When the Epic Vs. Apple concludes, Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken the position to give the most anticipated testimony of the process. After a widely quoted statement that earlier in the day, Cook testified about Apple’s business in China and its privacy policies.
But some of the toughest questions have come from U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who insisted Cook on Apple’s relationship with its developers. The judge cited a survey conducted by Apple that indicated that 39 percent of its developers were dissatisfied with the company’s distribution. After the high number, he asked Cook how Apple has any incentive “to meet their needs.”
Cook responded that there was still some “friction” with the developers, given the number of apps the company rejects, but that “the friction is good for users because it lets them know it’s safe and reliable.” Rogers responded that “there doesn’t seem to be any pressure or competition to change the way we act to address developers’ concerns.”
He also said it was “incredibly significant” that most of the App Store’s revenue and in-app purchase revenue comes from games, saying the gaming industry generates a “disproportionate amount” of revenue. for Apple. She pointed to banking apps, such as Wells Fargo, that don’t pay Apple more than an annual developer fee. He asked if the game apps supported essentially all the free apps in the store. Cook disagrees, saying having a “large number” of free apps helps get more traffic for all developers.
Cook also faced questions about other sensitive issues. Epic’s lawyer questioned Apple’s policies in China, including the fact that Chinese iCloud data belongs to a state-owned company called GCBD. Earlier this week, In the New York Times published a in the “compromises” that Apple makes to operate in China. The CEO has also been pushing for Apple’s cooperation with the Chinese government’s requests to remove apps from the App Store. Cook said the company had an obligation to follow the laws of the countries where it operates.
Some moments seemed to extend credibility, such as when Cook said he didn’t know how much Google paid to be the default search engine on iOS, saying, “it was probably a better question. [Google]. “The specifics of this agreement are currently part of a separate one from the Justice Department, which last year said these cases give Google an illegal monopoly on search-related advertising.
There’s also been a long discussion about the App Store and how much revenue it generates, which has become a big deal throughout the process. Cook has repeatedly said that Apple does not separate App Store financiers separately, even though it has “a feeling” for the numbers. He acknowledged that the iOS app store makes “a lot” more than its Mac counterpart, and that gaming apps make the most money. (Prior to the trial, Epic called an expert witness who stated that Apple’s operating margin for the App Store could be 77.8 percent. Apple has disputed this number.)
Cook’s testimony comes when the week-long trial is complete. Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday, and Rogers said a decision will take “some time,” but hopefully it will land in mid-August.
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