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  • Stephen Weed

Takeaways From Apple's Court Case

Today Apple stock dropped nearly 6% in the first open hour of the market. The reason why? The US Supreme Court just announced that they ruled against Apple in an antitrust case. The case against Apple is that the Appstore is unfair, forcing Iphone users to get all of their apps from the Appstore, and taking a whopping 30% commission from the companies developing apps. The case against Apple is headed by consumers and backed by many developers.

The Facts

Let’s talk about what we know for sure. First, Apple does make it incredibly difficult to download apps outside their Appstore. Apple claims this is for security reasons, they don’t want their users to be scammed into downloading dangerous apps.

Second, prices in Apple’s Appstore are almost reminiscent of a movie theater. When you walk into a movie theater it goes something like this. “No outside food or drink allowed, oh and by the way we are going to charge you three house payments for a medium popcorn and soda.” When I have tried Apple’s products, there is a very similar feel. No outside apps, and by the way the apps that aren’t free are going to cost a small fortune.

Lastly, Apple does take a large commission from Appstore developers. Whether this is warranted or not, it has caused some tension between Apple and app makers.

My Take

First on outside apps. I think Apple’s claim could be true and they really are just looking out for their consumers. Coming from a proud Samsung/Android user, I can say with confidence that people who don’t know how to properly and safely use their phones can get into a lot of trouble. As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. Android allows much more freedom on their platform, which opens the gate for a lot of dangers. Personally I will always side with more freedoms, but I can see the case that most people don’t want to take the time to learn proper safety so they need protecting.

Next, Appstore prices. I do think that Appstore apps are ridiculously overpriced, but only in comparison to Google’s playstore. There are factors to the price that most people don’t take into account. First on the user side, they are paying for Apple’s anti spam measures, and quality assurance. It is very unlikely that you will download an app and get a virus on an Apple device, so you pay for it.

Then comes developers. The large commision that Apple takes is very fair in my opinion. The services that they provide to developers are par none. First, they provide an audience of people who have extra income to spend on apps, very valuable. Second, they limit users to only using apps from the Appstore, which is great for app developers! Finally, Apple is amazing at making sure their users have the latest IOS software. Where as Google/Android kind of lag behind in this battle. Most Apple users, even those with outdated phones, have the latest IOS thanks to annoying push notifications and constant pestering.

In conclusion, I don’t think Apple is anti competition. I mean, if it was that big a deal to Iphone users, they can always switch to any other phone and use Google’s Playstore, so there is competition. Plus Apple’s reasons for their actions seem to be in good faith, and for the most part are extremely valuable for all parties involved, especially consumers.

What are your thoughts? Is Apple a monopoly? Should they be punished?

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