It was bound to happen sooner or later. Calling Apple a monopoly company is like calling the sky blue and it seems, only now, are is the techno giant finally being called out for it. Apple is well known for providing a sleek and trendy brand, whether it be by way of their costly devices, or their in-house software and online services such as Apple Music and the App Store.
While Apple Music showcases all the latest chart music and efforts by global artists, it can also be a launchpad for lesser known artists and can act as a self-publishing platform. The same could be said for the App Store, in which app designers can make and sell their games. The infamous Flappy Bird app of 2013 is a prime example of how designer can find success overnight by distributing via Apple’s App Store.
Apple v Pepper
However, the problem now is users of the service feel that they are being monopolized by the service, which is far from being free. While rival company Google Play offer exactly the same service to Android users, those who want to release their work to a sadly wider audience via Apple must pay a premium. Based on opening arguments heard in court on Monday, the Supremes are now weighing up whether the case of Pepper v Apple should be heard in the Supreme court.
Currently, those who launch apps on the App store must pay a 30% of the revenue (usually generated by advertising) from their apps to Apple. Plaintiff Robert Pepper, among other iPhone buyers, is arguing that this set up is unfair and that Apple needs to allow third party apps to be installed on their devices. Pepper is also asking that all of the 30% be repaid to the app developers.
Apple are arguing that the developers are seemingly happy to pay the prices they set and since no one is forcing the developers to distribute on the App Store, nothing needs to change.