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.
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.