From “Apple versus Epic in court” posted Sunday to Benedict’s Newsletter subscribers:
The Apple/Epic App Store court case started this week. It mostly turns on legal arguments and court precedents around how to define the market, the platform and the payment system, not the facts or any ‘smoking gun’ emails, and a lot of US antitrust lawyers seem to think Epic’s case is pretty weak (🤷🏻♂️). As I’ve written before, the EU has already effectively decided in favour of Spotify, so regardless of this case there are big changes coming. But either way, cases like this generally produce a lot of interesting disclosure:
- Epic produced lots of internal Apple emails showing how many scams and problems there are in store management, aiming to undermine Apple’s ‘we curate the store’ argument. But these are mostly from 5-10 years ago (when it was having huge problems scaling) and could equally well show how necessary curation is
- Apple produced Epic emails showing it planned the whole fight a year in advance and is investing massively in its own store
- From outside, the most interesting thing is the app store operating data: how Apple scans for malware and API abuse (no, the security is not all in the sandbox), how many apps are submitted and which ones are rejected. Also, there are only 17k Watch apps: like Amazon’s Alexa, the Apple Watch is a huge success but has largely failed as an app platform.
My take: Gotta love discovery.