In the near future, European versions of the iPhone may completely lose the pre-installed applications. The new bill is being considered by the European Union.
The Digital Services Act aims to create a competitive environment between Apple and third-party software developers. The law also provides for the creation of alternative app stores for downloading software.
According to the Financial Times, the bill is at an early stage and many of the wording is ambiguous, so the iPhone without pre-installed applications may not appear soon, if at all.
What can you do with apps now?
If you bought and activated a brand new iPhone, then most of the standard programs can be removed, with the exception of those important to the system (Camera, Phone, Messages, and others). Also in iOS 14, it became possible to replace the standard browser and mail application with third-party programs, if they added such an opportunity.