Apple defends App Store amid mounting criticism

“Apple Inc on Wednesday publicly defended its App Store from mounting criticism over its treatment of rivals in a new blog post detailing its functions and guidelines,” Reuters reports. “Companies like music streaming leader Spotify Technology SA have criticized the iPhone maker’s practices, describing it as anti-competitive behavior in a complaint to the European Union’s antitrust regulators. Central to Spotify’s complaint is a 30% fee Apple charges content-based service providers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system (IAP).”

MacDailyNews Take: Spotify does not pay Apple 30%. That’s only for the first year of an annual subscription, Apple’s fee drops to 15 percent after year one.

Apple's App Store
Apple’s App Store

“In a section called ‘Principles and Practices,’ Apple defended its practices, saying developers decide what they want to charge from a set of price tiers,” Reuters reports. “‘We only collect a commission from developers when a digital good or service is delivered through an app.'”

Reuters reports, “Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court also gave a go-ahead to an antitrust lawsuit accusing Apple of forcing consumers to overpay for iPhone software applications, again related to its 30% commission on purchases.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free.

Spotify is a money-losing enterprise that cannot compete and has already been eclipsed by Apple Music in the world’s No.1 market for recorded music, the United States of America. Seeing the writing on the wall, Spotify runs whining to the EU like little babies crying for mommy; not a shred of dignity left. Beleaguered Spotify predicts an operating loss of up to $406.77 million for 2019. — MacDailyNews, March 15, 2019

“This boils down to the fact that Spotify wants to use the platform that Apple built and maintains at great expense for free.” – MacDailyNews, March 13, 2019

BTW: You’d have to be stupid to subscribe to Spotify when it has 40% fewer tracks than Apple Music for the same price. Apple Music boasts a catalog of 50 million songs; Spotify has just 30 million. Don’t be stupid. If you’re still subscribing to Spotify, it’s past time for you to cancel it and upgrade to Apple Music. (See also: How to move your Spotify playlists to Apple Music.)

Related articles:
Apple launches new App Store ‘Principles and Practices’ website – May 29, 2019
Apple’s App Store: monopoly or miracle? – May 28, 2019
Apple’s Supreme Court loss could change the way you buy apps – May 14, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court opens door for App Store lawsuit that Apple will likely win – May 14, 2019
Analyst: Apple investors ‘overreacting’ to U.S.-China trade war and Supreme Court App Store ruling – May 14, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s Apple App Store decision has ‘shaken up’ antitrust law – May 13, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court allows antitrust suit against Apple over App Store; AAPL slides 5% – May 13, 2019
Supreme Court rules against Apple in App Store antitrust case – May 13, 2019
Antitrust, the App Store, and Apple – November 27, 2018
Trump administration backs Apple in U.S. Supreme Court over App Store antitrust suit – November 26, 2018
Apple defends App Store fees in U.S. Supreme Court – November 26, 2018
Apple defends App Store fees as U.S. Supreme Court weighs consumer suit – November 23, 2018
Apple wants U.S. Supreme Court to undo previous decision regarding an antitrust suit – October 31, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court will decide if Apple’s App Store is an anti-competitive monopoly – June 19, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court to consider Apple appeal in antitrust suit over App Store prices – June 18, 2018
US DOJ sides with Apple over App Store antitrust allegations in Supreme Court brief – May 10, 2018
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revives antitrust lawsuit against Apple – January 13, 2017
Apple App Store antitrust complaint dismissed on procedural grounds by U.S. judge – August 16, 2013

10 Comments

  1. Spotify’s complaints have merit. No matter how good Spotify makes its products, and no matter how low they price their products, Apple owns the company store and will always either copy Spotify’s successes or undercut their prices. That is one more way monopoly app stores destroy competition.

    Alas, this is not just whining. This affects Apple’s long term viability too. If iOS app profitability to its small market share of affluent users is lower than other platforms, then the best developers will go to those other platforms. Just as all the premium apps on Mac have prioritized making Windows software first and foremost. Apple isn’t even a consideration for many fields because of the software situation.

    Bottom line, Apple has set itself up to grab early profits at the expense of a long term healthy platform. Even if Apple wasn’t the money grubbing greedhead corporation it now acts like, lack of choice is never good and the wise consumer would have good reasons to seek media and apps outside the locked iOS platform. That way at least one could manage media without being tied to Apple’s arbitrary limitations. There was a time when being all-Apple provided value to the user. Cook didn’t maintain that user focus. Neither software nor hardware are always worth the premium prices Apple now demands.

    It is in Apple’s best interest in the long run to let app developers sell apps directly to consumers. Apple can still exercise platform quality and security standards exactly as it already does on the Mac.

    To attract and retain users, Apple needs to guarantee more privacy and security and performance. For example, Apple should step up with much greater user indicators of when and what data an iOS app is constantly sending back and forth when the user isn’t looking. Apple should stop pretending it is the only game in town. If the Homepods were so great (not in my experience anyway), why not offer Bluetooth or wired inputs???? Apple’s hardware and software and stores need to demonstrate better value to the consumer. If Cook continues to be tone deaf to this, then Apple naysayers may be correct in predicting that iOS will decline like the Mac has. All this is in Apple’s control but all Cook does is listen to unimaginative bean counters.

    1. Hey, you can type a lot. Nice job. You feel all the above, but you don’t see all the value Apple has. If you can do it better, please start a company.
      Otherwise, here is a small glimpse into what Apple builds into its products to serve all of their customers. Not just windbags like you. Who else puts in this effort?
      Watch the movie here: https://www.apple.com/accessibility/

            1. Camera pans slowly across a home kitchen, then cuts to a mirror. Sady, a woman with spastic cerebral palsy, is in the mirror’s reflection. Her hair is being brushed by her caretaker.
              Cut to various shots of Sady being dressed by her caretaker.
              (Sady — narrating with the help of electronic voice software)
              People think that having a disability is a barrier.
              [wheels rolling]
              Close-up of her electric wheelchair wheels rolling over a threshold.
              [buttons clicking]
              Cut to Sady, working with an iMac at a desk in her home. She moves her head to operate switches on both sides of her wheelchair headrest, typing in Pages through Switch Control.
              (Sady narrating)
              But that’s not the way I see it.
              Close-up of the iMac screen reveals her narration as it’s being typed.
              Cut to a young man holding up his iPhone while making sign language gestures.
              (Sady narrating)
              You can catch up with friends.
              The man is using FaceTime to have a sign language conversation with a woman.
              She signs back while smiling.
              Cut to a young man, a boy, and a woman in a park. The young man is taking a photo of the boy with iPhone.
              (Sady narrating)
              You can capture a moment with your family.
              Since the young man is blind, he uses the VoiceOver feature to follow audible commands in the Camera app.
              (iPhone)
              One face. Small face. Focus lock.
              [Camera app shutter sound]
              Cut to a close-up of a woman’s hand holding an iPhone. She opens the Home app and taps the Good Morning button.
              (Sady narrating)
              And you can start the day bright and early.
              The woman is lying in her bed. Her lamp turns on and the window shade rises automatically as a result of pressing the button. She moves from the bed to her wheelchair.
              Cut to a doorway as a man exits, prepared to go on a hike with friends. He looks at his iPhone.
              (Sady narrating)
              You can take a trip to somewhere new.
              Close-up of his ear reveals that he is wearing a hearing aid.
              [wind blowing loudly]
              Cut to a close-up of the man’s iPhone screen. He selects Outdoor in his hearing aid settings.
              [wind blowing quietly]
              (Woman)
              Three miles to the summit.
              He continues walking to catch up with his friends.
              Cut to a young boy in a classroom, studying on an iPad while wearing headphones.
              (Sady narrating)
              You can concentrate on every word of a story.
              Cut to a close-up of the boy’s iPad screen. “Home Before Dark” is the title of the chapter he’s reading. His iPad reads the first sentence aloud, highlighting each word as it is spoken.
              (iPad)
              A bird began to sing.
              Cut to a close-up of the boy’s face as he reads and listens.
              (iPad)
              Jack opened his eyes.
              Cut to a close-up of an Apple Watch on a woman’s wrist.
              She taps Outdoor Wheelchair Run Pace in the Workout app, then taps Start.
              (Sady narrating)
              You can take the long way home.
              The woman quickly propels her wheelchair down a paved path beside the beach. Suddenly, she stops and begins moving backward, as if she were in a video being played in reverse.
              [music swelling]
              Camera zooms out to reveal that this is a video that Sady is editing in Final Cut Pro. All the previous scenes described above are quickly played in reverse as well.
              (Sady narrating)
              Or edit a film . . . like this one.
              [buttons clicking]
              Cut to a close-up of Sady, moving her head to operate switches on both sides of her wheelchair headrest, as she continues editing the film.
              (Sady narrating)
              When technology is designed for everyone . . .
              [buttons clicking]
              Cut to a close-up of Sady’s iMac screen where she opens a directional controller and selects a downward motion. She moves the final clip into place — a shot of the woman in the wheelchair racing toward the sunset on the horizon.
              (Sady narrating)
              . . . it lets anyone do what they love . . . including me.
              Cut to a close-up of Sady, smiling.
              [click sound]
              Cut to the Apple logo against a white background.

            2. Out of respect for you I will watch it and get back to you. It won’t be sugarcoated, but rather out of respect to your effort.

      1. JK, you failed to address any of Realist’s points. The subject was app store monopoly power, and how it distorts what should be a competitive market. Maybe you should try to read instead of taking a swipe at someone’s well written observation.

  2. I’ll piss myself laughing at JK and his ilk are left with phone filled with only Apple Apps because other App developers have left the platform.

    Only a fool would think App developers will continue to be fleeced by Apple in the long term.

    1. Meh, Microsoft didn’t lose on this and neither will Apple, even though both are wrong.

      They’re providing a bleed-them-dry distribution system for devs to sell their apps, and will continue to do so until enough devs give up or they’re legally forced to change their practice. Then they’ll take a bit less when they need to, and life will go on.

      Apple is the company store. Until that’s broken up, they’ll do what they like.

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