Major Supreme Court ruling allows iPhone owners to sue Apple for acting like a monopoly

Apple can be sued by iOS users for violating federal antitrust laws says the Supreme Court in a major ruling. This is a major setback for Apple which claimed it was acting only as an intermediary and not a distributor of iOS apps.
This is a discussion for a news article. To read the whole news, click here

59 Comments

15. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Apple: "The users are free to purchase and use web based apps." Court: "Oh, case closed!"

18. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I doubt it will be that simple, but I don't use iOS so I'm not sure. Can you download iOS apps through a website without going through the app store...or jailbreaking your iPhone??

21. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Open Safari, write gmail, facebook, youtube, bi, outlook and you can use all those services through a web based app. iOS also supports PWAs, but I haven't used them yet to know how they work. So, the short answer is: yes, a iOS user doesn't have to buy the apps from the Store; native apps are better, nicer, have more features, faster, but you don't have to buy Minecraft from the Store, you can simply buy the Java Edition and play it in Safari or any other browser you like.

24. Kloak

Posts: 40; Member since: May 27, 2018

I don't think that would work for them, since it's pretty much a web page not an independent app, so as long as they stick that you cannot use an "app" on ios without buying it through the app store I don't think they get out of this that simple.

35. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

PWAs are apps. The apps offer a service (some functionalities, some features, some tasks etc) - it's the service the one we want when we install an app (I don't install YouTube for the pretty red buttons, I install it to access the video database) and we can have that service inside a browser.

25. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Well I figured that much...I know there are web versions of apps that we use. My question was: can you download APP'S for your iPhone from anywhere else other than the app store? And without jailbreaking?

36. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Yes. The only apps you can't download are native ones.

31. wickedwilly

Posts: 667; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

Yes, some apps can be used in a browser, but the experience is worse than an installed app. The majority cannot be used that way so the point is mute anyway. Native apps are not always better, faster or have more features, just look at Safari, Apple Maps and Apple mail for example.

37. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

It's not Apple's problem that those apps are not better. There you go: if you don't like Apple Maps, just use Google's app or use maps dot Google dot Com.

42. wickedwilly

Posts: 667; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

Are you really sure it is not Apple's problem that those are better? Revenue through apps like maps and browser is massive, Apple are losing out at a time when they are desperate to accelerate non-hardware revenue, especially as iPhone sales are tanking.

44. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Why should I - the end user - care that Apple makes 1$ or 1B$ from the App Store or other services?! I only care to use the services I need and to pay for them, using a simple method.

39. TheOracle1

Posts: 2215; Member since: May 04, 2015

Your argument is seriously flawed and off base. You're citing free apps approved and vetted by Apple. This is about the app store and monetization not what apps can be used and how. If you want to BUY an app Apple takes 30%. How many Apple paid apps can you use or play through a browser for free?

45. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

App Store has 200k apps. Web based apps - with web based subscription fees - that work on iOS devices are millions. I can buy/subscribe to any one of those million apps from my iOS device without paying a dime to Apple. I have 30 apps with services I pay for and Apple gets money for 1 of them (iCloud storage); for the rest of them I pay directly to the developer. Can you explain where is the so called "monopoly"?

47. MrMalignance

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

Honest question, not trying to argue: so you're implying that all paid apps on the apple app store are available to play/use/access through a web browser? Am I understanding you correctly? I don't use an iPhone, so I am genuinely curious.

48. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

No, I'm saying that the developer (ANY developer) has the OPTION to develop: 1. PWAs, 2. web based apps, 3. native iOS apps (the only apps that are in the App Store) - he has 3 OPTIONS; on the other hand, the user has the OPTION to: go to the developer site to use the service/download a PWA - and subscribe for the service or pay for the app - or go into the App Store to download the app that gives him access to the same service and pay for the app/subscribe to the service. In order for Apple to get its 30% fee, the developer has to CHOOSE to publish a paid app/service in the App Store AND the user has to CHOOSE to buy/subscribe through Apple's system; if one of those don't happen, the same Apple gets 0%. For instance: if I buy Google Drive storage, through my iPhone app, using Apple's system, Apple gets 30%; if I open my browser (Safari/Chrome/Firefox/whatever) on the same iPhone (or I open my Mac, Linux, Windows etc) and I buy the same storage capacity directly from Google, Apple gets 0%. I - the user - choose how I pay for the app/service: through the App Store (and Google pays a fee to Apple) or through a card payment gateway (and Google pays a fee to the payment processor and/or to a bank).

49. MrMalignance

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

And apple app store only based apps are still subject to those fees correct? I am asking because they seem to be discussing app store based apps or apps that you must go through apple to access. Your theoretical choice doesn't apply there right? Again, just trying to make sure I am understanding this correctly, not trying to troll or argue

52. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The only money that gets to Apple is the money earned by the developer through the App Store, from the user that choses to buy the app/service through the Apple payment system. If the user chooses to install an app from the developer's site or use a web based app inside the browser and/or buy the app/subscribe to the service (with or without installing a free app from the App Store), using the developer payment system (or a 3rd party payment system, email, check, carrier payment etc), Apple gets 0%.

50. Kloak

Posts: 40; Member since: May 27, 2018

Still can base the case on monopoly for not being able to use my app without safari, and yes I know you can argue that I can download any other browser I want, only that I can only download it from the app store, the case it's pretty much that, any app I want to use has to be downloaded from de the app store, with your same analogy of the tesla it would be to be forced to charge up your tesla only from tesla and nowhere else not to use something different, in here nobody it's forcing apple to let use Android apps for instance, just its forcing apple to let the users get the apps from anywhere they want if they get a better offer, and not being forced to buy only on the app store.

53. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

There is no charge for those apps. I must say I don't know the US legislation in detail, but I just remembered that one can only find the last version of iTunes in Microsoft Store and neither EU nor US seem to have a problem with that...

54. MrMalignance

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

Ok, so it sounds like you're saying that the apps that are in Apple's app store must be paid through apple, but you can buy and install apps sideloaded, like Android. Is that correct? I'm not talking about subscriptions, card purchases out of store, or services pre purchased and accessed via browsers.

55. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I'm saying that the developer CAN charge for a type of app through Apple (only if he wants to publish his app in the App Store and charge a fee in order for the user to be able to download it), but he can also charge for another type of app directly on his site or through other app stores. There is no "sideloading" in iOS (Jailbreak is a different topic) and all the apps I'm talking about are legitimate apps, designed to work on iPhones.

56. MrMalignance

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

Ok, so they download off of a website that completely goes around Apple's app store? Like side loading, but without side loading...and of course leaving out all that other stuff I mentioned earlier and without jailbreak. Also, there are no apps that are exclusively on the Apple app market?

57. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I might have given a different definition to the term "sideloading", but I thin we are talking about the same thing: use an app without installing it from the OEM store. Given the fact that are over 2 mil apps in App Store and the effort is maybe smaller to code, using Apple's tools, and to publish an app in the Store, I imagine some developers have chosen to offer apps solely in App Store.

58. MrMalignance

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

Ok, I think we're on the same page. So basically you can download from foreign sources, and it doesn't violate any terms of service

59. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

"So basically you can download from foreign sources, and it doesn't violate any terms of service" Yes, you can use apps from different sources without violating any terms set by Apple for iOS and iOS related services.

32. wickedwilly

Posts: 667; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

Apple definitely needs to be rained in. There is no doubt it is abusing its position and closed ecosystem to gain the same benefits a monopoly has.

34. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Android wants app store down. Jealous!

46. MrMalignance

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

Don't troll when you don't understand the argument. Go sit at the kids table, adults are talking

51. Kloak

Posts: 40; Member since: May 27, 2018

You know iphone users are the ones suing right? Cause no one who hasn't use the app store to buy an app its allowed to sue for it.
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.