This week the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee released its report on the big tech companies and whether they hold monopoly power or abuse their positions. There’s a great article at The Verge that breaks it down so go check that out. Since then, Apple has released a statement to MacRumors ‘vehemently disagree(ing)’ with the findings.
I’ve talked about how I wish Apple would just be more forthright with what it is doing instead of pretending they’re not what they are — a business.
So let’s play a quick game of true or false with Apple’s statement. Let the fun commence:
“We have always said that scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate (true — keyword is ‘said’) but we vehemently disagree (true, obviously) with the conclusions reached in this staff report with respect to Apple. Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business (true, technically. This is where Apple can be clever. So yes, there are more Android users worldwide , but in terms of device makers they are highest and in the US their market share is around 46%, almost twice that of Samsung. Then, when it comes to the market share of App Stores well, they are the dominant one. The only one. Of course, that depends on whether you define apps as a ‘market’ on iOS since Apple doesn’t allow side-loading. This is where some big debates are — can you be accused of having a monopoly in a place you are the only player?). From its beginnings 12 years ago with just 500 apps, we've built the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for users to discover and download apps (true) and a supportive way for developers to create and sell apps globally (false — while it’s a great place many developers have complained about pressures exerted on them by Apple and difficulties getting approved). Hosting close to two million apps today, the App Store has delivered on that promise and met the highest standards for privacy (true), security (true) and quality (ha! False! Have you seen some of the scam apps and games with relentless adds of in-app purchases? They can’t even keep copycat apps off!). The App Store has enabled new markets, new services and new products that were unimaginable a dozen years ago (true although some would argue, given free rein over iOS devs, would have created many new product categories and apps), and developers have been primary beneficiaries of this ecosystem. (Apple doesn’t define what it means by beneficiary. Money? In raw numbers, it’s devs. However, I would argue that it’s Apple, as the reason Apple can sell great devices is the promise of these fantastic apps. And they’ve made an eye-watering amount from iOS devices) Last year in the United States alone, the App Store facilitated $138 billion in commerce with over 85% of that amount accruing solely to third-party developers. Apple's commission rates are firmly in the mainstream of those charged by other app stores and gaming marketplaces.(true — but the important point is that they all copied the App Store when setting out their rates.) Competition drives innovation, (true) and innovation has always defined us at Apple. (true) We work tirelessly to deliver the best products to our customers, (true) with safety and privacy at their core, (true) and we will continue to do so.”
As you can see, it’s still it’s a mixture of carefully worded phrases with a couple of blatant falsities.
And so, it continues...