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Apple defends the App Store before antitrust debates

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Apple today released a 16-page report that essentially explains why it would be a bad idea to open its mobile App Store. The report, nicknamed “Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Applications,” establishes the company’s defense of the status quo. He says that if the United States forces Apple to let third parties load apps on iPhone and iPad, it will irrevocably damage the app market.

As well as CNBC reports, the timing of this publication coincides with the U.S. plan to debate a series of antitrust factors seeking to curb Big Tech’s power. These features will cover a wide variety of topics, from free WhatsApp and Instagram purchases to Apple’s App Store. Lobbyists for rival companies, led by Epic Games, have said that the way Apple manages its developer platform is unfair and monopolistic.

Currently, the only way any user can install an app on their iOS device (or iPad OS and WatchOS) is through Apple’s App Store. The company charges developers a flat rate of 15 percent on its first $ 1 million in sales, with that figure rising to 30 percent later. Buyers are also limited to using Apple’s secure payment platform, and each App is verified by the company prior to sales. There are a number of additional rules around this, each with the stated purpose of reducing the risk of scammers to cheat, cheat or otherwise harm iPhone users.

Apple justifies this by saying that its mobile devices are repositories of information that can never be left exposed. The difference, say, of the Mac, which treats it as a more open-ended general-purpose computing platform, which can install apps from any developer without restriction. He says the trust people place in their iPhones is paramount, and cites advice from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to avoid side-charging applications on their devices.

(The company knows all too well what happens when ecosystems, or at least the accounts on those platforms, are breached. In 2014, hackers were able to earn access to accounts hosted in iCloud through phishing spear, and images posted by these online accounts.

In comparison, Apple says that Android – which allows side-loading of apps and is considered a more open platform – is full of security holes. He said that “Android apps aimed at children have been discovered to be involved in data collection practices that violate children’s privacy” and that “malicious players have placed inappropriate or obscene ads in apps aimed at children.” The company added that the side-loading games can evade parental controls, trigger ransomware attacks or trick people into transmitting cash.

Apple sums up its position by saying that, opening up the platform “would put all users at more risk,” since it would encourage malicious players to find holes in the platform. Users who had “grown up to take the security and protection of the iPhone and the App Store for granted should always be on the lookout for the ever-changing tricks of cybercriminals and scammers”. And, as a result, users will be more reluctant to download apps completely, which could harm the developer community.

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Of course, Apple’s detractors will discuss a lot of what the company has explained here, as well as some of its fans. For example, Apple’s seemingly rigorous system for screening and blocking scam applications is quite lax that a large number have reached the window. Developer Kosta Eleftheriou, as explained in a long piece to The Virgin, has identified a number of app scams that defraud users but somehow have done so through Apple’s review process. There are also questions about the fact that Apple earns money for these fraudulent transactions. (As well as TechCrunch reported at the time, the company’s Kyle Andeer said that tracking such scams was a “cat and mouse game” and that Apple was acting to “rectify” app scams “very quickly.”)

Even the developers are scrambling for the idea that they should be responsible for such a large commission given Apple’s size and wealth. At the beginning of 2021, CNBC he reported that the store has earned gross sales of about $ 64 billion, and developers are wondering what might justify this kind of money. Until November 2020, the cut was a fixed rate of 30 percent, even though the company halved it for smaller companies. earning less than $ 1 million in sales.

The line on Apple’s insistence that in-app purchases should use its platform to guard against fraud is set for mid-2020. Epic Games, creators of smash hit Fortnite, has made an update to the app that has unveiled the ban on third-party payments. Apple duly responds from blocking the app for violating their policies, and Epic took revenge by taking him company to court. A similar situation it happened when the mail app Hey it has been approved, and subsequently pulled, by the App Store for requiring users to pay for the service on its website.

There have also been a number of objections to the way Apple may make exemptions for some companies, but not for others. Documents released during the Epic / Apple trial seemed to indicate that the iPhone maker did a lot opening to Netflix, which offers advantages in preventing the streamer from dropping in-app purchases. Similarly, Apple seemed to give Amazon more favorable terms to get the Prime Video app on the platform than for other so-called “app players”.

And situations where Apple restricts both how rival companies operate on the App Store and compete with them apply to companies like Spotify. Sweden-based audio streaming giant has made a complaint to the European Union which then opened one of several antitrust investigations in the iPhone manufacturer. This has been reflected in several investigations around the world, with regulators promising to examine exactly how Apple keeps its home App Store in order.

In its 16-page letter, Apple said it’s a combination of hardware, software and oversight that makes its devices so secure. “Apple’s numerous security levels provide users with an unparalleled level of protection from malicious software, giving users peace of mind.” Some developers, however, think that Apple devices are safe enough that side-loading isn’t as catastrophic as society makes it out to be. Last year, said Yair Ivnitsky of GK8 Engadget that iOS was pretty sure it was consuming too much time and money so hackers would even bother it.

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