The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is considering taking strong action against Apple if it fails to implement a pesky call app on its phones within six months. A new TRAI regulation will require mobile operators to stop supporting Apple iPhones if the American smartphone maker does not add an app on its platform that will allow subscribers to report pesky calls and messages.
The move is obviously likely to affect a large number of users in India, as their phones will be rendered all but useless without network connectivity. Faced with an impending shutdown, Apple will now be forced to offer a solution to TRAI on its requirement, after Google already agreed to carry TRAI’s Do-Not-Disturb app on its Android platform. Apple had earlier offered to develop an in-house app, rather than install TRAI’s app.
The move by TRAI comes as a means to combat the issue of spam calls and messages in India. The Do-Not-Disturb register already allows subscribers to have their numbers listed to prevent spam, but this has done little to control the situation. The new app will allow users to easily report spam calls and messages, improving the database of spam numbers that can then be acted upon for blocking or disconnection.
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While Apple’s offer of an in-house app could still be approved by TRAI, it’s likely that the regulator will insist on its own app being implemented, as has been agreed upon by Google for Android. Apple cites privacy concerns of its customers, as forcing a third-party app upon iPhone users would be in violation of customer privacy. TRAI’s DND app was launched in 2016, but has failed to pick up steam naturally, even though the app is available to download on the Google Play Store for Android phones.