Developers sue Apple along lines Ben Thompson drew

From Thompson's "The First Post-iPhone Keynote, More on Antitrust and Tech, Developers Sue Apple," a note mailed Wednesday to Stratechery subscribers ($):

Normally I wouldn’t write about a mere lawsuit filing; companies like Apple are sued constantly. The reason to bring this case up in particular, though, is to highlight exactly why it is I think the Supreme Court got it wrong in Apple v Pepper. I wrote when the decision came down:

Frankly, I do believe that developers are being harmed by Apple’s policies, and I do believe those policies are illegal. The implication of that, though, is that it is developers who should have the right to sue Apple, not consumers.

Anyone who believes that Apple’s App Store policies are injurious to developers should much prefer that this particular lawsuit go to court, not the Pepper lawsuit. I think it is unequivocal that developers have a much stronger claim to damages than consumers do.

My take: Forces are gathering. Pressure is mounting on several fronts for Apple to loosen its App Store rules. I expect they will.

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  1. Fred Stein said:
    Agree. Ben seems to be stuck on iPhone peaking = doom. Developers harmed? No they earn 2X on App Store vs Google Play. Ben asserts that the App Store provides no benefit in UX. Wrong again, Apple works hard to purge copy cat apps, porn apps, phishing apps, and more. The App Store is a walled garden. Like a high-end shopping mall, or the Disney World experience, the controls provide protection and quality assurance.

    The monopoly argument has no weight. Google Play actually has more downloads,. In China, WeChat is the defacto ‘store’. Other Android phones have App Stores.

    If the plaintiffs win, who is next? Beyond FB, AMZN, GOOGL, Groupon, we have Disney, Country Clubs, and heck why not let push carts into any hotel to sell hot dogs, or knock off jewelry?

    June 6, 2019

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