Hidden in these questions could be the key to Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ ruling.
Notes from 9to5Mac’s live blog, arranged in chronological order:
- Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers asks Apple CEO Tim Cook about his statement that Apple wants to give users a choice. Why not a choice for a cheaper option for content? Cook says that customers have a choice between iOS and Android.
- “The gaming industry seems to be generating a disproportionate amount of money relative to the IP you have given them, and everyone else. In effect its almost as if they’re subsidizing everyone else,” the judge says. “You’re charging the gamers to subsidize Wells Fargo.”
- Cook says Apple has to monetize its intellectual property. YGR says part of the issue is impulse based purchases.
- Why can’t developers at least link out to their own websites for purchases? “If we allowed people to link out like that, we would in essence give up our total return on our IP,” Cook said.
- Judge YGR says competition didn’t prompt the App Store Small Business, concerns about antitrust regulation did. Cook says COVID prompted the change, and a feeling that Apple should do something to help small businesses. Cook notes Google announced a similar program after Apple.
- “We are creating the entire amount of commerce on the store and we are doing that by getting the largest audience there,” Cook says. “I think competition is great. We have fierce competition.”
- Judge YGR asks Cook about a survey that showed 39% of developers are unhappy with Apple. Cook says that Apple “turns the place upside down” for developers.
- “I understand this notion that somehow Apple’s bringing the customer to the gamers, to users. But after that first time, after that first interaction, the developers of the games are keeping their customers. Apple’s just profiting off that, it seems to me,” the judge says.
- “I view it differently than you do. We’re creating the entire amount of commerce on the store, and we’re doing that by focusing on getting the largest audience there, we do that with a lot of free apps so those bring a lot to the table,” says Cook.
My take: Without a jury, the outcome of the case is in Judge Gonzalez Rogers’s hands (pending appeals). Care to try to read between the lines?