Apple Pay is deeply integrated within iOS and iPadOS. However, moving forward, Apple may allow deleting its own Wallet app. To be specific, the company could allow iPhone and iPad users to uninstall the Wallet app, and not just remove the app from the home screen of their devices.
Apple’s Wallet app is a system app, and iOS or iPadOS does not currently permit uninstalling it. Users can only remove the app from their home screen, but the Wallet app will continue to sit in the App Library. This could change in the near future.
Apple is reportedly modifying the operating system for its iPhone and iPad devices to permit uninstalling of the Wallet app. Code in iPadOS 16.1 strongly suggests the Wallet app will be “deletable” in iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1.
Deleting a system app could have a negative impact on some core functions. The most obvious victim would be the Apple Pay platform which works with the Wallet app to facilitate payments. iPhone users can easily make a payment by tapping their devices on Point of Sale (POS) devices that support NFC.
Any user who has deleted the Wallet app would not be able to make a purchase with Apple Pay. The device would throw a notification that could read: “Download the Wallet app from the App Store.”
It is not exactly clear why Apple is allowing users to uninstall the Wallet app - which would cripple Apple Pay. However, it seems the company may be trying to work around the European Union’s legal wrangles. In May, the EU criticized Apple for restricting the iPhone’s NFC technology to its own payment platform.
EU claims Apple has monopolized a core technology. Google, on the other hand, offers access to the NFC technology on Android smartphones. Incidentally, Apple Pay could soon work with Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox web browsers. This could allow users to continue paying through Apple Pay without the Wallet app.