“App Store Monopoly” Discussion

It is. And neither do I. I want and not or.

Agree to disagree!

There’s near zero chance of this. As I’ve said, most devs are vastly better off on the App Store. But giving them the choice will increase competition and provide Apple with a reason to improve the App Store experience for both devs and customers.

And then you have something like Game Pass where triple A games are insanely cheap because there’s a massive advantage to digital distribution and Microsoft are really feeling the heat to compete with Sony as they can’t take there customers for granted!

This is exactly my point. I’d rather have my choice of multiple mega corporations competing with each other than just have super mega ultra corp Apple hoovering up all the profits and laying down the law to everyone else. Neither is ideal but one is a hell of a lot better than the other.

But you seem to be indifferent when this monopoly is Apple?

Yes, Microsoft (and everyone else are being stubborn). Because the App Store is the biggest monopoly and Apple has the most power of anyone. Regardless of who’s right, having the choice to go outside of the App Store would solve the issue one way or another.

I don’t have the techincal knoweldge to speak about this and am just going on what I’ve heard. There was a discussion on ATP last week which covers it well. The link is timestamped and works with Overcast.

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This is because from the perspective I’m coming at this from, I don’t view Apple as a monopoly. iOS has competition in the form Android. Apple doesn’t prohibit iOS developers from releasing apps on android and vice versa. That would be monopolistic. Both compete for the same market space. They don’t cut up different areas equally so as not to compete with each other and restrict choice like platforms in other mediums such as TV and telecoms do both here and in the US.

If they were doing to Android or Windows what Epic Games are doing to Steam, then I would have a different opinion on this.

This circles back to why only mobile platforms and not the consoles? The fee structures are near identical. There’s also zero marketplace competition within those platforms. And there’s also only two core competing platforms.

The only feasible difference that matters here is the user base and the amount of money on the table.

I think we need to look at the way this is done in other mediums. For books, music, tv shows, films, etc. Each platform has its own store. Every store has identical content at identical prices. This is how it should be.

Then we look at the video game industry, which is far more corrupt when it comes to treating customers fairly. And they profit profoundly from the business tactics in this industry. Epic Games know this. So imagine how much money there is to be had if they can take this industry’s practices and apply them to software development as a whole. Platform exclusivity becomes more common. Prices go up. Quality deteriorates. Profit is derived from lies and deceit because once you have their money the end user is powerless, until you’ve become so morally depraved that your game results in a class action scandal.

There’s no monopoly in that, sure, but because it’s such a race to the bottom strategy, no one cares to actually make things better because they’re all as bad as each other and profiting handsomely for it, so why bother? And there’s a very fitting comparison to the banking sector here, as pre-Monzo, they too were very much like that.

It’s not just Steam and Epic though. We’re in a situation where some titles are on Steam, some on Epic, some on Uplay, some on the Windows store, some on Origin, some on Bethesda’s launcher, some on Blizzard/Activision’s launcher and some on GoG Galaxy.

The Epic store was the final straw. Each one requires that you keep and maintain another extra set of login details, payment details, each sat in the background sucking up resources, yet none seem to have the sense to keep themselves up to date ready for when I might want to use it.

If it isn’t on Steam or GoG, it’s not getting bought.

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Mostly on topic -

UK regulator looking at Google and Apple collaboration.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-22/google-apple-too-close-for-comfort-advertisers-tell-u-k-cma?utm_source=google&utm_medium=bd&cmpId=google

This is exactly what Epic is doing with their games store on windows and what epic will do if they get their app store off the ground. Force people to only go epic to get xyz.

I am a gamer and I cant stand the epic launch software, its crap and slow and terrible but I also dislike the whole giving dev’s money to stop them releasing on steam bs. The dev loses because I dont buy their game even when it does eventually come on steam most of the time. I really liked the look of satisfactory then they pulled the epic bs and I still dont own it even though its a game I know I would like.

Epic pleeped about how this choice would result in cheaper games for consumers but it didnt, dev’s are getting a bigger cut but no cheaper prices for us. It has netted us very little. They bribe free games to try and get you to install their crappy installer and thats all we get.

If anything this should be a warning to those who are wanting to have more crappy stores on ios, your audience will not like you for it if you go exclusive and that stink lasts.

Watch the video above for a preview of what will become the epic ios/android app store saga. Everyone will lose besides epic and even then I dont think the cash burn is really helping epic.

This is on PC where the idea of having choice is baked in and welcome to users mostly and its terrible and the vast majority of gamers I know hate epic for this split, doing it on a product where people knowingly buy into the app store it will be worse.

I do think Apple etc can open things up a bit more and clarify the rules but I do not want another app store or god another payment processor which I have to try and manage to prevent the kids buying crap. If I wanted any of this I would simply go Android… I have a choice and I went ios to avoid all this crap, why do these people think I am missing out and they are trying to save me from my choice…

EDIT: If epic truly had wanted to compete on their merits they would have simply just had games cheaper than steam, no exclusive crap and they be doing a whole lot better with their reputation because of it. Instead after all the criticism they have said they fully plan to double down on exclusive and lockdown games removing choice from the user… they are no ones saviour…

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Shocking! :exploding_head:

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It’s impossible to square Apple’s (reasonable) desire to explain that the prompt to suggest installation of these Russian apps is mandated by Russian law with Apple’s refusal to allow developers to explain the App Store rules they are required to comply with. As I’ve writtenbefore, it is prima facie wrong that one of the App Store rules is that apps are not allowed to explain the App Store rules to users. It’s quite a thing that Russia’s “law against Apple” allows for more transparency to users than Apple’s own App Store rules.

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https://www.ft.com/content/914ce719-f538-4bd9-9fdf-42220d857d5e

All kind of backs up the theory that it’s not the App Store that’s keeping people safe, so much as the very architecture of iOS.

Can’t read the article due to paywall, but that Twitter thread appears to focus entirely on Epic’s documents, and nothing in there from Apple, which makes the initial tweet misleading.

The only things from Apple in there are quotes from Existing and former employees that sound to be the result from Epic’s questioning/investigation.

Where can I read the Apple documents so that I can form my own conclusions from information from both sides rather than just the one that’s being touted here and misrepresented as a balanced interpretation of both sides?

It’s easy to condemn something when you only have one person’s side of the story, like the internet did to Johnny Depp. Now we have both sides, and that situation is not longer so cut and dry. So I’ll reserve judgement until I can read a summary of Apple’s rebuttal.

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Regardless of the docs, this has always been my understanding tbh.

PWAs exist now, and you can run so much code in a browser (Stadia, GeForce Now etc), but I trust iOS and have always understood that the reason for a lack of exploits compared to Android was that the whole system is just secure AF.

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I know you’re not an AMP fan but this should work!

https://amp.ft.com/content/914ce719-f538-4bd9-9fdf-42220d857d5e

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Thanks, but nope:

But this one works:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/914ce719-f538-4bd9-9fdf-42220d857d5e

At least the actual article makes it clear that the documents being referenced in the author’s tweets are from Epic’s side alone, which better balances the tone of the article so it can be assimilated by the reader better. I was worried about FT’s journalism for a moment there, as it’s historically been quite good, and the Twitter thread looked like the article would become a stark departure from that.

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Docs are here.

For me, this is just further corroboration of what I’ve already read and heard widely elsewhere.

But the quotes from the Apple FEAR team are particularly damning.

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Its kind of blown away when you consider apple do detect private api usage which can be more powerful and allow apps to access things they shouldnt.
No app store is perfect (looks at google play…) but apples rules have prevented a lot of crap that could lead to security issues.
That very app that tried to virus scan cant because there is a chance it would be picked up by the private api scanner. Yes it shouldnt have been allowed but it was rejected and someone made a human error finally approving it, that happens but even though it did happen the app couldnt do proper damage and apple are very good a dealing with refunds because hey they do the payments…
Fake apps are bad but they are not necessarily security holes and they can and do get removed and people get refunds because of it.
Tbh this argues that apple needs to use more of its 30% to hire more highly trained review staff, something it cant do if its getting no revenue from it.

Now who is to say when epic gets it store, buys apps exclusivity to prevent them launching on apples store and lock you in, will it prevent private api usage as defined by apple or not and as a whole weaken the whole OS?
We can see what happens on android with its mess of fake apps and dodgy stuff.

This is before we get to google who will no doubt launch play on ios given a chance as well.

I would love to know what traction and charges amazon have for its store use on android and thats with a far bigger name then epic pushing its store front.
Epic also have shot themselves in the foot a bit by relaunching on play (I believe) and paying the fee’s as well as paying the fee’s for consoles.

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I’m curious on this. Did epic remove the feature and comply with the TOS despite having identical rulings to Apple in this regard? Or did Google give them some leniency?

Did Epic announce or explain their reasoning anywhere?

Another thing that diminishes their argument though, is their new mobile rocket league game that will be on iOS. I’m not actually sure what their endgame is here anymore, because they no longer have the appearance of being committed to the causes they claim to be fighting for.

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The long time rumour is an Epic store is coming for mobile devices and they are biding their time. They could launch on Android but are no doubt wanting to strenghten their hand to make google push their store out with a ruling (aka browser selection screen)
I suspect they will do what they did on PC, buy exclusive rights while denying people choice to try and foist their store on people.

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Some interesting tidbits from Apple’s side of the coin in those documents summarised here.

Interesting points, and I personally find them more logical than I do epic’s believable.

One thing I’ve noticed that I find interesting is both companies seem to be using the words of engineers from the opposing company to support their arguments. Almost like both of their strategies is to use their opponents words against against them. Is this a common thing that happens in legal fights like this?

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Perhaps they’re logical but the contant comparisons of digital distribution to boxed software are just infuriating. Apple always conveniently forgets that developers were selling software directly long before the advent of the App Store without a middle man taking 30%.

The Epic Store figs also feel irrelevant. Of course it’s going to be loss making if it’s trying to enter a market dominated by Steam and gain traction. Massive initial investment followed by low marginal costs is the literal Tech playbook. And in any case, how does this case make a difference either way in whether or not the Epic game store will eventually be profitable?