Epic versus Apple: What's at stake if Apple loses

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 48
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,221member
    branewave said:
    Apple may be able to settle with Epic out of court and dodge any ruling requiring them to make changes for everyone. E.g., would Epic pass up a deal from Apple to let their in app purchase mechanism in? Apple wouldn’t have to offer that same agreement to everyone. 
    Yes, fair point, but that would mean Apple could no longer argue that it treats every developer equally. I think Apple thrives on being fair and bragging about it.
    But it doesn't treat them all equally, as I have told you and provided proof for. 
    JWSCmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 22 of 48
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,221member
    Why is this point always missed? The cost that Apple charges for the App Store isn’t just for running the App Store itself, it also pays for all of the development work that Apple puts into every iOS update. Creating new APIs and frameworks and even the Swift programming language and development tools don’t come free and don’t come cheap. It cannot be recouped by device purchases alone. If Apple is forced to cut out the revenue that they get for apps using these features then you’re either going to see increased developer tool costs. Once upon a time if you wanted an ADC membership it could cost thousands of dollars for large organizations instead of the $99 yearly cost for all platforms. This could be gone and greatly raises the barrier for small developers. 

    The bottom line is this. If you make more from the platform, you should pay more for those development tools that you are using. It’s only fair. 
    And what about the free updates on macOS where people can get apps from anywhere? Who pays for those?
    avon b7
  • Reply 23 of 48
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,268member
    elijahg said:
    branewave said:
    Apple may be able to settle with Epic out of court and dodge any ruling requiring them to make changes for everyone. E.g., would Epic pass up a deal from Apple to let their in app purchase mechanism in? Apple wouldn’t have to offer that same agreement to everyone. 
    Yes, fair point, but that would mean Apple could no longer argue that it treats every developer equally. I think Apple thrives on being fair and bragging about it.
    But it doesn't treat them all equally, as I have told you and provided proof for. 

    Funny. I asked for proof in another thread and I’m still waiting. You have zero proof. Just rumors and hearsay. 
    williamlondonpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 48
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,268member
    I doubt Apple has anything to worry about. A few minor changes can address all issues.

    I can see them allowing subscription services on multiple platforms to allow links to outside signup (Spotify, Netflix). This will cost Apple little since most people already know how to do this.

    Apple could also reduce in-App signups for subscriptions in markets they compete in (Apple Music vs Spotify, Apple TV+ vs Netflix…) down to a minimal processing fee (like 5%). This eliminates antitrust complaints that suggest Apple is favoring their own services by forcing competitors to pay 15/30%. It also costs Apple little since most users subscribe outside anyway.

    Apple won’t be forced to allow third party stores nor will they be forced to allow any App to use alternate billing (like Candy Crush or similar).


    That said, I think Apple should just drop all in-App purchases to 5% across the board. Of course they’ll lose a significant chunk of revenue, but think of the massive amount of goodwill/PR they’d get out of it. And imagine how negatively this will affect Google, Epic and all other stores. How can they continue charging their fees when the largest company in the world drops to 5%? They’d have to lower their fees to match, and they likely can’t afford to.

    This also happens to be classic antitrust behavior: lower your prices to a point you can afford but competitors can’t, further strengthening your position in the market. Apple would eventually be forced to raise prices to a “fair market rate”, whatever the courts decide (maybe in the 10-20% range). Apple can fight this in court until they lose and are forced to raise fees. Apple wins again as they fought to keep 5%, but due to antitrust complaints from other digital stores they had to raise prices. The complainants reputation suffers while Apples reputation goes up.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 48
    Yes, fair point, but that would mean Apple could no longer argue that it treats every developer equally. I think Apple thrives on being fair and bragging about it.
    Apple is already unable to say that. It did a special deal for Amazon Prime. It was reported here, no more than 10 days ago, that it has a "whitelist" of developers with special access to private APIs.
    Now, I'd agree that Apple does maintain a mostly level playing field. And besides, it's a private company, not the court system. It can offer specific deals at its own convenience. If that's good or bad, let me just say this: developers will "vote"with their work, and I'll "vote" with my wallet—ApplePay!
    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 48
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,409member
    Yes, fair point, but that would mean Apple could no longer argue that it treats every developer equally. I think Apple thrives on being fair and bragging about it.
    Apple is already unable to say that. It did a special deal for Amazon Prime. It was reported here, no more than 10 days ago, that it has a "whitelist" of developers with special access to private APIs.
    Not only did I read that article, I also commented on it. I guess you don't check carefully before you post. If I recall the article correctly, Apple did give Amazon temporary access to an API for testing before it was released to developers. I take it that you don't believe Apple should allow beta testers. Do you also criticize Google for allowing beta testers?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 48
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,409member
    elijahg said:
    branewave said:
    Apple may be able to settle with Epic out of court and dodge any ruling requiring them to make changes for everyone. E.g., would Epic pass up a deal from Apple to let their in app purchase mechanism in? Apple wouldn’t have to offer that same agreement to everyone. 
    Yes, fair point, but that would mean Apple could no longer argue that it treats every developer equally. I think Apple thrives on being fair and bragging about it.
    But it doesn't treat them all equally, as I have told you and provided proof for. 

    Funny. I asked for proof in another thread and I’m still waiting. You have zero proof. Just rumors and hearsay. 
    And he wants to put the burden on me for seeking out his proof. He doesn't say where I'm supposed to look. He is developing a history of totally ignoring my points and then not replying when I tell him that he has ignored my points. I think he's afraid.
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 48
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 953member
    elijahg said:
    branewave said:
    Apple may be able to settle with Epic out of court and dodge any ruling requiring them to make changes for everyone. E.g., would Epic pass up a deal from Apple to let their in app purchase mechanism in? Apple wouldn’t have to offer that same agreement to everyone. 
    Yes, fair point, but that would mean Apple could no longer argue that it treats every developer equally. I think Apple thrives on being fair and bragging about it.
    But it doesn't treat them all equally, as I have told you and provided proof for. 

    Funny. I asked for proof in another thread and I’m still waiting. You have zero proof. Just rumors and hearsay. 
    I could have sworn that I listen to an AppleInsider Podcast were they pointed out several instances were Apple gave preference to large established developers.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 29 of 48
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,268member
    JWSC said:
    elijahg said:
    branewave said:
    Apple may be able to settle with Epic out of court and dodge any ruling requiring them to make changes for everyone. E.g., would Epic pass up a deal from Apple to let their in app purchase mechanism in? Apple wouldn’t have to offer that same agreement to everyone. 
    Yes, fair point, but that would mean Apple could no longer argue that it treats every developer equally. I think Apple thrives on being fair and bragging about it.
    But it doesn't treat them all equally, as I have told you and provided proof for. 

    Funny. I asked for proof in another thread and I’m still waiting. You have zero proof. Just rumors and hearsay. 
    I could have sworn that I listen to an AppleInsider Podcast were they pointed out several instances were Apple gave preference to large established developers.

    No, they gave early access (beta testing) for features that were later rolled out to all developers. Seriously, how do you think Apple is able to show off new Apps/features from developers at WWDC or their product launch keynotes? Because they were given early access to a feature everyone gets access to later on.
    edited May 17 williamlondonthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 48
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,265member
    elijahg said:
    branewave said:
    Apple may be able to settle with Epic out of court and dodge any ruling requiring them to make changes for everyone. E.g., would Epic pass up a deal from Apple to let their in app purchase mechanism in? Apple wouldn’t have to offer that same agreement to everyone. 
    Yes, fair point, but that would mean Apple could no longer argue that it treats every developer equally. I think Apple thrives on being fair and bragging about it.
    But it doesn't treat them all equally, as I have told you and provided proof for. 

    Funny. I asked for proof in another thread and I’m still waiting. You have zero proof. Just rumors and hearsay. 
    Here's Apple not treating Netflix equally: https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/5/22421734/apple-epic-netflix-in-app-purchase-removal-emails

    Here's Apple not treating Amazon (and Altice One and Canal+) equally: https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/30/21348108/apple-amazon-prime-video-app-store-special-treatment-fee-subscriptions
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
  • Reply 31 of 48
    Mike Wuerthele said: So, like the first section and last paragraphs of the article point out: If Apple loses, it will have to make changes. Steering is the most likely thing to have to change, versus the rest of the consequences listed. 
    Regardless of whether it's a "what if" or not, any ruling would be based on prior legal precedents and the strength of Epic's case. Is there a legal precedent that says anti-steering is anti-competitive? I certainly haven't seen any reported. And Apple has provided proof that anti-steering is completely common throughout the industry. Has Epic provided evidence that there's something unique or unusual about how Apple's anti-steering clause works? Again, I haven't seen anything like that reported. So Epic is just arguing a personal preference for how they would like the App Store to work rather than demonstrating anything legally or through evidence. It's one of the weakest parts of their case, just like the commission complaints. 

    IMO, the problem with the "what if" is it's not really a legal perspective at all. The judge isn't going to rule based on whether or not certain items appear easier to implement. If Epic didn't make a legal case for it, it won't matter whether something is easy or hard. 
    edited May 17 williamlondonthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 48
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,192administrator
    Mike Wuerthele said: So, like the first section and last paragraphs of the article point out: If Apple loses, it will have to make changes. Steering is the most likely thing to have to change, versus the rest of the consequences listed. 
    Regardless of whether it's a "what if" or not, any ruling would be based on prior legal precedents and the strength of Epic's case. Is there a legal precedent that says anti-steering is anti-competitive? I certainly haven't seen any reported. And Apple has provided proof that anti-steering is completely common throughout the industry. Has Epic provided evidence that there's something unique or unusual about how Apple's anti-steering clause works? Again, I haven't seen anything like that reported. So Epic is just arguing a personal preference for how they would like the App Store to work rather than demonstrating anything legally or through evidence. It's one of the weakest parts of their case, just like the commission complaints. 

    IMO, the problem with the "what if" is it's not really a legal perspective at all. The judge isn't going to rule based on whether or not certain items appear easier to implement. If Epic didn't make a legal case for it, it won't matter whether something is easy or hard. 
    AppleInsider doesn't operate in a vacuum, and we understand that we aren't attorneys. Evidently, the attorneys following the case see it a bit differently than you do, and a number of them that we spoke to for this piece are saying to us that this is the most likely outcome as Epic has made a case for it, should the judge hand Apple a loss.

    Ultimately, we'll all see together.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 48
    Mike Wuerthele said: Evidently, the attorneys following the case see it a bit differently than you do, and a number of them that we spoke to for this piece are saying to us that this is the most likely outcome as Epic has made a case for it, should the judge hand Apple a loss.
    What legal precedent(s) did the attorneys AI spoke to cite in regards to anti-steering and e-commerce? Is there a relevant prior case? 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 48
    Maybe Apple should start charging for hosting apps on the App Store. Have tiers. If there are in-app purchases involved, you fall in one tier, if it is a free app, it falls into another tier and so on.

    The hosting fees itself would be on a monthly basis, with perks if you sign up for an annual hosting plan. 

    A paid hosting would probably cut down on a lot of crap apps. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 48
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,268member
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    branewave said:
    Apple may be able to settle with Epic out of court and dodge any ruling requiring them to make changes for everyone. E.g., would Epic pass up a deal from Apple to let their in app purchase mechanism in? Apple wouldn’t have to offer that same agreement to everyone. 
    Yes, fair point, but that would mean Apple could no longer argue that it treats every developer equally. I think Apple thrives on being fair and bragging about it.
    But it doesn't treat them all equally, as I have told you and provided proof for. 

    Funny. I asked for proof in another thread and I’m still waiting. You have zero proof. Just rumors and hearsay. 
    Here's Apple not treating Netflix equally: https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/5/22421734/apple-epic-netflix-in-app-purchase-removal-emails

    Here's Apple not treating Amazon (and Altice One and Canal+) equally: https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/30/21348108/apple-amazon-prime-video-app-store-special-treatment-fee-subscriptions

    Hardly proof. Netflix didn’t get any deal as these were just discussions that didn’t pan out.

    That Amazon email is the one I was just HOPING someone would bring up to show their stupidity. And you didn’t disappoint.

    First off, ALL developers with subscription services received the 15% discount just after this email. So no “special deal” other than early access to test new features. Secondly, how can anyone take a single email out of what was likely multiple back and forth emails (and phone calls) and draw any conclusion about what the deal actually was? All it shows is people looking for evidence to support their pre-disposed opinion of Apple as opposed to people trying to figure out what’s really happening.
    williamlondonpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 48
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,265member
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    branewave said:
    Apple may be able to settle with Epic out of court and dodge any ruling requiring them to make changes for everyone. E.g., would Epic pass up a deal from Apple to let their in app purchase mechanism in? Apple wouldn’t have to offer that same agreement to everyone. 
    Yes, fair point, but that would mean Apple could no longer argue that it treats every developer equally. I think Apple thrives on being fair and bragging about it.
    But it doesn't treat them all equally, as I have told you and provided proof for. 

    Funny. I asked for proof in another thread and I’m still waiting. You have zero proof. Just rumors and hearsay. 
    Here's Apple not treating Netflix equally: https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/5/22421734/apple-epic-netflix-in-app-purchase-removal-emails

    Here's Apple not treating Amazon (and Altice One and Canal+) equally: https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/30/21348108/apple-amazon-prime-video-app-store-special-treatment-fee-subscriptions

    Hardly proof. Netflix didn’t get any deal as these were just discussions that didn’t pan out.

    That Amazon email is the one I was just HOPING someone would bring up to show their stupidity. And you didn’t disappoint.

    First off, ALL developers with subscription services received the 15% discount just after this email. So no “special deal” other than early access to test new features. Secondly, how can anyone take a single email out of what was likely multiple back and forth emails (and phone calls) and draw any conclusion about what the deal actually was? All it shows is people looking for evidence to support their pre-disposed opinion of Apple as opposed to people trying to figure out what’s really happening.
    No, all it shows is that Apple are flexible in their dealing with developers and do indeed treat some differently than others, both in their negotiations with them, and in giving them preferential advance use of features that are unavailable to others.

    Not sure why you're acting like such an ass about this.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
  • Reply 37 of 48
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,702member
    The App Store is so much more than a “transaction processing fee”. Its the charging point for everything from the provision of APIs, SDKs & frameworks to allow 3rd-party developer access (a year after the iPhone launched), it pays for the tool chain and 1st-party deployment/updates, it pays for app quality control and a storefront that reaches every iPhone & iPad customer and yes, a minor transaction fee.  If Apple were to concede the transaction processing, Epic would still be bleating about the 28.5% fee for the rest of it. So Apple should change nothing.
    tenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 48
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,702member
    Why is loss of revenue for Apple listed as a Con? Doesn't that mean increased revenue for app developers or savings for Apple customers? Couldn't that be seen as a Pro?
    Unless you are an Apple employee or shareholder, you should want lower costs for developers. That just encourages more apps to be developed. That even helps Apple as their products become more desirable. As far as loss of revenues or profits for Apple, why does it even matter at this point? Apple uses a lot of its profits to buy back its own shares in order to keep the price per share rising and make their stock options more valuable. That sounds like a Con to me. Apple should be heavily investing in new products and technologies but instead continues to hoard cash and buy back shares. A little struggle for income would do the company (and it's customers and developers) some good.
    The last thing the App Store needs is more developers, that just brings the crap. It needs to improve App quality by bringing more invested developers.  

    Lining developers’ pockets whilst sending the platform back to join Android in the 90s helps users how? Are those developers sinking every last cent into making a better product? I see no evidence, just loads of lazy WORA crap that isn’t why I bought an iPhone.

    Apple should be brutal with quality control and reject/down-grade discoverability of rubbish that fails to use 1st-party frameworks & services.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 48
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 836member
    Who cares what epic wants. 

    This isn’t about making epic happy. 

    It’s about a company doing business and creating products and services people want - and profiting off of that. 

    Apple makes the rules. Partners can follow them or not be a partner. 

    Simple. 

    Apple can charge whatever it wants for anything it offers. 

    Apple can guard the quality of the products on its virtual shelves. It’s good enough for albertsons and wal mart. 

    Apple has made it easy for people to impulse buy - a boon to developers and content creators. It’s why the App Store blows everyone away in revenue. 

    You tear that down and the App Store is just like all the 2nd rate stores out there. 

    Bottom line is this lawsuit is frivolous. 

    Epic didn’t like following the rules it agreed to and violated. Epic should simply not be a partner. Boom. Done. 

    This is not just or right. It’s annoying and harmful. 
    williamlondonjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 48
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 836member
    As a consumer, I am perfectly happy with the current process.
    As is just about everyone - with the exception of competitors posing as partners. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobraDetnator
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