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  • Apple's 'loss' is the best result for users, developers, Apple, and Epic

    People do not read. Despite lazy or biased media reports claiming 'the court ruled that Apple is not a monopoly', this ruling rightfully and specifically does not in any way shut down the "monopoly" argument. She said: "The Court does [NOT] find that it is impossible; [ONLY] that Epic Games failed in its burden to demonstrate Apple is an illegal monopolist." Even this decision was restricted by the ruling to specific relevance only to the "digital mobile gaming transactions" market, "not gaming generally and not Apple’s own internal operating systems related to the App Store." In other words, the App Store model was not on trial, only Apple's policies relevant to digital mobile gaming transactions within its ecosystem.

    It in fact is only holding a high standard for that charge, which is generally a good thing. We don't want a low standard for government intervention on markets. But, the ruling merely leaves the App Store monopoly question unanswered for now, and invites a stronger case to be made to put it to rest. She actually spelled out specific evidence that needs to be brought in such an argument.

    Some of the analogies presented in this forum are strange. There is a simple case which most Americans can relate to: Your car. If tomorrow, all car makers were allowed to prevent any parts, accessories, or upgrades for your vehicle from being purchased through any other company, or maintenance being serviced by anyone other than their own authorized dealerships or service centers, everyone would rightfully be up in arms. Instead there are many OEM replacement parts manufacturers, aftermarket accessory makers, and independent service shops. Yet, many customers still choose to deal only with the manufacturer of their vehicles for parts and service. Fine for those who choose. But, no one is physically prevented from utilizing their own property (the car) just because the manufacturer doesn't think it's the best user experience of the hardware that we now own.

    Do you own the physical device, or are you merely renting it until the manufacturer decides to prevent you from using your own property as it was intended to work? iOS devices cease to function not because of a lack of market demand or third-party will to develop for the hardware, or consumer safety, but because the manufacturer Apple maintains the monopolistic physical ability to disable reasonable modification to the software. This is merely the proprietary business strategy of the original hardware manufacturer governing perpetual future use.

    This is why everyone was so angry that Apple was deliberately slowing the CPUs down as batteries degraded over time. Did it make sense for user experience? Maybe. But, people were upset because how dare they make that choice of how we can use our own hardware?

    Imagine if we had to "jailbreak" (take unreasonable steps to enable modification or repair) our own cars.

    This is why there are laws being passed for the "right to repair". Hardware manufacturers can not prevent you from being able to maintain or repair your own physical property.

    "The final trial record did not include evidence of other critical factors, such as [barriers to entry] and conduct [decreasing output] or [decreasing innovation] in the relevant market." If the relevant market on trial was iOS and iPadOS software distribution itself. These factors are readily apparent. Apple has created direct barriers to enter that market by policy and OS-level software restrictions. This decreases output and innovation by preventing any competition in the relevant market. The Apple App Store serves 100% of the market by force. This stands in contrast to many other computing devices whose software distribution is not restricted, such as the devices which are very similar in form in function that run on the Android OS.