It’s been a little over three weeks since then Epic v. Apple The trial has begun and the news has been relentless. While we wait for a verdict, we quickly go over any key lessons learned from the process. Many of the juiciest points didn’t speak directly to the verdict – like Xbox’s profit structure or the troubled history of Fourteen days Crossplay – but that’s part of the fun of a massive trans corporate dustup like this one. Once you start searching CEO Tim Cook’s inbox, all kinds of interesting things come out.
1]Apple is keeping iMessage closed to sell more iPhones
We’ve known for a while that Apple won’t make iMessage available outside of iOS devices, but this study showed exactly how deeply Apple thought about extending iMessage to other operating systems – and why the company wouldn’t want to.
Internal emails show Eddy Cue pushing for iMessage to be expanded into a WhatsApp-style messaging platform as early as 2013 – and the problem reappears an email to Phil Schiller in 2016. The idea was rejected both times for the same reason: opening iMessage would mean just one less reason to buy an iPhone.
2]PlayStation Fourteen days Crossplay deal is even more sketchy than we thought
Sony has taken the time to enable crossplay between different console versions of Fourteen days, eventually give in Late 2018. But a handful of new emails with Epic Games showed that the deal was even more gnarly than publicly known. Apparently, Sony saw Crossplay as a commercial liability for its business and was only willing to take it after Epic agreed to a complicated cross-platform revenue-sharing agreement. It’s a unique arrangement – but that’s also where we learned PlayStation is the top revenue driver for Fourteen daysEpic seems willing to make concessions for the platform.
3]Apple has pulled out all the stops to keep Netflix selling subscriptions on the iPhone
Apple insists that all app store developers be treated equally, but it’s clear that big players like Amazon are doing it Get special treatment because of their sheer number of users. This trial resulted in another instance with emails showing up Apple employees crawl behind the scenes to stop Netflix from removing in-app purchases from its iPhone app in 2018.
For Netflix, the logic was hard to avoid: Apple’s 30 percent cut cost money every time someone signed in using the iOS app instead of a web browser. But for a while, Apple was ready to do almost anything to keep Netflix from giving in to the obvious economics.
4]The App Store is incredibly profitable, but Apple doesn’t admit it
One of the study’s main jokes was Apple’s insistence that it had no idea how much money the App Store was making for profit. Phil Schiller said directly that he had no idea whether the App Store had made more money than it had spent since 2009, “because that’s not how I see business.” (For context, the App Store brought more than $ 60 billion in 2020Tim Cook was a little more reserved and said he was believed it was profitable but hadn’t expected it.
The fixed number came from an expert hired by the epic site, the The profit margin was 78 percent. That would make Apple more than $ 45 billion in profits on the App Store alone – but don’t expect them to admit that out loud.
5]The economy of the Xbox is kind of weird
Microsoft was sort of Epic’s unofficial sidekick for the trial, offering executives the opportunity to testify in court as well sudden drop in Windows Store fees put additional pressure on Apple. But the most exciting twist came when Xbox boss Lori Wright commentedThis testifies that Microsoft doesn’t make any money off of Xbox hardware.
For lawyers on the epic side, the goal was to distinguish the Xbox from the iPhone: Microsoft is selling Xbox hardware at a loss (or near-loss). Hence, the company’s approach is different from Apple’s, where money is made with every iPhone sold. But any new information about the Xbox business was interesting well beyond Epic and Apple, so things turned almost immediately. Microsoft’s official PR was quickly decline the claimThis made sure everyone knows that the entire Xbox business is profitable despite the hardware subsidy.
Apple pushed the problem even further and tried to force Microsoft into it Publication of the income statement for the Xbox business if it wanted to keep Wright’s testimony on file. It was an opportunity to see serious fighting between some of the world’s largest corporations – and a reminder of how gnarled those businesses are once you look under the hood.
6]The economics of the Epic Games Store is even stranger
In the run-up to the process Epic v. Apple Case files showed that Epic was spending Hundreds of millions of dollars on its PC gaming storefront. Much of that went into expensive offerings to attract developers and consumers, including a free game program that Epic brought in Millions of new users At the same time, developers receive a flat fee for participation. Epic tried too Get first-party games from Sony and Microsoft on the Epic Games Store, though it apparently never reached an agreement on them. Tim Sweeney said on the testimony that he expects the business to turn a profit around 2024 – although Epic apparently has plans several possible scenarios for his future.
7]Apple gains a lot from slow progressive web apps on the iPhone
In theory, there is a way to transfer software to iPhones that the App Store doesn’t include. iPhones eventually come with web browsers, and there are a number of technologies (usually bundled together under the name of Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs) that are envisaged to make the functionality of an app available via a browser. Google has driven this intensively with the support of Microsoft and Twitter. So far, however, Mobile Safari has been slow to introduce support.
We haven’t received any new documents detailing why this is, but we have educated quite a number of Apple executives about the importance of Apple protecting iPhone users from bad apps. In short, Apple sees its stranglehold on iOS software as an important security feature – and advanced web apps threaten this stranglehold. As long as this is true, it’s hard to imagine Mobile Safari catching up with PWA support.
8]Apple is still concerned about malware downloads on Mac
One of Epic’s big challenges for Apple is that the company can’t run the iPhone the way it does the Mac: with a central app store, but plenty of other ways to install software outside of the store. On the standCraig Federighi had a simple answer: We don’t really like the way it works on the Mac. Federighi said the level of malware on the Mac was “unacceptable” and that iOS would be “run over” by malware attacks if it adopted the same model.
The whole point of the trial version is to maintain the exclusivity of the App Store. So it’s no surprise that Federighi wanted to close the door – but the mere concern he showed about Mac malware came as a bit of a surprise. It’s been particularly noteworthy since then something People fear that macOS is approaching the iOS model, which makes it a little more difficult to install unauthorized software with each new version. If you were already concerned that the Mac ecosystem would be completely closed, Federighi’s testimony gave you a lot more to worry about.
9]Tim Sweeney has been annoying Tim Cook with it for years
Probably the funniest part of the trial was Tim Sweeney’s sheer determination to overturn Apple’s App Store guidelines. The fight became public when Fourteen days It went nuclear last year, but new emails from Sweeney show he’s been trying for years to charm, persuade, and annoy Apple to allow alternative app stores.
This effort reached its climax an email 2015 directly to CookThe case for an open iOS is presented in four paragraphs. (Cook replied to Schiller and Cue: “Is that the guy who was at one of our rehearsals?”) Three years later it was Sweeney Still tryingExpress the case through the various developer relationship channels.
Of course, Tim Cook isn’t going to change Apple’s business model just because someone emailed him it was a good idea – but there’s no harm in trying, right?