Mobile phone apps (FOI)
Mobile phone apps (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 04 October 2016.
Currently smartphone users registered in Jersey are unable to purchase mobile apps from vendors such as Google Play (Android) and the App Store (Apple) among others without falsifying information or using a “Virtual Private Network” (VPN) service. This limits the selection of apps that are available to Islanders to free apps that lack the facility for in-app purchases, where the developer has enabled downloads from anywhere in the world.
The local mobile phone operators indicate that they have discussed the issue with the various vendors but that no solution is likely in the near future.
Please could you provide information relating to any support given to any of the local mobile operators in these negotiations.
Please could you provide details of any contract or negotiations that have occurred directly between the States of Jersey and the App vendors, including but not limited to Google Play Store, The App Store (Apple) and Amazon Appstore.
The States of Jersey is aware of the situation regarding the purchase of mobile apps from some vendors. Despite the fact that most consumers have been able to work around this using loopholes that the companies are aware of and content with, the States of Jersey remains of the view that this is an issue that needs to be resolved as it affects individuals as well as important areas like education.
Therefore, the States of Jersey, and more recently Digital Jersey, has been in direct negotiations with providers, including Apple and Google, for several years to attempt to find a better solution for Islanders. These negotiations have been conducted via email, telephone meetings and face-to-face meetings.
In September this year, as a direct result of these negotiations, Apple resolved the issue of Islanders not being able purchase music, videos and apps from the UK app store with a Jersey address.
This is an important step forward for Islanders and the States of Jersey is optimistic that, working in conjunction with Digital Jersey, it will be able to persuade other vendors to follow suit.
It is anticipated that the conclusions of all negotiations with providers concerning Jersey smartphone users’ ability to purchase mobile apps will be communicated to Islanders by Digital Jersey as and when they have been agreed.