The row between Apple and Epic Games rumbles on, with plenty of commentary from external observers – some of it useful, much of it not. File in the ‘useful’ category this blog post by tech analyst Benedict Evans, which suggests that some of the criticisms of Apple carry weight.
“When Apple launched the app store it had sold fewer than 10m iPhones ever, but today a billion people use iPhones, and more importantly so does over half of the US market and 80% of American teenagers,” he wrote. “For a lot of big companies, iPhone users are the market. When your product has a few points of market share you can make whatever choices you like, but when you dominate the market, other rules start applying. Apple isn’t the pirates anymore – it’s the navy, the port and the customs house. In the last few weeks, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Epic have been stopped at customs.”
Evans actually thinks Epic’s argument is “full of holes” but suggests that Spotify has a much stronger case: “The situation now looks unsustainable, and that’s where we’re more likely to see changes.” There’s more in the post about why he thinks this, and what changes might come next.