The Court seems focused on simply opening up lines of communications between developers and users about pricing on other platforms, not creating parallel app stores or offering new payment schemes inside Apple’s App Store. Still, unlike the settlement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission, which is very narrow in its application, Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ injunction has the potential to make something like an in-app Kindle bookstore that links to Amazon’s website for purchases of thousands of books possible.
[T]he court made it unmistakably clear that the injunction it ordered is meant to be narrower than the permission of alternative IAP systems that Epic sought, and leaves no doubt that developers shall merely be allowed to provide users with information about prices on other platforms (WWW, Android, PCs, consoles...) to have at least a minimal competitive constraint on Apple. Just transparency. That's it.
One of the challenges for the Justice Department, according to lawyers, is that Gonzalez Rogers said Apple’s restrictions imposed on developers are justified in order to protect security. She also said the market is two-sided, which presents courts with the difficulty of weighing harms on one side and benefits on the other, a framework established in a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision.
“The biggest thing that scares me about this opinion is the two-sided market complexity,” said John Newman, who teaches antitrust law at the University of Miami School of Law. “If this is a two-sided market, you can’t prove harm to just developers or harm to just consumers. You have to somehow prove net harm across all the different groups that interact through the platform.”
The ruling, in Apple’s yearlong legal fight with Epic Games, the maker of the popular video game Fortnite, set off celebrations among app developers. From one-person start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, they have long complained about paying hefty cuts of their businesses to Apple.
The impact of the decision will be most felt by the smallest developers like Mr. Shakked. He said the change could save him hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, which would allow him to hire more employees.
But the 19,000 “autonomous miles” that Apple’s cars drove last year is just a fraction of the 630,000 miles completed by Alphabet’s Waymo car project in California. The number is also shrinking; it is just a quarter of the total in 2018. Waymo also states its vehicles travelled approximately 30,000 miles on average between interventions by its test drivers, compared to 145 miles for Apple.
It certainly seems to me that a 'real' self-driving car -- where steering wheels are not necessary -- is not going to be introduced anytime soon. And if Apple is not pursuing a self-driving car, what the heck are they working on that the company seems to be willing to pour tons and tons of money on it?
At least when the iPhone was rumored, Apple was already making the iPod successfully, and we 'knew' Apple was good at consumer electronics. I can't think of a good reason why Apple is good at making a car.
On the other hand, Tim Cook said this back in 2019: "My view is there will be a day in the future that we look back and Apple's greatest contribution will be to people's health."
So, putting two and two together, here's my prediction: a self-driving wheel-chair / personal-mobility-device.
No, I haven't been watching Wall-E lately.
Thanks for reading.