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Parmy Olson

Apple’s IPhone Needs a Shake-Up. A New Law Might Help.

An EU law that loosens the tech giant’s iron grip on core iPhone functions should breathe new life into the device.

Unlocking the gates.

Unlocking the gates.

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Apple Inc.’s walled garden around its technology is as synonymous with the iPhone maker as the iPhone itself. It is how Apple lures consumers into buying expensive earphones, watches and speakers that work seamlessly with that rectangular slab in their pockets, and ultimately what locks people in to Apple products.

That has been great for Apple’s business, but not always so great for consumers. Now, a European law is forcing the company to loosen its iron grip on its products. That ultimately could lead to a more dynamic experience on the iPhone as developers create more and feature-rich apps for the platform that capitalize on more of Apple’s technology.