fk this state thinks it is to oblige the citizens to install its app?

13. TheOracle1

Posts: 2213; Member since: May 04, 2015

Greenman, most of your comments are amusing but this one is plain stupid. This policy seems to be a legacy of India's failed socialist experiment of government controlling everything. It's also a clumsy ploy to monitor people's phones. On the other hand uninstalling the app or freezing it is also an option since it says the phones must have the ability to install. It doesn't say it must be installed or used. I'm assuming all of this is for non-carrier phones.

16. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Well, I'm not going to dignify the rantings and trolling; which make no sense by the way; with a direct response due to a number of reasons. On one hand; people are expressing that there's nothing wrong with nationalism and being biased on the basis of caste and creed while on the other; they are accusing me for being an imperialistic racist? I don't know what to believe! Secondly; they are accusing me of 'preaching an agenda' here? What agenda am I preaching, may I ask? Can anyone please care to elaborate? I don't know what exactly they mean and how to make a valid, civilized and productive argument out of this. So I shall leave it as it is and would like to request PhoneArena moderators to delete this gibberish and abusive nonsense. I'd truly appreciate this. Lastly; I'm a humanitarian with center left political perspective. And some of my best friends happen to be from India and Pakistan. And I don't know whether it helps or not but I'm NOT a Caucasian with European heritage. I'm an Asian by birth and English is not my first language. I've lived through a dictatorship and I know what its like to live under a regime. And I don't want any person, ANY person to endure what I've endured... Is it too much to ask? Is it too offensive to want people to live free? If you find it as such then I express my deepest apologies. Peace.

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