Apple publishes 'App Store Principles and Practices' to fight iOS App Store monopoly accus...

Posted:
in iOS edited May 29
Apple has published a new page explaining how the App Store is a safe place for consumers and developers to do business, a page that is likely to have been created in response to a Supreme Court decision allowing an antitrust lawsuit alleging Apple has a monopoly over iOS apps.




The new page, titled "App Store, Principles and Practices," aims to reassure consumers and developers the App Store is a "safe and trusted place" to discover and download apps, and a "great business opportunity" for app producers. Touting a responsibility for ensuring apps maintain a high standard for "privacy, security, and content," the page insists "nothing is more important than maintaining the trust of our users."

Explaining steps Apple takes to ensure questionable apps with over-the-line content or behavior are rejected by the store, the page highlights the existence of the App Store Review Guidelines, which may not necessarily be known to consumers who browse the App Store.

The app review process combining automation and "hundreds of human experts" is also touted, along with the revelation there is a 60-40 split in approved and rejected apps, and that most of the approximately 100,000 app review submissions performed each week are performed within 24 hours.

The page also draws attention to how Apple gave developers a platform for their apps, including how there are 20 million developers in the Apple Developer Program, and the generation of over 1.5 million US jobs and over 1.57 million European jobs.

"We're proud that, to date, developers have earned more than $120 billion worldwide from selling digital goods and services in apps distributed by the App Store," the page states.

The appearance of the page is likely an attempt by Apple to control the conversation regarding monopoly accusations, following the US Supreme Court's vote on May 13 to allow an antitrust lawsuit against Apple to proceed. Apple v. Pepper alleges Apple's monopoly has led to artificially inflated app prices due to the App Store being the only sanctioned place for iOS downloads, preventing competing stores from being able to sell apps for the platform.

Shortly after the vote, Apple insisted it was confident it will be able to prove "the App Store is not a monopoly by any metric."

On May 23, another class action lawsuit was launched levying similar artificial price inflation and monopoly claims, as well as suggesting Apple's typical 30% transaction fee would be smaller if competing app stores were available.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    Yes - it’s because they need to lawyer up and want to improve their chances of winning. 
    edited May 29 gutengel
  • Reply 2 of 38
    I'm sure it's not a coincidence that this is being done at the same time as the lawsuits, but a lot of the information has no real relevance to what a court would care about in regards to monopoly concerns.
    gutengelSpamSandwichElCapitan
  • Reply 3 of 38
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,309member
    Already guilty in the tech media. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 38
    riverkoriverko Posts: 73member
    I think it is really sad that if you invent something, own it, than you have to defend why did you set it up like this. Strange no one questioned that after App Store was created... 
  • Reply 5 of 38
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,086member
    lkrupp said:
    Already guilty in the tech media. 
    But not by consumers who want a secure place to get and purchase apps. We're tired of all the tech people dumping garbage apps with all sorts of backdoors and malware on us. If the tech people don't like how Apple is running their app store then find another platform. 
    racerhomie3agilealtitudeStrangeDayschemengin1digital_guyjony0
  • Reply 6 of 38
    lkrupp said:
    Already guilty in the tech media. 
    Which Tech media?
    chemengin1
  • Reply 7 of 38
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 331member
    I would go back to law school to fight this case.... So Ferrari can be sued for pricing their cars too high when there are other cars to buy??
    And so how are the litigants being harmed if they chose to buy an Apple Phone and have the option to buy apps elsewhere at their own risk???

    The only thing I agree with on The Supreme Court... Litigants have the right to bring stupid cases.
    edited May 29 ArloTimetravelerracerhomie3
  • Reply 8 of 38
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 229member
    rob53 said:
    lkrupp said:
    Already guilty in the tech media. 
    But not by consumers who want a secure place to get and purchase apps. We're tired of all the tech people dumping garbage apps with all sorts of backdoors and malware on us. If the tech people don't like how Apple is running their app store then find another platform. 

    Ditto.
    ArloTimetravelerkrreagan2
  • Reply 9 of 38
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,193member
    Here’s a simple solution: Apple doesn’t take a commission on any app they compete with directly. Those apps can allow a link to the web to sign up or direct signup and payment inside the app.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,156member
    Everyone wants to ride the gravy train once all the hard work needed to lay all the track and build the locomotives has been done and paid for by someone else. The fact that the App Store is a proprietary system built and paid for through private investment doesn’t matter to all the lazy ass freeloaders looking to horn in on someone else’s success.

    Can I sue Walmart for refusing to carry a product that I built but I cannot sell because I don’t have the visibility and market presence that Walmart has? Plus, I don’t want to pay Walmart what it’s asking to get access to their shelves.  So what if it’s their store, they have something that I lack and they owe me. Yeah, it’s America and in America anyone that’s successful owes it to those who aren’t successful, just because, at least from my lazy ass entitled standpoint.  
    edited May 29 ArloTimetravelerracerhomie3jbdragonStrangeDaysdigital_guy
  • Reply 11 of 38
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 331member
    On May 23, another class action lawsuit was launched levying similar artificial price inflation and monopoly claims, as well as suggesting Apple's typical 30% transaction fee would be smaller if competing app stores were available.
    So essentially, the May 23 class action lawsuit admits.... A ‘free market’ of other competing app stores would address Apple’s 30% transaction fee. 

    Well in this free market of choice, we are still waiting for a competing app store to show up.
    And I haven’t read anywhere where Apple is illegally requesting other products to do something with their products that would prevent competing app stores from being created.

    So pretty much, litigants are saying that Apple cannot price to what the market can bear.
    edited May 29
  • Reply 12 of 38
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,193member
    I'm sure it's not a coincidence that this is being done at the same time as the lawsuits, but a lot of the information has no real relevance to what a court would care about in regards to monopoly concerns.
    Also this Medium post from a former Apple exec who worked on the App Store.

    https://medium.com/@phillipshoemaker/apple-v-everybody-5903039e3be

    In this post he says Apple should update its guidelines so that apps it competes with directly can offer links in-app that direct you to the web for sign-up/payment.

    He also was on a podcast with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman where he said fear is the reason Apple doesn’t allow users to set 3rd party apps as default. 

    https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/29/18643868/apple-app-store-approval-process-antitrust-phillip-shoemaker-interview

    In the interview, Shoemaker says that Apple has long feared that rival apps from companies like Google and Facebook would replace core iOS features like calling and messaging. He notes that this fear is “absolutely the reason” that the company still doesn’t let users set third-party apps as the default service for these primary functions. 

    “That was a real thing. I mean the fear that somebody would come along, a Facebook, a Google, whomever and wipe off and remove all of our items,” says Shoemaker.

    digital_guy
  • Reply 13 of 38
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member
    geekmee said:
    I would go back to law school to fight this case.... So Ferrari can be sued for pricing their cars too high when there are other cars to buy??
    And so how are the litigants being harmed if they chose to buy an Apple Phone and have the option to buy apps elsewhere at their own risk???

    The only thing I agree with on The Supreme Court... Litigants have the right to bring stupid cases.
    It's more like Ferrari saying every time you use your Ferrari to transport something you bought at Walmart, Walmart has to give Ferrari 30% of the cost of that item.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,193member
    dewme said:
    Everyone wants to ride the gravy train once all the hard work needed to lay all the track and build the locomotives has been done and paid for by someone else. The fact that the App Store is a proprietary  system built and paid for through private investment doesn’t matter to all the lazy ass freeloaders looking to horn in on someone else’s success.

    Can I sue Walmart for refusing to carry a product that I built but I cannot sell because I don’t have the visibility and market presence that Walmart has? Plus, I don’t want to pay Walmart what it’s asking to get access to their shelves.  So what if it’s their store, they have something that I lack and they owe me. Yeah, it’s America and in America anyone that’s successful owes it to those who aren’t successful, just because, at from my lazy ass entitled standpoint.  
    So if this is the case, why then does Apple’s commission only apply to digital goods? Why should Apple get a 30% cut of a Kindle book but not an Uber ride?
  • Reply 15 of 38
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 331member
    elijahg said:
    geekmee said:
    I would go back to law school to fight this case.... So Ferrari can be sued for pricing their cars too high when there are other cars to buy??
    And so how are the litigants being harmed if they chose to buy an Apple Phone and have the option to buy apps elsewhere at their own risk???

    The only thing I agree with on The Supreme Court... Litigants have the right to bring stupid cases.
    It's more like Ferrari saying every time you use your Ferrari to transport something you bought at Walmart, Walmart has to give Ferrari 30% of the cost of that item.
    Come again??... I don’t follow your logic here.
  • Reply 16 of 38
    dewme said:
    Everyone wants to ride the gravy train once all the hard work needed to lay all the track and build the locomotives has been done and paid for by someone else. The fact that the App Store is a proprietary  system built and paid for through private investment doesn’t matter to all the lazy ass freeloaders looking to horn in on someone else’s success.

    Can I sue Walmart for refusing to carry a product that I built but I cannot sell because I don’t have the visibility and market presence that Walmart has? Plus, I don’t want to pay Walmart what it’s asking to get access to their shelves.  So what if it’s their store, they have something that I lack and they owe me. Yeah, it’s America and in America anyone that’s successful owes it to those who aren’t successful, just because, at from my lazy ass entitled standpoint.  
    So if this is the case, why then does Apple’s commission only apply to digital goods? Why should Apple get a 30% cut of a Kindle book but not an Uber ride?
    I guess one is a product and one is a service. Different commission approach, just like taxes, just like the Walmart Tire Center. Do they still have Walmart Tire Centers in the States? 

    That is a good question. Why don't you ask Apple.
    edited May 29
  • Reply 17 of 38
    rogifan_new said: So if this is the case, why then does Apple’s commission only apply to digital goods? Why should Apple get a 30% cut of a Kindle book but not an Uber ride?
    Apple doesn't get a cut on Kindle books.
    ArloTimetraveler
  • Reply 18 of 38
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 282member
    I’m an Apple fan with about 10 active devices. I like the security and elegance of the Apple way, however, I think Apple is walking a tightrope here. Their 30% commission is not chump change. I don’t have numbers to quote but it is hard to imagine that the App Store is not profitable for Apple. I can imagine there are developers who would love to sell their apps on an open market. That’s pretty much how our system works.

    I don’t know how this will play out. It could be that Apple would have to offer an option to run your iPhone “in the wild” and enjoy the benefits as well as the pitfalls. It’s not a pretty picture.

    If I were a betting person I would not be putting my money on Apple in this case.
    CheeseFreezedigital_guy
  • Reply 19 of 38
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,156member
    dewme said:
    Everyone wants to ride the gravy train once all the hard work needed to lay all the track and build the locomotives has been done and paid for by someone else. The fact that the App Store is a proprietary  system built and paid for through private investment doesn’t matter to all the lazy ass freeloaders looking to horn in on someone else’s success.

    Can I sue Walmart for refusing to carry a product that I built but I cannot sell because I don’t have the visibility and market presence that Walmart has? Plus, I don’t want to pay Walmart what it’s asking to get access to their shelves.  So what if it’s their store, they have something that I lack and they owe me. Yeah, it’s America and in America anyone that’s successful owes it to those who aren’t successful, just because, at from my lazy ass entitled standpoint.  
    So if this is the case, why then does Apple’s commission only apply to digital goods? Why should Apple get a 30% cut of a Kindle book but not an Uber ride?
    I think it comes down to what Apple has defined as the boundaries of its proprietary "store" so to speak. Since they are the property owner the get to decide what they will and will not allow to take place on their property.  The Kindle app running on iOS or macOS is analogous (imho) to Amazon setting up an Amazon bookstore inside a Barnes & Noble bookstore. I would fully expect that if this were the case Barnes & Noble would demand some sort of commission from Amazon for the use of their store. The terms and conditions for all such arrangements would have been agreed upon by all parties prior to the store-within-a-store being brought online.

    In the case of Uber, Apple has not currently put any restrictions on how the goods that Uber offers are transacted within Apple's store. For all we know, Project Titan could turn out to be Apple's proprietary ride sharing service and Uber will get booted from the store. Again, it's Apple's store and they set the terms and conditions and their tenants must agree to in order to take advantage of the many benefits that being in Apple's store provides.

    There is nothing in the Apple store/ecosystem that is not available from other store owners. If Walmart doesn't offer me the deal I want for selling my product I can always make a deal with Target or Best Buy. But am I entitled to sue Walmart because it didn't offer a deal that I liked? 
    edited May 29 ArloTimetravelerdigital_guy
  • Reply 20 of 38
    I noticed a lot of very good comments. Has anyone seen that dead horse? Just wondering.
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