Mario Villalobos

Apple Has an Antitrust Problem. Here’s One Way to Solve It.

  • Notes

Peter Kafka, Recode:

Gruber, a blogger and podcaster with a passionate audience among Apple fans (and executives), thinks Apple will eventually have to relent on at least one of the App Store policies former CEO Steve Jobs instituted years ago: Apps can’t tell their users they can buy something — say, sign up for the paid version of an app or buy virtual currency for Fortnite — outside of the app.

In practice, this means developers that don’t want to sell through the App Store — such as Netflix and Spotify, which sell subscriptions to their streaming services on their own sites so they don’t have to give Apple a cut of their monthly revenue — can’t tell app users they can do so when they open the app. Instead, they have to just hope users figure out how to do it on their own.

I’ve been pretty ambivalent about the Epic vs. Apple trial, but this is one rule I never ever liked. Prohibiting developers from even breathing the fact that there are other ways of buying their products or services from within their own app always felt petty and stupid to me. If this one change does actually happen, then I think that’s a win for many people.