“On the App Store, Apple is legislator, judge, jury, and executioner. Apple makes the rules. It has the final say about which apps you can officially purchase, download, and use on your iPhone or iPad,” Chaim Gartenberg writes for The Verge. “And importantly, Apple can change its mind at any time and make an app disappear — even to promote Apple’s own apps at the expense of a competitor and even if that competitor is a small business that relies on the App Store for its very existence.”
“Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) actually believes Apple should be broken up: ‘Either they run the platform or they play in the store,’ she told The Verge in March,” Gartenberg writes. “The Supreme Court recently let an antitrust lawsuit proceed against Apple.”
“Apple’s defense is full of holes. Yes, Apple has its guidelines for the App Store and a review process, but after a decade, it’s clear that the company doesn’t consistently enforce them or often chooses to enforce them when it profits Apple. Even for the apps that are allowed on the store, developers still have to fight an uphill battle against Apple’s own services,” Gartenberg writes. “Spotify — as the company’s EU antitrust lawsuit makes clear — can’t ever be the default music app on an iPhone. Plus, Apple’s 30 percent cuts means that if Spotify sells subscriptions through the App Store, it has to charge customers more just to break even.”
MacDailyNews Take: It’s not 30% and repeating Spotify’s lie just makes people sound uninformed.
“It all highlights the biggest problems with Apple’s walled garden, which is that you live or die by Apple’s whim,” Gartenberg writes. “Even if you’re a developer who’s been building an app for years, the whole thing can be yanked out from under you in an instant simply because Apple changed the rules of the game.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s App Store is a young work-in-progress, not some stodgy 100-year-old entity with time-tested rules. It is also a technological work-in-progress, so when, for example security/privacy issues arise, Apple needs to be able to adjust App Store rules.
Apple created and owns the App Store, so, yes, Apple makes the rules.
As the general tech media never tires of headlining, Apple clearly has no monopoly on smartphones or smartphone apps. Seems not competing in unit sales has other benefits besides wasting your time on crap customers who are not worth the effort.
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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