AppleZulu

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AppleZulu
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  • UK class action over App Store commission could cost Apple $2B

    avon b7 said:
    AppleZulu said:
    avon b7 said:
    AppleZulu said:
    avon b7 said:
    The problem is this idea of a monopoly - Apple’s  customers choose the app store over other app distribution models when they purchase the device and Apple is far from satisfying the requirements for a monopoly in smartphones in that regard. The appstore and inseparable security model is one of the many reasons why people choose Apple’s platform over competitors. Meaning that users have a choice and were never forced into the system, rather users may have deliberately chosen the device for this reason. 

    Having a “monopoly” on apps differs from having a monopoly over a specific add-on service. Similar to the EU’s recent findings: where the monopoly is far more narrowly defined to a specific service sub-type. Even still that finding of a “monopoly” raises questions and may not stand to juridical scrutiny. 

    Additionally the rates charged by Apple aren’t in any way out of step with similar online stores (nor retail software sales in general) and are in no way unjustified, to each of these points Apple is either the best or near-best option in the market.
    This is not really true.

    I'd go as far as to say that the vast majority of iPhone purchase decisions do not even touch on the App Store issue and even more literally no idea about commission, fees or whatever you wish to call them.

    That is from a purely consumer perspective. From a developer, business, competition and consumer protection perspective however, things change radically and those monopolies do exist.

    I can't know which was things will swing but they are being investigated with good reason.

    My personal view is that Apple might be able to continue unchallenged if it lays out, in black and white, and clear language, all the restrictions that their current policies impose on users.

    Only then would people be able to claim that people voluntarily buy into the restrictions. 
    No, most iPhone owners aren't going to tell you they looked at app store distribution models or any of that. They will tell you that they chose the iPhone because it's easy to use, and it just works. They might also mention they like Apple's focus on user privacy and security, though they probably won't much go into how that's achieved.

    All those decisions are in part based, however, on how the App Store functions. It's easy to buy and install apps with no knowledge of how computers work. The apps almost never crash your device or create conflicts with the function of other apps. If you subscribe to something in an app, you can easily find and track those purchases, and you can easily cancel a subscription and delete the app with no hassle or questions asked.

    People buy iPhones and iPads because of all of that, and forcing a fundamental change to how all that works would undermine the quality of the iPhone user's experience. Buyer choice happens when the device is purchased. Forcing the device to be more like its competitors doesn't enhance consumer choice, it reduces it.
    None of that tackles the issues currently being investigated.

    You'll will likely find that the points you raised are not even considered. That is because competition regulators often deal with issues that regular consumers are often unaware of. Something similar is true of 'right to repair'. 

    Your last point may be relevant but buyer choice can only really be qualified as such if the relevant information (concerning the issues being investigated) is clearly presented to the buyer prior to purchase. That does not happen now. 

    As an aside, Apple may be facing an uphill struggle if they end up falling foul to regulators on both issues. 

    Once any negative rulings are out in the open, Apple PR will have to work overtime to turn things around, as many of those 'happy' customers may turn out to be not so happy and then we would really know if they bought into the definition of 'choice' that you are suggesting. 






    That doesn't make any sense at all. All the things I mentioned contribute to buyer choice when selecting a phone or tablet. Buyers need not acknowledge they've been informed of every single granular detail that might have contributed to their choice in purchasing a device for those contributing factors to be considered relevant to the consumer's selection of that device. They don't need to be told why the closed-system app store model contributes to the security and reliability of the device they chose. If that was necessary, just what level of granular detail would be considered relevant? Does the buyer have to initial a description explaining the App Store's review process as compared to the dangers of side-loading un-reviewed applications? Do they have to be told about required security protocols in the app's code, or how the developer API kits work? I don't think so.

    Apple's customers buy iPhones because of a total package with a reputation for reliability, privacy and security. Forcing Apple to break the app store system to allow side-loading apps and in-app transactions not governed by App Store processes and protocols would undermine the iPhone buyer's experience and expectations. This is entirely relevant to Apple's position that their closed-system OS and App Store is a defining feature of the devices they sell and a basis upon which their customers choose those devices over the competition. 
    You are making claims about why people buy into Apple but they are irrevelant to why they are being investigated.

    Buyers don't need to know everything in granular detail. They would (hypothetically) need to know what consumer protection regulations require them to know from a competition perspective.

    No one is talking about side loading anything.

    Reliability, security and privacy are NOT Apple exclusive features and in any eventual negative outcome, I would imagine that the Apple App Store would retain its current protections. People would literally have choice if other stores could exist alongside the App Store. 
    But that’s not true. Epic, Facebook and others are waging a public war on Apple because they want the benefits of access to the iOS platform and its customers, but without any of the restrictions or costs currently associated with that. 

    If this push is successful to force Apple to allow side loading, third-party stores, etc., there will be significant app developers that either refuse to go through the App Store or use the additional leverage to undermine Apple’s App Store requirements for things like asking permission before tracking users. 

    So no, iOS users won’t have the same choice to just stay with apps that come through the App Store. Right now, for instance, you can choose to buy an iPhone, install the Facebook app on it and say “no” to Facebook doing cross platform tracking of you through that app. You don’t get that with other devices and operating systems. 

    If Apple is forced to open its system as described above, Facebook (and others) are all but guaranteed to take the path that doesn’t restrict them from tracking users and selling their data. The result will be that customers who currently choose Apple because of those increased security and privacy protections, even when using apps like Facebook, will be deprived of those choices. That’s less choice for customers, not more. 
    williamlondon
  • UK class action over App Store commission could cost Apple $2B

    avon b7 said:
    AppleZulu said:
    avon b7 said:
    The problem is this idea of a monopoly - Apple’s  customers choose the app store over other app distribution models when they purchase the device and Apple is far from satisfying the requirements for a monopoly in smartphones in that regard. The appstore and inseparable security model is one of the many reasons why people choose Apple’s platform over competitors. Meaning that users have a choice and were never forced into the system, rather users may have deliberately chosen the device for this reason. 

    Having a “monopoly” on apps differs from having a monopoly over a specific add-on service. Similar to the EU’s recent findings: where the monopoly is far more narrowly defined to a specific service sub-type. Even still that finding of a “monopoly” raises questions and may not stand to juridical scrutiny. 

    Additionally the rates charged by Apple aren’t in any way out of step with similar online stores (nor retail software sales in general) and are in no way unjustified, to each of these points Apple is either the best or near-best option in the market.
    This is not really true.

    I'd go as far as to say that the vast majority of iPhone purchase decisions do not even touch on the App Store issue and even more literally no idea about commission, fees or whatever you wish to call them.

    That is from a purely consumer perspective. From a developer, business, competition and consumer protection perspective however, things change radically and those monopolies do exist.

    I can't know which was things will swing but they are being investigated with good reason.

    My personal view is that Apple might be able to continue unchallenged if it lays out, in black and white, and clear language, all the restrictions that their current policies impose on users.

    Only then would people be able to claim that people voluntarily buy into the restrictions. 
    No, most iPhone owners aren't going to tell you they looked at app store distribution models or any of that. They will tell you that they chose the iPhone because it's easy to use, and it just works. They might also mention they like Apple's focus on user privacy and security, though they probably won't much go into how that's achieved.

    All those decisions are in part based, however, on how the App Store functions. It's easy to buy and install apps with no knowledge of how computers work. The apps almost never crash your device or create conflicts with the function of other apps. If you subscribe to something in an app, you can easily find and track those purchases, and you can easily cancel a subscription and delete the app with no hassle or questions asked.

    People buy iPhones and iPads because of all of that, and forcing a fundamental change to how all that works would undermine the quality of the iPhone user's experience. Buyer choice happens when the device is purchased. Forcing the device to be more like its competitors doesn't enhance consumer choice, it reduces it.
    None of that tackles the issues currently being investigated.

    You'll will likely find that the points you raised are not even considered. That is because competition regulators often deal with issues that regular consumers are often unaware of. Something similar is true of 'right to repair'. 

    Your last point may be relevant but buyer choice can only really be qualified as such if the relevant information (concerning the issues being investigated) is clearly presented to the buyer prior to purchase. That does not happen now. 

    As an aside, Apple may be facing an uphill struggle if they end up falling foul to regulators on both issues. 

    Once any negative rulings are out in the open, Apple PR will have to work overtime to turn things around, as many of those 'happy' customers may turn out to be not so happy and then we would really know if they bought into the definition of 'choice' that you are suggesting. 






    That doesn't make any sense at all. All the things I mentioned contribute to buyer choice when selecting a phone or tablet. Buyers need not acknowledge they've been informed of every single granular detail that might have contributed to their choice in purchasing a device for those contributing factors to be considered relevant to the consumer's selection of that device. They don't need to be told why the closed-system app store model contributes to the security and reliability of the device they chose. If that was necessary, just what level of granular detail would be considered relevant? Does the buyer have to initial a description explaining the App Store's review process as compared to the dangers of side-loading un-reviewed applications? Do they have to be told about required security protocols in the app's code, or how the developer API kits work? I don't think so.

    Apple's customers buy iPhones because of a total package with a reputation for reliability, privacy and security. Forcing Apple to break the app store system to allow side-loading apps and in-app transactions not governed by App Store processes and protocols would undermine the iPhone buyer's experience and expectations. This is entirely relevant to Apple's position that their closed-system OS and App Store is a defining feature of the devices they sell and a basis upon which their customers choose those devices over the competition. 
    williamlondon
  • UK class action over App Store commission could cost Apple $2B

    avon b7 said:
    The problem is this idea of a monopoly - Apple’s  customers choose the app store over other app distribution models when they purchase the device and Apple is far from satisfying the requirements for a monopoly in smartphones in that regard. The appstore and inseparable security model is one of the many reasons why people choose Apple’s platform over competitors. Meaning that users have a choice and were never forced into the system, rather users may have deliberately chosen the device for this reason. 

    Having a “monopoly” on apps differs from having a monopoly over a specific add-on service. Similar to the EU’s recent findings: where the monopoly is far more narrowly defined to a specific service sub-type. Even still that finding of a “monopoly” raises questions and may not stand to juridical scrutiny. 

    Additionally the rates charged by Apple aren’t in any way out of step with similar online stores (nor retail software sales in general) and are in no way unjustified, to each of these points Apple is either the best or near-best option in the market.
    This is not really true.

    I'd go as far as to say that the vast majority of iPhone purchase decisions do not even touch on the App Store issue and even more literally no idea about commission, fees or whatever you wish to call them.

    That is from a purely consumer perspective. From a developer, business, competition and consumer protection perspective however, things change radically and those monopolies do exist.

    I can't know which was things will swing but they are being investigated with good reason.

    My personal view is that Apple might be able to continue unchallenged if it lays out, in black and white, and clear language, all the restrictions that their current policies impose on users.

    Only then would people be able to claim that people voluntarily buy into the restrictions. 
    No, most iPhone owners aren't going to tell you they looked at app store distribution models or any of that. They will tell you that they chose the iPhone because it's easy to use, and it just works. They might also mention they like Apple's focus on user privacy and security, though they probably won't much go into how that's achieved.

    All those decisions are in part based, however, on how the App Store functions. It's easy to buy and install apps with no knowledge of how computers work. The apps almost never crash your device or create conflicts with the function of other apps. If you subscribe to something in an app, you can easily find and track those purchases, and you can easily cancel a subscription and delete the app with no hassle or questions asked.

    People buy iPhones and iPads because of all of that, and forcing a fundamental change to how all that works would undermine the quality of the iPhone user's experience. Buyer choice happens when the device is purchased. Forcing the device to be more like its competitors doesn't enhance consumer choice, it reduces it.
    williamlondon
  • Epic Games witnesses criticize App Store anti-steering provisions

    davidw said:
    omasou said:
    Why is this a problem? I purchase my Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max subscriptions outside iOS and setup my payments on each platform. Apple get 0% of these subscriptions.

    In fact, I have to configure most of my Netflix account settings on the web site b/c they are not available through the app.

    Just buy the VBuck via Epic's site. Sounds like their lawyers are asking for a solution where a problem doesn't exist. Oh wait, if I'm too stupid to know that I can buy VBuck directly from Epic. OK, got me there.
    There are problems with this, but it's not up to Apple to come up with the solutions for Epic, free of charge.

    One problem is that many in-app purchases when playing games like Fortnight, are impulse buying. A player sees a cool virtual outfit or pick axe handle and must have it before they start the next game. If they are out of V-Bucks, they can just stay on the app and buy more V-Bucks and then buy the cool outfit or pick axe using their iTunes account. And they're back to playing, in no time. But because Apple do not allow a direct link inside the app, they have to log out of their account on the app, open a browser, log in to their account, buy the V-Bucks, pay for the transaction, log out, log back into their account on the app and make the in-app purchase, then that impulse to spend $10 in real money, might go away. 

    The other problem is the convenience of iOS players using iTunes to pay for purchases. Epic can not come close to that unless they are allowed to set up their own payment system, inside their app. Which they are not allowed.

    And finally, Epic can not offer any incentive for Fortnight players to buy V-Bucks using a browser. This is true for all platforms. No way will Microsoft or Sony allow players to buy V-Bucks at a discount, by buying them using a browser, that can be spent in game play, on their platform. Remember, game consoles also have a browser and collect a commission for in-app purchases. Without an incentive to buy V-Bucks using a browser, why would Fortnight players go through the extra steps needed to buy their V-Bucks, instead of with an in-app purchase?   

    Even Tim (what an idiot) Sweeney admitted to the Judge that the main reason why it was important for Epic to have their own payment system inside their app, was to make it as convenient as possible for Fortnight players to make in-app purchases, which leads to more impulse buying. 

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/judge-presses-epic-ceo-during-221006843.html

    >Gonzalez Rogers asked Sweeney whether the company's desire to be free of Apple's in-app purchase requirements meant that it wanted the "Fortnite" user base, which includes many younger users, to have access to "what I would call, as a parent, an impulse purchase."


    "What you are really asking for is the ability to have impulse purchases," she said to Sweeney through layers of plexiglass separating the witness booth from the bench.


    "Yes," Sweeny replied, "customer convenience is a huge factor in this."<

    Impulse buys are almost by definition not an area where there is any expectation of presenting consumers with an array of reasoned choices to consider. The candy rack by the cash register at your grocery store does not include notices about how you could pay less to order your gum online instead. In fact, there's not even a mention that that individual pack of gum you're picking up is several times more expensive than the same gum available in a multipack located 30 feet away in the candy aisle. 

    It's not an impulse buy if you cause the consumer to stop, consider their options and act on those considerations. In fact, the impulse purchase is staged specifically to reduce the consideration of not making a purchase at all. A reminder at the checkout counter that gum is cheaper online or back in the candy aisle is also likely to remind the consumer that maybe they don't need any gum at all, actually. Likewise, an in-app reminder that you can purchase your game bucks in a browser or through some other device is just as likely to remind you that you could save your money, not buy any game bucks and maybe spend time with family or read a book or something.

    Epic really doesn't want a way to just remind customers where else they can buy game bucks. They want an in-app bypass to carry out the impulse purchase without giving Apple their cut for providing a convenient platform to run their game. An analog would be Wrigley gum expecting grocery retailers to stock packs of Spearmint by the register, but to allow consumers to use a phone app to scan the barcode, pay Wrigley directly and walk away with the pack of gum. There's no retailer that would agree to those terms. 
    muthuk_vanalingamradarthekatwilliamlondonBeatsroundaboutnowspock1234bestkeptsecreturahara
  • AirTag hacked and reprogrammed by security researcher

    Inevitably when Apple releases new tech - particularly security related tech - we see these early demos of some form of hacking or misuse, along with other imaginative prognostications of the terrible things that await us all as criminals seize this new tech to use against us. The thing that seems to evade the folks cooking up these scenarios is the universal cost/benefit analysis that is made by even the dumbest of criminals: is this worth the effort? For instance, you can argue that a clever thief can figure out how to bypass or disable the security cameras on your house, perhaps by cutting power or jamming radio signals, etc. The reality is that clever and not-so-clever thieves will almost always just take the easier route of finding the next house that doesn't have security cameras instead.

    When FaceID came out, we saw wild demonstrations of various types of facial replicas made to supposedly fool that system. Before that, we were assured that we were all at risk of losing fingers along with our iPhones so that thieves could defeat the new fingerprint readers. With some regularity, various other hacks of Macs, iPhones and iPads are breathlessly reported (particularly by folks who want to sell you their security software), only to see that the detailed info on the hack involves scenarios where the baddie has to gain physical access to the device, carry out a complex procedure on it and then return it to the owner unawares. In reality, most of these crimes are not worth the effort or risks required for these schemes to be implemented. 

    In the current case here, someone has to obtain, modify and return a victim's AirTag undetected. The modification part requires significant skill, as does the undetected reconstruction and return of the device. Lost in this scenario is the fact that AirTag devices are only the tip of the iceberg in this technology. Most of what these devices do happens on the back end. Were there to be some spate of nefarious physical changes made to these devices, a back-end update could quietly neutralize those changes or simply warn the tag's owners that there is something wrong with their tag and to please contact customer service. 

    The idea of modifying an AirTag to cause it to bypass Apple's back end is even more daft, as that would disable the means by which the tag communicates with users. It also fails the cost/benefit analysis, in that modifying an AirTag to communicate via some alternate network and then returning it to an unsuspecting victim is far more difficult than the bad guy simply attaching his own bug to a victim without bothering the Apple tracker. It also requires the bad guy to have some back-end system to communicate with. None of this passes that rudimentary is this worth the effort test.
    shamino