On May 3, a legal battle began between Apple and Epic Games. I have no doubts that Apple will be able to win, but the process itself is very damaging to Cupertino company’s reputation.
In order to win, Apple needs to prove that the company is not abusing its dominant position in the mobile device market. Because of this, the company has to prove that it isn’t abusing its power and that it doesn’t have a dominant position.
In order to prove this, the company has to reveal some not-so-nice stories and reveal information that hurts the company’s image.
Why Apple hasn’t launched iMessage for Android?
Eddy Cue wanted to launch iMessage for Android in 2013 and he wrote Craig Federighi (Apple’s SVP of software engineering) a rather interesting letter telling him about his idea:
We really need to bring iMessage to Android. I have had a couple of people investigating this but we should go full speed and make this an official project…. Do we want to lose one of the most important apps in a mobile environment to Google? They have search, mail, free video, and growing quickly in browsers. We have the best messaging app and we should make it the industry standard. I don’t know what ways we can monetize it but it doesn’t cost us a lot to run.
However, Craig Federighi rejected his idea and criticized it:
Do you have any thoughts on how we would make switching to iMessage (from WhatsApp) compelling to masses of Android users who don’t have a bunch of iOS friends? iMessage is a nice app/service, but to get users to switch social networks we’d need more than a marginally better app. (This is why Google is willing to pay $1 billion — for the network, not for the app.)…In the absence of a strategy to become the primary messaging service for bulk of cell phone users, I am concerned iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove an obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.
Obviously, most people who were interested in this topic before understood the reasons, but Apple could always just hide behind concern for users.
Now, Apple has to say straight out that it was done so as not to lose money.
Apple about 30% App Store royalty
Also, the company has to justify its 30% App Store royalty, proving that its fees are not higher than those of competitors. For example, Apple showed a slide comparing fees charged by other companies.
Of course there is nothing wrong with this, but the company has to prove that it acts “like everyone else. It is much more interesting to look at some of the other evidence.
Apple arguments against Epic Games
The company has to disclose other not very comforting data. For example, the company uses the argument that most Fortnite players are not on the iOS.
Finally, to prove that the company does not have a dominant position, it had to demonstrate audience loyalty research, which proves that every quarter from 12 to 26% of consumers choose other platforms and move from iOS.
Finally, the company decided to equate the case against Apple and the App Store, stating that if Epic Games wins, it will damage all ecosystems.
This argument is controversial because the company hasn’t provided clear evidence.
As I said before, Apple is very unlikely to lose the battle against Epic Games, but Apple’s defense strategy makes it look bad, revealing not the best details about the company.