Apple has responded further to the Australian consumer watchdog’s probe of app marketplaces and rejected the characterization that the company’s App Store is the most dominant app marketplace, saying there are multiple alternative channels for iOS developers to reach users.
“Apple perceives and treats other distributors of apps, for platforms other than iOS, as significant competitors whose pricing and policies constrain Apple’s ability to exercise power over developers,” the iPhone maker said in a submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).
“Apple is not in a position to disregard the environment in which its app marketplace operates and does not accept the Commission’s characterization of the Apple App Store as ‘the most dominant app marketplace by a large margin.'”
“Apple faces competitive constraints from distribution alternatives within the iOS ecosystem (including developer websites and other outlets through which consumers may obtain third party apps and use them on their iOS devices) and outside iOS,” it said. “Even if a user only owns iOS-based devices, distribution is far from limited to the Apple App Store because developers have multiple alternative channels to reach that user… The whole web is available to them, and iOS devices have unrestricted and uncontrolled access to it. One common approach is for users to purchase and consume digital content or services on a website.”
MacDailyNews Note: In their ACCC submission, Apple states:
Apple is of the view that a sound market definition approach should encompass:
(a) native and internet (including web app) distribution to iOS users;
(b) online mobile app platforms such as Google Play, Samsung Galaxy and Amazon app stores for Android OS based devices;
(c) personal computers; and
(d) specialist platforms for particular app genres such as games from Sony Playstation Plus, Microsoft X Box Games Store, Nintendo eShop, Valve’s Steam and Epic Games; smart televisions and media streaming devices like Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire; wearables such as Fitbit, Garman, Samsung Watch; social media platforms; information and education services; and many other specialised genres.
All of these are sources of digital content and other goods and services that are available to consumers both on iOS devices and through other fixed and mobile hardware for consumers’ attention.
Apple’s full submission to the ACCC is here.