Apple defends App Store against developer backlash, says it ‘welcomes competition’

Apple's App Store
Apple’s App Store

“Apple has launched a public relations campaign to counter claims that it uses the App Store to gain an edge over competitors,” Liam Tung reports for ZDNet.

“In March, music-streaming service Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission accusing Apple of tweaking App Store rules to ‘purposely limit choice and stifle innovation,’ while, in late 2018, Netflix canned iTunes as an option for new users to pay for the video streaming service,” Tung reports. “Apple and Google take 15 percent of in-app subscription purchases.”

“Apple boasts that ‘developers have earned more than $120 billion worldwide’ from selling on the App Store since Apple co-founder Steve Jobs unveiled it in 2008 alongside the iPhone 3G,” Tung reports. “‘Since the launch of the App Store, an entire industry has been built around app design and development, generating over 1,500,000 U.S. jobs and over 1,570,000 jobs across Europe,’ Apple says.”

“Apple highlights a number of iOS apps available in the App Store that compete with apps that ship with the iPhone, such as alternatives to Apple Calendar, like Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook,” Tung reports. “Snapchat, Moment and Instagram are rivals to the Apple Camera app, while iCloud competitors include Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive, according to Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s Apple’s App Store and Apple clearly has no monopoly on smartphones or smartphone apps.

If consumers do not like Apple’s prices, ecosystem, or anything else, they are free to choose a smartphone from a nearly immeasurable list of competitors.

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24 Comments

  1. when our hated microsoft bundled OS with the IE everyone was up in arms. This is not significantly different. They should allow competitive app store on their hardware platform and open competition between apps on their own app store.

    1. Difference being that uSoft FORCED manufacturers to bundle IE on hardware that uSoft had no business bullying.

      With the App Store no is forcing anyone to use their store. If you don’t like it, don’t use it.

      1. I completely agree that Apple should be able to block app not sold through it’s store, but I think they will have to loosen up restrictions on links to outside purchases like Kindle or Netflix.

        And/or they will have to lower their margins on subscriptions and recurring purchases.

      2. Also, then the same rules MUST apply to Google and Amazon, et al.

        I should be able to buy iBooks for my Kindle! Or purchase Apple’s new streaming service on my Pixel.

        Law of unintended consequences.

        1. Huge difference! Apple as a supplier is not required to offer something, Apple as a hardware manufacturer should not be blocking people’s property.

          Should a Samsung TV only play Samsung sanctioned programming?

        2. Both sound like results of Apple not willing to create Apps on those platforms to consume iBooks and Apple TV+ content than Amazon and Google keeping Apple out. Petition Apple to create those Apps if you will.

      3. Paul, as you should know, it is practically impossible to use any iOS device without using the app store. The very first thing Apple forces each user to do is to create a store account. Apple actively prevents users from installing apps from any other source — even code they wrote themselves. App developers have no choice but to give Apple their software code, which of course allows Cook to cherry pick what software he thinks could be profitable so Apple can reproduce it. App developers have no leverage to prevent Apple from doing whatever it wants. Apple Music is just one prime example — in a Microsoftian move, Apple bought out one app developer in order to put all competing music rental services out of business. It undercut Pandora and Spotify pricing. End result: less choice for consumers. Doesn’t matter how many billions Apple iOS game developers made, Apple has monopoly power that it exercises whenever it wants to do so. App developers have no recourse other than to go to Android, which they have. Less choice for users, again.

        1. Then don’t buy an Apple device. Simples!

          iOS is iPhone. iPhone is iOS. They are one and the same. If you don’t like one then don’t buy the other.

          Kind of like, “I like the Coke bottle, I should be able to get Pepsi in it”. No you shouldn’t.

          1. With that acceptance of being railroaded, Paul, you will soon see that only Coke and Pepsi exist in the beverage market. The duopoly will own all others and you’ll have no ability to see a new startup product because the oligarchs will not let them have shelf space at their Coke or Pepsi stores.

            Enjoy your bipolar future.

    2. Yeah letting others have access to Apple devices loading apps is a good idea – what could go wrong??

      Only if we don’t have a care in the world about security which is what Apple devices are noted for under Apple’s guardian eye. You’re far too trusting of the greater non-Apple technoverse.

  2. One compelling reason I buy through Apple store is that I can usually trust that it will work and not send my info to Google. I found some IOS apps in the store for email spam blocking that sends my info to Google. It does say so before you give out your info. I also trust that it isn’t full of malware. I didn’t buy the Spam blocker by the way.

  3. no difference. that was exactly Msoft argument. if you don’t like it go to Linux, it’s a free market. This exactly is the point. The choice is removed by a dominant player and users are sarcastically told to leave if they don’t like it. Apple bundled the IOS store with the OS and no other store can be opened on that platform. This is not a very sophisticated issue, easy to recognize.
    Gaelic1: I too would stay with appstore, but it would be my choice at the point of competing appstores in IOS ecosystem. Right now it’s not a choice, it’s a monopoly.

      1. Come on Danox, that is a BS argument and you know it. The same app developers create the same app on both mobile platforms. Both Google and Apple abuse developers — Apple extorts money, Google steals data. Neither is acceptable. But on Android, at least users have the choice of non-Google app stores to try. I predict that is where future premium apps will be — not on Apple’s locked down iOS platform. Apple got too greedy, again.

        As others have said, it would be smart for Apple to pivot to a more open iOS plaform with multiple app store options soon. If it does not, it will be a repeat of the Mac vs PC software war, which Apple lost badly.

        1. Then make money on Android crap and go away, Google is giving Apple billions to have a inside track on iOS, Spot-a-crap doesn’t want to pay anything…..Opening iOS for freeloaders isn’t going to help Apple get anywhere they already have the best mobile marketplace.

          1. The other side of the coin is Apple accepts Google’s offer of money to open iOS users to Google’s data accumulation, turning a blind eye to their own role of being the sole police for Security and Privacy on iOS. Apple should just stop accepting money from other parties, and in the process selling their users, if they are really serious about Security and Privacy over the bottom line.

  4. Apple’s App store as I see it is not a monopoly, for that to happen, there has to be absolutely no completion, and of course there is..

    Now if you want another app store or you wanted Google Play to provide you with apps on the iPhone/iPad, dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. While nothing is ever perfect and some apps on the app store do things that some people may not like, its far better than letting anyone in to what they want.

    One’s security and privacy should be a higher priority than letting developers start their own stores and force they’re way into a place they already had access to, just so they could perhaps collect few more $$ or more data on you.

      1. Correct, it’s like saying that MacDonald’s has a monopoly on their BigMacs in their restaurants. And they’re being mean for not allowing Burger King to sell Whoppers there.

        1. McDonald’s sells Minute Maid orange juice cups but they don’t force Minute Maid to only sell at McDonald’s. Big Mac is a McDs product and I don’t expect them to force themselves to sell their burgers at Burger King or vice versa since the signature burgers are ‘owned’ by their respective brands. In short Apple has the right to sell iOS Apps they produce exclusively in the App Store but cannot force developers to sell their iOS Apps only through the Apple App Store and not call themselves a monopoly.

      2. You are entirely missing the point. The product is not Apple branded goods. It is 3rd party apps. Apple’s iOS app store is merely retail fronts that restrict vendor and user power. On iOS, there is no alternative. Apple’s Mac store, on the other hand, has to compete with other app sources. That is why Apple has tried so hard to put all its effort into iOS hardware improvement while ignoring the Mac. Because it’s more profitable to lock people into a closed ecosystem. Long term, however, it will be Apple’s undoing.

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