Woz: Apple should’ve split up a long time ago, ‘Big Tech’ is too big

Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak comments on the antitrust scrutiny of big tech companies and Facebook Inc.’s foray into cryptocurrencies. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Taylor Riggs on “Bloomberg Technology.”

I’m in favor of looking to splitting up companies. I wish Apple on its own had split up a long time ago and spun off independent divisions in faraway places and let them think independently, but that’s my opinion. It’s not like there is one set of facts that makes it right. Other people can come to other conclusions…

I think Apple is the best of the companies, for different reasons, making money from good products. a lot of other companies, like Google and Facebook, should allow competition. for example, Facebook. give me a choice to pay for almost no tracking… – Steve Wozniak

MacDailyNews Take: We can argue for or against Apple having split up itself a long time ago until the cows come home, but, as for governmentally forced breakups, the real problems where too much power is concentrated and the potential for abuse of their market power is greatest is clearly Google and Facebook, not Apple.

Since Apple does not have a monopoly in any market in which they participate, there is no legal basis for action against Apple Inc.

So, Apple’s case, there is no monopoly (which is legal by the way), much less monopoly abuse (which is explicitly impossible given the nonexistence of a monopoly). You cannot abuse a monopoly and therefore face antitrust action when you do not have a monopoly to begin with.

Worldwide smartphone OS market share, February 2019:

• Android: 74.15%
• iOS: 23.28%

As we wrote on May 13th regarding the App Store legal challenge(s): We think the ultimate ending to this legal challenge will be that developers will be able to accept payments in their apps without being forced to give Apple a cut or as much of a cut as today.

Companies that currently are large enough to work around Apple and send users to their own sites for payment include Amazon and Netflix. Apple will likely need to end this practice and allow all developers to allow users to subscribe to services, buy ebooks, etc. within their apps without a 15%-30% fee. A smaller fee may be tenable, as Apple does have costs to run the App Store, of course. We’ll see after the legal gears grind glacially and eventually spit out their end results.

By the way: On every iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and iPad mini box, the potential buyer is informed of requirements, including “iTunes X.x or later required for some features” and also that an “iTunes Store account” is required. The plaintiffs were informed of the requirements prior to purchase. If the plaintiffs didn’t like the terms that came along with Apple devices, they should have opted for a pretend iPhone from any one of a dime-a-dozen handset assemblers. Then they could blissfully infest their fake iPhones with malware from a variety of sources.

Note also that Apple doesn’t set the prices for paid apps.

Lastly, the amount by which Apple Inc. has driven down software prices across the board, on every major computing platform, makes legal actions such as this eminently laughable.


  1. Just because a company is huge doesn’t mean it should be broken up. Even if it dominates a market, doesn’t mean it’s acting as a monopoly. I’d liked to think law makers will look past their size and look more at how they behave and ask whether they really are abusing their market position.

    As MDN referred to it’s very hard to look at Apple and say they have a monopoly in any of the markets they operate in.

    Another common claim of Apple being a monopoly is their ecosystem or walled garden. Just because you have vertically integrated products doesn’t make you a monopoly. Apple doesn’t stop anyone from opening the gate and walking out of their garden. It’s true that for some people that’s difficult because Apple’s ecosystem can offer a lot of unique benefits making it hard to even consider leaving. Some call this lock in, as if they are being forced to stay but this simply isn’t true. Yes you may loose benefits or even data if you leave but you can still physically leave! Apple doesn’t actively prevent you from doing so and they don’t prevent other companies from creating similar ecosystems, just look at Android.

    The simple existence of Android and the dominance of Google Play store really makes it hard to argue that Apple has a monopoly. Even when you look at developers, they are completely free to develop apps for both platforms. If they don’t like Apple’s terms they can just abandon Apple’s App Store and jump ship to Google Play store.

  2. Apple is a big frog in a very small pond. How is Apple a monopoly in terms of tech? It dominates nothing. Compared to Google’s Android, iOS has a tiny market share percentage. What I don’t understand is despite Wall Street constantly saying Apple is weak in terms of market share percentage, you’ve got these other people claiming that Apple has some monopoly. I would think Wall Street know best because big investors want no part of Apple. Big investors would always jump on any company that has a monopoly because of their greed.

    It’s almost as though Apple is trying not to dominate any market. With all the reserve cash they had at one time, I’m sure they could have dominated at least a couple of markets. Nowadays, I think any company can do an end run around Apple. Apple is like a toothless tiger which I find really disappointing. Everyone knows Apple has no bite. Facebook easily has more bite than Apple.

    Anyway, now that Apple has that big wheel of a headquarters, I doubt Apple is going to be broken up. Apple needs multiple divisions to stabilize it’s revenue flow. If Apple is to be broken up then Amazon certainly has to be chopped in pieces. Apple doesn’t even come close to Amazon when it comes to disrupting markets.

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