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Supreme Court appears skeptical of Apple's arguments in App Store monopoly case

amirm

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#1
I don't know all of us signed up for these monopolies to buy apps from only one vendor with them skimming a high percentage on each one. The power of open computing was the ability for anyone to develop and distribute apps. The process for developing products for Apple is as draconian as you can possibly imagine beyond the monetary aspects. It should not be this way. Hopefully supreme court will agree: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/26/sup...les-arguments-in-app-store-monopoly-case.html

Supreme Court appears skeptical of Apple's arguments in App Store monopoly case

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical of Apple on Monday during oral argument in a case that could permit iPhone owners to move forward with an antitrust suit against the company for allegedly inflating the prices in its App Store.

That lawsuit could disrupt the electronic giant's mobile software sales ecosystem, and potentially hit the company with hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties.

[...]

The justices, including several of the court's conservatives, seemedsympathetic to the arguments presented by the iPhone owners who brought the case.

Two of the court's conservative justices, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, went as far as suggesting that the Supreme Court precedent on which Apple based its argument may need to be revisited.

[...]

The iPhone owners alleged Monday that the 30 percent commission Apple takes on app sales leads app developers to increase their prices, passing on the burden to consumers. Apple, which blocks iPhone owners from purchasing software from third-party marketplaces, is able to charge its commission because of its monopoly power, they argued.

[...]

In 1977, the Supreme Court established the "Illinois brick doctrine," under which only the direct purchaser of a good is entitled to collect antitrust damages. Apple argued that under the doctrine, only app developers would be able to bring an antitrust suit against the company. The company argued that it acts as an agent for developers, who set their own prices and are ultimately the direct sellers.

Liberal justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer took issue with that formula. In an exchange with Daniel Wall, who represented the company before the court, Kagan outlined her thinking of the case in personal terms.

"I mean, I pick up my iPhone. I go to Apple's App Store. I pay Apple directly with the credit card information that I've supplied to Apple," Kagan, the youngest member of the court's liberal wing, said. "From my perspective, I've just engaged in a one-step transaction with Apple."

[...]
 

amirm

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#3
So is Apple going to be forced to allow side loading if they loose?
That, or allow others to set up stores as Amazon tried with their Fire tablets for Android. With that competition, terms should become more friendly and sales commissions lower.
 

Ron Texas

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#4
If Apple loses at the Supreme Court, it goes back to the District Court for a trial on the facts. What happened is Apple obtained a ruling from the lower court that antitrust law did not apply to the suit because it was filed by consumers and not developers. This is what is being appealed. Amir has stated some possible remedies if Apple loses plus money damages are likely.
 

JJB70

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#5
I can't help admiring Apple's achievement in retaining their image as the alternative choice for the discerning despite their status as a mass market mega Corp.
 

restorer-john

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#6
I see it completely differently. Apple sell hardware products and people choose to buy software applications for those hardware products through their trusted portal. The conditions for using the hardware device on telecommunications networks worldwide, preclude sourcing untrusted applications from third party developers via other means.

The prices of those products (applications) are clearly displayed. Warranties and fitness for purpose are provided, as are remedies where those products fail to do what is advertised.

As a condition of being able to offer their software products through that portal, the developers have to pay a large slice in commission to Apple. They agree to that. All suppliers to retail operations increase their prices one way or another to cover promotional deals, group buy discounts, commissions paid to agents, or rebates. There is nothing unusual about that.

Apple is not remotely a monopoly. There are plenty of alternatives at much lower prices. Consumers have the choice to buy, or not to buy, just as 'app developers' have the choice to pay what Apple ask, write for different platform, or get another job.

Just another cash grab by lawyers IMO.
 

maverickronin

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#7
The conditions for using the hardware device on telecommunications networks worldwide, preclude sourcing untrusted applications from third party developers via other means.
Since when? A carrier will sell you a sim card to put in anything you want.

Even if that was true, why does Apple get to decide what's trusted? That would be the carrier's job. Also what kind of precedent does that set for hooking up "untrusted" machines to a different world wide telecommunications network, like your ISP's modem? They'd be blocking all your old WinXP and 7 machines from accessing the internet because they're a "security risk".

Being "trusted" has noting to do with it. It's just a company locking down hardware to increase software profits. Apple is hardly the worst offender in this area either.
 

restorer-john

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#8
All devices that connect to telecommunications networks must be approved for such, be that wired or wireless. Where software running on such devices has the potential to cause disruption to telecommunications networks it must be determined and accounted for.

My attitude is, nobody is forcing you, or anyone else to buy their stuff or pay their exorbitant prices for applications. I know I don't.

It is not an 'essential service' like electricity or water. You will not die without an iPhone in your pocket. You have choices to buy or not to buy, but to attempt to tell a seller what they should charge, or that they should charge less, is ridiculous.

Apple is a publicly traded company. It has a responsibility to all its shareholders to increase shareholder value. It can do that various ways, e.g. increasing margin on what it already sells through raising prices, increase sales numbers, pay app developers less, bring new product categories to market, etc. They do all that and more. They clearly do an excellent job of it too.

Do you go into a Louis Vuitton store and tell them they are charging too much, ripping off their workers and they should give all their previous customers a retrospective partial refund? No, you simply stop buying their product and buy something else. Not rocket science.
 
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amirm

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#9
I see it completely differently. Apple sell hardware products and people choose to buy software applications for those hardware products through their trusted portal.
So by that notion, would be fine with the concept of Scrip? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_scrip

Company scrip
is scrip (a substitute for government-issued legal tender or currency) issued by a company to pay its employees. It can only be exchanged in company stores owned by the employers.[1][2][3] In the UK, such truck systemshave long been formally outlawed under the Truck Acts.

In the United States, mining and logging camps were typically created, owned and operated by a single company.[4] These locations, some quite remote, were often cash poor;[1][2][3] even in ones that were not, workers paid in scrip had little choice but to purchase goods at a company store, as exchange into currency, if even available, would exhaust some of the value via the exchange fee. With this economic monopoly, the employer could place large markups on goods, making workers dependent on the company, thus enforcing employee "loyalty".[4][5]
People have no choice so no argument can be made that chose anything. They were not provided an alternative, nor has been demonstrated that the fees charged are reasonable. And it is not just the money, it is the power Apple exercises over its users.

Here are some examples: https://arstechnica.com/information...t-claims-to-detect-net-neutrality-violations/

"Apple rejects net neutrality testing app, says it offers “no benefits to users”
Researcher's iPhone app tests speeds of YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, and more."

That is like Sony telling you what CDs you could play on your CD players. "Oh that CD can test if my player is any good? I think I won't allow you buy and play that."

Years ago Apple disallowed Netflix app on its platform simply because it competed with its own services. How did the customers choose to have that happen?
 

amirm

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#10
All devices that connect to telecommunications networks must be approved for such, be that wired or wireless. Where software running on such devices has the potential to cause disruption to telecommunications networks it must be determined and accounted for.
Such low level access is not allowed in any phone, nor being asked to be provided here. And at any rate, AT&T tried that argument years back, forcing people to only buy their phones. They got broken up, all phones were allowed on their network and nothing bad happened. Indeed, price of phones went way down and became a commodity. I still remember the day we had to go and buy our phone from AT&T and being warned that it was a crime (or huge fine) to buy a third-party phone instead!

Even if such certification was needed, you don't want to empower Apple to to have that power. Apple protects its business interest in addition to certification for quality.

Go and sign up to become an MFi (made for iPod) developer to build hardware for apple products. Then read their agreements and I promise you that you will run far away from anything to do with Apple. It will be like Sony forcing you to join a program to build RCA cables for their CD players. And they would have the sole right to allow or disallow said accessory.

And it is not just Apple. They set the precedence and then Google and Microsoft followed.
 

restorer-john

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#11
People have no choice so no argument can be made that chose anything. They were not provided an alternative, nor has been demonstrated that the fees charged are reasonable. And it is not just the money, it is the power Apple exercises over its users.
The consumer always has a choice. They choose to buy an iPhone. That product is 100% functional out of the box, contains plenty of built-in apps and can be configured and set up without ever needing to connect to or go to the Apple Store or iTunes ever again. That is my iPhone. It has never been connected to iTunes by me in all the years I have had it. Apple update servers are blocked at router level so it can never update over WiFi. It's my telephone, a texting device, an emergency internet browser and a very average camera. iPhones do nothing well and a lot of things poorly. Jack of all trades, master of none. Primary use: a phone to talk to people and it actually does that quite well.

If you want extra functionality in applications on your device, you have to pay for them. Apple can charge you whatever they want IMO for additional functionality over and above what the device shipped with. The market will either bear it or not.

...That is like Sony telling you what CDs you could play on your CD players...
They did do that. All (software) CDs had to adhere to the RBCD specifications or they couldn't be sold as, or marketed with or marked with the compact disc logo. All discs that did adhere to the standard, played on any machine (let's not talk about attempted DRMs with damaged TOCs etc) made by a manufacturer licensed to manufacture Compact Disc players.

EMI for instance had to remove the compact disc logo and not market their discs as CDs that contained deliberately corrupted TOCs in the 1980s. I remember being sent a box of trays with no logo stamped into them for that very reason.
 
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restorer-john

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#12
Go and sign up to become an MFi (made for iPod) developer to build hardware for apple products. Then read their agreements and I promise you that you will run far away from anything to do with Apple.
No thanks. It would be like being in jail.
 

amirm

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#15
The consumer always has a choice. They choose to buy an iPhone. That product is 100% functional out of the box, contains plenty of built-in apps and can be configured and set up without ever needing to connect to or go to the Apple Store or iTunes ever again.
You are by far the exception. That is why Apple's monopoly on apps is not bothering you. For 99.9999% of people out there, apps are everything. The fact that the thing is also a phone is not even that useful anymore. Here is Apple's revenues from the app store: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckj...venue-for-the-company-last-year/#591f66636613

"Apple reported that its App Store generated over $26.5 billion in revenue for developers in 2017, which was up about 30% year-over-year. This means that the App Store created approximately $11.5 billion in revenue for the company. "
 

restorer-john

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#16
You are by far the exception. That is why Apple's monopoly on apps is not bothering you. For 99.9999% of people out there, apps are everything.
I guess that's true. The interesting thing is, my friends and family are much the same. My partner doesn't care for apps either. The boys like various apps, but they aren't buying any (that I know of...).
:)
 

Wombat

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#17
My phone has never been connected to the internet. I haven't added any apps. It mostly stays at home. Another luddite or independent old-fart I guess.
shock_40_anim_gif.gif
 

restorer-john

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#18
My phone has never been connected to the internet. I haven't added any apps. It mostly stays at home. Another luddite or independent old-fart I guess.
It's not all that portable is it Wombat?

wombats.JPG
 

Wombat

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#19
It is a Samsung Galaxy S ll, nearly eight years old. I got it bundled with unlimited calls at a ridiculously low price for the time. I asked if I could down-grade to a more simple device but that wasn't an option. It didn't matter at the 'buying business" price.

I have not been able to find a 'genuine' battery for it though. At some stage the original battery must die.
 

restorer-john

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#20
I have not been able to find a 'genuine' battery for it though
The trouble is, even if you manage to find a NOS 'genuine' battery, it will likely be 7 or 8 years old. Li-Ion cells of that age, regardless of how they have stored will likely be not much good at all.

I went through that exercise with 'genuine' IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad NOS batteries, and some Galaxy Note III batteries, only to find they had diminished capacity and a short life as they were already past their design life. Li-Ion deteriorates whether it is used or not.

The only Li-Ion cells I have had excellent long life with, have been the Japanese manufactured cells in Nikon and Canon cameras of around 10 years ago. They never seem to die.

I would think you would be better off with a recently manufactured clone.
 
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