Supreme Court to hear case alleging Apple's App Store is a monopoly

Supreme Court to hear case alleging Apple's App Store is a monopoly
Apple's stronghold over app distribution on the iOS platform is a divisive issue, divisive enough that the argument over whether the iOS App Store violates antitrust laws will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is unclear exactly when the case will make it to the Supreme Court, but the Court has decided it will hear arguments sometime between October 2018 and July 2019.

The case, Apple v. Pepper, hinges on the argument that because Apple doesn't allow sideloading of apps and doesn't allow any other app stores on iOS that the official App Store has a monopoly on the app distribution on the platform. Additionally, because Apple charges a 30% fee to developers in the App Store, the case also alleges that this fee has driven up app costs for all users. Apple users should be familiar with the so-called "iOS tax" where subscription services will either be more expensive through the App Store or subscriptions will be blocked in-app to avoid the App Store fees. On its side, Apple has always contended that the locked-down nature of iOS and the App Store is a matter of security and the company wouldn't be able to properly screen apps installed outside of the App Store.

Apple v. Pepper has been making its way through the U.S. court system since 2011 until eventually arriving at the Supreme Court. The Court began deliberating on whether or not to hear the case last October before making its decision.

If Apple loses, it could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. But, beyond that the decision could have more far-reaching effects on the idea of "walled gardens" in general. There is speculation the decision could also impact how fees and pricing work in various marketplaces on the internet where individual sellers set prices, such as Amazon, eBay, or the Google Play Store, but those effects are harder to figure given that those marketplaces have competition and sellers have other ways to gain access to users.

source: Reuters

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21 Comments

1. iPhoneFanboy

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

Just sideloaded an app, and downloaded an app straight off a third party website as well lol (without going through the App Store). What is Pepper smoking?

2. sgodsell

Posts: 7383; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Oh, and if you bring your jailbroken iPhone to Apple, then Apple will refuse to repair your iPhone. Even if you paid for Apple Care. More like what are you smoking?

19. iPhoneFanboy

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

What? You don't need a jailbroken iPhone for that you moron lmfao!

3. scarface21173

Posts: 693; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

jailbroken

9. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

For those who don't know, sideloading apps on iOS is possible without jailbreaking. And it doesn't cost anything unlike what toukale suggested below. But those apps become unusable if you restart your iphones after installing those apps. But don't sideload for your own safety.

12. toukale

Posts: 632; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

@AmashAziz - Who wants to have to do that? Plus it does not become unusable if you restart your phone. It becomes unusable after 7 days if you use a certain tool no matter what. It use to be 90 a year or so ago, but Apple changed that. I used to used those tools all the time. Who wants to go through that all the time. Folks, spend $10 a year a get a third party service to do so. Your time is well worth $10 a year. People are just cheap these days. If you going to call me out, then know how the damn thing works first.

15. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Hey dude I didn't take a jab at you with my statement there, okay? So no need to get so worked up. Learn to calm yourself... I was just stating that someone doesn't need to pay in order to sideload an app.

16. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

And yes a sideloaded app does become unusable for me if I restart an iPhone. So my statement isn't wrong. Know that everyone has a different experience first.

20. iPhoneFanboy

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

False.

5. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well whatever it is, it definitely isn't as good as whatever you're smoking.

8. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

It doesn't exactly count when you have to jailbreak your IOS device to do that,as sideloading apps on Android is really damn easy. Furthermore, there is more than just 1 app store on Android, as Google allows for more stores on their OS, unlike Apple.

13. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

You realize that allowing unimpeded side loading is precisely why Android is the malware haven we have today, right? Something like 98% of all verified malware exists on Android. There are pros and cons to being so open.

14. toukale

Posts: 632; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

@Kiko - This case is going nowhere, users don't have an issue with the current appstore setup, its actually very user friendly, another thing Apple pioneer on mobile. I remember the mess it was back in the day trying to get apps onto my so called smartphone. Only some developers who wants a free ride from Apple and a bunch of lawyers who wants a piece of the Apple pie. I can only see a case of lowering the 30% to 15-20% that's it.

17. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

It's up to people to pick their sources with common sense, when they aren't installing from the official app stores. You should also remember that you can't even install anything from unofficial sources before you actually go into settings and allow unofficial sources to install anything on your phone. I have no issue with the fact that you're offered the choice of whether or not you want to try something from unofficial sources. There are very reputable Android sites that have a bunch of APKs for you to download, and you will be able to download them with the trust that they will be clean. You don't have to download from unofficial sources, you have the choice to, which is exactly how it should be. It should be up to me if i want to download from other sources, not Apple, Google or Samsung. Android is doing it the right way, when it comes to this.

18. Phullofphil

Posts: 1799; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

You should not be able to side load apps. If the developer wants to give it away for free then let them go through some sort of check system. Apple has the right to get paid for there service. They don’t get as much money throu adds. Pluss the developers deserve to get paid. Sidloading leads to stealing of property just like pirating movies and music. The part that sucks is having to pay for the same app on two different systems when you don’t get anything more

4. toukale

Posts: 632; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

I am completely against this lawsuit. Number one Apple is only 15% of the mobile market with android controlling the other 85%. Number 2, if anything the AppStore have driven down software pricing, not up. The only legit argument against the Appstore I would side with is the 30% cut Apple gets. I did not have an issue with that percentage in 2008, but 10 years later an argument can be made to bring that cost down to between 15-20%. The way the Appstore is set up is very centralized and user friendly for the average joe/jane. An average user do not have to jump through hoops when they want a refund or track down a vendor when they have a dispute, it's all done through Apple. Small developers do not need to setup all the infrastructure or going to a bunch of third party for that. I can see the big house developers hating it though. Besides anyone can sideload apps without jailbraking their devices with an enterprise/developer account that cost $99. If you don't want to pay that, there are plenty of 3rd party that will give you access to one for $10 a year.

6. bucky

Posts: 3785; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

If I wanted side loading Wild West, I’d get an android. I don’t mean that as an insult either. It’s a pick your poison situation and you can’t have both. The users/devs can choose a platform. That said, I’d still take a third OS to be in the running.

7. SamsungNewbie

Posts: 143; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

SHUT IT DOWN!!!!!! Apple is always paying developers to not make apps for Android and they need to be shut down fast. I believe in you President Trump.

10. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I hope this case gets Apple to take less revenue.

21. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Why is Apple babying their users? I use an Android phone and sideload apps all the time. I know the risks and if something happens I have no one to blame but myself. I'm glad Google gives me that option.

22. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

This case goes back to 2011 so maybe there were indeed limitations at that time, no?

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