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Apple defends App Store control in court, denying to be Android

Apple defends App Store control in court, denying to be Android

May 5, 2021: Epic Games debated that Apple purposely locks in its customers on the first day of a landmark trial with Apple over the App Store rules.

Epic wants to force Apple to open up iPhone software distribution to use its payment processor, bypassing Apple’s customary 30% fee on digital goods. A ruling could even allow Epic to offer its app store for iPhones.

Apple argues that it built the App Store and set the rules designed to ensure that its apps are secure and high quality.

“Epic wants us to be Android, but we don’t want to be. And our consumers don’t want that either. They want the choice,” Apple lawyer Karen Dunn said.

Epic says that Apple’s App Store is anti-competitive. The quality and security are essentially an excuse to exclude competitors such as Epic Games’ title Fortnite, booted from Apple’s store after introducing a direct payment mechanism last year.

On Monday, both the Apple and Epic lawyers made their opening statements, and Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney testified. The trial is expected to be three weeks.

Apple emphasized in its opening statement that its rules have helped created a vibrant ecosystem that benefits iPhone developers, with over 1.8 million apps in the App Store.

Apple said that Epic gained $750 million from the App Store, saying that the trial is mere regarding money. Epic planned this lawsuit and a related marketing campaign to use the technology of Apple without paying.

Apple also added that Epic was looking at the wrong market and cannot present anti-competitive conduct in the gaming market; users can change to Android, Microsoft Xbox, or Sony Playstation.

Apple also defends its “walled garden” without using those terms, citing its App Review department that reviews and approves apps and filters out “obviously malicious apps” manually.

Based on its research, iOS represents only 2% of malware infections in all computing platforms.

“We thought about the fact that the iPhone is a phone that you’re carrying around, you need it to work for you like a phone, and we deeply cared about the security of that device so it would be more protected and more reliable than PCs were at the time,” Apple cited Schiller said.

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