The usually well-sourced Mark Gurman at Bloomberg with the scoop:
Software engineering and services employees are engaged in a major push to open up key elements of Apple’s platforms, according to people familiar with the efforts. As part of the changes, customers could ultimately download third-party software to their iPhones and iPads without using the company’s App Store, sidestepping Apple’s restrictions and the up-to-30% commission it imposes on payments.
If this pans out, it’s not only a groundshaking change to a major chunk of Apple’s Services revenue, but also a 180-degree change to what has been probably the most contentious element of the company’s business. Apple hasn’t, of this writing, confirmed the plan.