19 December 2018
The Telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) has been urging Apple Inc. to install an official anti-spam app, however, the Cupertino giant has refused to do so, stating that it’s against the company’s terms and agreements. This fight could lead to a ban on iPhones in India.
India sees a massive number of cold calls and spam messages, and the government has created a spam-reporting app for both Android and iOS to resolve this issue. In India, if someone receives a cold call or spam message, the phone users can directly report it using the app. The information about the spammer will be forwarded to the Indian regulator who will take necessary action against the person.
The anti-spam app launched by TRAI requires access to both call and message logs, however, that is against Apple’s privacy policies which has led it to reject the app. However, the Indian government hasn't taken this rejection lightly, which could lead to a court fight between Apple Inc. and the Indian Government.
Apple has written to the regulations to exempt it from the clause, however, the regulatory authority has stated that it requires Apple Inc. to challenge the regulation in court. Android has already made the ‘Do Not Disturb’ app available in the Android Play store. The news comes as a blow to Apple which has been trying to make inroads in the Indian smartphone market. Apple has sold less than 1 million iPhones in India in the first half of 2018.
"Every access provider shall ensure, within six months' time, that all smart phone devices registered on its network support the permissions required for the functioning of such apps," the regulation states. "Provided that where such devices do not permit functioning of such apps, Access Providers shall, on the order or direction of the Authority, derecognize such devices from their telecom networks."
"The most appropriate way to challenge this is in court," TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma.