Tim Cook talked App Store laws & user privacy with Japan's PM

Posted:
in iOS edited December 2022
On his Pacific rim tour, Apple CEO Tim Cook asked the Japanese Prime Minister to think about user protections if the country decides to legislate the distribution of smartphone apps.

Tim Cook touring a Sony facility in December [Twitter/@Tim_Cook]
Tim Cook touring a Sony facility in December [Twitter/@Tim_Cook]


Following a decision by Europe to force Apple and other device makers to enable third-party app marketplaces on their hardware, Tim Cook has been keen to ease future issues the App Store may face. In his December trip to Japan, he appealed to the highest politician in the country.

Speaking to Japanese Prime Minister Fumiko Kishida on December 15 in Tokyo, Cook talked about a number of topics, including asking for regulations relating to app distribution don't undermine user privacy and security, reports Nikkei Asia.

Japan's government said in April that it considered introducing new rules to ensure fair competition in the App Store and in the Google Play Store. While a council on digital market competition recommended legislation limiting the ability for Apple and Google to change market conditions, Apple disagreed.

At the time, Apple said it disagreed with the report, that its position is never one of a market leader, and that it continues to face "intense competition in every business segment."

During December's meeting, Cook discussed how Apple invested more than $100 billion in Japanese supply chains over the last five years, and that it had a continued focus on the country. According to Cook, the prime minister was satisfied with Apple's investment in the country.

Kishida also asked for Apple to work with Japan on a digital form of the country's My Number ID cards, which has a 12-digit government-issued code for each Japanese resident. In doing so, usage of the system for related services, such as for proof of insurance, could be accelerated.

Cook reportedly was keen to work on the project, but also that Apple had strong concerns over how My Number IDs could be sensitively handled, including in relation to user privacy and security.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Isnt it obvious that Apple faces competition in all sectors in operates in?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,939member
    Isnt it obvious that Apple faces competition in all sectors in operates in?
    That's not the point. No one has denied the existence of competition in any of the sectors that Apple operates in.

    Apple says that they have intense competition in their market sectors. The operative word here is intense.

    Apple is saying that so government agencies don't take steps to curtail what some perceive to be an unfair advantage namely Apple's various App Stores and media stores (music, movie, video, book, whatever). You haven't noticed but Apple has received ongoing scrutiny about their overwhelming dominance in these business operations.

    For example, how many other app stores can you buy apps for your iPhone? Apple also takes their own cut of content sales and forbids alternative payment mechanisms, something that has been declared illegal in some jurisdictions.

    So Timmy is trying to put on his nicest PR face to the Japanese PM so Japan's various agencies don't start dogging Apple to open up their tight fisted control.

    "Oh, no, we don't have an unfair advantage. We have lots of very serious competitors. No need for oversight. Really!"

    That's what is happening here.

    All big companies do this not just Apple.

    AT&T said the same thing in the Seventies. Coca-Cola continues to do so all around the world, particularly regarding soda fountain operations (where they own like 90% of the worldwide market).

    Nothing new here, just big business as usual.
    edited December 2022 williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 7
    mpantone said:
    Isnt it obvious that Apple faces competition in all sectors in operates in?
    That's not the point. No one has denied the existence of competition in any of the sectors that Apple operates in.

    Apple says that they have intense competition in their market sectors. The operative word here is intense.

    Apple is saying that so government agencies don't take steps to curtail what some perceive to be an unfair advantage namely Apple's various App Stores and media stores (music, movie, video, book, whatever). You haven't noticed but Apple has received ongoing scrutiny about their overwhelming dominance in these business operations.

    For example, how many other app stores can you buy apps for your iPhone? Apple also takes their own cut of content sales and forbids alternative payment mechanisms, something that has been declared illegal in some jurisdictions.

    So Timmy is trying to put on his nicest PR face to the Japanese PM so Japan's various agencies don't start dogging Apple to open up their tight fisted control.

    "Oh, no, we don't have an unfair advantage. We have lots of very serious competitors. No need for oversight. Really!"

    That's what is happening here.

    All big companies do this not just Apple.

    AT&T said the same thing in the Seventies. Coca-Cola continues to do so all around the world, particularly regarding soda fountain operations (where they own like 90% of the worldwide market).

    Nothing new here, just big business as usual.
    Well, yes and NO.
    Apple App Store is part of what makes the iPhone an iPhone. It is an integral part of how the iPhone operates (simplicity of updates, security, ..). So, saying there is no competing App stores for the iPhone is not a valid arguments. Me, and the absolute majority of Apple customers/iPhone owners bought (and keep upgrading) our iPhones with the perfect understanding that we are committing to Apples "walled gardens" which Apple critics and competition despise but Apple customers are happy with. iPhones have a lot of competition from other phone makers, including significantly cheaper alternatives. Customers have a chance to leave the iPhone for an Android handset at least once a year when carriers offer a free phone and some people do (there are available statistics on switchers) but only a small minority does this every year. You know why? Because Apple customers are happy with the way things are working with the iPhone. Many of those complaining about the App Store want only to dismantle the way the iPhone work, introduce flood us with crappy apps and spyware/malware for which everyone will blame the iPhone and Apple for it. If you can't get your products up to Apple standards, why not bring Apple products down to yours, right? This App Store thing has nothing to do with giving the consumers what they want or promote competition and innovation.
    chadbagwatto_cobrabestkeptsecret
  • Reply 4 of 7
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,939member
    DT36MT said:
    mpantone said:
    Isnt it obvious that Apple faces competition in all sectors in operates in?
    That's not the point. No one has denied the existence of competition in any of the sectors that Apple operates in.

    Apple says that they have intense competition in their market sectors. The operative word here is intense.

    Apple is saying that so government agencies don't take steps to curtail what some perceive to be an unfair advantage namely Apple's various App Stores and media stores (music, movie, video, book, whatever). You haven't noticed but Apple has received ongoing scrutiny about their overwhelming dominance in these business operations.

    For example, how many other app stores can you buy apps for your iPhone? Apple also takes their own cut of content sales and forbids alternative payment mechanisms, something that has been declared illegal in some jurisdictions.

    So Timmy is trying to put on his nicest PR face to the Japanese PM so Japan's various agencies don't start dogging Apple to open up their tight fisted control.

    "Oh, no, we don't have an unfair advantage. We have lots of very serious competitors. No need for oversight. Really!"

    That's what is happening here.

    All big companies do this not just Apple.

    AT&T said the same thing in the Seventies. Coca-Cola continues to do so all around the world, particularly regarding soda fountain operations (where they own like 90% of the worldwide market).

    Nothing new here, just big business as usual.
    Well, yes and NO.
    Apple App Store is part of what makes the iPhone an iPhone. It is an integral part of how the iPhone operates (simplicity of updates, security, ..). So, saying there is no competing App stores for the iPhone is not a valid arguments. Me, and the absolute majority of Apple customers/iPhone owners bought (and keep upgrading) our iPhones with the perfect understanding that we are committing to Apples "walled gardens" which Apple critics and competition despise but Apple customers are happy with. iPhones have a lot of competition from other phone makers, including significantly cheaper alternatives. Customers have a chance to leave the iPhone for an Android handset at least once a year when carriers offer a free phone and some people do (there are available statistics on switchers) but only a small minority does this every year. You know why? Because Apple customers are happy with the way things are working with the iPhone. Many of those complaining about the App Store want only to dismantle the way the iPhone work, introduce flood us with crappy apps and spyware/malware for which everyone will blame the iPhone and Apple for it. If you can't get your products up to Apple standards, why not bring Apple products down to yours, right? This App Store thing has nothing to do with giving the consumers what they want or promote competition and innovation.
    That's not how many regulatory agencies are viewing Apple's stranglehold, "walled garden", or whatever anyone wants to call it.

    Apple is being heavily and justly scrutinized by various government bodies around the world. As we already know, at least one jurisdiction has declared Apple's App Store payment system monopoly to be illegal. The smart guess is that more and more places on this planet will deem Apple's restrictive policies to be unfair.

    We've also seen high profile Apple partners also call Apple out on their practices. One very notable episode was Taylor Swift's displeasure with Apple's streaming royalty payout structure. She clearly pointed out that her proposed change would not affect her income but she was campaigning for smaller artists. And guess what? Apple eventually relented and changed their streaming payouts to artists.

    Apple -- like all companies -- need to be monitored so they don't start running unchecked.

    Trust me, I'm mostly happy with Apple's products and services. I appreciate their stance on user privacy. Like most Americans with a retirement account, I'm also an indirect shareholder as well. I materially benefit from Apple's continued success. But then again I materially benefit from the continued success of most Fortune 500 components as well as probably 150-200 foreign corporations.

    But Apple should not be excused from consumer or government review. Nor should any other company on the planet. You don't get this.

    Why do you think there are food safety laws today? For fun?!?

    I've worked at companies ranging from Fortune 500 to tiny outfits and there are always moments where I don't agree with what management is doing. Hell, even if I ran my own company, I'd probably end up having to do some things a different way than what I'd want simply due to market conditions or business regulations. 

    Do you think any American winery or distillery wants to pay the TTB to run a bonded facility? Automobile manufacturers could save some money by not installing airbags or seatbeats.

    Just face it: increased scrutiny for Apple's business practices is a good thing for the consumer. And the government should also be scrutinizing Intel, Google, PG&E, Qualcomm, Georgia-Pacific, McDonald's, ExxonMobil, the cable company, the phone company, etc.

    History has repeatedly shown that unchecked dominance by one company eventually leads to bad things. Ever hear of Standard Oil?

    It's more imperative than ever for various agencies around the world to keep an eye on companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Baidu, Netflix, etc.
    edited December 2022 williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 7
    DT36MT said:
    mpantone said:
    Isnt it obvious that Apple faces competition in all sectors in operates in?
    That's not the point. No one has denied the existence of competition in any of the sectors that Apple operates in.

    Apple says that they have intense competition in their market sectors. The operative word here is intense.

    Apple is saying that so government agencies don't take steps to curtail what some perceive to be an unfair advantage namely Apple's various App Stores and media stores (music, movie, video, book, whatever). You haven't noticed but Apple has received ongoing scrutiny about their overwhelming dominance in these business operations.

    For example, how many other app stores can you buy apps for your iPhone? Apple also takes their own cut of content sales and forbids alternative payment mechanisms, something that has been declared illegal in some jurisdictions.

    So Timmy is trying to put on his nicest PR face to the Japanese PM so Japan's various agencies don't start dogging Apple to open up their tight fisted control.

    "Oh, no, we don't have an unfair advantage. We have lots of very serious competitors. No need for oversight. Really!"

    That's what is happening here.

    All big companies do this not just Apple.

    AT&T said the same thing in the Seventies. Coca-Cola continues to do so all around the world, particularly regarding soda fountain operations (where they own like 90% of the worldwide market).

    Nothing new here, just big business as usual.
    Well, yes and NO.
    Apple App Store is part of what makes the iPhone an iPhone. It is an integral part of how the iPhone operates (simplicity of updates, security, ..). So, saying there is no competing App stores for the iPhone is not a valid arguments. Me, and the absolute majority of Apple customers/iPhone owners bought (and keep upgrading) our iPhones with the perfect understanding that we are committing to Apples "walled gardens" which Apple critics and competition despise but Apple customers are happy with. iPhones have a lot of competition from other phone makers, including significantly cheaper alternatives. Customers have a chance to leave the iPhone for an Android handset at least once a year when carriers offer a free phone and some people do (there are available statistics on switchers) but only a small minority does this every year. You know why? Because Apple customers are happy with the way things are working with the iPhone. Many of those complaining about the App Store want only to dismantle the way the iPhone work, introduce flood us with crappy apps and spyware/malware for which everyone will blame the iPhone and Apple for it. If you can't get your products up to Apple standards, why not bring Apple products down to yours, right? This App Store thing has nothing to do with giving the consumers what they want or promote competition and innovation.
    If the article below is accurate how many VPN subscribers might be OK with the fact that Apple may be bypassing VPN 'to collect data about your activity'...?
    www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/10-apple-privacy-problems-that-might-surprise-you/ss-AA150PHp#image=9
    I am reminded of the adage 'think different' yet does that still apply...?
  • Reply 6 of 7
    DT36MT said:
    mpantone said:
    Isnt it obvious that Apple faces competition in all sectors in operates in?
    That's not the point. No one has denied the existence of competition in any of the sectors that Apple operates in.

    Apple says that they have intense competition in their market sectors. The operative word here is intense.

    Apple is saying that so government agencies don't take steps to curtail what some perceive to be an unfair advantage namely Apple's various App Stores and media stores (music, movie, video, book, whatever). You haven't noticed but Apple has received ongoing scrutiny about their overwhelming dominance in these business operations.

    For example, how many other app stores can you buy apps for your iPhone? Apple also takes their own cut of content sales and forbids alternative payment mechanisms, something that has been declared illegal in some jurisdictions.

    So Timmy is trying to put on his nicest PR face to the Japanese PM so Japan's various agencies don't start dogging Apple to open up their tight fisted control.

    "Oh, no, we don't have an unfair advantage. We have lots of very serious competitors. No need for oversight. Really!"

    That's what is happening here.

    All big companies do this not just Apple.

    AT&T said the same thing in the Seventies. Coca-Cola continues to do so all around the world, particularly regarding soda fountain operations (where they own like 90% of the worldwide market).

    Nothing new here, just big business as usual.
    Well, yes and NO.
    Apple App Store is part of what makes the iPhone an iPhone. It is an integral part of how the iPhone operates (simplicity of updates, security, ..). So, saying there is no competing App stores for the iPhone is not a valid arguments. Me, and the absolute majority of Apple customers/iPhone owners bought (and keep upgrading) our iPhones with the perfect understanding that we are committing to Apples "walled gardens" which Apple critics and competition despise but Apple customers are happy with. iPhones have a lot of competition from other phone makers, including significantly cheaper alternatives. Customers have a chance to leave the iPhone for an Android handset at least once a year when carriers offer a free phone and some people do (there are available statistics on switchers) but only a small minority does this every year. You know why? Because Apple customers are happy with the way things are working with the iPhone. Many of those complaining about the App Store want only to dismantle the way the iPhone work, introduce flood us with crappy apps and spyware/malware for which everyone will blame the iPhone and Apple for it. If you can't get your products up to Apple standards, why not bring Apple products down to yours, right? This App Store thing has nothing to do with giving the consumers what they want or promote competition and innovation.
    If the article below is accurate how many VPN subscribers might be OK with the fact that Apple may be bypassing VPN 'to collect data about your activity'...?
    www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/10-apple-privacy-problems-that-might-surprise-you/ss-AA150PHp#image=9
    I am reminded of the adage 'think different' yet does that still apply...?
    Well, I assume that everyone collects data: Apple, the internet service provider, the government, .. etc. I like to keep entities mining my data to a minimum as much as possible and as secure as possible. You keep hearing of security breaches in data collected and stored by companies ranging from password management software who keeps customer data on their servers to credit reporting agencies and a lot more that we may never hear about (smaller companies are not as scrutinized). Many app developers use their own servers to sync customer data, and only few use iCloud. Most of our decisions in life are based on assessing risks and benefits because most decisions we make are associated with certain risks. Most critics talk about giving people a choice of what App Store to use and let them make the decision, but they forget that most people, especially the elderly, are not tech savvy and are more likely to download and install malware. For those who are tech savvy and like to have more choices, please use an Android device. I am not against scrutinizing Apple or other big companies, but forcing Apple to allow other App Stores on the iPhone is not justified.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,527member
    mpantone said:
    Isnt it obvious that Apple faces competition in all sectors in operates in?
    That's not the point. No one has denied the existence of competition in any of the sectors that Apple operates in.

    Apple says that they have intense competition in their market sectors. The operative word here is intense.

    Apple is saying that so government agencies don't take steps to curtail what some perceive to be an unfair advantage namely Apple's various App Stores and media stores (music, movie, video, book, whatever). You haven't noticed but Apple has received ongoing scrutiny about their overwhelming dominance in these business operations.

    For example, how many other app stores can you buy apps for your iPhone? Apple also takes their own cut of content sales and forbids alternative payment mechanisms, something that has been declared illegal in some jurisdictions.

    So Timmy is trying to put on his nicest PR face to the Japanese PM so Japan's various agencies don't start dogging Apple to open up their tight fisted control.

    "Oh, no, we don't have an unfair advantage. We have lots of very serious competitors. No need for oversight. Really!"

    That's what is happening here.

    All big companies do this not just Apple.

    AT&T said the same thing in the Seventies. Coca-Cola continues to do so all around the world, particularly regarding soda fountain operations (where they own like 90% of the worldwide market).

    Nothing new here, just big business as usual.

    Apple, once upon a time, was a lot smaller and end at that time and even still today (marketshare wise) need to roll up their sleeves to design new products because the greater market (won’t support their devices) almost everything that they have built in the last 20 years is because they had to build something in order to support their small ecosystems, because no one else would.

    That condition graphically still exists today when it comes to so-called AAA games. Apples hardware is more than powerful enough to have a good gaming experience but they get no support or very minimal support. When the day comes that Apple again rolls up its sleeves, to build comparable games to the AAA games, the crying will ensue. The EU will certainly open up another case and call Apple the evil gate keeper. We live in the new times when you are considered a market-wide monopoly of your own product. 
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