Having said this, Apple can do as they please. They control the hardware, the OS, the App Store, and the user accounts. The same was true of Twitter who effectively squeezed access to their API until one or two desktop clients remained.
The only two ways out of this is to legislate a lower rate (through campaigns such as these), or to create a competing platform that lowers costs for its users. Imagine if Spotify offered a lower rate for Android users... Wouldn't that send a very clear message to Apple?
So given Apple's marketshare (not a monopoly per se though pretty substantial), and given they both control the platform that people pay money to access, and promote preferential treatment of a first party service at the expense of any third party services, it sounds pretty ripe for an anti-trust lawsuit.
The same I believe has recently been applied to Google in the EU for using its monopoly to promote its own product search results above other online stores.
The only difference now is, the teeth of anti-trust regulators are a lot more dull than they were in the 90s, for various reasons.
Apple's marketshare is nowhere close to that.
Microsoft actively and wilfilly went out to hurt Netscape. You can’t really argue Apple is doing the same with Spotify.
Um, of course?
Changing countries is usually not even possible because of immigration restrictions. And even if you could get past that you are looking at years/decades before you are a proper citizen.
But yes they are totally the same thing.
That’s the same as Microsoft saying you can go to Best Buy and pick up a copy of Netscape Navigator
Speaking of which, even just developing for iOS is a painful chore compared to Android. Unfortunately when the client and the users want iPhones, folks like us have to develop for them. In this world, it's fuck or walk.
You might be in the wrong business.
Also, iOS is a treat to build on. Not sure what your source on that is, but they don't have the device and OS fragmentation of Android, to say the least.
The other issue here is using dominance in one market to expand into another. Walmart may sell their own branded stuff, but even then they're still a retailer buying and selling things. Compare that with Apple where building phones and selling online music subscriptions are different markets.
The friction of switching from iPhone to Android is high for most people: purchasing an iPhone quality Android device and repurchasing apps could easily exceed $1000.
But...so could the cost of buying a iPhone quality iPhone (without trade in or other discount the XS Max seems to be $999 to $1499.)
I don’t think that’s what the US law says. Most platforms are proprietary, and their makers have a monopoly on them (you don’t see people complain that Tom-Tom, Volkswagen, Miele, Boeing, etc. shield of their platforms for third-party software)
What is illegal under anti-trust law is having a monopoly in a market and using that monopoly to hurt consumers.
If you want to use anti-trust law in this case, you’ll have to convince the judge that “iPhone applications” is a market, and not “smartphone applications”. Doable? Maybe.
I think (but am not sure) you will also have to show that Apple’s behviour hurts consumers (as opposed to just other companies)
.. yes, for many of the reasons described in Spotify's microsite.
They have a monopoly, and they are unfairly favouring their own products.
This should be enough to bring anti-trust concerns to the table.
If you redefine "monopoly" to mean "minority market share," then yes, I suppose they do.
I have to imagine a fair number of Google searches for "spotify remove ads", too, which can lead to an upgrade.
I guess the crutch of Spotify's argument is that 30% is too high to charge while having their own competing app that isn't required to pay the same fees. Effectively using their unilateral control of the App Store and IAP to squeeze a third party competitor
Spotify can do this thing called "advertising". Look into it.
They advertise for Spotify Premium constantly on their free tier.
I believe this is also against Apple's Terms of Service. IIRC, they have a "most favored nation" clause which prohibits you from offering a lower price on a competing platform.
I believe they also used to have it for subscriptions to things like video services (i.e. if you offered a web price and a 'through the store' price, the store price couldn't be higher), but dropped it.
2. "You must not directly or indirectly target iOS users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase, and your general communications about other purchasing methods must not discourage use of in-app purchase."
I think this implies that the subscription must be the same for all devices and you can't treat iOS differently. Pretty sure having a lower price if you subscribe on Android would violate that second clause.
Right, the app must not say that subscribing outside of the app is cheaper.
Unless there is proof of the contrary, the statements you point to do not imply that a provider cannot charge a different rate on a different platform.
Or does Apple have the customers to kill Spotify by cutting them off?
I disagree. Apple created the App Store and invited 3rd parties to host their apps there, so they should have to play fair for whatever the legal system deems is a good definition of fair.
They already did, the 12.99 for premium was only for purchase through the App store.
Apple shrugs and bans Spotify. Next move?
Having a monopoly over their own product is what every company has.
I think the confusion here is that you incorrectly believe this is a necessary condition for Spotify's complaint to be upheld.
phone choices are inelastic. users do not drop phones and switch to a competing platform because they cannot install an app, it's the other way around. besides, with that logic you have no guarantee against ALL platforms becoming locked down (as they more or less have) to compete.
Well, it wasn't just an app, but that was a pretty big reason (though not the only one) for my dropping iOS.
Potential antitrust issues notwithstanding, it seems like such a message would be very much aligned with Apple's interests.
But then you have the complication in the analogy that afaik, the landlord doesn't usually operate stores?
Similarly, at a local level, it looks pretty bad, Apple has advantages in its environment that allows it to operate in sort of unassailable ways. But indeed, if you zoom out, the big driver Apple has is millions and millions of iPhone users.
Apple has users that want its products, spotify wants market access to those users, the link imo is "do the users want spotify more than apple?". And the answer I would think is no, but then that brings up I think the reasonable issue that there's a larger barrier in switching devices than there is in switching apps. Sorry for the ramble, the whole thing seems like a mess.
I hope they continue to do so, in so much as I would like Apple to experience some backlash for having inconsistent stances when it comes to the app ecosystem and their rules.