Facebook CEO comments on Apple's tight control over apps
However, the recent feud between Apple and Epic Games, makers of popular video game Fortnite, brought questions and concerns about the darker side of said "walled garden."
When asked whether the Apple App Store is a monopoly, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that the "unilateral" control Apple has over which apps can run on iPhones raises "questions that people should be looking into."
In the interview on HBO's Axios, Zuckerberg also noted Google's vastly different approach to Android. And more specifically, that Android users are allowed to sideload apps from any other sources if they wish to, in addition to having the Google Play Store.
As most dedicated Android users know, there are indeed ways to sideload apps on Android phones, which basically means to download and install apps from sources other than Google Play Store. This does allow for developers who don't want to publish their app to Google's Play Store for whatever reason, or aren't allowed on it, to still distribute their apps to Android users. As Fortnite was also recently kicked off Google's Play Store, Epic Games and Fortnite's players weren't completely cut off from each other, as the game can still be downloaded and installed from Epic Games' website. That is, on Android phones and tablets.
There's no such freedom for iPhone and iPad users, however, and no apps can be installed on Apple's phones and tablets if said app isn't available on Apple's App Store.
When asked if government regulators should look into Apple's practices regarding the matter, Zuckerberg again said that Apple's behavior raises questions, but also added that he's "not necessarily the person to answer that." The clip then finishes with him concluding: "I do think it's something that deserves scrutiny, and they're getting scrutiny for it."
A few years back, Apple CEO Tim Cook himself took a high-profile jab at Zuckerberg and Facebook, saying "We'd never make our customers the product." The comments reportedly infuriated Facebook's CEO, who then ordered his management team to only use Android phones.