Supreme Court rules against Apple Antitrust Lawsuit

TC McQuade

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Supreme Court rules against Apple in lawsuit targeting App Store

The Supreme Court ruled against Apple on Monday to allow consumers to proceed with an antitrust lawsuit that accused the company of monopolizing iOS apps and artificially inflating prices through its App Store.

In a 5-4 ruling on Apple Inc. v. Pepper, the Supreme Court said iPhone buyers were “direct purchasers” who can sue Apple for alleged monopolization.

“The plaintiffs purchased apps directly from Apple and therefore are direct purchasers under Illinois Brick,” Kavanaugh wrote in the majority opinion, citing the doctrine that prohibits indirect purchasers from suing companies for damages under antitrust law.
 

GomerPile

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Apple manages worldwide distribution of your app and provides analytics. They make sure that the apps you download are not malware. They maintain a system that allows the quick removal of any app that needs to be disabled for whatever reason. They maintain a cloud service that allows apps to store data so it sync's with all your devices. Any developer who releases a free app is not charged (other than the $99 yearly dev fee). For all this Apple gets 30%.

Apple provides FREE developer tools (XCode) that allow you to compile and deploy apps to any devices you own. They provide enterprise certificates so that companies can deploy business apps for a $299 yearly fee (peanuts). If there really is an app you can't live without and Apple won't let it in the store (porn, bitcoin, nazi, etc) then you can bet that an Xcode project exists for it.

The only thing Apple won't let you do is download some sketchy program off a website (outside the app store) and install it. If you were on the hook for technical support would you let your grandma install software written by a Zimbabwe prince?

And BTW, It is possible to install web apps without using the app store. In fact, there are a huge number of apps in the app store that could be deployed as web apps without sacrificing any functionality.

Total BS IMO!

Compare this to Facebook who is openly mining customer data. In fact, Apple revoked their enterprise certificate at one point because they were deploying internal business apps to the public.

Admittedly Apple's app store is an effing racket.... But - I wasn't aware Apple was now the only smartphone option consequently making them a monopoly. Quick someone should tell Google.
 
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Apple manages worldwide distribution of your app and provides analytics. They make sure that the apps you download are not malware. They maintain a system that allows the quick removal of any app that needs to be disabled for whatever reason. They maintain a cloud service that allows apps to store data so it sync's with all your devices. Any developer who releases a free app is not charged (other than the $99 yearly dev fee). For all this Apple gets 30%.

Apple provides FREE developer tools (XCode) that allow you to compile and deploy apps to any devices you own. They provide enterprise certificates so that companies can deploy business apps for a $299 yearly fee (peanuts). If there really is an app you can't live without and Apple won't let it in the store (porn, bitcoin, nazi, etc) then you can bet that an Xcode project exists for it.

The only thing Apple won't let you do is download some sketchy program off a website (outside the app store) and install it. If you were on the hook for technical support would you let your grandma install software written by a Zimbabwe prince?

And BTW, It is possible to install web apps without using the app store. In fact, there are a huge number of apps in the app store that could be deployed as web apps without sacrificing any functionality.

Total BS IMO!

Compare this to Facebook who is openly mining customer data. In fact, Apple revoked their enterprise certificate at one point because they were deploying internal business apps to the public.
I see it from the other side:

I OWN the device. If I want to eff it up downloading sketchy apps from a Zimbabwe prince I should be free to do so. I effing own it! If I eff it up and require support, then Apple can offer that as an additional paid service. But to outright block what I can do on my own phone - Eff you! So that's #1.

#2 - Apple may provide those "services" but there are other market solutions that can provide the same at a lower cost - or even for free. Linux, for example, has had trusted app repositories for decades before it was ever a gleam in an iPhone user's eye. What did they cost - nothing! As for code signing certificates and SSL certs, those are also dirt cheap from other market alternatives - like NameCheap. Some are as cheap as 5.00 dollars.

#3 - When it comes to enterprise and company apps, it should be an option for the companies to sign those apps with their own certificate server which they very likely already run. The root cert could be distributed via their in house MDM. Why does Apple FORCE you to use theirs? $$$$$ that's why. Again - WE OWN THE DEVICE!! Who the eff are you to tell me how I have to use it and what software it should and should not trust? That's like my buying a Mustang and then Ford telling me when, where and how I have to drive it. How is that acceptable exactly?

#5 - On your point of deploying as web apps as opposed to local apps.... Tell me - how does that work when the user is offline or in airplane mode or just doesn't want to jack up their data bill? Also are you sure that a large number of mobile browsers are going to provide a consistent experience? Will someone using Chrome have the same experience as Safari, Firefox, Opera, Brave, Samsung's Mobile browser, Edge, etc... Because web developers struggle with that mightly now. And how about the cost to the developers/company offering that app that's now a web service. That web app/service needs to run on web servers. Those web servers require a database server on the back end as well. HAve to save the user's progress or state after all. Those servers need to be connected to the internet with a lot of bandwidth to service all the concurrent users, protected by a web app firewall, etc... None of that is free and only drives their expenses. So how is that a better alternative for the developer exactly? Not to mention all that infrastructure needs to be backed up (more servers and more $$$)

#5 - On the point of analytics... So what. There are hundreds of alternatives for that which cost practically nothing. Azure application insights for example. Very easily incorporated into the app's development. Again - why is a developer forced to buy into Apple's solution? There's Ford telling me how I have to drive my Mustang again... Nope - can't use it on that highway. You can only drive it on this road, and only on Wednesday, and no left turns!

It's a racket and it deprives both the developers and end users the freedom of choice in how they USE THE DEVICE WHICH THEY OWN.
 
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amm5061

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And BTW, It is possible to install web apps without using the app store. In fact, there are a huge number of apps in the app store that could be deployed as web apps without sacrificing any functionality.
Can confirm. We built an iPhone app for one of our clients years ago. It certainly does not go through the app store to get installed.
 
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Both sides of this argument make sense.

I lean to the side that says apple isn’t doing anything wrong. As I write this on an iPhone.

I bought this iPhone knowing exactly what I was doing. Indeed, I bought it for exactly the reason apple is being sued. I want a closed eco system. Because I want apple monitoring what can and cannot be installed to my phone.

Yup, costs more. And thats what I’m paying for.

And you’re not forced to buy apple. There are, apparently, other phones out there. Idiots buy them every day. Not a monopoly. Apple is the wrong target.
 

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In some ways its not all that different an issue than the cases that have come up under the digital millenium act BS where car manufacturers have attempted to claim that no one other than the car manufacturer can access/tune/alter the software configuration (computer/software) of the car a person buys.......and in turn can hold the owner hostage to the manufacturer.

That IMHO is bullshit and the courts came down on the right side of the DMA issue.

Apple is trying to do same/similar in a way
 

GomerPile

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#1&2, You can install apps on your device anytime...get the source code, compile, and install...cost = $0. Many other OS'es work like this...Linux?

#3, I don't know the reason Apple charges $299/yr for enterprise program. Its not just the benefit of installing apps they also offer provisioning and remote wiping of devices which is worth the price of admission IMO (although I don't work in that part of the IT world).

#4, web apps are just fancy web pages that are installed on your device. They run if you have data connection or not. In Apples case they use the built in Safari browser. Properly written web apps look just like regular apps. They have less access to system services which makes them very safe...unless you are a developer and need those services :)


I see it from the other side:

I OWN the device. If I want to eff it up downloading sketchy apps from a Zimbabwe prince I should be free to do so. I effing own it! If I eff it up and require support, then Apple can offer that as an additional paid service. But to outright block what I can do on my own phone - Eff you! So that's #1.

#2 - Apple may provide those "services" but there are other market solutions that can provide the same at a lower cost - or even for free. Linux, for example, has had trusted app repositories for decades before it was ever a gleam in an iPhone user's eye. What did they cost - nothing! As for code signing certificates and SSL certs, those are also dirt cheap from other market alternatives - like NameCheap. Some are as cheap as 5.00 dollars.

#3 - When it comes to enterprise and company apps, it should be an option for the companies to sign those apps with their own certificate server which they very likely already run. The root cert could be distributed via their in house MDM. Why does Apple FORCE you to use theirs? $$$$$ that's why. Again - WE OWN THE DEVICE!! Who the eff are you to tell me how I have to use it and what software it should and should not trust? That's like my buying a Mustang and then Ford telling me when, where and how I have to drive it. How is that acceptable exactly?

#5 - On your point of deploying as web apps as opposed to local apps.... Tell me - how does that work when the user is offline or in airplane mode or just doesn't want to jack up their data bill? Also are you sure that a large number of mobile browsers are going to provide a consistent experience? Will someone using Chrome have the same experience as Safari, Firefox, Opera, Brave, Samsung's Mobile browser, Edge, etc... Because web developers struggle with that mightly now. And how about the cost to the developers/company offering that app that's now a web service. That web app/service needs to run on web servers. Those web servers require a database server on the back end as well. HAve to save the user's progress or state after all. Those servers need to be connected to the internet with a lot of bandwidth to service all the concurrent users, protected by a web app firewall, etc... None of that is free and only drives their expenses. So how is that a better alternative for the developer exactly? Not to mention all that infrastructure needs to be backed up (more servers and more $$$)

#5 - On the point of analytics... So what. There are hundreds of alternatives for that which cost practically nothing. Azure application insights for example. Very easily incorporated into the app's development. Again - why is a developer forced to buy into Apple's solution? There's Ford telling me how I have to drive my Mustang again... Nope - can't use it on that highway. You can only drive it on this road, and only on Wednesday, and no left turns!

It's a racket and it deprives both the developers and end users the freedom of choice in how they USE THE DEVICE WHICH THEY OWN.
 

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There is a simple way to resolve this. The store thing should be an API, where you can plug in new store implementations. It defaults to the Apple store and will always list this first. They would add some super secret setting with lots of warnings that let's you put in the URL of additional store(s). An app search would match all stores, making it clear which store is returning matches (again with lots of warnings for 3rd party stores) .

Google needs to do this too, but at least loading an APK directly is pretty easy.
 
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Both sides of this argument make sense.

I lean to the side that says apple isn’t doing anything wrong. As I write this on an iPhone.

I bought this iPhone knowing exactly what I was doing. Indeed, I bought it for exactly the reason apple is being sued. I want a closed eco system. Because I want apple monitoring what can and cannot be installed to my phone.

Yup, costs more. And thats what I’m paying for.

And you’re not forced to buy apple. There are, apparently, other phones out there. Idiots buy them every day. Not a monopoly. Apple is the wrong target.
If you want that closed ecosystem - fine. It's an option. Just don't install 3rd party app repositories/stores. But we're dealing not with an option, but with force. Force being the operative word here. You are denied any such option from Apple at all. Remember - these are not THEIR devices. They don't own them. They're YOURS and YOU OWN THEM. That means you should be free to choose how you use them.

One should not be forced and locked out of something they own. You should no more be denied the ability to make repairs to your own car than you are to install any software on your own device.
 

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And you’re not forced to buy apple. There are, apparently, other phones out there. Idiots buy them every day. Not a monopoly. Apple is the wrong target.
Lol, being forced to buy something or not is not the problem here. Problem is software companies have abused the nostrum of "ownership" of the product for a long time. Apple is in a pickle here given that they have actually sold people physical devices. So there is some notion of entitlement that those devices should
work , etc. And not this idea of "oh our EULA says despite you purchasing this product you can legally only use it how, when and where we tell you its OK to do
so" etc. Unfortunately unless a consumer software bill of rights was passed, this problem will keep festering...

Apple could have dodged this if they only leased their shit out, then they'd maintain all control, etc, because with that arrangement there is no notion of property ownership. Of course they won't do that because that would piss off consumers.

-Mike
 
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You can install apps on your device anytime...get the source code, compile, and install...cost = $0.
Because the average iPhone user knows how to do that?

I don't know the reason Apple charges $299/yr for enterprise program. Its not just the benefit of installing apps they also offer provisioning and remote wiping of devices which is worth the price of admission IMO (although I don't work in that part of the IT world).
I do... $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Any MDM can remotely wipe a device. In fact you don't even need an MDM. Just connecting to a business mailbox service like Office 365 gives the admin the ability to remotely wipe.

web apps are just fancy web pages that are installed on your device. They run if you have data connection or not. In Apples case they use the built in Safari browser. Properly written web apps look just like regular apps. They have less access to system services which makes them very safe...unless you are a developer and need those services
Please - elaborate on that. How would a web app like - oh say a game - function without an internet connection? How would it load your previously saved progress? How would it load the next map, puzzle, etc when the required back end web services are unavailable? When the device is online who pays for all that previously discussed infrastructure that would be required for the app publisher to adopt this deployment model? As discussed it ain't free. It ain't cheap either. Several tens of thousands of dollars as an initial spin up cost is not at all unreasonable to expect. That's a hell of a lot more loot than paying for apple's racket of an app store. Especially for a start-up. This is not a viable alternative to a 3rd party app repo/store. Not even remotely.

This case is all about CHOICE and Apple locking you out of having any. When a company FORCES you to pay them and blocks out alternatives in the market, that is the textbook definition of a monolopy.
 
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Simple. Just Say No To Fruit.
I have only had one iPhone. It was an iP3. When Apple forced an upgrade to iOS4, it bricked the phone to a crawl. Dumped it and bought my own Moto Android. Expensed the data plan. No fruit since.
 

drgrant

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Simple. Just Say No To Fruit.
I have only had one iPhone. It was an iP3. When Apple forced an upgrade to iOS4, it bricked the phone to a crawl. Dumped it and bought my own Moto Android. Expensed the data plan. No fruit since.
They're all pretty much shit, Android just gives you more choices on the smell, shape, quality and cost of the turd.

-Mike
 

GomerPile

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Installing apps on Linux, or side loading APK's on android requires some skill on the part of the end user. Installing iOS apps from xCode requires a bit of skill but not much (download xcode, create dev userid, load project, select cert, build...all done in a nice GUI BTW). The first 2 steps are only done once.

Apple is not making money selling enterprise certs...

PWA's (Progressive Web Apps) have mechanisms needed to store/retrieve data from local storage or internet connection just like compiled apps. The infrastructure needed to deploy them is available from any web host for a few dollars a month. You just need a web server and SSL cert. Game dev tools like Unity have web deploy options available. This has been around for years...although there are new features to make this better like service workers (Apple supports BTW).

You want an iOS device that can connect to some other app store and download apps. That currently exists in the Android world and its a total disaster. Tell GM that you want to install different firmware in your ECU...but they are on the hook for a new engine when you run it lean. You want Apple to let you run some app that you later find out has overclocked your phone to mine bitcoin and then force Apple to replace the phone when it fails.



Because the average iPhone user knows how to do that?



I do... $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Any MDM can remotely wipe a device. In fact you don't even need an MDM. Just connecting to a business mailbox service like Office 365 gives the admin the ability to remotely wipe.



Please - elaborate on that. How would a web app like - oh say a game - function without an internet connection? How would it load your previously saved progress? How would it load the next map, puzzle, etc when the required back end web services are unavailable? When the device is online who pays for all that previously discussed infrastructure that would be required for the app publisher to adopt this deployment model? As discussed it ain't free. It ain't cheap either. Several tens of thousands of dollars as an initial spin up cost is not at all unreasonable to expect. That's a hell of a lot more loot than paying for apple's racket of an app store. Especially for a start-up. This is not a viable alternative to a 3rd party app repo/store. Not even remotely.

This case is all about CHOICE and Apple locking you out of having any. When a company FORCES you to pay them and blocks out alternatives in the market, that is the textbook definition of a monolopy.
 

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Installing apps on Linux, or side loading APK's on android requires some skill on the part of the end user. Installing iOS apps from xCode requires a bit of skill but not much (download xcode, create dev userid, load project, select cert, build...all done in a nice GUI BTW). The first 2 steps are only done once.

Apple is not making money selling enterprise certs...

PWA's (Progressive Web Apps) have mechanisms needed to store/retrieve data from local storage or internet connection just like compiled apps. The infrastructure needed to deploy them is available from any web host for a few dollars a month. You just need a web server and SSL cert. Game dev tools like Unity have web deploy options available. This has been around for years...although there are new features to make this better like service workers (Apple supports BTW).

You want an iOS device that can connect to some other app store and download apps. That currently exists in the Android world and its a total disaster. Tell GM that you want to install different firmware in your ECU...but they are on the hook for a new engine when you run it lean. You want Apple to let you run some app that you later find out has overclocked your phone to mine bitcoin and then force Apple to replace the phone when it fails.
Or it could be I just want to install Gab or other app Apple banned for political reasons and has nothing to do with it messing up my phone.
 
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Installing apps on Linux, or side loading APK's on android requires some skill on the part of the end user. Installing iOS apps from xCode requires a bit of skill but not much (download xcode, create dev userid, load project, select cert, build...all done in a nice GUI BTW). The first 2 steps are only done once.

Apple is not making money selling enterprise certs...

PWA's (Progressive Web Apps) have mechanisms needed to store/retrieve data from local storage or internet connection just like compiled apps. The infrastructure needed to deploy them is available from any web host for a few dollars a month. You just need a web server and SSL cert. Game dev tools like Unity have web deploy options available. This has been around for years...although there are new features to make this better like service workers (Apple supports BTW).

You want an iOS device that can connect to some other app store and download apps. That currently exists in the Android world and its a total disaster. Tell GM that you want to install different firmware in your ECU...but they are on the hook for a new engine when you run it lean. You want Apple to let you run some app that you later find out has overclocked your phone to mine bitcoin and then force Apple to replace the phone when it fails.
I have to disagree. Loading a .apk outside of the app store in Android requires checking a box to allow unknown sources. Literally - that's it. No signing up for some dev program, no compiling your own source code, etc. We're not even in the same universe when it comes to measuring simplicity for the average user here.

"The infrastructure needed to deploy them is available from any web host for a few dollars a month."
You just don't know what infrastructure costs. More like a few thousands of dollars per month. Yea - you spin up a "free" server in AWS so you can so some playground work as a Dev. It may even provide acceptable performance when you're the only one using it. That's great. Now hit it with 5000 concurrent users and lets talk. And what about backups? What about fault tolerance? What about security (WAF, IPS, etc.) This shit adds up man...

"You want an iOS device that can connect to some other app store and download apps. That currently exists in the Android world and its a total disaster. "
No it's not and you're broadly generalizing. Maybe some of them are, but others are not. The Amazon app store for Android is well done as are some others.

"Tell GM that you want to install different firmware in your ECU...but they are on the hook for a new engine when you run it lean"
That's not true either. GM can tell if you flashed or replaced the ECU and can and does deny warranty claims because of it.
 

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Ok you win Apple sucks break them up :)

I have to disagree. Loading a .apk outside of the app store in Android requires checking a box to allow unknown sources. Literally - that's it. No signing up for some dev program, no compiling your own source code, etc. We're not even in the same universe when it comes to measuring simplicity for the average user here.

"The infrastructure needed to deploy them is available from any web host for a few dollars a month."
You just don't know what infrastructure costs. More like a few thousands of dollars per month. Yea - you spin up a "free" server in AWS so you can so some playground work as a Dev. It may even provide acceptable performance when you're the only one using it. That's great. Now hit it with 5000 concurrent users and lets talk. And what about backups? What about fault tolerance? What about security (WAF, IPS, etc.) This shit adds up man...

"You want an iOS device that can connect to some other app store and download apps. That currently exists in the Android world and its a total disaster. "
No it's not and you're broadly generalizing. Maybe some of them are, but others are not. The Amazon app store for Android is well done as are some others.

"Tell GM that you want to install different firmware in your ECU...but they are on the hook for a new engine when you run it lean"
That's not true either. GM can tell if you flashed or replaced the ECU and can and does deny warranty claims because of it.
 

GomerPile

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No way Apple is evil...they charge stupid prices for their phones. They unlock peoples devices for the FBI on a whim...not sure why the they need to do this because their OS is so insecure the devices are easily broken into. They collect data about where you travel, what web sites you visit, the list is endless. THEN...they sell all that info to advertisers so they can make a profit. Horrible company!

Google's moto is don't be evil....I believe them. They don't need to sell phones to make a profit....they provide their services for free. I also like that Zuckerberg fellow that says he's building a privacy first social network...we need more people like him!

Can we break up alphabet/google first?

They're far more sinister.......
 
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No way Apple is evil...they charge stupid prices for their phones. They unlock peoples devices for the FBI on a whim...not sure why the they need to do this because their OS is so insecure the devices are easily broken into. They collect data about where you travel, what web sites you visit, the list is endless. THEN...they sell all that info to advertisers so they can make a profit. Horrible company!

Google's moto is don't be evil....I believe them. They don't need to sell phones to make a profit....they provide their services for free. I also like that Zuckerberg fellow that says he's building a privacy first social network...we need more people like him!
Now you're just being silly. Come on man, no one is being a fan boy here. Just acknowledging reality that Apple's method for app deployment and how they force you to use their devices is kind of effed. But that doesn't mean there aren't worse companies out there.
 
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What's the difference between Apple and Oracle?
....
Yea, me neither.

UPDATE: But to be clear, moar gub'mint is not the answer.
 
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[
It's a racket and it deprives both the developers and end users the freedom of choice in how they USE THE DEVICE WHICH THEY OWN
You do have a choice. Buy an Android. Or a Windows phone.
Demanding that the .Gov "do something" about a privately owned business only increases the power of the .Gov and we have far more government than we need.
Make Apple change by spending your money elsewhere.
 

Rob Boudrie

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This is like Keurig adding "validation of K-cups" to protect consumers from inferior coffee and tea, or Blue Rhino using a proprietary valve to protect consumers from "unauthorized refills" (though I think they have backed off on this).
 

drgrant

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This is like Keurig adding "validation of K-cups" to protect consumers from inferior coffee and tea, or Blue Rhino using a proprietary valve to protect consumers from "unauthorized refills" (though I think they have backed off on this).
Was this before or after they got sued for not filling the cylinders all the way up? [laugh]
 
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