Apple’s minor App Store concessions fail to address top concerns of regulators, lawmakers

In the space of a week, Apple made two App Store rules concessions, which are the subject of lawsuits, regulatory probes, and legislative efforts around the world, “but the tweaks do not address the biggest concerns raised,” Stephen Nellis writes for Reuters.

Apple's App Store on iPhone
Apple’s App Store on iPhone

Stephen Nellis for Reuters:

Lawmakers and regulators are considering dismantling the App Store business model, an outcome that could cost Apple about 6% of its sales – an amount equal to $16 billion in its last fiscal year – and shave up to 15% off its profit, according to an estimate last year from analyst firm Cowen.

Among Apple’s most high-profile concessions is allowing Netflix Inc and other subscription services to provide a link to out-of-app paid signups that avoid Apple commissions. But many of the largest such companies had already quit using Apple’s payment systems long ago, so the move is unlikely to affect Apple’s finances.

Some of the loudest cries are for Apple to allow app stores run by other companies on its iPhone, which would provide a path around the current payments system that gives developers little ability to avoid giving Apple a cut… Developers could sidestep Apple’s rules altogether if they were allowed to install software on iPhones without going through Apple’s App Store, but Apple disallows this, saying it imperils the safety of its users.

MacDailyNews Take: You know, after Apple’s spinelessness on privacy, since “delayed,” the company has forfeited the “security” argument – the walled garden’s strongest. If Apple goes ahead with installing a backdoor into products for whatever reason, we will not only seek to jailbreak our iPhones and iPads, but also push for the ability to sideload apps, as Apple’s App Store would no longer provide privacy or security and we’d want ways to counteract Apple’s built-in surveillance.

A bill introduced by Democratic U.S. Representative David Cicilline and Republican Representative Ken Buck in the U.S. House of Representatives in June would also force Apple to open its iPhone to third-party stores if the measure becomes law.

MacDailyNews Take: We don’t believe Apple thought their CSAM scanning scheme was a good idea. Nobody’s that stupid and Apple isn’t run by stupid people. But, even smart people can get confused. Or be pressured.

We believe that the company was forced into this in some fashion. Maybe someday, we’ll find out what really happened, even if it takes another Snowden to reveal it.


    1. The key word being perceived.

      The current generation of bitter old timers are at least as paranoid whiny victims as any millennial. Funny but they lived during the easiest economic period in modern history, postwar excess bling time. Now every old fart is so self entitled, he bitches if it isn’t served to his pickup truck on a deluxe styrofoam disposable platter for 2.99 at the local drive thru.

      For a concrete example, the anti-government people in the path of the hurricane are all now demanding Big Gov to bailout their asses. They are about as self sufficient as a lamb caught in the Big Bad Wolf’s briar patch. They fly their confederate Loser colors every chance they get, bitch incessantly about taxes used to maintain infrastructure, claim that the climate isn’t changing and storms aren’t more severe than in the past, and then are surprised when their decades of selfish underinvestment and lack of community development, including blatant poverty and lack of education, leads to fragile cities. Then every year they demand FEMA deliver them food, water, fuel, and a new house. EVERY GODDAMN YEAR.

      Here’s a suggestion: stop building below sea level, you fools. Don’t rebuild, move!!!!

        1. If the state of this political mud pit is any indication, the prior poster is sick of hypocritical right wingers who come here to bitch about Apple and the government incessantly, but then turn around and depend on Apple and their government to do anything. That is what I infer from it.

  1. Being in a position to concede means they had power they shouldn’t.
    Apple is, and has been a censor since the iPhone shipped.
    The question is did they have the right to censor? If it was their property, yes. But they don’t own the devices or the 3rd party apps.

    The only part they own is their own store, but blocking other stores makes them not only a monopolist, but exercising unfair advantage.

    It’s coming…

  2. “We believe that the company was forced into this in some fashion.”

    Well, it does have all the hallmarks of Biden admin “planning” (i.e. none).

    I’m intimately familiar with former President Donald Trump’s Afghanistan strategy. In November 2020, I was named chief of staff at the Pentagon, where one of my primary responsibilities was to wind down the forever war in Afghanistan.

    Trump instructed me to arrange a conditions-based, methodical exit plan that would preserve the national interest. The plan ended up being fairly simple: The Afghan government and the Taliban were both told they would face the full force of the US military if they caused any harm to Americans or American interests in Afghanistan.

    Next, both parties would negotiate to create an interim-joint government, and both sides had to repudiate al Qaeda. Lastly, a small special-operations force would be stationed in the country to take direct action against any terrorist threats that arose. When all those conditions were met — along with other cascading conditions — then a withdrawal could, and did, begin.

    We handed our entire plan to the incoming Biden administration during the lengthy transition. The new team simply wasn’t interested.

    Everything changed when the new commander in chief declared that US forces would leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, pushing back the Trump administration’s timetable by four months. Crucially, he didn’t condition the withdrawal on continued adherence to the agreed-upon stipulations. It would be an unconditional pullout with an arbitrary date based on pure symbolism — and set in stone.

    At that point, the Taliban sat back and waited for the date to draw near, then launched a countrywide offensive, knowing they had no reason to fear any reprisals from this administration. The ongoing chaos — not least the stranding of US personnel and allies — was the natural result of the Biden administration’s decision to eschew a conditions-based plan.Kash Patel, August 19, 2021

    President Trump, August 22, 2017:

  3. It has been widely believed for some time that Microsoft gave the government a backdoor into Windows to avoid any dire consequences from their anti-trust hearings in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. I feel strongly Apple is doing the same thing. With this move, all of the anti-trust arguments against them will come to end over the next few years. They will get little more than a slap on the wrist. Apple’s days of innovation have passed. They became greedy in so many ways. The stock holders are happy. That’s what matters. I looked seriously at a Google Pixel phone today. Why pay Apple prices if I’m being spied on anyways. I can get a decent Pixel for a lower price that will do everything I need it to do. I probably won’t switch, but privacy was certainly a big reason I was staying on Apple’s platform. Apple’s software quality has gone down. Now, privacy is being compromised. It feels like we have nowhere left to turn but to the FOSS community. Here’s hoping we get a great Linux phone one day. Maybe one day the United States will wake up and dismantle the two-party monopoly that has us fighting each other instead of the real threat; our own government. Thomas Jefferson believed the Constitution should be a living document with Constitutional Conventions every 10 years. Not a bad idea, in my opinion.

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