Reports over the weekend claimed that there could soon be an iPhone ban in Italy, due to a proposed law that is pending approval from the European country's parliament.
Is Apple's smartphone really in danger of being banned in Italy? Here's a look at the bill in question, and an explanation on what it really means.
Italy's Senate Act 2484: iPhone Ban Incoming?
The proposed law, identified as Senate Act 2484, aims to ensure that Italians have open access to software, content, and services. It was introduced last year by Italian entrepreneur Scelta Civica political party member Stefano Quintarelli, and approved in July by the Chamber of Deputies. The law is now pending approval by the Senate of the Republic.
According to the translation of an excerpt of Article Four of Senate Act 2484, the bill will provide users with the right to use "fair and non-discriminatory software, proprietary or open source, legitimate content and services of their choice."
The excerpt is said to go against Apple and its "walled garden" for the iOS. Apple customers are not allowed to install open source software on devices such as iPhones, and apps are only distributed through Apple's App Store. Users can download apps and other software into iPhones only by jailbreaking, which violates the end-user agreement of Apple.
No, The iPhone Won't Be Banned In Italy
The report's eye-catching headline made waves over the weekend. However, after Apple Insider consulted sources within Apple and an attorney familiar with Italy's lawmaking, it appears that iPhone fans in the country have nothing to worry about.
According to the attorney, the so-called walled garden used by Apple in its iOS devices will not be affected by Article Four of Senate Act 2484. This is due to the relationship between the iPhone and the App Store that does not discriminate against any software.
The part of the bill in question only becomes relevant if there is a closed app store that imposes discrimination against certain software. An example of a scenario that breaks the proposed law is if an app could run on a device, but the device manufacturer discriminates against the app or bans it for a non-technical reason.
An Apple contact told Apple Insider that the media gave a "ridiculous interpretation" on the proposed law, causing concern among iPhone customers. However, the focus of the bill is to prevent discrimination, and providing consumers with protection against such a practice. This means that the iPhone is not in danger of being banned in Italy, so users can rest easy.
iPhone 8 Coming Soon
Banning the iPhone in Italy would come at the worst time for fans of Apple's smartphone, as the highly anticipated iPhone 8 is expected to be unveiled in September.
Leaked screen protectors and back panels for the iPhone 8 have confirmed the final design of the smartphone, featuring almost no bezels and the Touch ID scanner embedded under the device's display. The arrival of the iPhone 8 to the market however, could be delayed after its announcement due to backlogs in the production of the smartphone's premium components.