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Quit whining about Apple and just stop using them (rudism.com)
316 points by Rudism 17 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 319 comments



"Whining" is an overly prejudicial word choice for this title. These are legitimate issues people have with what Apple is doing, not mere whining.

This echoes the "if you don't like it so much then just leave instead of speaking up" dismissal that is so commonly used as a lampshade for suppressing dissent. Not sure if that's the intent here but that's what it comes off as.

And this point from the article needs to be strongly rebutted:

> I don’t know, it seems silly to me to cry about monopolies. The solution is obvious. Stop making apps for iOS. Sure, you’re going to take a huge hit without access to those consumers [...]

This guy doesn't understand what monopolies are and how they work. The whole point is that there are no other alternatives, so you literally cannot "just stop using them". "Just stop patronizing the monopoly" is not a strategy that has ever been successful. The monopoly needs to be broken up.


Apple is not a monopoly! They have a majority (not monopoly) on a very specific US-based market. They aren't the only US market, and they are a small international market.

Apple isn't even the #1 handset manufacturer (they are #3 or #4 depending on who you ask), and far and away isn't the #1 laptop manufacturer.

The attitude that it is a monopoly is exactly the disconnect between this article and your comment. The article thinks your market will just move without different revenue models. That is difficult, it's probably better to find a different market and revenue model.

Your comment is saying that it's worth trying to get Apple to change. That is difficult, near impossible, where they have no incentive to change unless you threaten change yourself with a different market/revenue model.

It seems like your hand is forced - you must do both. You must have a compelling market outside of Apple somehow, and you must petition Apple to change so you can keep access to their market.

I have strong feelings about Apple & Google making "markets" that are not fair/regulated the way I would like - but this idea that it's a monopoly to be "broken up" is not representative of reality.


You don't need to be a monopoly to have antitrust action taken against you, you just need to have sufficient market power and engage in behavior which is anti-competitive.

House Antitrust Committee chairman David Cicilline yesterday:

“Because of the market power that Apple has, it is charging exorbitant rents — highway robbery, basically — bullying people to pay 30 percent or denying access to their market,” said Rep. Cicilline. “It’s crushing small developers who simply can’t survive with those kinds of payments. If there were real competition in this marketplace, this wouldn’t happen.”

https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/18/21295778/apple-app-store-...

Oh it is possible to get Apple to change. Not by asking nicely, but perhaps by carrying a big stick. The arrogance Apple displays today is much the same as Microsoft back in the day. Let's hope for a similar outcome as back then, which fundamentally changed Microsoft for the better. It's possible, but not if we don't try.


Nothing David Cicilline said amounts to anything more than talk. He frequently refers to them as a monopolist in that podcast, but that means a very specific thing in antitrust law. DoJ or FTC would have to prove in court that Apple has "monopoly power" in a relevant market. Since a court will toss it out when Apple moves for a summary judgement if their antitrust theory is that Apple's 45% of the smartphone market gives them monopoly power (based on precedent), they will try to define the market more narrowly to something like "iOS applications".

But again a court is unlikely to accept that reasoning. And if you think about it for 3 seconds it's obvious why: Apple's "monopoly" was established when the App Store was launched in 2008 when the iPhone was an insignificant share of the market. That would also mean that any future product (like the AR glasses, or from any other company) would have "monopoly power" in their platform as soon as they ship 1 unit. This is obviously an absurd outcome.


A house member can say anything they want. It means absolutely nothing legally. If small developers can’t live off of 70%. They need to raise their prices by 43% to account for the 30% cut.


> Apple is not a monopoly! They have a majority (not monopoly) on a very specific US-based market

In the video "Competition is for Losers with Peter Thiel", Peter Thiel discusses this. The problem here is in how you define "monopoly". If you're a large company, you want to say that the market is a lot larger than what you are operating in. To take this to an extreme, you could say that you're a technology company and if people dont like cell phones, they can use tablets/laptops/desktops. Conversly, if you narrow the definition of monopoly, there are tons of them. E.g. how many supermarkets are there within a 4 block radius of my house?

Because of this, instead of simply looking at scope, a common method is to look at what sort of behavior is the company taking. Is the supermarket lowering its prices below profitable to not allow another supermarket to survive in my neighborhood? In the case of Apple, I think people see the behavior of controlling the App Market as a monopolistic behavior which prevents others from competing.


That’s “common” based on what judicial precedent. What makes Peter Thiel’s opinion more relevant than any random HN poster who doesn’t know what a monopoly is?


In fairness to Hey, they didn't plan to be in this situation. They thought they did everything apple wanted them to, and they spent years building this service, only to then find out apple won't allow it.

If you're going to exclude all potential products where you have to go through apple to be a major player (given the competition), you're excluding most of the software market. Maybe developers don't really have a choice?

And yeah, apple is not a monopoly, but apple/google for sure is a duopoly, and google is only incrementally better than apple.


Google tolerates exactly the behavior Hey wants for its app.


I'm not saying the answer is to break them up, but clearly as was shown with Microsoft in the 90s, they could be forced to allow competition on their devices, like Microsoft had to allow for different search engines on their browsers and different default browsers. Apple could be forced to allow alternative app stores or to stop dragging their feet on PWA features or any other number of reasonable regulations like that.


> but clearly as was shown with Microsoft in the 90s, they could be forced to allow competition on their devices

But as the parent comment you're replying to said, the situations aren't comparable.

Microsoft had over 90% of the market in the 90s. You could not stop using Windows, because there was simply no credible alternative for most consumers. That's not true for iOS.

If Microsoft at the time had, say, 50% of the market the outcome would likely have been extremely different.


It depends how you define market. Apple has control over 100% of ios apps.

I doubt ms had 90% of consumer electronics market or even os.


Walmart has 100% monopoly over their store space. Verizon has 100% monopoly over what can connect to their network. Google has a monopoly over the Play Store. Cows have a monopoly over milk production. At which point does this argument stop working?

> I doubt ms had 90% of consumer electronics market or even os.

You should probably look that up then, instead of "doubting": https://www.justice.gov/atr/us-v-microsoft-courts-findings-f...


Yes, but Walmart cannot stop another supermarket from opening in the same area, Verizon cannot stop you from bringing another phone to their network. Android allows other stores. Cows? Oh wait, you've got me there.


You sure about that? Small town businesses have lamented Walmart moving in for ages, Verizon can _absolutely_ prevent another phone from joining their network, they even charge activation fees on top of it all. And Android _is_ the alternative store if you don't like shopping on iOS, and the monopoly holder to boot. I can't run .ipa files on Android either, why can't we sue Google for not supporting that SDK, since they're a smartphone OS monopoly holder?


While I agree with everything you're saying, Google's android literally allows you to install third party app stores and even sideload apps. Google does not behave at all like Apple in that regard.


Sure, but how does that make Apple a monopoly abuser without broadening the definition to the point of it being applicable to damn near everything?


Who is going to do all the work of fighting a Trust when they drag their feet using legal grey area or random excuses?

Government worked out the correct action a long time ago. When you see a trust, you destroy it, when you still get collusion between the separate companies that is manageable since collusion has prisoners dilemmas.


Microsoft was never required to allow multiple search engines. Nor were they required to allow other default browsers in the US.

I’m sure the government has to technical wherewithal to make sure that Apple is compliant with browser standards....



Care to quote the part where the US government forced the browser choice screen like the EU did?


Did I ever explicitly say the US in my comment? No. However, the entire case against Microsoft was built on its anticompetitive practices against Netscape. And Microsoft lost.

In the US, "The proposed settlement required Microsoft to share its application programming interfaces with third-party companies and appoint a panel of three people who would have full access to Microsoft's systems, records, and source code for five years in order to ensure compliance."

By having full access to the API, MS could no longer give IE special privileges (for example, being the only default browser choice when a link is clicked to be opened). At any rate, it's not a stretch to imagine similar movements towards Apple's app store. The parallels are quite similar.


I specifically said in the comment that you replied to “Nor were they required to allow other default browsers in the US.”

The parallels aren’t similar. Apple has less than 50% market share in the US and even less in Europe. Every console maker does the same as Apple.


There is no percentage-based threshold for antitrust. Price fixing, anticompetitive activities, cornering markets, etc can all trigger antitrust violations. Mobile computing is a far more important and mission critical foundation of modern life than video gaming. This is why there's a big push for net neutrality. The Federal government has all the authority it needs to regulate Apple if they decide it's worth doing. I support reigning in big tech.


Their app store is on their devices. They forbid any other similar service.

So they creted a platforn and enforce service. Thats creating playground, rules and playing the game.

Remember microsoft was subjected to antitrust regulations for providing web browser with the os. This was considered unfair practice. Forcing people to give up 30 of revenue goes much much further.

By giving customers no choice, it's limiting hardware capabilities of your device.


> Remember microsoft was subjected to antitrust regulations for providing web browser with the os. This was considered unfair practice. Forcing people to give up 30 of revenue goes much much further.

This only became an issue when their market share was far greater than the competition, which is simply not the case.

This is just developer sour grapes. You want more money. Just say it.


But 95% of computers sold ran windows then. 10% of computers run MacOS now and maybe 20% of phones. Just buy a different computer, or don't... Or if you are a developer, make software for Windows or Android instead.


>maybe 20% of phones

Sure, if you're just counting units sold. But by total app store revenue, the metric that actually matters, they account for well over two thirds of the market.


because people care about the ecosystem and that has real monetary value to all three (consumer, seller, marketplace)


The fact that Microsoft was a subject to the anti-trust investigation for giving away their browser for free is not an indicator of a just law and its correct application. The law is flawed and that case was simply a hint to MS that they should've lobbied proper people in the government. "Pay us or else" - a typical practice of any government with unreasonably wide powers over country's economy.


> Their app store is on their devices.

Their users devices.


I think that's exactly the point and it even applies to Macbooks: Apple just makes some pretty average laptops with poor price-performance ratio (even in the allegedly-high-end segment) and they clearly don't have a monopoly or even significant market share [1] in that category. Apple is just somewhat unique in that there is a very vocal minority of people who have decided that they only ever want to use Apple laptops (some Thinkpad users are similar), and of course Apple has a 100 % monopoly on Apple laptops, obviously. Viewed through this lens a lot of the coverage of Mac hardware makes a lot more sense; it never was about rational decision making.

[1] Apple owns less than 10 % of the laptop market.


I don’t buy Apple laptops or any laptops Any more but it’s interesting that you cite poor price-performance.

15 years ago when I did they had great cost-performance, i.e. they held their value relative to the competition, remained usable for longer for a number of reasons and when sold actually yielded better value over the full lifecycle. Has this changed?


Yes. For one, the keyboards fail.


On some models made in some years and the manufacturer has admitting the fault and extended an extra warranty to cover the fault and made adjustments to the process to avoid that fault in the future.

Surely indicative of the shoddy quality Apple is known for...


They are indeed a monopoly in a certain market segment - aka, those who are more than willing to pay for apps.

https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-users-spend-twice-apps...

Their existing monopolistic actions like “preventing interoperability at any cost” feeds this viscous cycle where high school kids are embarrassed to send text message to iPhone from an Android device.

I own Apple stock, would love then to crush competition, but let us not twist facts.


Perhaps the apps are higher quality in iOS due to the App Store policy, and consumers are more likely to invest in that quality.

Remove the gate, the quality dips. I'd imagine the amount willing to pay goes down too.


I‘m more and more of the opinion that oligolipolies (multi-monopolies) should be treated the same as monopolies. Just because there is more than a single provider still does not mean there is a free market and consumers have actual choice. Google and Apple both pull extremely anticompetitive behavior lately and the excuse of „just switch to the other side“ bypasses reality. There are quite a lot of studies that free markets start working only if there are more than 4 parties left to compete with significant market share.

Citations missing since I‘m on mobile.


So what do you propose the government do?


The monopoly in this case is the distribution of iOS applications and payment within them. Breaking that up means allowing other payment options within apps and potentially allowing side loaded applications.


And Amazon has a monopoly on Kindle apps and Spotify has a monopoly on music that can be played on its platform.

That’s not how monopolies work.


Apple absolutely has a monopoly on phone apps. You can either get an app on the Apple App Store or the Google Play store in practice. Both charge 30% fees for every dollar spent on digital products, that they did nothing to provide. They have absolute authority on what apps can and cannot be used on phones.

Not sure why everyone has rose colored glasses for Apple's hardware enforced software monopoly.


Most of the apps on those stores don't have to be OS Apps, they can be Web Apps, accessbile from any device connected to the Internet.


> This echoes the "if you don't like it so much then just leave instead of speaking up" dismissal

It's even worse than that. Even if you leave Apple ecosystem, you are still subject to it. Consumers don't like paying different prices based on the platform they are using. They will feel cheated. For this reason, app and service developers almost always price their products the same across all platforms. If a service developer estimates that 50% of the service's customers end up signing up through Apple Pay and pay the Apple tax, which one of these scenarios do you think will happen:

1) The developer will just eat the loss and will not take Apple's cut into their calculations of what the pricing should be at all;

2) They charge users who sign up through Apple 30% more;

3) They charge everyone the same. In order to negate the effect of Apple tax, their prices end up being higher than they otherwise would have been. Everyone, Apple user or not, ends up paying 15% higher.

I would wager that number 3 is what happens in almost all instances. You cannot not pay the Apple tax, even if you never use Apple.

On a side note, I am so surprised that so many people see this as a fight between Apple and developers. They view the Apple tax as something developers pay and thus is developers' problem, not theirs. Like any tax, ultimately, we the consumers end up paying it. It may be indirect, but it is coming out of our pocket. And it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that I would have to pay more than $1000 to buy a device, and then get nickel-and-dimes by Apple to actually use the said device.


If you open it up, what you end up with is, no one pays for your app, because there is 20 other free ones that are good enough.

Developers all want into the walled garden because it is a great walled garden, consumers are very happy, they trust it more, they spend more. But when you let everything in, it becomes a dumpster fire of crapware, and people overall spend less.

https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-users-spend-twice-apps...

I'd argue Apple's walled garden is better for good quality developers. There are cases that suck - but that is an exception to the rule.


I always saw sources like yours to be a bit of "confirming the obvious". Of course the average iphone user spends more, the average iphone user has a more expensive phone, and therefore more disposable income. Android has cheap handsets, Apple does not.


Don't be so certain - if you add up the top competitors to the iPhone (just as expensive Samsungs, Huawei, etc), they're about the same amount as iPhones. Do these people not have disposable income?

The gap is quite obvious - because of the multitude of free alternatives on android, users are far more likely to not spend. The competition is way higher.

Developers want to destroy the walled garden but the fact is their product will be instantly devalued.


Even if you leave Apple ecosystem, you are still subject to it. Consumers don't like paying different prices based on the platform they are using.

Manufacturers sell things at different prices all of the time. Spotify even sold subscriptions at different prices when they did allow in app subscriptions.

On a side note, I am so surprised that so many people see this as a fight between Apple and developers. They view the Apple tax as something developers pay and thus is developers' problem, not theirs. Like any tax, ultimately, we the consumers end up paying it

Yes consumers pay retailers mark up and not wholesale. News at 11


Then don't buy the device. Bad taste in your mouth is not going to accomplish anything.


I don't have an Apple device. I put my money where my mouth is. But I am sure that some of the services I am buying are more expensive because of the Apple tax and I am paying Apple tax anyway.

Bad taste in my mouth is not going to accomplish anything. Simply not buying an Apple device does not accomplish anything either. Speaking out, raising awareness, asking for regulations, etc. is the only way to accomplish anything.


> But I am sure that some of the services I am buying are more expensive because of the Apple tax and I am paying Apple tax anyway.

Imagine how much more you could save if companies wouldn't have to include corporate tax burden into prices of their products. And what if you were exempt from income tax too? Just a food for thought.


I do benefit from corporate an income taxes, in the form of services from the government. I also have a say in them, via elections. What equivalent benefits and voice do I have regarding Apple tax?


Agreed. There's a false dichotomy here. You can use a product, and as a stakeholder demand change. Refraining from using the product entirely is one way to achieve that, but it's not the only way. Many products evolve because of user-feedback.


Telling people to handle their beef "in the market" is basically saying we aren't a self-governing people any more.

The hubris and contempt for democracy emanating from tech bros is astounding. It's not going to be fashionable forever.


> Many products evolve because of user-feedback.

And regulation. See GDPR and CCPA.


Yes, but those two examples don't have a particularly great track record. Regulation tends to be a very blunt hammer that might only partially address the problem while introducing a bunch of others (e.g. cookie banners).


Support better regulation. More effective than complaining.


You’re not a stakeholder for buying a computer.

You seem to have a very confused view of the consumer role legally and historically.

Giving them money for a product does not give you a real voice.

Argue for that first. Otherwise you may as well argue you’re a stakeholder to a tree.


A customer is an external stakeholder. They do have a voice, but at a large scale / low % of revenue, it may be not be very loud.

If no one enjoyed the shade of a tree, it wouldn’t cease to exist. If customers stopped paying a business, they likely would.


>A customer is an external stakeholder.

Customers used to have more choice, this made them highly valued stakeholders.

Before the era of permanent rolling mandatory updates and new releases customers (And IT managers) had to be convinced a new version had more value than the software it was replacing.

Windows Vista, DOS 4 And numerous other software failed to get traction because the value of new features was too low vs the pain points.

Now days the focus is on shareholder value not customer needs.

Locking in customers and maximising revenue is far more important than marking software better for the end user or IT teams.


We are stakeholders in our role as citizens of democratic governments.


If holding a giant private corporation accountable is the battle you want to take before the government, aside from all the other problems society faces, go for it.

I’d never be caught dead complaining about how I “got screwed over” by entering an arrangement I knew about up front.

I would complain about government deciding the way the world worked decades before I was born as if that’s how it must work forever.

You emit whatever syntax your limbic system pushes your cortex to supply motor agency to, what’s useful inside your little bubble.

I’ll argue in mine. Aside from time/place of our body, it’s all we can do anyway.


EU might solve this for you, I remember how it was years back, with mobile phone providers, there was no monopoly just a few companies that split the market and hold the users captive. So EU does not care that Apple and Google are not monopolies or that a large potion of citizens are busy watching football, if there are enough people complaining they will investigate and if you see what happen in the past force interoperability and true choice.


Sure…

So, how many different word processors and spreadsheet providers does the EU bureaucracy itself use?


I don't know, do you know and what is this relevant? They get complaints and they look at them, apply the laws for the benefit of the citizens and not for companies, like when the mobile phone companies were regulated lot of people complained that this big companies will lose too much money but still I see Vodafone and the rest thriving and us the consumer can move to other companies without any pain.


Of course its relevant: you said the EU intervenes when people complain to stop corporate dominance and abuse.

Lots of people complained. The EU did nothing. Truly - Microsoft office is as dominant as it ever was. It the EU has an anti-monopoly/dominance purpose, if MS Word/Excel/Powerpoint isn't its white whale, its hard to imagine what would be.

And the GDPR is being similarly defanged.


But are you ignoring other laws from EU or country specific that worked ? If you do not know let me give you some example "web browser" the reason you are not commenting this from IE is because of law makers that stopped Microsoft abuse, the reason Intel is not a monopoly and charge you 2 times more for 10 times less is because lawmakers prevented it.

For GDPR you need to wait before you conclude, it is similar to laws that force companies to label the food and drinks, now the websites are labeled if they contained shit and how many tons of shit contain but some people instead of complaining that there is too much shit in the website they complain that the labels are too big and would prefer a cool shiny logo instead of informative text.


>"web browser" the reason you are not commenting this from IE is because of law makers that stopped Microsoft abuse, the reason Intel is not a monopoly and charge you 2 times more for 10 times less is because lawmakers prevented it.

Did you even try to be honest? In no way Microsoft did ever prevent competitor browsers from being installed. Nobody forced, forces or will force you to use IE, no matter the EU. It was typical EU bureaucratic socialist bs, doing the thinking for the user and of course in the end just sucking rich American tit by fining because they create nothing and just want to run those who do. Just like Soviet Union.

Also, I don't need "Mother EUSSR" telling me who collects data/uses cookies and ruining overall browsing experience. It's funny how their efforts are actually counter productive, because it's near impossible to browse the net in private mode (the one thing that ACTUALLY prevents data collection, not the useless cookie agreement pop-ups).


Dude MS and Intel got in trouble with US too. What MS did with IE is the same anti competitive thing they are doing now and what Google does, they offer free stuff runining smaller competitors, they can offer free stuff because they use their dominance in one market to force their products on other market.

So if I want to make a good video hosting platform I need to compete with Google, but Google is using their search dominance to offer YT for free so I can't compete fair with them. Same if I want to make an IDE or web browser, I am forced to compete with Chrome and Visual Studio Code, free stuff paid with money from other markets, so when all competition is killed you get the IE case where shit stagnates because there is no competition.


> This guy doesn't understand what monopolies are and how they work. The whole point is that there are no other alternatives, so you literally cannot "just stop using them". "Just stop patronizing the monopoly" is not a strategy that has ever been successful. The monopoly needs to be broken up.

I'm all for breaking up Apple for being a bunch of abusive jerks, but they really aren't a "Monopoly" in any useful definition of the term. Android is a drop-in replacement and it has a massive amount of marketshare (sure it sucks too in different ways, and sure more competition would be better, but you certainly don't have to buy any Apple products).

The point of this article, as I read it, is that people have bought into the Apple ecosystem so hard (due to that carefully manicured Apple reputation) they fail to even consider switching to anything else or dropping support for Apple. Even developers! When I see the 1000th blog post about how crappy Macs are and how garbage Apple's walled garden is on the front page of HN, I know that countless people here will toss it an upvote and comment in agreement, but many will still tune in breathlessly for the next WDC and go purchase the next Apple device to hit the shelves.

You don't need Apple. Nobody needs Apple anything. Complaining about their practice while buying their products... well, that's basically the definition of "whining."

Switch to Linux (or Windows, if you really prefer locked down / closed source solutions). Switch to Android. Stop paying if you don't like the terms.


I agree. I also hate the sentiment "vote with your wallet". By all means, send them a message by not buying their products, that surely will do something. However, it's also important to give feedback in written form either directly or by publishing editorials.


I disagree that Apple has a monopoly. The iPhone doesn't even have 50% marketshare in the US, and globally it's significantly less.

https://www.counterpointresearch.com/us-market-smartphone-sh...

Not only are there alternatives, the alternatives are extremely similar to the iPhone.

Another interpretation for users who complain loudly but never switch: it just doesn't bother them that much. It bothers them enough to tweet and blog about it, but not enough to actually inconvenience themselves by switching phone platforms.

Apple knows this, and that's why it doesn't change. And it won't change until people actually act instead of just talk.


I assume it refers to this: https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/how-antifragile-apple-inc-re...

Basically: Apples competitors marketshare concentrates on the lower cost market part while sharing the infrastructure. Apple has it's users locked in to their environment and controls the upper part of the market. Making it not only hard to switch the infrastructure but also keeping the price always as up as necessary/possible to dominate the upper price region of the market.

Edit: why am I getting downvotes?


How does Apple “control” the market? Is Apple forcing users to pay an average of three times more for an iPhone than an Android device? Is it Apple’s fault that Android manufactures+Google can’t come up with a device that people are willing to pay more for?


No, they are creating an locked in environment where switching is hard while switching is easy on Android. So you end up with 2 different groups/(markets?). One ready to pay more but locked in and another group wanting to pay less for more with a variety of hardware choices and companies betting against each other for a lower price on same hardware/specifications.

Apple therefore controls the price for their locked in environment. Rising prices for hardware, fees, accesoirs, repairs,...

At least this is how I understand this theory but since I'll probably get downvotes again, this will be my last comment on this. Sorry.


How is switching “hard”? I can pick up an Android device, sign into all of my subscription based services and everything just works. My photos are already synced with Google Photos, music I bought back in the day is DRM free and Apple Music is available on Android.


The author changing "Hey" to "Yo" was also a poor choice considering: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yo_(app)


I thought this was actually about Yo again! Had me tricked out they were relevant again.


Maybe he should have used "Let's go" instead...


It's fine, you did understand it was Hey didn't you?


I understand it today with the knowledge of current events fresh in my mind, but it won't age well.


Agreed. I feel as though it's akin to saying "if you don't like America, leave!" Voiced legitimate concern can bring positive change.


With that small caveat that "legitimate" is solely defined by the powerful.


Touche, but the truth of your point made me sad.


Not just about this title for this particular subject but dismissing people by telling them to just stop using or go elsewhere is also bad for almost everything else in life.

Applying the same logic for: - "Whining" customers: just go use someone else product; you are going to miss new ideas and paint points that you can solve - "Whining" about country or politics - imagine the phrase "if you don't like your leaders of your country, just leave the country and go somewhere else"; it's absurd. - "Whining" about family and friends: just stop hanging out with them; most people have no choice to change who they are with... - "Whining" about social media fake news: just stop using it. ...

We don't need to go to all variations but this is not the right mindset.

That logic is usually used by monopolies, dictators and so on to shut up people. Don't fall into that argument trap.


Apple isn't a monopoly as per law, there are plenty of other device manufacturers to choose from, and in some markets iDevices aren't even available.


The traditional understanding of monopolies does not seem so useful in this case.

We live a world where there are two walled gardens that control everything you do. They are both lovely and nice, and you can choose which you pick, but in both, everything you do owned by the landlord. Even how we communicate is controlled, and talking to people in the other garden is degraded. (iMessage and FaceTime).

Even if both walled gardens have 50% marketshare, there is no monopoly, but is that really the world we want to live in? Taking your business to the other walled garden is not an incentive to either company to build shorter walls.

It seems we need to be talking about regulating vertical integration and walled gardens, not monopolies.


Maybe it’s not the “traditional understanding” that’s the problem. Maybe it’s HN users understanding that’s flawed.


Seems to work quite alright on game consoles.


I'd imagine significant changes in the market is the best way to get Apple to do anything. If people keep buying and using all their products then they will keep doing what their doing.


Could you make some sort of generic app for push notifications, kind of like the old school Growl for the Mac?

Then web apps could be bookmarked within iOS, and push notifications routed through the mini-Growl app?


But people have been speaking up for years.

At what point do the people speaking up just stop using the thing that they dislike so much?


There is another alternative - Android. The same alternative that 80%+ of the market chooses.

Yes. Why would I complain about an option when I have another option? I think the entire Android ecosystem is janky. So I don’t buy Android devices.


Stop whining, just stop buying from the company store.


You fail to define what the legitimate issues are.

They have no real hardware or store monopoly, Android still out numbers them in install base.

Legally it’s undecided at all. This is essentially complaining Walmart and Target use different means of revenue generation for placing product.

Maybe Microsoft can get a phone and store off the ground that has a bigger install base. Oh wait. Maybe app sellers should have heeded the warnings when app stores launched about this exact problem!

Just because you and others don’t feel good about it doesn’t mean it’s legitimate.

App sellers have a legitimate issue with Apple after choosing to go all in knowing how it works.


They choose to go "all in" because it is literally the only option to get an app on the devices of ~58% of smartphone owners in the United States. They don't have a choice, they literally have to accept it in this market. Even in other markets where they don't control the majority, it's still a massive portion of the market.

It's hard to imagine how the precedent established by not forcing change here would be desired by anyone. We're not far from a world where basically all of the software you can consume, how you can consume it, and even the price of it, is effectively determined (or at least heavily influenced) by one of 3 companies. We're not talking about just the services those companies offer, we're talking about all of the software services that any company wants to offer.

The cost of building a new operating system in the modern age is incredibly prohibitive, such that we're unlikely to see any meaningful competition in the form of alternatives here. Even if such a project were to happen, they'd have to overcome the incredible inertia secured from walled garden that the major players have built for their own ecosystems.


If I want to be on “Survivor”, I don’t have much choice but to apply to CBS to be on “Survivor”. They control the whole show, I’m literally a pawn in their game. I wish I wasn’t born into this. Oh woe.


They do have a choice, it's called a Web App.


Apple sells you hardware, but then tries to upsell, by offering apps through AppStore. The solution here seems to be:

Jailbreak your iPhone and start installing applications from other sources. If Apple tries to stop that then you can sue them that they deny you rights to use something that you legally own (the iPhone).

The only downside here is: I would have a hard time trusting an app from outside the AppStore.


"Whining" is always prejudicial. You can define it as "Complaining about something you refuse to take steps to remedy" but that doesn't make it any less prejudicial. It's like "reasons" versus "excuses": Do you have a reason or are you trying to give me excuses? I know that I always have reasons even if the same words coming from you would be excuses.

> This echoes the "if you don't like it so much then just leave instead of speaking up" dismissal that is so commonly used as a lampshade for suppressing dissent.

Apple is suppressing dissent by not caring what their users and developers are saying. There is no path forwards from speaking up other than a boycott, because Apple isn't going to listen to you.

> This guy doesn't understand what monopolies are and how they work. The whole point is that there are no other alternatives, so you literally cannot "just stop using them". "Just stop patronizing the monopoly" is not a strategy that has ever been successful. The monopoly needs to be broken up.

Apple has a monopoly on iOS. Google has a monopoly on Android. Neither has a monopoly on PostmarketOS.

I doubt you'll be successful in convincing the DOJ that Apple needs to be broken up on that basis.


If you don’t like how Apple does business, stop using their products.

If you don’t like how Google does business, stop using their products.

If you don’t like how either one does business, stop using technology all together.

I am being facetious, but mainly to illustrate the point that we now have a series of entrenched monopolies in the tech world so “stop using X” isn’t a realistic solution.


Every time someone says "I have no choice but to go against the dictates of my conscience" it translates to "I have a choice to have my own will free of coercion, but I don't want to pay the entry fee of having integrity."

No one is forcing anyone to use Apple or Google products. Anyone that wants the nominal "benefits" that they provide, continues to make the moment-by-moment choice of using them. You can throw your iPhone or Android phone away (or sell it and give the proceeds to the poor, e.g. child cobalt miners or Foxconn workers). You can get a dumb phone. You can live (shockingly!) without having a cellphone at all. Your job requires you to have a MacBook? Get a different job. The lifestyle you choose may require you to have these things, but that's because you choose the lifestyle over personal integrity.

No one can actually follow their own morality and someone else's. You either prove a hypocrite to yourself or a hypocrite to others. You can't serve both justice and the marketplace.

You could take no thought for your career, nor how you would make your living, nor where you would live; nor even the clothes you would wear in the morning. Is living not more than jobs, money, and clothing?


That’s a very cumbersome a way of getting what I want. It’s much better and easier if e.g the EU simply makes Apple do the right thing by force. The market doesn’t solve this kind of problem.


We already have anti-trust regulations that are supposed to stop these sorts of anti-competitive behaviors.

A company is not allowed to use its position as a "market" to ALSO give an unfair advantage to its own products - or to shut out competitors without reasonable cause.

...but these laws aren't being enforced. It's funny to remember Microsoft being forced to de-couple Internet Explorer from Windows, and yet the idea of de-coupling the app Store from IOS or the Play store from Android does not seem to occur to regulators.

I have a conspiracy theory that they like that American companies have this market strangle-hold and are unwilling to give market share to EU or Chinese competitors. Imagine all the data collect lost!


In theory there is already an open technology which is decoupled from these platforms: the browser. Job’s vision was exactly that.

Now we’re still(!) in a place where standards are being fought by the likes if Apple, because they have an incentive to weaken open standards in favor of their closed platforms.

This is a grotesque strategy that needs to stop.


Indeed. And if my local restaurant doesn’t have a nice table for me, it’s much easier if Tony Soprano can have a little talk with the owner.


How is doing something illegal at all related?

To me, “laws” are something the majority massages into a state where they benefit the most people. This looks like one of those cases. Changing the laws (or in this case probably just enforcing them) is different from acting outside the law or breaking laws.


You know this whole capitalist system would be much easier if the government had “5 Year Plans”.


In principal I agree with you. But consider the case of Gmail. You have to communicate with a lot of people that use Gmail, and Google can block that because one of their robots decides it doesn't like your host/server/domain/IP/face. You have little recourse to resolve this, probably even less so if you don't have a Google account.


The comment you're replying to is making the same point.


We also need to keep in mind that you can't get your toys and leave, your applications and media is locked into the store, you will have to start over, buy everything again, and before someone mentions "What about Xbox or Stream" those are bad too.


Apple iTunes has actually tried to mitigate this by supporting Movies Anywhere[1] for some video content and iTunes Plus[2] has no DRM, so they aren't as bad as some other walled gardens.

The app stores/systems on all of the walled gardens are problematic, but the way I see it it's largely because they don't want to create a web of trust including all of the other app stores (the weakest one's security would cause a loss of profit for all).

> What about X or Y

This behavior is largely a feature of the market and a failure of governments to choose to do anything about it. We are ~12 years into the iOS app ecosystem, and much further (~30 years) when it comes to packaged disk software/games which were sold separately for Apple/Windows/game consoles.

I'm more worried about the trajectory -- governments don't seem to identify this as a problem (except for a few select legislators) and other industries seem to be moving in this direction (John Deere DRM, Tesla apps, AWS Marketplace, etc).

[1] https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202915

[2] https://support.apple.com/guide/itunes/itunes-plus-itns1ec4e...


What do you mean?

I don't use Apple or Google products and I use technology every day.


You send emails to Google and Apple email servers at least.

You may also be recorded by Assistant or Siri when visiting friends or relatives, or even just when their phones are near you.

You likely hit Google's cloud every day when visiting websites on its platform.


I didn't mean to say that I have had absolutely no interaction with any existing Apple or Google service or technology. I'm neither a fundamentalist nor a hermit.

Rather, whenever it is my choice, I prefer to select products and technologies that don't belong to Apple, Google or similar companies.


Sorry, I did a poor job of making my point.

@hkarthik implied that it's impossible to use technology and also boycott Apple and/or Google. I agree with them.

You seemed to disagree by saying that you do boycott Apple and Google.

The point I was trying to make is that you're part of their revenue stream even if you yourself don't have any consumer relationship with them. That's why they feel like a monopoly to so many of us and why we criticize them rather than leaving their ecosystem. We can't leave their ecosystem!


I can see your point now. Indeed they can feel inescapable.

One thing I try to do is to minimize how much revenue they get out of me. For example, I use uBlock Origin and uMatrix to block their ads and scripts, their cookies, Google Analytics, etcetera. I hope they are losing money on me, that'd make my day!


What mobile phone and which operating system for it do you use, if I may ask?


I use a $20 LG feature phone. I don't know what OS it runs, but it's not Android.


Ok, but then you've given up on an entire technology set. You haven't avoided Apple and Android, you've avoided the tech entirely.


I have avoided commercial smartphone products entirely, yes, and very much on purpose.

I have not avoided technology in general, not by a long shot.


The statement wasn't "you avoided technology", it was "you avoided the technology".


To be more clear: I have avoided the commercial use of smartphone technology as it exists today, because for me its drawbacks are unacceptable. So, I am not a user of that technology, but I do not oppose the basic principle of mobile, universal, cheap computing and communication.


Doesn't this website use firebase?


You're not a user in any meaningful way of every subcomponent of a product.


Maybe, but you're still indirectly supporting them.


How?


In any free/freemium product/service, your attention is your primary currency (your wallet and your participation in the network effect are secondary). Marketing to HN viewers happens when a funded company announces hiring.


How does that translate into support for google?


If you spend money or attention on a site that pays Google as a vendor, that is quite obviously indirect support of Google.

Perhaps we are just quibbling about which definition of the word "support"? In which case I agree that there is one definition of support in which you are right and another in which your parent is right.


That's about as much support for Google as if I bought a product from a storefront that's in a building owned by a landlord who supports a cause I don't agree with. First of all, I (as a consumer) would have no idea who owned that building, and secondly the link between my purchase and money flowing to that unsavory cause is so far removed that it's not even worth considering.

Go far enough down any business transaction and you'll find a cause you disagree with. If the tree you planted makes oxygen for your worst enemy, will you cut down the tree to spite them?


> as if I bought a product from a storefront that's in a building owned by a landlord who supports a cause I don't agree with.

There are plenty of people who would look at this situation, and do whatever they can to make sure they don't enable that person.


My understanding is that Firebase is free. However, even if it wasn't I still think the link is tenuous to the point of meaningless. Spending attention on HN does not make google any richer, it stretches the definition of the word "support" in a way that misses the point within the context of boycotting a company. If every HN reader quit the site today only a Firebase SRE would take notice, if every HN reader quit using Gmail it'd cost google a considerable amount of money.


> I am being facetious, but mainly to illustrate the point that we now have a series of entrenched monopolies in the tech world so “stop using X” isn’t a realistic solution.

Even if you could simply stop using X, "voting with your wallet" is often a fallacy, especially when voting with your voice and actual vote have consistently enacted meaningful change throughout history.


On the other hand, for us "tech people" it is actually easier to stop using Google and Apple and serve as example for others. Pushing for anti-monopoly legislation needs not be the only thing that we do to solve that problem.

Moreover, for people who are not citizens of the USA (the large majority of the people!), there's no other clear course of action.


> On the other hand, for us "tech people" it is actually easier to stop using Google and Apple and serve as example for others. Pushing for anti-monopoly legislation needs not be the only thing that we do to solve that problem.

Are you suggesting people stop using smartphones altogether?


> Are you suggesting people stop using smartphones altogether?

I do not have a smartphone and my life is alright, but I was not suggesting that.

You can certainly have a smartphone that is not controlled by neither Google nor Apple. For example, by installing an OS like LineageOS, or even some "freer" stuff that is out there.


In a tech crowd like HN, I don't think that's a reasonable solution for most people.

App ecosystems have network effects. Do your {bank, 2FA vendor, paycheck vendor, retirement vendor, etc} all support apps for LineageOS?

Additionally, the number of tech jobs which support those smartphones, their apps, testing websites on smartphone browsers, and the related marketing all require many of us to participate in the core smartphone markets, even if we choose not to use them outside of work.


If somebody is able to take these compromises it is certainly senior software engineers. And yes, you can install any android app on lineageos, even if it does not have google services enabled.

I have a lot of trouble to force my mom (nearly computer illiterate) to live without google and similar stuff. But I bully mercilessly my co-workers for that. At least they agreed to use jitsi instead of zoom, so that's something


There are services that operate on Android with open source implementations of the Google proprietary services which have been designed for lock-in. https://e.foundation packages up the work from Lineage and MicroG and sells phones with the software preinstalled.


Depends on if you consider running a phone with Google services removed "supporting Google".


Unpopular opinion: the 30% that Apple charges includes customer acquisition cost.

As a thought experiment, if Hey adds In-App Purchase for subscriptions, but everyone who downloads the app has first signed up for their service due to their marketing methods (an increasing likelihood considering this controversy), then nobody will use the In App Purchase, and Hey will send $0.00 to Apple.

If someone discovers the App in the App Store due to an organic search for Email clients, then they are likely to sign up via In App Purchase, and Hey pays Apple an affiliate fee of 30% of first year revenue, and 15% of lifetime revenue after that. This is a customer that Hey would not have had if not for the App Store, so getting 75-80% of lifetime value seems better than not acquiring the customer in the first place.

I realize it's not entirely as clean as that, but cast in that way, the amounts seem merely expensive, and not egregious.

(not to defend any of Apple's behavior - particularly the most recent letter sent).


Hey is arguing that they want the choice to unlist from the app store entirely so their client would never surface in organic search results, and have no IAP link. That way the only audience they gain are from people they themselves marketed to and purchased a subscription on the web.

But it's unfair to Apple! They get 0.00 for this!

Bullshit.

Every Apple customer who wants to use HEY gets a great mobile experience to encourage them to keep buying Apple products. If enough services like Dropbox, Netflix, Spotify, were not available on iPhone, the consumer might purchase the Android phone on their next upgrade, or the company might switch their fleet to Android devices that actually support their business software.

Basecamp / Hey is providing value to Apple's products by enriching their ecosystem. They should have the choice if they want to pay a 30% cut for organic search traffic in Apple's App Store.


> Basecamp / Hey is providing value to Apple's products by enriching their ecosystem

Apple is providing value to Basecamp/Hey by providing a smartphone and an operating system that can run Hey app. "Hey" can simply remove the app from App store and provide a web based version if they don't want to pay for convenience of iOS and iPhone.


They would, but it's a shame that that everyone is forced to use webkit on iOS and for some reason is refusing to implement push notification API need to make PWA's. I wonder what that reason could be.


When the App Store launched, 30% was a huge improvement to the rates extracted in the walled gardens the mobile carriers were running.

Ten years ago 30% was entirely defensible. That it hasn't budged at all is a little weird. If it had notched down to 25% and then to 22% with a hope on the horizon of 20%, I think a lot fewer people would be so salty.

In-app purchases are a tricky one, for game-theoretical reasons. With in-app purchases your base app can be a loss-leader, and in an ecosystem where 'free' is allowed then you make more money with in-app purchases than you would with a monolithic app. We are already overusing in-app purchases, if Apple made them cheaper then everything would be in-app purchases. In-app purchases also make QA harder, so whatever curation power they have is diluted and usually not in a good way.

My heart says in-app purchases should have a lower tax, because Apple is doing less of the work. But my brain says that the opposite is the case.

What is really hurting the people I know (which admittedly isn't many) is that upgrade prices aren't really a thing in the App Store. They don't even have bundling options like Steam. Which means you have to cobble something like it together via in-app purchases.


I 100% agree. I think if Apple was consistent across all apps (i.e. they allow users to subscribe outside of their ecosystem with no restriction, but only charged 30% if purchased through ecosystem) nobody would be complaining about the 30% at all. The major issue is that a smaller app is being penalized for not having the clout that someone like Netflix has and being able to bypass the rule.


Try making your app appear in search results via organic store searches. Good luck.

In my experience, you will likely either pay for search results or do marketing on your own using other channels. Both are paid and Apple doesn't do anything for it.

There's really no good case for taking 30% as long as there's no real marketing benefit from the App Store.


I basically agree with the sentiment that the 30% cut is justified in some situations. But, for convenience, some (many?) people will not sign up on the website, and instad just download the iOS app and do the signup and purchase there. They will pay the "Apple tax" for no reason at all, or simply because the App Store already has their credit card data. And this doesn't really sit right with me.


You're forgetting about the people who find Hey through some other channel, but sign up through the app anyway.

And because discoverability on the app store is terrible, of the people who sign up through the app, it's very likely that the majority of them won't have discovered it through the app store.


This is a great nuance that seems to be being lost in the holy war.


> The solution is obvious. Stop making apps for iOS. Sure, you’re going to take a huge hit without access to those consumers

The solution is obvious. Sabotage your own business. Sure, you're going to go out of business without any customers.


But that’s the whole point of having principles. It costs something to uphold them, which you deem worthwhile to pay.

There are plenty of other ways to make money in software without needing to do business with companies you deem unethical.


What serious business, be it B2C or B2B, in today's software world, doesn't require a mobile app on either iOS and Android or a desktop app on Chrome/Windows/macOS?


Are you saying all three of Microsoft, Google, and Apple are unethical?


Unequivocally yes, MS, Google, and Apple are all deeply unethical. This is proven in their business practices as well as their manufacturing practices. The problem is we live in a society that values money over all else, including human suffering and fair access to markets.


It must be even easier to stop working with these unethical companies if you don’t value money that much.


If that is true then Apple is a net positive and deserves no active sabotage.

I've seen this platform issue happen in gaming too: Steam rakes in inmense profits at 30%, while smaller platforms like itch.io scrape by by only getting an 'optional' 10%. Yet, consumers prefer the DRM heavy high-cut platform.


> The solution is obvious. Sabotage your own business.

Do you mean, by having it depend on the random whims of an Apple account manager?

Either not making apps for iOS and making them are forms "sabotaging" your business; the former in the short term, and the latter in a longer term (for sure) and at a randomly chosen term out of your control (with some probability). It is a rational decision to "sabotage" it towards the form of sabotage that is less out of your control.


Disclaimer: I only read the subject line and the first paragraph.

Years ago, when Internet Explorer had market dominance, I was working on a website and I wanted to use a feature that IE didn’t support yet. I asked a question on a forum about how to do it in IE. One of the replies was "just stop using IE."

Dude. It's not for me. It's for my customers.


How quickly people forget history.


Are we really comparing these two?

Apple has nowhere near market dominance, in fact, they are currently in second place. IE had a much larger control of the market.


If your market segment is customers who are willing to pay for a high end email service, Apple's share of that customer segment is probably much greater than 50%. Large enough that not offering an iOS app will cripple your business.


Sounds like a bad business model to me.

That market segment exists because of the walled garden - remove it, and it no longer exists.


That makes no sense. Apple didn't create the market segment, but because those people choose to use iPhone, you can't sell them an email service that doesn't work on iPhone.

If 80% of people making more than $100k a year use iPhones and Apple disappeared, the market segment of people making more than $100k a year wouldn't disappear.


> That makes no sense. Apple didn't create the market segment, but because those people choose to use iPhone, you can't sell them an email service that doesn't work on iPhone.

Make the email service work on iPhone. There are more than 2,000,000 apps in the App Store. There's no reason to think they're being unfair with that many in there. If you can't make an app and follow the rules there, tough luck. It's not fair to the developers that don't make shovelware otherwise.

> If 80% of people making more than $100k a year use iPhones and Apple disappeared, the market segment of people making more than $100k a year wouldn't disappear.

Someone would step in and provide another walled garden with the same effect - because the consumer will want a better experience. Apple offers that experience. And if that means Shovelware 2.0 doesn't make it, well, let's be honest. It wasn't all that revolutionary.

In any case, crap apps would flood the market - consumers would get worse experiences, and be less likely to buy apps. Free apps will decimate quality applications. And you'll get the playstore or android, a malware infested UI nightmare.

Apple is the "big bad" now, make a crappy app that doesn't follow easy rules, it's Apple's fault. Yea, not buying it. 2,000,000 made it. It's not that restrictive.


>It's not fair to the developers that don't make shovelware otherwise

>In any case, crap apps would flood the market - consumers would get worse experiences, and be less likely to buy apps. Free apps will decimate quality applications. And you'll get the playstore or android, a malware infested UI nightmare.

How would apple lowering their feeds, allowing a competing app store, allowing sideloaded apps, or allowing apps to have subscriptions outside of apple pay make it easier for crappy apps to make it to the app store?

If there's a competing app store and it's so permissive that it turns into low quality nightmare, then customers will keep using the apple app store. I don't understand how you're getting from A to B.


> How would apple lowering their feeds, allowing a competing app store, allowing sideloaded apps, or allowing apps to have subscriptions outside of apple pay make it easier for crappy apps to make it to the app store?

Apple is a company that is fully dedicated to product.

Lower fees = lower barrier to entry = crapware, this impacts the product. Sideloaded apps are a dangerous vector for malware (https://cybersecuritymag.com/sideloading-malware/), this impacts the product. It's not right to offer an app that doesn't allow subscriptions through the app store, this impacts the product.

The fact is we have a case study in what a non-walled garden looks like, the dumpster fire that is Android, with wildly differing levels of quality, confusing applications from different vendors, a terrible play store experience, etc. It's quite clear how we get to B.

Allowing a competing app store is implicitly supporting that app store - meaning if it bricks your phone, or installs malware, it hurts the user experience of Apple, and the product.

> If there's a competing app store and it's so permissive that it turns into low quality nightmare, then customers will keep using the apple app store. I don't understand how you're getting from A to B.

So back at square one, you see the problem? People WANT curated app stores. They want ONE app store to buy their apps. They don't want to download 10 app stores for 10 different apps. This ruins the product. A, meet B.

The App Store is as much a product as the iPhone. It's a product for developers to quickly, easily, and safely reach consumers to make more money. If you don't like the product as a developer, it's too expensive, or you don't like the agreement, create a web app. Safari can open it just fine. Or release only on Android, it has a huge market.

The fact is, we should not be punishing business unless there is a malpractice by the business that can't be remedied by the market - this is clearly not the case here. It is developer sour grapes because his overpriced mail app tried to cheat the system.


>Lower fees = lower barrier to entry = crapware

Up front fees sure. But how exactly does charging 10% instead of 30% of sales, encourage lower quality software? Where is the cutoff for this? Why 30%? Would 50% encourage even higher quality software?

>It's not right to offer an app that doesn't allow subscriptions through the app store, this impacts the product.

It's not right? As in it is morally wrong?

>So back at square one, you see the problem? People WANT curated app stores. They want ONE app store to buy their apps. They don't want to download 10 app stores for 10 different apps.

They can keep buying their apps on 1 curated app store. If the other app stores were so inferior and full of crap, no one would use them, so people such as your self could keep selling apps on the "good" app store. It's a self limiting problem.


I'd rather say they have complete market dominance. People don't buy phones based on which apps are available for them. And since no alternative stores are available for Apple devices, you have no choice but to pay the Apple tax.


There is an alternative - Android. You aren't forced to pay the Apple tax, there is a far, far more popular alternative there.

If we took this argument and extended it, no business would survive. This is like saying Toyota has a monopoly on it's car transmissions. of course it does - it decides what transmission goes in. Your idea would force it to accept all manufacturers of transmissions.


>If we took this argument and extended it, no business would survive.

You can "extend" any argument to an absurd extreme.

>This is like saying Toyota has a monopoly on it's car transmissions. of course it does - it decides what transmission goes in. Your idea would force it to accept all manufacturers of transmissions.

It's more like if Toyota installed a radio that blocked transmission of all radio shows that didn't pay a percent of advertising revenue to Toyota.

If they did that did that, people would complain and regulation would be an entirely possible, even likely outcome.


> You can "extend" any argument to an absurd extreme.

It isn't absurd - it's unfair to transmission manufacturers that they have to follow Toyota's rules! The horror! Everything should be allowed for everyone! Otherwise it's oppression! It's not my crappy business model, no, I can't take responsibility.

> It's more like if Toyota installed a radio that blocked transmission of all radio shows that didn't pay a percent of advertising revenue to Toyota. If they did that did that, people would complain and regulation would be an entirely possible, even likely outcome.

Perfect example to prove my point. The radio is already regulated by the FCC - if it wasn't, and anyone could stream garbage however they please, like the play store, it would be a feature in automobiles to block that out. Absolutely. And people would pay big money to get it.


>It isn't absurd - it's unfair to transmission manufacturers that they have to follow Toyota's rules! The horror! Everything should be allowed for everyone! Otherwise it's oppression! It's not my crappy business model, no, I can't take responsibility.

Kick rocks

>Perfect example to prove my point. The radio is already regulated by the FCC - if it wasn't, and anyone could stream garbage however they please, like the play store, it would be a feature in automobiles to block that out. Absolutely. And people would pay big money to get it.

You realize that allowing a competing app store, more easily allowing side-loading apps, or not forcing apps to use apple pay for subscriptions wouldn't stop people from using the curated app store.

If as you say people would pay good money for curation if both options are available, then Apple's business model (and I'm guessing from your extreme defensiveness, yours) wouldn't suffer because people would keep voluntarily using it. No one is going to make customers side-load apps, or use a competing app store.


> You realize that allowing a competing app store, more easily allowing side-loading apps, or not forcing apps to use apple pay for subscriptions wouldn't stop people from using the curated app store.

Yes you would - the big part of curation is to prevent malware, or abuse, of the end user. Allowing these others ruins the consumer experience, that directly impacts Apple and I don't blame them.

> If as you say people would pay good money for curation if both options are available, then Apple's business model (and I'm guessing from your extreme defensiveness, yours) wouldn't suffer because people would keep voluntarily using it. No one is going to make customers side-load apps, or use a competing app store.

People already pay for that experience when they buy the iPhone. If they didn't want that experience, they can get an Android. There are also other OSes out there.

This is developer sour grapes, mad because he can't use Apple's service for free to make him more money. For a glorified crappy email application. It's so "entitled silicon valley" I can't even take it.


>wouldn't stop people from using the curated app store. >Yes you would

How? How does "allowing a competing app store, more easily allowing side-loading apps, or not forcing apps to use apple pay for subscriptions" prevent people from using a curated app store? You just said that it does, but you didn't explain how.

>Allowing these others ruins the consumer experience

Does it ruin the consumer experience on OSX?

>People already pay for that experience when they buy the iPhone.

They keep paying for that experience each time they buy an app. And if it's really a superior experience, they'd keep on paying it even if it wasn't required.

>There are also other OSes out there.

That's laughable.

>This is developer sour grapes, mad because he can't use Apple's service for free to make him more money. For a glorified crappy email application. It's so "entitled silicon valley" I can't even take it.

Basecamp stands so far apart from silicon valley culture that you almost couldn't make a worse comparison.


Apple may own a smaller share of the pie, but it's still significant enough that lacking iOS support can kill a business.


Lots of things can kill a business. Anti-competitive practices are made for the goal of reducing competition.

But the reality is Apple's App Store provides a ton of value to many developers and end users alike.

Just because your business model failed doesn't mean the system is broken or monopolistic.


> But the reality is Apple's App Store provides a ton of value to many developers and end users alike.

No one's advocating ending the App Store. Just changing the rules to allow for more competition.


Changing the rules hurts all developers who already abide by them.

There's no problem with the rules. people are just entitled and think the only reason their adtech shovelware is failing is because of Apple, who is an easy target. A big baddie.


> Changing the rules hurts all developers who already abide by them.

I don't follow the logic here.

> people are just entitled and think the only reason their adtech shovelware is failing is because of Apple

If Hey was funded by shovelware ads it would have been approved by Apple. Instead it's funded by a $99 subscription, which the developer refused to give $32 of to Apple, so it was rejected.


> I don't follow the logic here.

Developers who followed the guidelines and accepted the terms will lose if the terms are changed to benefit those who aren't in it. Apps have paid the 30% fee for years - now everyone gets a free pass? Very unfair.

> If Hey was funded by shovelware ads it would have been approved by Apple. Instead it's funded by a $99 subscription, which the developer refused to give $32 of to Apple, so it was rejected.

If you want to be listed on Amazon, you sell, you pay a fee. This is true of any storefront. You don't want to pay fees you can use CraigsList, and Hey can do some SEO and market in other ways.

It's unfair that Hey tries to work around the system that other apps have had to go through. The entitlement is absolutely insane.


> Developers who followed the guidelines and accepted the terms will lose if the terms are changed to benefit those who aren't in it. Apps have paid the 30% fee for years - now everyone gets a free pass? Very unfair.

Following this logic, cures for cancer are "very unfair", as countless people died before a cure was invented. Not very fair to all of those people that fought cancer on their own or died.


> If you want to be listed on Amazon, you sell, you pay a fee

> You don't want to pay fees you can use CraigsList

That's great, Amazon's not the only option. On the iPhone, Apple's the only one allowed to sell apps, that sucks for consumers.


Put up a banner that says IE is not supported, download one of these browsers instead.

If you say "No" because it will drive away your customers, then it absolutely is for you.

It sounds like you were putting profits before principles.


And in the case of iOS, you put a banner on a website saying "Buy a similar $1K Android instead"?


A $100 Android can run a modern browser.


So tell a user of an iPhone 11 Pro Max to get a $100 Android phone to use Hey?


If they want to use an Android-only app. Just like I would have to buy a $400 iPhone if I want to use an iOS-only app.


I fail to see how this is good for consumers.


Most of the iOS/Android software could be run in a modern browser and be accessble from any device that speaks HTTP.


Not an email client like Hey, since it depends on notifications, which Apple doesn't support in PWAs.


"I know that the devices are pretty and feel nice and maybe your friends all have one and you want to signal that you’re one of the crowd, but it’s not worth it."

That's quite an over simplification of the appeal of an iPhone and comes off as him whining about whiners. I'd like to switch back to a flip phone from a privacy perspective, but there's a few conveniences that would be hard to go without. I refuse to buy any more Android phones as I've only had issue after issue with software and hardware, and Apple seems like the lesser of two evils.

It feels like we're stuck in an American political party system where our only reasonable options are to choose between two companies that only have their own best interests in mind.


The issue is app stores. Most app developers/companies won't deploy to any stores other than Google's and Apple's, so when it comes to choosing a device that can run most apps its IPhone or Android.

A solution here is to introduce a standard mobile app format, with standard APIs to interact with the OS. Then app developers write one app that can run on any supported device. But good luck getting the duopoly to agree to that.


> A solution here is to introduce a standard mobile app format, with standard APIs to interact with the OS.

I would argue that's exactly what Android is. It's a mobile OS with a mobile app ecosystem of APIs.

But the fact that no government forced all smartphones to use it means it didn't and likely won't happen. Also, governments don't seem to move at the speed of iOS/Android features, so taking that hypothetical path would have likely meant all mobile phone features slowed a lot.

> The issue is app stores.

Another solution is for governments to enforce reasonable access to all mobile app companies and to make sure the purchases and data are portable to all similar devices (say all smartphones or all game consoles). It's not that hard to make the coupling of the app binary to the device tight but the license to use the software portable.


I mean lets be honest. Developers actually like the iPhone as a development platform. They like how much money they make from it. They like the products themselves. They just don't want to pay the Apple commission or be restricted in any way by their rules.

Unfortunately those things are tied at the hip. The very rules and product decisions about the platform is what made it the popular and lucrative market it is in the first place.


If you make something like say, oh an email client, excluding the 1.5 BILLION people on the iOS platform is not just a handicap, it makes your entire business non-viable. So now Apple is the gatekeeper of new businesses and services. Fortune 500's and small one man shops alike have been terrified to speak up against Apple, because Apple has the ability to deliver a death-sentence by kicking you out of their store on a whim or simply because an app reviewer takes a personal interest in you.

I think what the Basecamp folks want is entirely reasonable, and Apple's behavior is entirely anti-competitive: Basecamp doesn't care to be in the app store, nor do they want to benefit from the app store discovery and other services for free. What they want is the OPTION to have a link on their web page, that when clicked, prompts the user to install the notarized/signed/whatever application. Basically you'd just have the "double click the power button twice to install" card pop-up immediately, bypassing the entire store. Do that, and Apple can charge whatever they want in the store. Suggestions that this somehow subverts the quality of the platform or the experience is entirely bullshit, Basecamp pays their developer fees and notarizes their apps on Mac, there's zero reason this wouldn't work on iOS except Apple's greed and anti-competitive behavior, and let's not forget that sweet, sweet 30% cut of every single business and service under the sun.


This is simply not true. There are more on the android platform, and therefore enough for viability.

The reality is people want all the benefits of the iOS world without paying anything for it.


>There are more on the android platform, and therefore enough for viability.

Is that true for customers who are interested in a high end email service that costs $100 a year? I'd wager that the vast majority of people in that segment are on iPhones.


Honestly, I don't think that segment really exists. The ones that would search that out will just as likely be on android as iPhone.

If 33% of such an app is enough to cause this much angst, it makes me think it just isn't that popular.


>Honestly, I don't think that segment really exists. The ones that would search that out will just as likely be on android as iPhone.

Why. The type of people who want a curated mail experience might just happen to be the type of people who like the curated iPhone experience.

>If 33% of such an app is enough to cause this much angst, it makes me think it just isn't that popular.

Why 33%? If you're right and they're just as likely to seek out android it's going to be 50%. If I'm right it's going to be much higher than that. Where are you getting 33% from?


> Why. The type of people who want a curated mail experience might just happen to be the type of people who like the curated iPhone experience.

Even if this were true (doubtful), that doesn't mean there is a segment. A handful may like this application. I can't imagine the market for a ridiculously expensive email client that isn't functional is large. In fact, it's so small, that it can't take the shock of paying 15-30% fee for the advertisement, easy transfer to customer, easy place for reviews, and updates, in other words, a platform with access to a large array of consumers willing to spend for good software.

What's more likely is this - the app is struggling to make money, they cheated the rules and they know it, so why not turn it into a marketing campaign. Apple the big bad (meanwhile the company cheated the system, while developers who followed the rules get screwed).

> Why 33%? If you're right and they're just as likely to seek out android it's going to be 50%. If I'm right it's going to be much higher than that. Where are you getting 33% from?

I'm not sure what you're talking about, could you be more clear? 33% really means the 15-30% of revenue that apple takes. I just rounded up to about a third.

The fact is the App Store wall entry fee is fair. It's not exorbitant. If you don't like it make a web app. There are too many remedies for this, and there are far bigger fish to fry in anti-trust than this.


>The type of people who want a curated mail experience might just happen to be the type of people who like the curated iPhone experience.

>Even if this were true (doubtful), that doesn't mean there is a segment.

If you're assuming my scenario is true, then yes it does mean there is a segment. That's what assuming my scenario is true means in this case.

> Apple the big bad (meanwhile the company cheated the system, while developers who followed the rules get screwed).

If, for example, Apple decides to reduce their fees to 10% going forward are all the developers who've paid 30% in the past screwed? If so you have an odd definition of screwed.

>I'm not sure what you're talking about, could you be more clear? 33% really means the 15-30% of revenue that apple takes. I just rounded up to about a third.

I thought you were responding to this > I'd wager that the vast majority of people in that segment are on iPhones.

And that 33% was the percentage of customers on iPhones.

>The fact is the App Store wall entry fee is fair. It's not exorbitant.

I and many other people think that 30% is exorbitant.

>There are too many remedies for this, and there are far bigger fish to fry in anti-trust than this.

Sure, there are always bigger fish to fry. But it's not an either or situation.


I can't stop. I've been buying computers and peripherals and gizmos since 1974. I have a house full of them. I code for food. But I've yet to buy my first Apple product or service. Yes, it's mostly because I'm cheap. But it's also because I avoid walled gardens. I feel pretty good about that now. Climb on out, y'all, the weather's fine out here in the jungle.


Am I the only one who loves Apple products?

I love MacOS. I love iOS. I love all things Apple. Customer service is totally top notch. Physical quality is excellent, of course I have my wishes and pet peeves (don’t like cold aluminum, stupid touchbar, keyboard!).

I’m willing to pay even double the cost of other cheaply made products from Asus, Acer, Samsung, etc.

Not to mention the whole ecosystem thing and I trust Apple with my data - more than Google and I can’t even think about Microsoft (windows is a billboard of ads). If China had a competitor to Apple for OS/hardware (not talking about Foxconn, that’s a ODM), they would need to literally convert to democracy before they can even get in the playing field. They’re not even in the same league, not even the same sport right now.

Initially, I was apathetic. Then I liked Apple products. Then I started loving them. They’re arrogant, they care about you, they made mistakes, they charge a lot of premium - I love them. They must have done something right to win me?


Every other vendor (and OS) takes my time instead of my money. If I'm not forcing myself to be aware of it I can be fooled into thinking some of this time is work, but it's not—it's pure wasted time. Apple products do sometimes, too, but nowhere near as much. I wish anyone else would get good at this whole "making consumer and 'pro' devices that don't suck" game.

Or if Apple'd take the Mac line back to being somewhat overpriced rather than wildly overpriced, that'd be nice too. They swing back and forth, it seems, and right now the premium is way on the high end, especially with their base specs continuing to lag (a $1300 "pro" laptop should have a base of 16GB of memory, not 8, for instance).


The MacPro is overpriced but they're trying to differentiate - what desktop computer has absolutely pornographic insides, full CNC metal body, display that hits all checkboxes (except for refresh rate). Nothing else out there. So, they can get away with charging more.

Consumers are kind of assholes, especially the average consumer. They demand that Apple reduce their price to make it affordable for them. Why? Why should they? If they can get by with charging more than we should blame the competitive landscape, and not the only company that's pushing the boundaries of what's possible.

Everyone else is cutting corners, selling ads, backstabbing customers.


I like Apple products too. I listen to multiple podcasts that are pretty much Apple News/commentary. I like their privacy stance, design, etc. Even products I have no use for like the watch and iPad Pros blow my mind with their use cases especially for non-developers. Having a Unix-like terminal with stable and long-lasting hardware helped me as a young developer in college. Hardware has been hit and miss lately but they are slowly making a comeback... with some caveats.

I don't "like" Apple the company (neutral to negative depending on the news) because well, it's a company. The 30% forced cut is BS and its main result is worse apps for consumers and a worse experience for devs. I try to not be a fanboy or instinctively defend them. But yeah, in my 10+ years of being in the ecosystem, I am pretty happy.


Their privacy stance is pure marketing bluff. Any alternative phone you can buy in the US is going to be better for your privacy.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23329646


Do you have any evidence that GPS isn't sent by all phones sold in the USA? I would bet this is a requirement for 911 support (likely required by government regulation on the phone service provider) rather than an Apple "violation of privacy".

> For safety purposes, however, your iPhone’s location information may be used when you place an emergency call to aid response efforts regardless of whether you enable Location Services.[1]

[1] https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207056


iPhone sends your location data to Apple, not just when you dial an emergency number, but every time you use GPS, and there is no way to turn this off. The absurdity of a company marketing a phone that does that (among the other things I listed) as private is astounding. The fact that people fall for this marketing is even more astounding.

This Hey example is another one. If you want to sign up for Hey on an iPhone, Apple is saying that you have to let them know that you are subscribing to Hey, and moreover, you have to give your billing details to Apple, which (unless you take some extra steps) means telling Apple who you are and where you live.


I used to love Apple products when I was a kid.

This is Apple's 1984 commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtvjbmoDx-I

They aren't the same company anymore. They started making fun of people that used other products. They started to say you can only use use Apple products this way. They started to say, "you're holding it wrong". They started to just pretend to be user-friendly and stopped actually being user-friendly.


> They aren't the same company anymore. They started making fun of people that used other products. They started to say you can only use use Apple products this way. They started to say, "you're holding it wrong". They started to just pretend to be user-friendly and stopped actually being user-friendly.

Any examples? I think they're pretty user friendly in many ways. As I said, they are arrogant but I am fine with that. May be you're not, to each their own. I don't like their repairability stance and some of the shit they do to screw the consumer over. But, I can put up with that because they just replace my whole laptop or whatever device. I took the magic keyboard (standalone one) after 3 years and clearly out of warranty, and they just gave me a new one because 1 key was stuck. IMO more positive experiences than negative.


I'm a PC ads

Can't customize iOS without jailbreaking it

Antennagate


This is a weak set of arguments, no offense. I am a PC ads was almost 13 years ago. Antennagate? Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Apple also messed up their whole keyboard fiasco, but they did replace my macbook pro chassis free of cost outside of warranty. So did Samsung with their battery fiasco. Jailbreaking is done by literally impossible to see slice of the consumer base. Apple is not going to give up their T2 security and enclave and all the privacy aspects to open up their software to public hacking. This would go against the FBI case with Apple, remember?


> Any examples?

I answered your question, I'm sorry they don't meet your standards.

Speaking of anecdotes: Apple didn't fix or replace my iPhone that was under warranty.

And why are you changing the subject to hacking?


The 1984 commercial highlights that Apple has always made fun of people who used other products (who do you think is in the audience? Consumers of their competitors products).

The 90's slogan "Think Different" was a direct shot across the bow of IBM's slogan "Think". When they say "here's to the crazy ones" they're directly saying their customers are inherently different from the customers of their competitors.

That's how Apple has always been.


I'm with you entirely. I love what they're doing with hardware. I am fascinated with their SoC/SiPs. My kids are wildly successful with iOS/MacOS UIs in comparison to the competiton (especially ChromeOS, good lord is that a usability nightmare), and I think this speaks volumes about the quality of their ui/ux investment.


> especially ChromeOS, good lord is that a usability nightmare

My dad recently got one of these to have something simpler since all he really needs is a web browser, and damn, you aren't kidding. Like, the OS isn't even that "big" here, guys, how is it so thoroughly mediocre? The accessibility settings in particular are like something from the 90s, after being used to what modern iOS and macOS offer. Felt like a half-assed afterthought. Didn't work very well. Considering much of the target market for it is old people and kids, that's incredibly inconsiderate.

Oh and then of course the settings screen itself was hard to navigate and poorly organized, but that much I expected (google is weirdly bad at settings screens across basically all their products, IME)


You're right on the money. It's entirely unacceptable considering how heavy-handed the push towards chromebooks were for educational institutions. My 10 year old has been in a public school where they used Chromebooks, and a charter school where they used iPads, and the conversations regarding tech I'd have with her teachers were night and day. Constant issues and support with the chromebooks, and the iPads "just worked."

Apple is not without it's faults, but when UI/UX is concerned, Google, heck all of us, should strive to put forth more effort to try to think things all the way through.


I think they're fine products but they just don't work for me. I need full control over my stuff and apple won't give it to me. Of course, given that I don't like Apple, some of the stuff they do like iMessage and the hurdles to make apps for ios annoys me


Seriously. It _is_ just fine out here. There's choice! It could be better -- it is very Googly. But there is wiggle room that has been growing even, with LineageOS, F-Droid, PinePhone/PostmarketOS, etc.

And it was also completely predictable that the walled garden would evolve into what it has become. It's easy to choose otherwise...


This debacle is peak popcorn. "HN Darling Reinvents Email Except Really Expensive Without SMTP Support And Asserts That Apple Is Being A Meanie For Enforcing Their Revenue Model"

Yet no one is going to divest from Apple because profit/weird consumer ideology.

Also not precluding the possibility that it's all (or mostly) a big marketing act from what is clearly a marketing-first product (Hey).


Wow, Hey doesn't have SMTP support? That's ridiculous.


Well, Hey isn't trying to be yet another email service. The idea is that SMTP does not support the kind of messaging that Hey is built around.


"It seems silly to me to cry about monopolies."

Oh, wait. So let's go back in time. When Microsoft was sued and forced to allow other browsers onto Windows. IE was the default and was free.

Microsoft forced OEMs to pay for Windows for every computer they made, whether or not they installed Windows on it. Effectively killing out other operating systems.

If you don't believe in monopolies... if the solution was "stop buying computers that come pre-installed with Windows"...

Or is it that you don't believe Apple is a monopoly but you're still happy Microsoft was forced to allow other browsers to be the default in Windows?


Nooooo!!!!

I am sustained by Apple hatred. It is an essential part of my balanced diet.

Every time someone complains about how expensive Apple is I grow a centimeter and every time someone bitches about their App Store policies I gain a month of lifespan.

I am now 40km tall and will live for 50,000 years but ultimately a lack of whining about Apple would see me wither away and die.


This is such a funny comment in a thread with so much divisiveness.

Apple's position sucks for those who rely on their customers (and yes, it is THEIR customers) for a living. No matter how much we complain, they developed their ecosystem.


when those old folks warned of worshipping false idols, i wonder if they could've imagined these big shiny apples and Gs


In my opinion, developers do have the right to articulate critics - be it towards Apple or any other gatekeeper. Just stopping to use/develop for a platform isn't enough.

However, I feel the discussion often misses a central point when it is focused on "developers" against "Apple" (or be it Google): the interest of the customer.

Of course, a developer wants to maximize return, as wants Apple. But what about the users? As a user, I love discounts on iTunes gift cards. I love Apple handling subscriptions instead of a developer I don't know. I choose iOS because of the perceived better support and lifetime value (and perhaps even the feel of some security and privacy, but of course, one can argue about that). And I even like the editorial content of the AppStore, which is some form of marketing but also a form of recommendation.

As a customer, the AppStore is much more than a simple storefront, some sometimes wonky review processing and some servers and payment processing: it is a 360-degree-experience. Sometimes, as a customer I'm frustrated by the AppStore as well, but I would not buy my apps at a developers site. I even buy Mac Apps in the AppStore if I can, for similar reasons.

As a developer, I sometimes hate myself for not giving other developers more than 60 or 70 percent of the share. But on the other hand, I remember the old days when software was sold on CDROMs and was only available at Frys and other large electronics/computer shops. Getting your software listed there cost much much more than 30 percent ... and you had to prepay all these expenses as the developer/publisher.


Exactly. We had a choice to go buy it from Frys -OR- other stores like Best Buy -OR- from the developer themselves. There is no choice with iOS.

A band that I like released a CD. I buy a CD from one of their live shows. I should have the right to play the CD on my CD player without having to pay 30% of all CD sales to the maker of the CD player.

I don't mind paying a 30% cut to a store that made it more convenient for me to buy the CD (even if the store is owned by the CD player manufacturer). The problem here is that I shouldn't HAVE to go to that ONE CD store to buy ALL of my CD's.


Should Apple ban non App Store apps from Macs too? Doesn't your argument extend to computers? Why would phones or tablets be different.


I hope they don’t, but if they did I would either accept it, circumvent it (jailbreak) or stop using Macs. It’s their choice and I’m entirely informed.


> or stop using Macs

I would too, but I'd be upset because I like Macs. I also like iPhones.


> The Solution for Consumers

> Stop buying iPhones

There's the problem with this argument. Consumers are suffering, but don't realize it. The lack of competition, and the increased cost to developers, are depriving consumers of innovative products like Hey, but they don't know it. You can't expect consumer to know when they buy a phone, that it will cause a future company to fail to launch an innovative new product. It's this very reason why we have anti-trust laws.


Please. You can argue it's bad for developers, but saying it's bad for consumers is unsubstantiated and just an appeal to emotion. Whether or nor other not the cut is fair, Apple has done an amazing job running the app store - as well as the broader platform in delivering a platform used by millions that is both free from malware and spyware.


> Apple has done an amazing job running the app store

It can be true that they've run a great app store, but also true that some aspects of it are bad for developers and consumers.


>Will cause to fail

Is what seems so entitled about this thing.

If your company/innovation relies on free access, but in reality that access costs 30%, your idea is not solid.

Suppose there’s no iPhone. No customers bought it. They all want to run arbitrary software. In this world, is Hey a good idea?

If that’s not the world you live in, should you invest in Hey pretending it’s another world?


As an alternative solution that doesn't depend on defining what a monopoly is, or how to boycott a large brand, how about forcing companies to apply the same terms to everybody?

I think at least part of the core of the problem is that Apple applies their subscription requirements differently depending on who owns the app. That is what I think needs to stop. If Yo has to do it one way, then Google, Microsoft, Netflix and Spotify should have to do it the same way too.


This strikes me as one step removed from that meme: "I see you complain about modern farming practices and yet still eat. Interesting..."


> Stop buying iPhones. Seriously. They’re overpriced and locked-down and controlled by Apple in infuriating ways that hurt you, even if Apple has succeeded in keeping you ignorant of that fact.

I'll take your word for it... not! iPhones are fine, everyone who has used both current Android and iOS devices can see that. It's not hurting me that "Hey" has to pay 30% for their subscriptions. Hotels, restaurants and other companies have to pay similar rates to their respective dominating "gatekeepers" as well. For the consumer it doesn't matter. For someone like "Hey" the way to go is to pay up now and if they are successful, they might be able to negotiate better terms later.


I love it when someone tries to tell me what I should like or do. I don’t care if you like Apple or not. I happen to like them, not everything of course, but overall yes. And you’re advocating limiting their success? They, like all of us, can succeed or fail in America. They are successful because people like their products and software. Duh. Jealousy does not suit you very well. Don’t get me wrong, I like Android and Linux too, I’m an expert on Linux myself. But there’s a reason I use an iPhone, iPad Pro and MacBook Pro. It’s called convenience and productivity. And I like it!

Who basically invented the App Store? And now you don’t like that they make money on it?

Your whole article just strikes me as sour grapes.


I have seen mainly three groups of people who continue to use Apple products. Those who want their phones, computers etc to just work together and don't want to spend time on this. Then there are those who want to get out of the walled garden but there is too much lock-in to bother spending time on it because they have other things to do. And finally those who think Apple products are aspirational/status symbol.

So when it comes to switching from Apple, the first group doesn't need to, the second can't afford to and the third doesn't want to. Nothing much we can do about it.


30% is extemely steep and I think if it was 15% hardly anyone would complain.

This is just my opinion, but a 30% tax is there because they provide something that the competition doesn't. And that is automated security updates by default for at least 5 years and user friendly app permission management where I really can trust my settings to provide me privacy by default.

You will not get that from Google, they barely support their own devices for more than 3 years, I still have no idea if advertisers are allowed to read my gmail or not.

I remember recently a friend getting an old ipad mini with a nice screen but poor cpu specs, 1gb ram. And guess what, it ran fine, it's getting security and feature updates the same day as every other apple device. TouchID worked, everything actually just worked I can trust that thing my bank account.

And recently I found my old Nexus 7 with amazing specs, quad core , 4gb ram, 1920:1200 screen and now I have to do bootloader & operating system surgery just to get the thing to work.

Everytime I've heard of someone get their bank account hacked it usually has started with a text sent to an out of date android phone. For that reason alone I can't recommend a non-technical person to use android unless they understand security or it's on a brand new Pixel device.

If I'm building and deploying software and I want to have the piece of mind that all my users are running it on a secure platform that at least tries to respect their privacy my best choice is an iOS device and for that Apple wants a 3rd of my revenue.


I am a long-time Apple customer, but my first reaction to this title was, "well I've never used cigarettes, does that mean I can't 'whine' about them?"

There is, to an extent, 'second hand smoke' in any industry with a dominant player who doesn't agree with your sense of ethics. The App Store and its imitators have changed the landscape of software that is available to you and I.

I didn't run to OS X so much as I ran away from the chaos and aggravation of custom drivers and kernel compiles for Linux laptops (compiling on a subnotebook is quite painful), and doing tech support for friends & family, so the pickiness of the App Store solves a huge pain point that I am willing to compromise on other things to get. That it's a compromise means that the dissenters have a point, it's just not enough for me.

When you are trying to keep conceptual coherence in a thing, you have to reject a lot of ideas that would be really cool to do. It doesn't mean people aren't entitled to grieve, and it doesn't mean that you will always pick the correct winners ("why did my idea get rejected but your stupid ideas 1, 2, and 3 were included?"), and in some cases the bigger person would encourage someone to 'spin off' that idea. If the market of ideas gets too constrained then it's bad for everyone.

I suppose you could say that I want them to win, but only as long as that doesn't mean that everybody else has to lose. Like Chrome beating Microsoft without taking out Firefox (whups). We are not very good as consumers at ensuring that.


My job is to fix other people's technology / computer problems. When I'm not working I want to use a smartphone that does what I need, behaves as expected every time, and respects my privacy concerns. I want to spend as little time as possible configuring, fixing, or troubleshooting my phone.

The iPhone is the closest thing to what I want. It's not 100% but it's better than any other smartphone I've come across at that price point ($400 for iPhone SE).


What's the monopolistic case against Apple? Is Apple anticompetitive?

Here's my grievances, but I don't know if any aspects are actually monopolistic.

Are they competing against their own partners? Their stock apps have remained vanilla enough that there seems to be enough oxygen for alternatives for premium and power users.

They've definitely done monopsony. Business strategy wise, they've been wicked clever. It's always made me uncomfortable. And I'm pretty grumpy their control of the supply chain doesn't permit third party repairs. I get that they're pulling out all the stops combatting counterfeiters and fraud, which is easily pro-consumer, but there's got to be a balance.

I've always felt their 30% cut from App Store is excessive, unfair. But I don't know what a reasonable cut would be. Cost of doing business plus reasonable margin?

Pay to play schemes, like search ads and paid placement, are complete bullshit. Aka payola. But is that monopolistic?

All the "marketplaces" need the rule of law. Transparency, accountability, fair and impartial courts, appeals processes. This applies to apps, content, personas. No one entity can be allowed be legislator, police, judge, jury, and executioner. This is the biggest apparent conflict of interest, anti-competitive, anti-consumer, anti-democratic behavior of all these "marketplace" hosts, Apple included.

I'm still pissed off about the wage fixing. Sharing the bounty more fairly, broadly would diffuse a lot of the festering resentment.


I really like the iPhone. Maybe not the full Apple ecosystem so much (everything else I own is Linux), but that's only because I think Linux is the best fit for me. iPhone is the same way, and Apple's business practices don't change my fit with my phone, no matter how disappointing they may be. I think that's why many of us use Apple.

My happy place would be something like "Heroku for mobile", where you can jswrap a React.js app into an HTMLView or something like that, and do 'git push ios master'. Notifications API, localStorage API, and maybe authentication / session persistence API are all I really care about natively (like Firebase); React Native is too heavy. Add in a TestFlight "permanent beta" invite, or the ability to build the app from a remote mac (https://www.macincloud.com/) with a lambda and transfer it to my phone (...somehow), and I'll just use the app store for things I don't make myself (which hopefully should be less and less).



PWAs are going in that direction, but they don't have access to native storage, notifications, and other stuff. They're still mostly webapps, which is great for portability but not great for mobile UI/UX. I want the "native-ness" of React Native (or really, true native) combined with the flexibility of a webapp. Reduce mobile down to another build target, but still not give up access to native APIs.


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