Future path of Apple's App Stores at stake in Monday's Supreme Court arguments

12345679»

Comments

  • Reply 161 of 180
    Ok, how about a refresher on US anti-trust law, by directly quoting relevant excerpts from the FTC guidance documents available here: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/antitrust-laws

    Everything below is a direct copy and paste from that page and the child pages.  All italics are in the original text.  The only changes I've made are to bold interesting sentences and omit lots of paragraphs.
    ----------------------------------------------

    The Sherman Act outlaws "every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade," and any "monopolization, attempted monopolization, or conspiracy or combination to monopolize." Long ago, the Supreme Court decided that the Sherman Act does not prohibit every restraint of trade, only those that are unreasonable. For instance, in some sense, an agreement between two individuals to form a partnership restrains trade, but may not do so unreasonably, and thus may be lawful under the antitrust laws. On the other hand, certain acts are considered so harmful to competition that they are almost always illegal. These include plain arrangements among competing individuals or businesses to fix prices, divide markets, or rig bids.

    Section 2 of the Sherman Act makes it unlawful for a company to "monopolize, or attempt to monopolize," trade or commerce. As that law has been interpreted, it is not illegal for a company to have a monopoly, to charge "high prices," or to try to achieve a monopoly position by what might be viewed by some as particularly aggressive methods. The law is violated only if the company tries to maintain or acquire a monopoly through unreasonable methods. For the courts, a key factor in determining what is unreasonable is whether the practice has a legitimate business justification.

    Monopolization Defined

    The antitrust laws prohibit conduct by a single firm that unreasonably restrains competition by creating or maintaining monopoly power. Most Section 2 claims involve the conduct of a firm with a leading market position ... As a first step, courts ask if the firm has "monopoly power" in any market. This requires in-depth study of the products sold by the leading firm, and any alternative products consumers may turn to if the firm attempted to raise prices. Then courts ask if that leading position was gained or maintained through improper conduct—that is, something other than merely having a better product, superior management or historic accident.

    Market Power

    Courts do not require a literal monopoly before applying rules for single firm conduct; that term is used as shorthand for a firm with significant and durable market power — that is, the long term ability to raise price or exclude competitors. That is how that term is used here: a "monopolist" is a firm with significant and durable market power. Courts look at the firm's market share, but typically do not find monopoly power if the firm (or a group of firms acting in concert) has less than 50 percent of the sales of a particular product or service within a certain geographic area. Some courts have required much higher percentages.

    Exclusionary Conduct

    Judging the conduct of an alleged monopolist requires an in-depth analysis of the market and the means used to achieve or maintain the monopoly. Obtaining a monopoly by superior products, innovation, or business acumen is legal; however, the same result achieved by exclusionary or predatory acts may raise antitrust concerns.

    Exclusionary or predatory acts may include such things as exclusive supply or purchase agreements; tying; predatory pricing; or refusal to deal. These topics are discussed in separate Fact Sheets for Single Firm Conduct.

    Business Justification

    Finally, the monopolist may have a legitimate business justification for behaving in a way that prevents other firms from succeeding in the marketplace. For instance, the monopolist may be competing on the merits in a way that benefits consumers through greater efficiency or a unique set of products or services. In the end, courts will decide whether the monopolist's success is due to "the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident."

    Exclusive Supply or Purchase Agreements

    Exclusive contracts between manufacturers and suppliers, or between manufacturers and dealers, are generally lawful because they improve competition among the brands of different manufacturers (interbrand competition). However, when the firm using exclusive contracts is a monopolist, the focus shifts to whether those contracts impede efforts of new firms to break into the market or of smaller existing firms to expand their presence. ... The antitrust laws condemn certain actions of a monopolist that keep rivals out of the market or prevent new products from reaching consumers. The potential for harm to competition from exclusive contracts increases with: (1) the length of the contract term; (2) the more outlets or sources covered; and (3) the fewer alternative outlets or sources not covered.

    Exclusive supply contracts prevent a supplier from selling inputs to another buyer. If one buyer has a monopoly position and obtains exclusive supply contracts so that a newcomer may not be able to gain the inputs it needs to compete with the monopolist, the contracts can be seen as an exclusionary tactic in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act.

    Exclusive purchase agreements, requiring a dealer to sell the products of only one manufacturer, can have similar effects on a new manufacturer, preventing it from getting its products into enough outlets so that consumers can compare its new products to those of the leading manufacturer. Exclusive purchase agreements may violate the antitrust laws if they prevent newcomers from competing for sales. ... The harm to consumers in these cases is that the monopolist's actions are preventing the market from becoming more competitive, which could lead to lower prices, better products or services, or new choices.

    Tying the Sale of Two Products

    For competitive purposes, a monopolist may use forced buying, or "tie-in" sales, to gain sales in other markets where it is not dominant and to make it more difficult for rivals in those markets to obtain sales. This may limit consumer choice for buyers wanting to purchase one ("tying") product by forcing them to also buy a second ("tied") product as well. Typically, the "tied" product may be a less desirable one that the buyer might not purchase unless required to do so, or may prefer to get from a different seller. If the seller offering the tied products has sufficient market power in the "tying" product, these arrangements can violate the antitrust laws.

    The law on tying is changing. Although the Supreme Court has treated some tie-ins as per se illegal in the past, lower courts have started to apply the more flexible "rule of reason" to assess the competitive effects of tied sales. Cases turn on particular factual settings, but the general rule is that tying products raises antitrust questions when it restricts competition without providing benefits to consumers.

    Predatory or Below-Cost Pricing

    Consumers are harmed only if below-cost pricing allows a dominant competitor to knock its rivals out of the market and then raise prices to above-market levels for a substantial time. ... Instances of a large firm using low prices to drive smaller competitors out of the market in hopes of raising prices after they leave are rare. This strategy can only be successful if the short-run losses from pricing below cost will be made up for by much higher prices over a longer period of time after competitors leave the market. Although the FTC examines claims of predatory pricing carefully, courts, including the Supreme Court, have been skeptical of such claims.

    Refusal to Deal

    In general, any business — even a monopolist — may choose its business partners. However, under certain circumstances, there may be limits on this freedom for a firm with market power. As courts attempt to define those limited situations when a firm with market power may violate antitrust law by refusing to do business with other firms, the focus is on how the refusal to deal helps the monopolist maintain its monopoly, or allows the monopolist to use its monopoly in one market to attempt to monopolize another market.

    One of the most unsettled areas of antitrust law has to do with the duty of a monopolist to deal with its competitors. In general, a firm has no duty to deal with its competitors. ... But courts have, in some circumstances, found antitrust liability when a firm with market power refused to do business with a competitor. For instance, if the monopolist refuses to sell a product or service to a competitor that it makes available to others, or if the monopolist has done business with the competitor and then stops, the monopolist needs a legitimate business reason for its policies. Courts will continue to develop the law in this area.

    ericthehalfbeemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 162 of 180
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member
    airnerd said:
    Johan42 said:
    avon b7 said:
    I'm for choice in distribution models and less power for store controllers.

    I'd like to see developers have the option to opt out of the App Store if it suits their needs and for Apple to have less say on what is 'acceptable' or not. Likewise, choice would then extend to the end user.
    The open web exists for that. The App Store should be apple controlled.
    Apple wants to hoard as much money as possible, which is why they make it nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps. Controlling what I can or can’t do with my phone...pfft.
    If you want to damage your phone with harmful apps, go right ahead. You know good and well that this is really about people who are interested in loading up on stolen content.
    100% disagree with you on that one.  We have at least a half dozen apps that we use at my office which have to be sideloaded because they are created in house and wouldn't in a million years clear the App Store review. There is proprietary info in there and since it uses our LDAP credentials that too would be an issue.  There a plenty of use cases for a private app store besides stolen content.  
    Wait, I thought you said Apple controls the installation of apps. How can it be that your office has a half dozen apps that didn't get loaded from the App Store and that would never clear App Store review? How is that possible?
    Don't be obtuse or pretend stupid; Apple's software and business policies do everything but prohibit alternative public app stores.  There are solutions for enterprise, and workarounds for small communities or individuals, but nothing public accessible that can be used without exploiting a hack.
  • Reply 163 of 180
    For all the theories around 3rd party app stores to be allowed in iOS, one thing that I don't understand is how much % of people are using that feature which is already available in Android phones? 0.01%? 0.001%? 0.00001%? Probably not more than 0.01% (20 million users worldwide out of 2 billion users) even if I am extremely liberal. It is so miniscule that it should not even matter. When a feature already available in a competing platform is not being used by even 0.01% of the people, why should Apple bother wasting their time & resources in making this happen (which at best is going to benefit 0.01% of the users, if ANY)?
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 164 of 180
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,525member
    kharvel said:
    maestro64 said:
    Overall this is a complicated matter and definitely beyond what current laws had in mind when written.

    First, if Apple is considers themselves a distributor that also means they are free to set the price of a product as they see fit. In a typical distributor model, a company who makes a product sells a product to a distributor, at that point they have no say so over the price a distributor sell the product to anyone else. This is also mostly true even in direct to consumer type of transactions. If you agree to have a store like Walmart carry and sell your product, you do not always have any say over the price Walmart will sell your product to the public.

    This also the reason Apple never really like the big box retail model, it did not allow them to control the selling price. Once Apple establish their market dominance they were able to set the selling price in all channels of sale. Retailer can not discount Apple products without getting Apple's approval.

    The other challenge with retail and distribution models is the fact that everyone who touches the product gets to make a profit off the product. This is the piece most consumers do not want to realize. In this case the people suing Apple is claiming since Apple controls the distribution they get to set the price, well that true anywhere in the world someone is always setting and controlling the price and someone is always making a profits. Apple 30% they make is not too unusual in the retail space. Retails and distributors target between a 25% to 35% markup on product they sell. Apple is not making any more than any other retailer.

    There is no rule that says that there has to be more than one App store for software that runs on apples product. Plus most apps can not be bough in android. The only issue if you have the App for ios you can not simply transfer it to an android phone and via verse and the Developer will make you buy it again. Add in the fact that you do not really own an application, its on loan to you until they decide they no longer want to license and support your app on your product.

    These folks are essentially arguing that there should be others stores like an Amazon who has proven they will give away products at loose to make a sale as competitor to Apple, and because this does not exist, apple is keeping pricing artificial high

    This is NOT a complicated matter.  It's very simple, really:  Apple controls its own ecosystem and can do whatever it wants to do within that ecosystem.  The Apple ecosystem in and of itself is not a monopoly and therefore, there are no antitrust issues.  Ergo, Apple is free to charge any price it wants for entry into its ecosystem and limit distribution into its ecosystem in any way it sees fit.  If consumers or developers don't like Apple's terms and conditions and pricing, they can always go to a competitor which, in this case, includes:  Nokia, Sony, Xiaomi, HTC, Google, and so on and so forth.  
    Not disagreeing with this, however, current consumer laws do not really cover this concept very well. 

    However, you could argue Ford is its own ecosystem as such if you buy a Ford then you're buying into their complete ecosystems of repairs and maintenance as such you could go to GM if you do not like Ford's ecosystem. But long ago the legal system has weight in on the all Ford concept. The courts have said you are free to buy your services and repairs and consumables from any other party you like once you take the car off the lot. Ford or anyone other Car company can not force you to stay in their ecosystem and they can not stop third parties from selling your services and parts which can be added to your Ford.

    So yes the Apple business model is more complicated than a Ford ecosystem modal, back when the auto companies got their hands slapped for forcing consumers to only buy from Ford it did not have the new terminology of a ecosystem. Plus add on the current laws about whole sale distribution and retail laws and what Apple is trying to do it not as easy as you clearly stated.

    The interesting thing about the courts, they tend to look backward to already existing case law to decide how they will view current day issues. Some time courts try to rewrite laws when laws are not clear or do not specifically cover the case. The problem is courts do not have the legal authority to rewrite laws, that the job of the legislator, but this has not stop some courts from changing laws. The US Supreme Court is now more conservative and contextual and they will read the law as written and rule base on written law and less about how they think it should work.

    I also suspect Apple is going to put the whole privacy and security issue in the middle of this. Apple is going to claim that Apple will have to provide a third party the key to the encryption algorithm they use to ensure a user it authorize to download software on to the phone. Apple had argued their end to end encryption has kept consumers information and phones secure.   
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 165 of 180
    crowley said:
    airnerd said:
    Johan42 said:
    avon b7 said:
    I'm for choice in distribution models and less power for store controllers.

    I'd like to see developers have the option to opt out of the App Store if it suits their needs and for Apple to have less say on what is 'acceptable' or not. Likewise, choice would then extend to the end user.
    The open web exists for that. The App Store should be apple controlled.
    Apple wants to hoard as much money as possible, which is why they make it nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps. Controlling what I can or can’t do with my phone...pfft.
    If you want to damage your phone with harmful apps, go right ahead. You know good and well that this is really about people who are interested in loading up on stolen content.
    100% disagree with you on that one.  We have at least a half dozen apps that we use at my office which have to be sideloaded because they are created in house and wouldn't in a million years clear the App Store review. There is proprietary info in there and since it uses our LDAP credentials that too would be an issue.  There a plenty of use cases for a private app store besides stolen content.  
    Wait, I thought you said Apple controls the installation of apps. How can it be that your office has a half dozen apps that didn't get loaded from the App Store and that would never clear App Store review? How is that possible?
    Don't be obtuse or pretend stupid; Apple's software and business policies do everything but prohibit alternative public app stores.  There are solutions for enterprise, and workarounds for small communities or individuals, but nothing public accessible that can be used without exploiting a hack.

    How is that being obtuse? The poster replied to has already installed the Apps onto their devices that they use at work. Clearly they weren’t prevented from doing so by Apples policies/restrictions. So why do they need a third party App Store when they’re ALREADY using the Apps they want?

    If they were PREVENTED from using those Apps then they might have a legitimate complaint (though it can be easily resolved through Apple enterprise developer program, despite that posters lame excuses to suggest that’s not a reasonable solution). In fact, that’s what we do at work for a small number (less than 100) users. We purchased an App “template” which took minimal effort to adapt for our uses, and made it available to employees via the enterprise program. There are a gazillion independent iOS developers out there who provide these and similar solutions for businesses. They can even do the setup and deployment for you using your company’s enterprise program.

    I find it ridiculous when someone pretends the enterprise program isn’t suitable for them. It’s ideal for these situations.
    randominternetpersonStrangeDays
  • Reply 166 of 180
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member
    crowley said:
    airnerd said:
    Johan42 said:
    avon b7 said:
    I'm for choice in distribution models and less power for store controllers.

    I'd like to see developers have the option to opt out of the App Store if it suits their needs and for Apple to have less say on what is 'acceptable' or not. Likewise, choice would then extend to the end user.
    The open web exists for that. The App Store should be apple controlled.
    Apple wants to hoard as much money as possible, which is why they make it nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps. Controlling what I can or can’t do with my phone...pfft.
    If you want to damage your phone with harmful apps, go right ahead. You know good and well that this is really about people who are interested in loading up on stolen content.
    100% disagree with you on that one.  We have at least a half dozen apps that we use at my office which have to be sideloaded because they are created in house and wouldn't in a million years clear the App Store review. There is proprietary info in there and since it uses our LDAP credentials that too would be an issue.  There a plenty of use cases for a private app store besides stolen content.  
    Wait, I thought you said Apple controls the installation of apps. How can it be that your office has a half dozen apps that didn't get loaded from the App Store and that would never clear App Store review? How is that possible?
    Don't be obtuse or pretend stupid; Apple's software and business policies do everything but prohibit alternative public app stores.  There are solutions for enterprise, and workarounds for small communities or individuals, but nothing public accessible that can be used without exploiting a hack.

    How is that being obtuse? The poster replied to has already installed the Apps onto their devices that they use at work. Clearly they weren’t prevented from doing so by Apples policies/restrictions. So why do they need a third party App Store when they’re ALREADY using the Apps they want?

    If they were PREVENTED from using those Apps then they might have a legitimate complaint (though it can be easily resolved through Apple enterprise developer program, despite that posters lame excuses to suggest that’s not a reasonable solution). In fact, that’s what we do at work for a small number (less than 100) users. We purchased an App “template” which took minimal effort to adapt for our uses, and made it available to employees via the enterprise program. There are a gazillion independent iOS developers out there who provide these and similar solutions for businesses. They can even do the setup and deployment for you using your company’s enterprise program.

    I find it ridiculous when someone pretends the enterprise program isn’t suitable for them. It’s ideal for these situations.
    Since the Enterprise Program and sideloading has been mentioned multiple times in this thread, they're either being obtuse or pretend stupid to make some banal, snippy point.
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 167 of 180
    Johan42 said:
    Johan42 said:
    Johan42 said:
    svanstrom said:
    Johan42 said:

    Johan42 said:
    avon b7 said:
    I'm for choice in distribution models and less power for store controllers.

    I'd like to see developers have the option to opt out of the App Store if it suits their needs and for Apple to have less say on what is 'acceptable' or not. Likewise, choice would then extend to the end user.
    The open web exists for that. The App Store should be apple controlled.
    Apple wants to hoard as much money as possible, which is why they make it nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps. Controlling what I can or can’t do with my phone...pfft.
    Xcode is free. Sideload all you want from there.
    One needs a developer account to download the “free” software, and registering such an account requires money. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X, and buying a Mac requires money. The average user has zero idea on how to virtualize Mac OS X in Windows or even use Xcode for that matter. So once again...nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps without having to pay for it.
    So what? I'm free to build my own house, that doesn't mean that it's some sort of evil oligarchy controlling the house building market just because I lack the skills to build houses myself… You either accept having to pay extra for it to be easy, or you put in the hard work to learn how to do it yourself.
    Nonsensical analogy. 
    No it isn’t it’s a great analogy. You’re free to build and side-load apps for iOS, just like you’re free to build a house. But that doesn’t mean it’s “free” to do so without costs. To build a house you must buy tools (wood, saws, etc). To build an iOS app you must als buy tools (a Mac).

    What part are you struggling with?
    You’re under the assumption that I want to build my own app. I mean, I never said anything about creating my own app, now did I?
    The entire basis on your absurd whining was that it wasn't-free for users to build their own apps and load them onto devices because they had to buy a Mac to get Xcode. That was the argument you made -- that it cost money to buy tools to build an app. To which, we properly informed you that nothing is free, and that, like building a house, you must invest in tools. 

    Now you're just dodging by saying "But I don't really want to do this!" Get real, son. You're the one who brought up the complain of buying tools, not me dur.


    Please quote the part where I mentioned “build/create”.
    Jesus christ. Tap the message history. You were told by Mike that you’re free to get Xcode and side load apps. To which you said:

    One needs a developer account to download the “free” software, and registering such an account requires money. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X, and buying a Mac requires money.

    ...essentially crying that these tools (a Mac) “require money”. To which people said yes, doing this requires money in the same way that building a house instead of buying one costs money. 

    What is so hard for you to understand? If you don’t want to buy apps, you can build them, and yes, that requires money since tools aren’t free. Or you can buy them from a developer to side load via the enterprise program. Also costs money. Things cost money. 

    Stop trolling everyone with your nonsense already. Get a job if you’re unhappy that things cost money. 
    edited November 2018 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 168 of 180
    Johan42 said:
    Johan42 said:
    Johan42 said:
    svanstrom said:
    Johan42 said:

    Johan42 said:
    avon b7 said:
    I'm for choice in distribution models and less power for store controllers.

    I'd like to see developers have the option to opt out of the App Store if it suits their needs and for Apple to have less say on what is 'acceptable' or not. Likewise, choice would then extend to the end user.
    The open web exists for that. The App Store should be apple controlled.
    Apple wants to hoard as much money as possible, which is why they make it nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps. Controlling what I can or can’t do with my phone...pfft.
    Xcode is free. Sideload all you want from there.
    One needs a developer account to download the “free” software, and registering such an account requires money. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X, and buying a Mac requires money. The average user has zero idea on how to virtualize Mac OS X in Windows or even use Xcode for that matter. So once again...nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps without having to pay for it.
    So what? I'm free to build my own house, that doesn't mean that it's some sort of evil oligarchy controlling the house building market just because I lack the skills to build houses myself… You either accept having to pay extra for it to be easy, or you put in the hard work to learn how to do it yourself.
    Nonsensical analogy. 
    No it isn’t it’s a great analogy. You’re free to build and side-load apps for iOS, just like you’re free to build a house. But that doesn’t mean it’s “free” to do so without costs. To build a house you must buy tools (wood, saws, etc). To build an iOS app you must als buy tools (a Mac).

    What part are you struggling with?
    You’re under the assumption that I want to build my own app. I mean, I never said anything about creating my own app, now did I?
    The entire basis on your absurd whining was that it wasn't-free for users to build their own apps and load them onto devices because they had to buy a Mac to get Xcode. That was the argument you made -- that it cost money to buy tools to build an app. To which, we properly informed you that nothing is free, and that, like building a house, you must invest in tools. 

    Now you're just dodging by saying "But I don't really want to do this!" Get real, son. You're the one who brought up the complain of buying tools, not me dur.


    Please quote the part where I mentioned “build/create”.
    Jesus christ. Tap the message history. You were told by Mike that you’re free to get Xcode and side load apps. To which you said:

    One needs a developer account to download the “free” software, and registering such an account requires money. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X, and buying a Mac requires money.

    ...essentially crying that these tools (a Mac) “require money”. To which people said yes, doing this requires money in the same way that building a house instead of buying one costs money. 

    What is so hard for you to understand? If you don’t want to buy apps, you can build them, and yes, that requires money since tools aren’t free. Or you can buy them from a developer to side load via the enterprise program. Also costs money. Things cost money. 

    Stop trolling everyone with your nonsense already. Get a job if you’re unhappy that things cost money. 
    You guys moved the goal post a bit here.  Johan42 wants the ability to run third-party apps on his iOS devices without going through the App Store.  So Mike's suggestion to use Xcode isn't really a solution (since there are no third-party apps available as source code).  I think we can agree that it's possible but not convenient consumers to access third-party apps on their iOS devices outside of the App Store and Apple doesn't support this--except for developers running their own stuff and companies using the Enterprise program.  Whether this is "acceptable" or not is debatable, but the facts shouldn't be controversial.
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingamcrowley
  • Reply 169 of 180
    mcdave said:
    rcfa said:
    I wish Apple the best, but this suit, they should lose, or else consumers’ rights are a thing of the past.
    Someone who is in a position of gatekeeper who also actively lobbies the providers of the goods for which he acts as gatekeeper, and restricts what the apps may do, has way too much power.
    If there were multiple AppStores, with different policies, and consumers had the choice of which store or which policies they want to subscribe to, that’s different.
    But Apple not only helps and promotes users getting screwed (e.g. by pushing developers towards the subscription model), it lowers the value of devices people already paid for, e.g. by revoking users’ and apps’ access to MAC addresses, rendering network admin apps for iOS close to useless.
    For these things to stop, there needs to be competition, and there’s none.
    Choice isn’t automatically beneficial.  In fact it introduces fragmentation inconvenience & quality risk.  People in Western societies are brainwashed into thinking choices set them free but it’s just not so.
    The freedom and ability to choose is what separates people from the rest of the animal kingdom, so it’s not a small or inconsequential thing. It defines what it is to be a human being.
  • Reply 170 of 180
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,649member
    avon b7 said:
    urahara said:
    crowley said:
    avon b7 said:
    I'm for choice in distribution models and less power for store controllers.

    I'd like to see developers have the option to opt out of the App Store if it suits their needs and for Apple to have less say on what is 'acceptable' or not. Likewise, choice would then extend to the end user.
    The open web exists for that. The App Store should be apple controlled.
    And why not allow third-party app stores at the user's risk?
    Because those users will be still coming to Apple. Whining. When they screw up with their third-party access apps. At Apple's cost. Meaning also at the cost of those who are just using a more secure App Store.
    I personally would recommend those users (who whine now, before they whine later) just go get Android. 
    Android was always more customisable. And it was always one of the main selling points for such people.
    That isn't actually a reason. Is there a reason that a third party app store couldn't be as good, or better than Apple's? The point is we don't know because the only way a regular user can get apps is by going through Apple's store and the vast majority of them are unnaware of how much Apple takes for providing the service or if Apple is filtering what is available to them.

    Those would be non-issues if users had the option go elsewhere for iOS apps.

    It is a complex issue but a legal challenge helps clarify many aspects and could possibly lead to changes in how things work.

    Here's a bit more about my above comment on trademark law.  After a product, like iPhone or iPad, or iOS, has been on the market for a number of years, the design of that product acquires what's called "secondary meaning", a concept at the heart of trademark law.  Secondary meaning refers to an association of a design, like the design of an iPhone or the iOS operating system, with quality, craftsmanship or other positive attributes one might associate with the brand.  Security is paramount among those attributes when it comes to any Apple product. 

    A 3rd-party App Store, which potentially could include insecure apps, malware, spyware, etc, could diminish the value of Apple’s trademarks associated with the affected products and with the entirety of tne value of Apple as a brand.  What is the value of Apple’s reputation as a business that takes great care to protect its users against security breaches?  Will a 3rd-party App Store work as diligently to protect Apple’s reputation in the eyes of Apple’s existing and potential customers?  And what remedy might Apple have against a loss of reputation, which might cost in the $10s or even $100s of billions in future revenue and customer goodwill, against the creator of an App Store which might have corporate resources in the $millions, not billions?  Apple could suffer an enormous hit with no recourse to recover against the entity that did the damage.

    What is the obligation of Apple to assist and oversee any 3rd-party App Store?  To provide it the tools Apple has spend untold $billions to develop, in order to ensure that the 3rd-party, through negligence or malice, to minimize the probability of malware, spyware and insecure apps making their way onto iPhones and iPads, AppleTVs and watches and HomePods and AirPods, etc?  

    Clearly there should be consideration to protect Apple as a strong competitor offering users a choice versus the market volume dominant Android.  A loss of Apple’s control of its App Store equates to a deterioration of quality of Apple products and diminishment of competition to Android. 

    But as I said, there is no reason to believe that an app store run by another company could not be equal to or better than Apple's.

    Trademark law would have no bearing if the current model was deemed to be anti-competitive.

    This particular case in the US can be seen as a simple stepping stone to further progress of the case but if a similar case were brought within the EU, I think Apple might find itself sweating quite a bit more.
  • Reply 171 of 180
    A third party store would be a failure. First let’s look at what kinds of Apps you’d find there:

    - Free Apps (Twitter, Facebook, browsers, email clients, countless banking/service/shopping Apps. Nobody is going to host a free App since there’s no money to be made.
    - Ad-supported. Again, they won’t exist since the ad revenue goes to the developer directly, not the store.
    - In-App purchase supported. Nope, won’t find these either. Developers will simply host their own stores and bypass the third party stores altogether keeping all the profit themselves.
    - Higher end Apps (the ones over $5-10). They won’t exist either for the same reasons as above. A developer can make their own store and keep all revenue.

    What does that leave you with? All those $0.99 Apps. Except now they’ll be $0.79 or $0.89 since third party stores will presumably takes less than 30% (the gist of this lawsuit is higher App prices due to Apples control, so they’ll have to charge less).

    Who’s going to sign up at a third party store (and expose your credit card/credentials) so you can save $0.10-0.20 here and there on Apps that aren’t vetted as well as The App Store? Further, who’s going to expose their credentials on numerous sites for all those developers who try to sell direct through their own store?


    People are delusional if they think third party stores will be worthwhile. And this is before we look at security.
    This is also why the core of the intended lawsuit - that the App Store has made software more expensive - is specious. The developers you describe as creating their own individual stores would almost certainly charge more per unit than what’s currently in the App Store, because those developers won’t be able to generate the same volume of sales, and will therefore have to charge much higher unit prices just to cover development costs and hopefully some profit. They’ll also have much higher per-unit costs for store overhead. So customers get lower prices via the App Store, not higher prices. 

    The other alternative - that developers would sell through some other 3rd party store that performs the same functions as Apple’s Store and can yield the volume sales that would be required to match Apple’s pricing (Amazon, say), still renders the whole case moot. Without a big store capable of volume sales, the prices go up, not down. 

    Also, doing some quick comparisons for paid apps available in both the App Store and Google Play yields the same prices. So it would appear there’s no there there for this case. The App Store does not result in higher prices to the consumer. 
    edited November 2018 randominternetpersonSpamSandwich
  • Reply 172 of 180
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member
    Johan42 said:
    Johan42 said:
    Johan42 said:
    svanstrom said:
    Johan42 said:

    Johan42 said:
    avon b7 said:
    I'm for choice in distribution models and less power for store controllers.

    I'd like to see developers have the option to opt out of the App Store if it suits their needs and for Apple to have less say on what is 'acceptable' or not. Likewise, choice would then extend to the end user.
    The open web exists for that. The App Store should be apple controlled.
    Apple wants to hoard as much money as possible, which is why they make it nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps. Controlling what I can or can’t do with my phone...pfft.
    Xcode is free. Sideload all you want from there.
    One needs a developer account to download the “free” software, and registering such an account requires money. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X, and buying a Mac requires money. The average user has zero idea on how to virtualize Mac OS X in Windows or even use Xcode for that matter. So once again...nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps without having to pay for it.
    So what? I'm free to build my own house, that doesn't mean that it's some sort of evil oligarchy controlling the house building market just because I lack the skills to build houses myself… You either accept having to pay extra for it to be easy, or you put in the hard work to learn how to do it yourself.
    Nonsensical analogy. 
    No it isn’t it’s a great analogy. You’re free to build and side-load apps for iOS, just like you’re free to build a house. But that doesn’t mean it’s “free” to do so without costs. To build a house you must buy tools (wood, saws, etc). To build an iOS app you must als buy tools (a Mac).

    What part are you struggling with?
    You’re under the assumption that I want to build my own app. I mean, I never said anything about creating my own app, now did I?
    The entire basis on your absurd whining was that it wasn't-free for users to build their own apps and load them onto devices because they had to buy a Mac to get Xcode. That was the argument you made -- that it cost money to buy tools to build an app. To which, we properly informed you that nothing is free, and that, like building a house, you must invest in tools. 

    Now you're just dodging by saying "But I don't really want to do this!" Get real, son. You're the one who brought up the complain of buying tools, not me dur.


    Please quote the part where I mentioned “build/create”.
    Jesus christ. Tap the message history. You were told by Mike that you’re free to get Xcode and side load apps. To which you said:

    One needs a developer account to download the “free” software, and registering such an account requires money. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X, and buying a Mac requires money.

    ...essentially crying that these tools (a Mac) “require money”. To which people said yes, doing this requires money in the same way that building a house instead of buying one costs money. 

    What is so hard for you to understand? If you don’t want to buy apps, you can build them, and yes, that requires money since tools aren’t free. Or you can buy them from a developer to side load via the enterprise program. Also costs money. Things cost money. 

    Stop trolling everyone with your nonsense already. Get a job if you’re unhappy that things cost money. 
    Side loading and building are not the same thing.  The house analogy has already fallen down.
  • Reply 173 of 180
    Johan42 said:
    Johan42 said:
    Johan42 said:
    svanstrom said:
    Johan42 said:

    Johan42 said:
    avon b7 said:
    I'm for choice in distribution models and less power for store controllers.

    I'd like to see developers have the option to opt out of the App Store if it suits their needs and for Apple to have less say on what is 'acceptable' or not. Likewise, choice would then extend to the end user.
    The open web exists for that. The App Store should be apple controlled.
    Apple wants to hoard as much money as possible, which is why they make it nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps. Controlling what I can or can’t do with my phone...pfft.
    Xcode is free. Sideload all you want from there.
    One needs a developer account to download the “free” software, and registering such an account requires money. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X, and buying a Mac requires money. The average user has zero idea on how to virtualize Mac OS X in Windows or even use Xcode for that matter. So once again...nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps without having to pay for it.
    So what? I'm free to build my own house, that doesn't mean that it's some sort of evil oligarchy controlling the house building market just because I lack the skills to build houses myself… You either accept having to pay extra for it to be easy, or you put in the hard work to learn how to do it yourself.
    Nonsensical analogy. 
    No it isn’t it’s a great analogy. You’re free to build and side-load apps for iOS, just like you’re free to build a house. But that doesn’t mean it’s “free” to do so without costs. To build a house you must buy tools (wood, saws, etc). To build an iOS app you must als buy tools (a Mac).

    What part are you struggling with?
    You’re under the assumption that I want to build my own app. I mean, I never said anything about creating my own app, now did I?
    The entire basis on your absurd whining was that it wasn't-free for users to build their own apps and load them onto devices because they had to buy a Mac to get Xcode. That was the argument you made -- that it cost money to buy tools to build an app. To which, we properly informed you that nothing is free, and that, like building a house, you must invest in tools. 

    Now you're just dodging by saying "But I don't really want to do this!" Get real, son. You're the one who brought up the complain of buying tools, not me dur.


    Please quote the part where I mentioned “build/create”.
    Jesus christ. Tap the message history. You were told by Mike that you’re free to get Xcode and side load apps. To which you said:

    One needs a developer account to download the “free” software, and registering such an account requires money. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X, and buying a Mac requires money.

    ...essentially crying that these tools (a Mac) “require money”. To which people said yes, doing this requires money in the same way that building a house instead of buying one costs money. 

    What is so hard for you to understand? If you don’t want to buy apps, you can build them, and yes, that requires money since tools aren’t free. Or you can buy them from a developer to side load via the enterprise program. Also costs money. Things cost money. 

    Stop trolling everyone with your nonsense already. Get a job if you’re unhappy that things cost money. 
    You guys moved the goal post a bit here.  Johan42 wants the ability to run third-party apps on his iOS devices without going through the App Store.  So Mike's suggestion to use Xcode isn't really a solution (since there are no third-party apps available as source code).  I think we can agree that it's possible but not convenient consumers to access third-party apps on their iOS devices outside of the App Store and Apple doesn't support this--except for developers running their own stuff and companies using the Enterprise program.  Whether this is "acceptable" or not is debatable, but the facts shouldn't be controversial.
    You didn’t mention jailbreaking and side loading which you’re also free to do. 

    No goal posts have been moved - Johan’s complaint to Mike was that building apps on Xcode “requires money”. His direct point was about money. To which we said, yes, tools cost money. 
  • Reply 174 of 180
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member
    Johan42 said:
    Johan42 said:
    Johan42 said:
    svanstrom said:
    Johan42 said:

    Johan42 said:
    avon b7 said:
    I'm for choice in distribution models and less power for store controllers.

    I'd like to see developers have the option to opt out of the App Store if it suits their needs and for Apple to have less say on what is 'acceptable' or not. Likewise, choice would then extend to the end user.
    The open web exists for that. The App Store should be apple controlled.
    Apple wants to hoard as much money as possible, which is why they make it nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps. Controlling what I can or can’t do with my phone...pfft.
    Xcode is free. Sideload all you want from there.
    One needs a developer account to download the “free” software, and registering such an account requires money. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X, and buying a Mac requires money. The average user has zero idea on how to virtualize Mac OS X in Windows or even use Xcode for that matter. So once again...nearly impossible for the average user to side load apps without having to pay for it.
    So what? I'm free to build my own house, that doesn't mean that it's some sort of evil oligarchy controlling the house building market just because I lack the skills to build houses myself… You either accept having to pay extra for it to be easy, or you put in the hard work to learn how to do it yourself.
    Nonsensical analogy. 
    No it isn’t it’s a great analogy. You’re free to build and side-load apps for iOS, just like you’re free to build a house. But that doesn’t mean it’s “free” to do so without costs. To build a house you must buy tools (wood, saws, etc). To build an iOS app you must als buy tools (a Mac).

    What part are you struggling with?
    You’re under the assumption that I want to build my own app. I mean, I never said anything about creating my own app, now did I?
    The entire basis on your absurd whining was that it wasn't-free for users to build their own apps and load them onto devices because they had to buy a Mac to get Xcode. That was the argument you made -- that it cost money to buy tools to build an app. To which, we properly informed you that nothing is free, and that, like building a house, you must invest in tools. 

    Now you're just dodging by saying "But I don't really want to do this!" Get real, son. You're the one who brought up the complain of buying tools, not me dur.


    Please quote the part where I mentioned “build/create”.
    Jesus christ. Tap the message history. You were told by Mike that you’re free to get Xcode and side load apps. To which you said:

    One needs a developer account to download the “free” software, and registering such an account requires money. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X, and buying a Mac requires money.

    ...essentially crying that these tools (a Mac) “require money”. To which people said yes, doing this requires money in the same way that building a house instead of buying one costs money. 

    What is so hard for you to understand? If you don’t want to buy apps, you can build them, and yes, that requires money since tools aren’t free. Or you can buy them from a developer to side load via the enterprise program. Also costs money. Things cost money. 

    Stop trolling everyone with your nonsense already. Get a job if you’re unhappy that things cost money. 
    You guys moved the goal post a bit here.  Johan42 wants the ability to run third-party apps on his iOS devices without going through the App Store.  So Mike's suggestion to use Xcode isn't really a solution (since there are no third-party apps available as source code).  I think we can agree that it's possible but not convenient consumers to access third-party apps on their iOS devices outside of the App Store and Apple doesn't support this--except for developers running their own stuff and companies using the Enterprise program.  Whether this is "acceptable" or not is debatable, but the facts shouldn't be controversial.
    You didn’t mention jailbreaking and side loading which you’re also free to do. 

    No goal posts have been moved - Johan’s complaint to Mike was that building apps on Xcode “requires money”. His direct point was about money. To which we said, yes, tools cost money. 
    But he's not asking for Developer Tools, he's asking for a method to sideload apps.  

    His direct point was not about money, I count six discrete reasons given for why using Xcode to build apps from source and sideload them is not a good solution, and only two of them relate to cost.  

    1. One needs a developer account to download the “free” software,
    2. and registering such an account requires money.
    3. There’s also the fact that Xcode only runs on Mac OS X,
    4. and buying a Mac requires money.
    5. The average user has zero idea on how to virtualize Mac OS X in Windows
    6. or even use Xcode for that matter. 

    And personally, even though it's tagged on as an afterthought, I'd say 6 is by far the most significant.

    Is jailbreaking even a thing any more?
    edited November 2018 gatorguy
  • Reply 175 of 180
    crowley said:

    The average user has zero idea on
    The point, that's repeatedly been made, is that whether or not a user knows how to do something is fairly irrelevant to the issue…

    If you were to give an iPhone to the isolated tribe on North Sentinel Island they wouldn't have a clue how to load apps using AppStore.

    If you were to give an iPhone to someone's "tech isolated" grandparent, they wouldn't have a clue how to load apps using AppStore.

    Would any of those two facts constitute a reason for us to say that Apple is making it impossible/too hard to load apps?!

    You could absolutely make all kinds of arguments about how user-friendly something should be, but somewhere you also have to agree that "sideloading is impossible" is a completely different beast than "sideloading is inconvenient, and I don't know how to do it"; right?

    Everyone in this thread has approached the issue as if they are some sort of legal scholar, and if that's the approach to be taken, then we must at least start out with the really basic questions; some of which are:

    1. Is it possible to do some sort of sideloading, i.e. is it possible to load an app without going through the Apple-controlled AppStore?
    2. Do we have any form of reasonable claim to an Apple-made process for making sideloading something that is available to do for an average, non-tech savvy, user?
    3. If we says 'yes' on #2, is that reason enough to require Apple to open up to commercial competitors?

    Those are questions to answer long before whether or not we think that it's reasonable for it to be illegal for Apple to have absolute control over the OS that they are licensing to users.

    For instance, is it possible for someone to automate the process of sideloading apps to the point where it's easy enough for most users?!

    I did a quick google and quickly found this link: https//beebom.com/how-to-sideload-apps-iphone-ios-10-without-jailbreak/. I in no way checked the validity of it, nor if it's still relevant with the latest iOS, but it seemed fairly short and to the point. Is that enough for Apple to not completely control all loading of all apps?!

    There are of course followup questions, like whether or not it can be said to be reasonable that to sideload apps the programmers of those apps must release the source code… and whether or not it's enough that they could use obfuscation tools to scramble the code… or if Apple should be forced to allow sideloading of precomplied apps… Which, of course, takes us back to #1, where we will find that the answer is that there do exist methods for sideloading apps without giving the individual user access to the source code; which takes us to the question of whether or not those methods of doing sideloading are simple enough. :) 

    (BTW… to those that approach this issue from the free market-perspective… It isn't a free market if the government steps in and forces companies to waste resources on changing their products in such a way that it'll harm their business model. "Free market" isn't the same as you always getting your way as a consumer/competitor.)
  • Reply 176 of 180
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member
    Don't be absurd.   Isolated tribes on North Sentinel Island and "tech isolated" grandparents are not a large proportion of Apple's customers.  People who don't know how to use Xcode are.
  • Reply 177 of 180
    crowley said:
    Don't be absurd.   Isolated tribes on North Sentinel Island and "tech isolated" grandparents are not a large proportion of Apple's customers.  People who don't know how to use Xcode are.
    Drop the autism; the world isn’t that black/white.

    People didn’t know how to use AppStore until they did; following a simple step-by-step guide most people can use Xcode.
  • Reply 178 of 180
    svanstrom said:
    crowley said:
    Don't be absurd.   Isolated tribes on North Sentinel Island and "tech isolated" grandparents are not a large proportion of Apple's customers.  People who don't know how to use Xcode are.
    Drop the autism; the world isn’t that black/white.

    People didn’t know how to use AppStore until they did; following a simple step-by-step guide most people can use Xcode.
    “Drop the autism”? I blocked Crowley some time ago and now you join the Blocked Club.
  • Reply 179 of 180
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member
    svanstrom said:
    crowley said:
    Don't be absurd.   Isolated tribes on North Sentinel Island and "tech isolated" grandparents are not a large proportion of Apple's customers.  People who don't know how to use Xcode are.
    Drop the autism; the world isn’t that black/white.

    People didn’t know how to use AppStore until they did; following a simple step-by-step guide most people can use Xcode.
    Even if that were true, which it isn’t, it’s a ridiculous, convoluted and user-hostile solution for “allowing” users to get non-App store software on their iPhone. It’s tantamount to no solution at all.

    And don’t be a dick about autism please.
  • Reply 180 of 180
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 711member
    The Supreme Court has ruled against Apple in this case. Justice Kavanuagh wrote for the majority. Justice Gorsuch wrote a dissent joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas and Alito.

    I think, based on precedent, this is the wrong decision. It also surprises me a bit, though I did worry about Justice Kavanaugh voting with the (often referred to as) more liberal justices after his questioning during oral argument. His questioning suggested to me that he didn't understand the issues, but I chalked that up to him having just been seated and not having had time to get up to speed. My hope was that the (often referred to as) more conservative justices would be able to convince him to see the case as they saw it and/or that more time to understand the issues would allow him to do so. Unfortunately, it seems that is not what happened.

    Here are the opinions.
    edited May 13
Sign In or Register to comment.