Apple's August was not the happiest month of the year, with various controversies and worries. Let's take get a look at Apple's ...
Apple's August was not the happiest month of the year, with various controversies and worries. Let's take get a look at Apple's complicated summer.
The apple has come under a lot of criticism for its App Store management policy lately and, to make matters worse, it is getting more intensely embroiled in the economic-political conflict between the US and China. Was your August plummeted by the health crisis and the heat wave? Apple's was plummeted by polemics that it would have gladly avoided. Tale of a rotten summer.
Messing with Microsoft and Xbox
Trouble with a big firm is never synonymous with peace of mind. But Apple has had a bit of a tussle with Microsoft and its Xbox division over the cloud gaming service Game Pass that's banned from joining the App Store.
Indeed, the Cupertino-based firm believes that since it can't verify one by one the downloadable interactive content that the Xbox Game Pass application intends to offer, it can't be authorized in its store - even though it works without any worries on Google's Play Store.
Apple has never made a secret of its desire to control every aspect of the App Store to ensure its complete security. We'll see right afterwards that this position is contested by some developers, but in this particular case, it's Microsoft that has been highly irritated by this through a sharp criticism of the apple. The Redmond giant criticized the Cupertino giant for discriminating against gaming applications by not treating them fairly.
Microsoft will later be supported by Facebook Gaming officials who regret having to offer a worse experience on iOS than on Android. One can imagine that Apple would have done well without these dissensions with the F and M of "GAFAM", but the real bad buzz hadn't yet arrived.
Fortnite: epic war against Epic Games
At the same time, Apple had to face another major enemy: Epic Games. The publisher of Fortnite - the most popular mobile game - launched a big marketing war against the apple, and the apple didn't let it get away with it.
Let us briefly summarize the case. For deliberately breaking the App Store rules - by offering an alternative in-app payment model to Apple's in order to avoid the 30% commission - Fortnite was banned from the App Store. In reaction, Epic Games hastened to sue the Cupertino firm for abuse of its dominant position while broadcasting a vast anti-Apple communication campaign.
Other companies quickly joined their disgruntled voices with Epic Games to urge Apple to give developers more freedom by letting go of its App Store and reducing the 30% commission it earns on every purchase. For more information on Fortnite's ban from the App Store (and Play Store), check out our feature story on the subject.
Apple thus finds itself under the fire of numerous critics questioning a system it introduced several years ago. However, the giant does not intend to let itself be shaken and, rather than bowing to Epic Games, it has inflicted a much heavier penalty by withdrawing its developer access to iOS and macOS.
As a result, even the Unreal Engine, used by other developers, would become unusable on Apple's platforms. The latter thus asks Epic Games to get back in line so that everything is in order, but the conflict seems only just beginning, both in terms of communication and the courts.
As we've heard, Epic Games is accusing Apple of abusing its dominant position. In its complaint, the publisher of Fortnite also mentions another case to support its claims: an investigation by the European Commission into alleged anti-competitive practices on Apple Pay and the App Store.
However, the investigation was launched in June and therefore already hinted at a very complex summer for Apple's legal department. The multinational is thus under attack on several fronts. It should also be noted that the European Commission took up the case following a complaint from Spotify. Spotify was one of the first to express its support for Epic Games. It's come full circle.
The Sino-American trade war
With these controversies on its hands, Apple already had its hands full trying to negotiate with the companies that criticize it and perhaps try to improve its image with the general public and developers. But now, even politics is casting a shadow over its already painful summer. Specifically, the group's activities in China are greatly compromised.
Collateral damage from the United States
The American embargo against Huawei is already putting a lot of strain on diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing. But President Donald Trump has put fuel back on the fire by banning TikTok and WeChat applications from the United States. He criticizes them for being too intrusive in collecting data for China.
What does this have to do with Apple? The Trump administration plans to prohibit both applications from being offered on the Play Store and the App Store. However, this could have serious repercussions on the presence of the apple in the Middle Kingdom. Chinese users on Android already do without the Play Store and can easily download applications on this OS, but those with iPhones will not be able to install TikTok or WeChat.
This is problematic, especially for WeChat, which is an application that is very present in the daily life of people living in China, as it serves as a messaging service, payment service, QR code reader, e-commerce portal, social network, etc.. Thus, 95% of Chinese users would prefer to part with their iPhone rather than WeChat.
This does not bode well for Apple's sales in China. By wanting to hit China, the U.S. will hurt its tech champion, but the damage would not stop there.
China's retaliation primary target
China, which is resisting the United States' desire to banish the country, does not intend to stand idly by. The regime had promised reprisals and has already started to put its threats into practice.
Indeed, the Chinese authorities have reportedly begun to attack certain rights negotiated by Apple in order to carry out its activities in the country. The App Store seems to be particularly in the crosshairs. Indeed, Beijing would like to force the hand of the Cupertino firm so that the Chinese version of the App Store comes under the majority control of a national company as provided by law.
Here we have the United States in the role of the hammer, China in the role of the anvil and Apple in between.
An initiative that will be very difficult to be accepted by Apple. In addition, 47,000 games have already been forcibly removed from the App Store - because their availability was also based on a legal loophole that has been tolerated until now.
In other words, we have the US in the role of the hammer, China in the role of the anvil and Apple in between. At the time of writing, there are still a few days left until the end of August, but the Cupertino giant must already be looking forward to September.
Despite Apple's unhappy summer, overall, the band is doing very well financially.
The giant is capitalized at $2,000 billion, so there is no fire in Apple's orchard. We have talked a lot about legal matters here, but over the summer, the company's lawyers also managed to avoid a $13 billion fine in Europe.
So there was a bit of a string of difficulties over the summer for Apple, but on paper, the firm can still find some resources to play lazy.