Apple responds to Spotify’s “anti-competitive” accusation, talks app rejection

By , Jul 1, 2016

Spotify teaser 003

Spotify’s letter sent earlier this week to Apple’s legal counsel Bruce Sewell and some Congressional staff in Washington, D.C. didn’t sit well with Apple’s legal team and its top lawyer.

Today, the Cupertino firm issued a response to address claims that it’s been using the power of its ecosystem and the app review process as a “weapon” to stifle competition by rejecting the latest Spotify for iOS update, which “caused grave harm to Spotify and its customers”.

Firing back at Spotify in a three-page letter obtained by BuzzFeed News, Apple accused the Swedish streaming-music startup of “resorting to rumors and half-truths”, slammed it for asking for “preferential treatment” and set the record straight on the app rejection.

Playing the blame game

There is nothing in Apple’s conduct that “amounts to a violation of applicable antitrust laws,” wrote Sewell, noting that Spotify has generated “hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental revenue” thanks to the iOS platform.

There can be no doubt that Spotify has benefited enormously from its association with Apple’s App Store. Since joining the App Store in 2009, Apple’s platform has provided you with over 160 million downloads of your app, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental revenue to Spotify.

He then reiterated how the App Store review process works:

Our guidelines apply equally to all app developers, whether they are game developers, e-book sellers, video-streaming services or digital music distributors; and regardless of whether or not they compete against Apple. We did not alter our behavior or our rules when we introduced our own music streaming service or when Spotify became a competitor.

“Ironically, it is now Spotify that wants things to be different by asking for preferential treatment from Apple,” reads the document.

Our guidelines help competition, not hurt it. The fact that we compete has never influenced how Apple treats Spotify or other successful competitors like Google Play Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, Pandora or the numerous other apps on the App Store that distribute digital music.

“That’s why we find it troubling that you are asking for exemptions to the rules we apply to all developers and are publicly resorting to rumors and half-truths about our service,“ Sewell concludes.

Setting the record straight on Spotify app rejection

After notifying Spotify that it had rejected the app because it wasn’t using iTunes billing, Apple advised that Spotify implement it if it “wants to use the app to acquire new customers and sell subscriptions”.

“Shortly after Spotify submitted its app on May 26, our team identified a number of issues, including that the In-App Purchase feature had been removed and replaced with an account sign-up feature clearly intended to circumvent Apple’s In-App Purchase rules,” Sewell explains.

Spotify submitted a new version which continued to ask users for an email address in order to invite them to sign up for a subscription via the web interface at $9.99 per month while simultaneously jacking up in-app subscription price to $12.99.

“Spotify’s app was again rejected for attempting to circumvent In-App Purchase rules, and not, as you claim, because Spotify was simply seeking to communicate with its customers,” reads Apple’s letter.

He went on to write that Spotify’s sign-up feature exists “only for the purpose of avoiding to having to pay Apple for your use of the App Store by emailing customers within hours, directing them to subscribe to Spotify on its website.” 

That’s a violation of the App Store Review Guidelines which clearly state that “apps may not include buttons, external links or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than In-App Purchases”.

“As far as I can see the Spotify app currently up on the App Store is still in violation of our guidelines,” said Sewell on behalf of Apple. “I would be happy to facilitate an expeditious review and approval of your app as soon as you provide us with something that is compliant with the App Store’s rules”.

He also wrote:

There is nothing in Apple’s conduct that “amounts to a violation of applicable antitrust laws”. Far from it. Apple has continued to innovate with lower pricing for our customers and a new revenue share model for the developers that have helped make us so successful. We understand you want special treatment and protections from competition, but we simply will not do that because we firmly adhere to the principle of treating all developers fairly and equitably.

Spotify contends that the app rejection has caused “grave harm” to its business, indirectly confirming that it sees Apple customers as a lucrative revenue stream. From Spotify’s vantage point, Apple’s move to “exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS raises serious concerns under both US and EU competition law”.

Apple’s full response

Here’s Apple’s response in full:

You can also read the response over at BuzzFeed News.

Your thoughts

What’s your position in this debate?

Is Spotify just scared of the fact that Apple Music now has half as much paid subscribers as its own service? Is there any merit to Spotify’s complaints, do you think?

Source: BuzzFeed News

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  • Rowan09

    If what Apple is saying is the truth, then Spotify is in the wrong and it’s obvious.

    • credulousgeek

      thats probably is in app purchase is apples policy which spotify must comply.

  • Ariel Okhtenberg

    Can someone give me a TLDR please

    • Andrew

      Spotify: “Your rules are dumb and we don’t have to follow them.”
      Apple: “Sit down, you ain’t special.”

      • Gregg

        Nice! Or:

        Spotify: “I don’t like paying you 30% commission. I want free service.”

        Apple: “You’re using my store. Shut up or get out.”

  • J3ff

    Wow thats a strong message to Spotify. I like that they put it all out there and even put them on the spot about the price hike through in app purchases. Good going Apple!
    Spotify is a great music app but i have had one too many issue with the way they charge me different amounts and than have the nerve to send me promotions that don’t apply to me because I am not a first time users.

  • anonymous

    I’ll still take Spotify over Apple Music just sucks

    • Loke1988

      This ^^ Apple Music is all teeny bubble gum hip hop rap crap oriented. Hate it


    Apple Music in iOS is way better
    Good move Apple

  • Y2J

    I had gotten an email from Spotify for 3 months for $.99 and the ended up charging me $9.99 for three months instead. They refunded me but still not happy about it

    • Abhijeet Gupta

      WWE pays you a hefty sum every
      Year though

  • Andrew

    I’m curious: would it be against the rules for Spotify to use Apple Pay to charge for subscriptions, therefore circumventing the IAP commission? I mean, it doesn’t work in too too many countries as of yet, but in the future, I wonder if that would be a viable loophole.

    • James G

      App Store guidelines and charges pertain to services rendered–in this case digital content on the device so it’s subject to the fees.

      If Spotify were selling something like t shirts that are physical products delivered to you and used Apple Pay they wouldn’t have to pay Apple the 30%. This is how Amazon and other e commerce companies do business on the App Store without paying Apple 30% for every transaction.

      The 30% only applies to digital content consumed on the device.

      • Andrew

        Ah, thank you. I thought there might be a barrier there, but I wasn’t sure.

  • shar

    it’s understandable for apple to charge developers for using IAP to sell products, but apple’s policy that if they are going to sell something, they have to use apple’s payment system otherwise their app will be pulled, and that they can not even advertise that customers can use the developer’s website for payment. that’s going a bit too far.
    I think the anti competitive part comes in here, that is if let’s say the app developer’s profit is 30%, he “has to” give it all to apple, and he has much less competitive advantages when trying compete in price.
    I think apple “is” liable for enforcing them to use apple’s payment system only, it’s about time someone took them to court :).

    • James G

      They aren’t enforcing them to use just their payment system. Spotify customers are free to subscribe on Spotifys website. If Spotify wants to enable customers to sign up within an iOS app and this use iTunes billing, they’ve got to pay the fee.

      • Emre SUMENGEN

        There are lots of apps that let you sign up to a service. Lots of them have their own payment system.

        Does any ISP pay in-app purchase commision? No!

      • James G

        Apparently you don’t understand the TOS for the App Store.

  • Highlander

    They just want that extra 30% revenue.

  • ProllyWild

    There are many services like Dropbox who handle billing via their website, and do not use in-app purchase. That seems to be a fair option available to Spotify. However to allow a higher priced in-app purchase cost, and redirect to Spotify’s website for a cheaper subscription fee is unnecessary and a bit shady toward customers. I don’t know if i personally would blame Apple for this situation. If Spotify doesn’t want to give up the money to Apple, it should take out the in-app purchase option and manage subscriptions all in-house.

    Let’s be honest though, as consumers in-app purchase me and subscriptions is a convenient way to consolidate payment methods for various services. Spotify is benefitting from that by using IAP.

  • One question regarding app/inapp purchases and inapp subscriptions. Developers get 85% revenue after 1 yr. But inapp subscriptions are always 70/30 revenue split with apple. Is this correct?

  • John

    What a load of bs. At the end of the day Apple state the terms of having apps on their store. If you don’t like it and the benefits that an app gets on its operating system, don’t use it. It’s that simple. All that whining from you is boring.

    • …said the hypocritical apple fan boy who uses a jailbreak site to get around apple’s walled garden but defends apple’s walled garden as it relates to spotify.

      at the end of the day apple provides no other way for spotify to get their app on the phone. they are unnecessarily FORCED to use the apple ecosystem. the same way apple FORCES you out of what you want. Then they FORCE spotify to pay them ridiculously high fees. The very fact that apple suddenly has introduced a revenue model that reduces the amount they are bilking by 50% should have been a belwether marker for all of you that apple is bilking this unnecessarily.

      If apple allowed more avenues for spotify to get apps on phones, then yes – you’d be right that whatever they charge for their particular avenue is what they charge.

      While lots of apps need the app store and its publicity to get a foothold and/or survive, Spotify (and many others) are not one of these companies. They have plenty of resources to do their own marketing. they are only in the app store because they have no choice if they want their app on the iphone.

      not to mention the fact that you are arguing the wrong point. what you are arguing is whether or not apple has the RIGHT to do this. OF COURSE THEY DO! i’m not arguing they’re outside of their rights. I”m arguing it’s UNETHICAL, WRONG AND MORALLY DEPRAVED to center so much control within their own walls so as to put app developers out of business JUST BECAUSE of a stupid policy. DID YOU EVEN READ the heartbreaking story i posted of what apple did to app gratis?

      end of story

      • John

        Again you talk bs. I dont even jailbreak my phone dickhead so just proves you have no facts and talk your crap. Didnt even bother reading the rest of your reply. You lost me as soon as u said i jailbreak.

      • incredibly mature response.

        excuse my ridiculous assumption, given that you’re trolling a jailbreaking site. it wasn’t a leap too far.

      • Emre SUMENGEN

        How is jailbreaking and this relevant? Am I talking to a 13 yo. here?

        Apple isn’t forcing anyone to be in the AppStore. Anyone CAN choose to be out of Apple’s ecosystem.

        Oh, you want to be able to taste the sweet milkmof the Apple customers, provided by the hard work of Apple’s engineers and the loyalty they create, BUT not play by the rules? Then a jailbreak store is actually the place you’ll need to be, unfortunately.

        Being morally wrong is different from legally obligated.

      • if you can’t figure out the relevance to jailbreaking, you can’t understand the argument to begin with and it’s not worth the time

  • John

    Instead of Spotify covertly trying to bypass the IAP because, god forbid, Apple actually enforce the app store policy that Spotify agreed to before placing their app on its store, why didn’t they ask for a meeting with Apple and see if they could come to an agreement that could benefit all developers and Apple and official policy changes could be made? Instead they sneakily try and bypass a app store policy and tjhen get all upset when they don’t get their way. lmao. What a bunch of kids. Just shows that Spotify literally does what the’re called. Their business practices are spoty at best. Makes me think what other underhand things they do in the business world.

  • ProllyWild

    “It’s always hilarious reading the drivel pouring from the entitled mouths of millennial apple fanboys/girls who are clueless as it relates to business and how the free market works.”

    Um…the idea that you can participate in a system without any taxation or obligation to contribute earnings to the provider of said system is actually a sense of entitlement…..particularly if it’s the private sector we’re talking about.

    See free market is a misleading term. It doesn’t mean it is free to participate nor does it mean you’re free to do whatever you want without consequence, or fees applied. To believe it is means you feel entitled to freedom that trumps the rights of creators and their preferences for the products they make. Apple’s fees are not a government tax, so within a free market Apple’s methods are totally within their rights. If you disagree perhaps you might want a government to intervene…but then it wouldn’t be a free market anymore.

    If the terms are not agreeable to the participant, they can choose to not participate. Apple is not forcing people to make apps for their platforms but if one chooses to make apps, there is toll. It may be high, but if it’s too high to justify then Developer’s need to flee in mass numbers until apple changes.

    So yeah…um…might wanna rethink your stance there…if you’re gonna talk about generations feeling entitled…

  • Gregg

    Nonsense: they’re using their store, so they need to pay them their commission. What, you want Spotify to get FREE service? Just because they don’t like paying, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. Apple is not a charity, neither is Spotify.

    How about you get a stranger selling stuff out of your own garage and you get zero dollars for it? See how you like that then.

    • those with baseless arguments go to extremes and ignore the premises and conclusions provided to them.

      my apologies you cannot seem to understand the issues as presented

      • ProllyWild

        you seem to lack the ability to stay on topic, much less understand the issues. your stance is baseless. you went from saying apple is anti-competition for their actions then drift on to it not being about the fees, and about the lack of freedom or people who jailbreak. you claim that apple’s practices allow them to destroy developers, and then you drift aimlessly to accusing apple of scheming because of a half baked beta condition.

        let’s breakdown the core hole in your arguments. I already addressed your “lack of freedom” argument, but let get a little bit further, shall we? For Spotify itself, their website states the following:

        “For: Premium subscribers
        Take your music everywhere you go. You can play up to 3,333 songs offline (i.e. without internet) on three different devices.
Note: You do need to go onto the internet at least once every thirty days to maintain your offline music settings.”

        based on your gripes with Apple, this means Spotify would also be the mafia. If I’ve paid for the service and access to the files, what right does Spotify have to limit how many songs I can play offline? Why only 3 devices? Why do they require me to log onto the Internet once every 30 days?

        based on your logic, they should allow me complete freedom to use their product anyway I see fit. so I should be able to download as many songs as I want. I should be able to play them in any application I want, and I should never be required to log back in just for the sake of maintaining my settings… however, that is not the case. why? various reasons.

        1. for the sake of revenue encouraging users to continually use a service is just normal practice.

        2. liability related to how people access the contents of the software in question. in this case Spotify can’t just give you all the songs you want no strings attached since there are conditions for how they use the contents and components within their own system.

        3. They may actually think these conditions help users to have a better experience.

        Spotify would never allow you to download plugins and workarounds to these lockdown conditions because it compromises their system for whatever their motives may be. And people who use this accept those terms, and no doubt anyone who would try to work aroun them would be subject to revocation of access to the service.

        Apple is doing the exact same with their system. they are limiting certain features for a variety of reasons, and none of which make them the big bad wolf you claim them to be. Sure there is a profit incentive in some of their choices, but that’s because they’re a big business, and I imagine they’d like to stay that way. doesn’t mean the sky is falling and they’re trying to screw everyone out of their money.

        you make claims that Apple is trying to cut developers off, but you disregard the fact that Apple has, in iOS at least, provided more options to developers to take up more business in the ecosystem. increased access to Siri, share functions, and even now the ability to remove stock apps from the home screen. They are absolutely allowing 3rd party apps to come in and take place of some of their key functions, so long as those apps play within the guidelines.

        now to be fair, I will not say Apple is perfect. Personally I do find their recent hardware releases and schedules to be disappointing, and I would probably never buy another MacBook again because I have little faith in them. That being said, you failed to prove your point, if you had one at all. it seems like you just wanted to rant here about everything you dislike, because again, you feel entitled. 🙂

  • and you know what’s so blatantly missing from any of your responses… any sort of response to the macOS sierra debacle where you can no longer install apps you want.

    you do realize , as it stands now, NO ONE can install anything on a mac anymore , from Sierra forward, without apple’s permission.

    That little box you used to check in the “security & privacy” preference pane that says “allow apps from: ANYWHERE” is GONE. You can now only isntall apps from the app store, and app store approved developers. And while it may come back in a future beta release, you can be sure this was no accident. it’s a trial balloon to see how much flack they get. I mean, it’s not like they are starting over with each release of MacOS. They build on what’s there. So it’s not like it got left out, or accidentally deleted. that’s intentional -they purposely removed it.

    and the reason you can’t respond to this major control freak move on apple’s part: because it proves my point entirely about how apple wants to control the entire ecosystem simply to make all the money.

    I’ve been in the computer game since the 70s and I’ve exclusively been in the apple game since the mac was released in ’84. I’ve seen absolutely everything apple has done as I watch it all closely. I’m a certified apple consultant, certified apple trainer and all of my devices are either mac OS or iOS. I have quite the panoramic view of apple and have seen it all. I can tell you: you’re going to regret supporting apple this way. they will continue taking your choices from you.and they are going to turn your precious desktop into an iOS clone where you have 0 control (or at least attempt to).

    they are a corporate behemoth sucking down money like it’s orange juice on a sick day,much like all you hippies claim to hate, yet somehow you see them as green and friendly and not like other corporations.

    they are no different.

    apple is the same as any other huge , money sucking corporate giant that could care less about anything else but money

    • Eni

      Actually i am so happy for that, i have a Windows machine and everytime i install an app i’m insecure for what i am installing, becose all the trust goes to devs, hoping that app doesn’t contain any malware etc. the problem is bigger when that app doesn’t have an official website but you find it everywhere and that becomes shady af. what i’m saying is that for suspicious people like me that is the best way of installing apps, becose even if apple does smthng shady someone will notice it and it will “alarm” us, but no one can stop the malware from shady wensites or shady apps that you can find everywhere. anyway i’m saying my personal opinion, don’t misunderstand me 🙂

      • Eni – I totally understand where you are coming from. and I support your desire to live within the walls of security that apple creates.

        All i’m asking people like you to do is support those of us , in return, who do not desire or need that type of security.

        Apple has falsely claimed over and over that if they allow jailbreaking or apps to be installed outside of their ecosystem that it would destroy the security system for everyone else (like you).

        this is patently, provably and demonstrably FALSE.

        Apple can keep their current ecosystem in place for those , like you , who enjoy it. they can then allow the rest of us to jail break if we choose to. they could make it an apple feature – “jailbreak your iphone, but at your own risk” and have a checkbox we click that we understand the dangers, etc…

        then EVERYONE has what they want.

        and then spotify can’t piss and moan anymore, since they can then have an alternate revenue stream.

        ALSO – this would make it so the value of being behind apple’s walled garden would be of even MORE value, potentially making it so apple could charge even MORE for the additional security compared to those that jailbreak

      • Bangali

        Im trying to understand ur argument, but I can’t seem to..1st let me say that I also would like apple to open up their device so that I can use jb without the hassle and waiting, but IT”S NOT UP TO ME! if I don’t like it, I can move to android or windows or wherever else, but I can’t expect apple to change their rules coz I don’t like them..? thats like me saying I go into a shop and they only sell one type of candy which I don’t like, so they HAVE TO sell, they can CHOOSE to sell others so they get more customers, or they can keep it the way it is if they are happy to make less..its their store, their rules isn’t it? I switched to android for a while as I wasn’t happy with their limits but I went back as the level of stability on Android wasn’t to my liking..I made the choices depending on what I wanted..and although I would like choice AND iOS, tough shit to me..I need to make a choice of either, as unfortunately I can’t have both..thats just how it is..thats why there are different companies providing different ways of getting similar things – I can buy a shirt for a fiver, or I can choose to pay £’s up to me what I want isn’t it? I can’t have the quality of the expensive one AND expect it to be proved like the cheap one..Please explain to me if u think I have missed anything?

      • I agree with you, and it’s quite true: you cannot understand the argument.

        that’s unfortunate.

        I’ll make one more attempt to help guide you back to the path.

        the argument you THINK i’m making , based on what you’ve written, is this: apple should open up their OS because I want them to.

        and your reasoning for denying this as the proper path is that it’s Apple’s and they can do what they want with it.

        no – i’m not making that argument, and with many statements I have clarified, repeatedly, that it’s apple’s store and they can do what they want.

        here’s the actual argument: there’s a LIMIT to our rights. for instance, we all have free speech, but cannot yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater unless there is actually a fire.

        rights come with responsibilities and laws that we must work within.

        no one is making the contention that apple must open their OS because “i want them to” or because “i don’t like it” or because “it’s not fair” or crying waaa waaa waaa.

        the argument that we ARE making is that apple is now clearly and plainly engaging in anti-competitive practices which is COMPLETELY ILLEGAL. I’m not going to take the time to once again explain the anti-competitive nature of what they’ve done, its’ available here in prior posts.

        But I can assure you with a very high degree of certainty: if this goes to court it’s going to be a game changer because it’s likely going to get class action status as plenty of defunct and otherwise damaged business owners and app developers pile on and describe how apple destroyed them with these practices. if it goes to trial you’re going to hear horror stories of families and single moms who were relegated to the food stamp line because of what apple did.

        it’s so amazing to me that I could link a story in a previous post about what apple did to App Gratis and ZERO of you bother to even read it , let alone respond to it.

        this is why I say the things I do about you fan boys and girls. you dole out complete loyalty to a company that is deserving of none of it, then refuse to actually read what apple does to these people.

        you’re also factually illiterate and even in the responses you misquote me, misunderstand the underlying issues and otherwise go back to the same ad hominem attacks (personally or factually) that have either been discredited or otherwise shown to be irrelevant.

        You know what.. let’s talk about iDB’s app. Here’s a website that is massively popular among jail breakers and cannot get the app THEY want into the app store. they had to modify their app so as not to include anything about jail breaking.

        WHO THE HELL IS APPLE to tell iDB they can or cannot have this type of content on MY PHONE?!!?

        But more importantly, a huge piece of the iDB business model is the jail break community. I have no idea what portion of their revenue stream is driven by this piece of their business model… but let’s pretend for a moment that it’s a big piece of their pie – apple would literally taking their business model away from them if it were.

        WHO THE HELL IS APPLE TO DO THAT? that’s anti-competitive! it’s NOT LEGAL.

        Here’s another analogy: What if Target decides they want to make it so women can no longer work there?

        Let’s use YOUR OWN ARGUMENTS:

        1. it’s their store, they can do what they want
        2. we can make other choices if we dont’ like their practices (ie: go somewhere else if you don’t like it)

        To which any sane person would say: perhaps, BUT IT’S ILLEGAL!

        which is what i’m saying to all of your arguments:


      • Bangali

        I see now why people choose to not listen to ur patronising bile..U make judgements about me without any knowledge..ur target comparison is invalid as what Apple is doing isn’t against the law..regarding iDB, apple does have a right toot allow the app in the store if they feel like it..Apple, and any other company that sets certain (LEGAL) rules has done nothing wrong..
        As for ur app gratis story, I actually DID read it, so again judging without knowing..I feel for them but I still don’t know the full story..I remember reading it and even now when I check the store there are other apps out there that are the same so that leads me to believe the reasons were different.. if not then that IS anticompetitive, as apple is saying x can do this but y can’t..
        also, regarding ur f.lux story ur chatting shit – f.lux for iOS was a new app, not one “they’ve been providing it for years.” the mac app is still available and I use it..the reason the iOS app was rejected according to YOUR link is because they used private api’s.. stop talking rubbish please..if u hate apple so much why do u “specialise” in their products? obviously u must like their walled garden too..maybe uv just been by urself in that garden a bit too long and ur getting edgy..or maybe its the fact that no one is paying ay attention to your waaaa waaaa waaaaa-ing?

      • and here we see it again: “ur target comparison is invalid as what Apple is doing isn’t against the law..”

        setting aside for the moment your immature refusal to actually spell out words, this goes to the very heart of why people like you (and others here) cannot be reasoned with: you provide no evidence , just opinion based conclusions. Even worse, as I have repeatedly stated, you provide no dismantling of the arguments I have made beyond the perfunctory “I disagree with you and you’re wrong just because i say so” type responses.

        Same goes for the rest of the drivel you wrote, so it’s not worth addressing (especially the incorrect assertions about f.lux).

        Drop me a line when you’re ready to actually provide proof for your positions.

      • Bangali

        seriously man..what argument?? all u say is ‘its illegal..’ blah blah..why is it illegal? and what did I ‘incorrectly assert’ about f.lux?
        and thanks for noticing! I cnt b bothrd 2 waste tym typin wth ppl lyk u.. 🙂

    • Loke1988

      Wow I did not know that. I will NOT be upgrading to Sierra thank you SO much for the warning.

      • yw

        and remember, it could change by launch date, so keep your eyes out

      • Peter

        Ray Junior is lying to you (and everyone else here).. You can still run non mac App Store apps in Sierra. 100% you can. There’s not even a shred of doubt about it..

        Ray should apologize to everyone here for lying about this and confusing everyone.

      • Loke1988

        Thanks Pete I will keep am eye out and do my own research.

      • Peter

        If you want/need to launch an app that isn’t signed then all you have to do is right click on the icon and select “Open”. You will then be given a dialog and you can choose to open that app. Very simple.

    • and btw – i’m a capitalist and i’m all for apple making as much money as possible. Apple is sitting on a cash pile of over 200 billion worldwide, and i say: MORE POWER TO THEM!

      the issue is not that they make massive amounts of cash, it’s that they do it unethically while the “faithful” excuse their bad behavior

    • Emre SUMENGEN

      I think you’re just trying to find a leverage, but mixing topics without real relevance…

      • of course you do.

        so prove it by dissecting my arguments with logical premises that disassemble them

    • Peter

      The problem is that you’re just plain old wrong. In sierra you can still install and run apps that aren’t from the Mac App Store. Nothing in the beta (or Apple’s announcements for the release version in the fall) says what you are saying.

      Sorry.. you’re just plain old 100% wrong about this.

  • Loke1988

    Thanks for posting this. This explains how they can build spaceship campuses while not inventing anything interesting for years. Id be terrified as an app developer that Apple would steal the idea and implement it into the next OS. I remember having the Siri app when it was just that, an app. Suddenly it disappeared from my phone. They probably got paid but just as an example.


    It all seems good and dandy, but even though I like Apple very much, it is bullshit.

    There are thousands of apps in the AppStore, that require a valid membership to the app’s service. Lot of those services are paid. And, Not all of them offer in-app purchases for becoming a member.

    So, unfortunately, Apple is at wrong with this. Whether they are using this as a weapon or not can be debated. But the AppStore rules are not the same for everyone!

    • James G

      Right, a company like Amazon offers Prime Memberships – but you cannot buy a Prime Membership from within the iOS store because then Apple would take a 30% cut. So, Amazon chooses not to sell Prime Memberships within their iOS app. Spotify is able to do the exact same, but promoting their subscription service from within their iOS app to circumvent this fee is against Apple’s policy. Does that make sense?


    This is also wrong.

    Apple isn’t asking them for a fee, because they are using Apple’s app store as a means of installation.

    Apple is asking for a commission, because they want a commission from everyone using Apple’s payment system (in-app purchases).

    1) Apple IS wrong, because an app developer may choose NOT to use Apple’s system and forward their clients to their own payment system (maybe through a link that opens in Safari).
    2) Spotify IS also wrong, because they could have just stopped sign-ups altogether and told their customers to go in Spotify’s web page and sign-up there.

    Now, I’d say a button with a link is the same thing with a message telling me to go to a web page. Apple says it’s different.

    Legally, Apple may be right (U.S. has an interesting law system). Morally, I think this is where Apple should have stopped.

  • ProllyWild

    For me, at the very least, you have failed to prove anything more than the stance that you want freedom on a private company’s platform.

    Allowing complete freedom potentially compromises the security of the device, and more importantly in this case, the user experience. I view it as protection of user experience more than anti-competitive practices.

    You’re demanding apple accommodate more freedom for them and folks who like to jailbreak, but let us not forget that on jailbroken devices an increased risk comes with participation.

    So in the case of Spotify, they have choices.

    They can shut up and just deal with the rules of playing on apple’s platform.

    They can adjust their app like other developers and manage payment internally without use of IAP…

    …or if they really find Apple’s methods so ant-competition and dangerous to their business model, they can ditch the platform and/or make their own device.

    Again they’re not entitled to freedom on a private platform. Same way I’m not entitled to use their app anyway I see fit. I have to obey their terms for usage.

    Not sure why you find this to be such a huge deal. Cry “freedom” all you want, but they already have it because they have plenty of choices. They just don’t have the choice they (and perhaps you as well) feel they are entitled to.

    • paragraphs 1 – you’re essentially saying that I proved I have an opinion. not worth addressing…

      paragraph 2 – already addressed this previously by stating that there are 0 security compromises if apple provides the walled garden for those who want it, and allow others to step outside of it if they choose the alternate. so your point is not only untrue, it’s illogical and ignores the prior dismantling of it all together.

      paragraph 3 – a completely untrue and wholly irrelevant point when you understand the answer to paragraph 2

      paragraph 4 – there are no choices for spotify other than the app store from apple if they want to be on the iphone. the heart of the anti competitive problem

      paragraph 5 – immature, unreasoned and not worth addressing

  • jayr

    i think apple are being assholes when spotify’s revenue comes from its music subscribers only, why should apple take a 30 percent cut from every new subscriber when its just an app. spotify should sell the app for 99 cents. i’m not familiar with the app store rules but why isn’t spotify allowed to tell its customer to sign up by web & just sign in thru the app. this is bs to force spotify to make a 30 percent cut. yes spotify should pay an amount for the app to stay in its app store but to actually get a cut from spotifys customers just wow. maybe make spotify 99 cents & thru the monthly payment refund that dollar back. or even if we have to pay for the spotify app does apple still need to get a monthly cut as well???

    • Bangali

      I think the issue is that Spotify is directing their users via a link in the app to subscribe on the web..if they just had a message stating customers need a subscription to use the service via http://www.spoti…. there would be no asks for a cut if users subscribe through the app directly.

    • James G

      Because Apple has built the payment mechanism to process the payments and pay for the hosting of Spotify’s mobile application that customers can easily find, install, uninstall at their will. The $99 Developers pay to Apple to be able to publish an app on the App Store is just the cost to get in the door–if you want to make money in Apple’s ecosystem, you have to pay a fee. Simple.

  • really?

    so then you plan to completely stop using any desktop computer, right? because they run in exactly the opposite manner as you describe here as it relates to security, the user experience and 100% user control. you’re especially hypocritical if you use a mac, since its made by the same company that hampers all of this on the iphone.

    it’s a completely hypocritical argument you would NEVER make about your desktop, yet somehow you find it reasonable on a portable computer (otherwise known as a phone)?

    also of note: your blatant disregard to actually dismantle any of my argument (yet claiming you did so). your “premises” (and I’m being kind here since they are simply factless opinions) do not take apart what I said, but merely inject further opinion of the opposite contention.

    • ps – your ad hominem personal attacks only further the notion that you’re not making any factual arguments, but have resorted to tactics that blur the subject since you cannot prove your position factually.

    • ProllyWild

      fine, I got a little time. let’s do this then.

      fine lets go back then.

      “FURTHERMORE, AND MOST IMPORTANT: We’re arguing that users deserve CHOICE… ”

      Users have a choice. Buy the product as they know it to be, or if they don’t like it, don’t buy it.

      “SCENARIO 1: apple provides only the app store and forces app developers to use it.. then, by definition, they can single handedly put app developers out of business.”

      I don’t see the problem here. This is the problem with piggybacking your business on someone else’s technology. you are forever at risk because your business relies on something you can’t control. If these developers want more control over their futures then they either need to expand to more platforms, or consider making the hardware. However let’s face it, hardware is a hard and expensive game and that why people take the more convenient road of just creating for already available platforms.

      “SCENARIO 2: apple provides the app store as ONE possible way to install apps on your phone, but also allows app creators to install their app via the web (just like a computer). In this scenario I wouldn’t care if apple charged 100%! because they allow choice.”

      Again, I’ve addressed this point. If you’re at all familiar with user experience and the incredibly huge impact that can have on sales, you’d understand that letting people run off and do whatever they want is just not good business for a mainstream business that deals with everyday commons users. not just the professionals, but the average every day people who just want the device to work. Locking down the system allows them to better promote their product’s stability and reliability. that turns into increased customer satisfaction, which creates more long term consumers of your product. Yes you could let people do whatever they want, but you also risk being held responsible when shit doesn’t work because of some add-on that you have nothing to do with.

      “NO ONE is arguing apple has no RIGHT to set their store prices wherever they see fit.
      WHAT IS being argued is that it’s reached a place where it’s now anti-competitive. the interwebz are replete with examples of moments where apple introduces a new “feature” into the iPhone that was long a feature from either the jailbreak community or a genuine app, and suddenly that app is out of business. Apple has a RIGHT to compete with them. but the reason they are out of business is not because apple is COMPETING, but because they are crafting rules to make it IMPOSSIBLE for the app developer to compete with apple.”

      First of all, you seem to be misrepresenting the situation in the example you gave. yes, it can be seen as Apple blocking them because they wanted to put out their own, but even if Apple never intended to create “night shift” it would have never approved the level of access to the iOS system that f.lux requires. yes f.lux is fine to do what it does on macs because they allow that level of access, but iOS doesn’t.

      Now you also seem to tie in the jailbreak community in with this, however every jailbreak developer knows that their business operations are not really sanctioned by Apple. That’s a known risk, so if people know that and decide to still put their lives on a business that’s not exactly on stable grounds…well..that person is not very bright. I’m not saying jailbreak developers aren’t doing incredible things, and I’m not even denying that sometimes Apple straight up rips off some of the stuff that people create on their platform via jailbreaks, but that’s the problem with the Wild West nature of the jailbreak community. it’s chop shop style development on the underground. there are few protections for that. developers know they’re not operating within the terms of use, so what they create is potentially up for being taken and used officially by Apple. it’s not fair, but it’s not a secret that this is legally fine, and realistically possible.

      “THAT’S THE ENTIRE ARGUMENT: give us choice!

      And this is where are argument comes up. you believe choice is after you buy the product, and I and many others here are saying that your choice begins before you buy the product. Buying into the product and then demanding it do more to your liking is fine, but not realistic because the product already is what it is, and anything you say after already buying it is just a suggestion to the creator.

      If you want choice, then maybe all these jail breakers demanding choice need to come together and make a new mobile OS. Not dependent on android or iOS, completely open and free to use with whatever store method they see fit. hell, the skill set and resources are there. If you don’t want to be a slave to the system, make your own system. For the amount of freedom you want, neither android nor iOS nor mobileWindows would ever satisfy your desires. I don’t understand exactly what it is that makes you want it all from Apple. It’s not like it’s the best hardware in the computing or mobile world.. so why not just focus your energies on making the ideal package for your needs?

      • ok first of all, thank you for being the first person to argue back at me with logic and a coherent thread of ideas. I mean that sincerely, i’m not being sarcastic. It’s nice to match wits with someone who is actually coming into the game at the same level.

        I’ll respond to everything you said in a bit, I’ve got a long workday ahead of me. But I need one important piece of information from you: Would you put up with your desktop computer having the same limitations that you put up with on your phone?

        ie: you cannot install anything the manufacturer doesn’t allow, you cannot get system level access (ie: root or admin), and you cannot see the file system.

        would you be ok with these limitations on your desktop or laptop?

      • ProllyWild

        I could tolerate that limitation on a certain type of laptop/desktop made for media consumption and basic work tasks. I’ll try and be honest and consider both sides.

        As a user, even as a work machine, on my MacBook, I have to say that around the end I did come to like the app store’s simplicity when updating applications. it’s much easier to have the App Store tell me everything that needs updating, compared to tons of various applications randomly prompting me with pop ups to update by going to their sites and downloading new versions, or initiating a time consuming download within the program. One example is the MacID app for Mac. I hate having to constantly go to their site, and reinstall an updated version, because sometimes I end up with multiple versions of their app remaining active. Honestly the layers of updates was ridiculous for music software because your studio application could have an update, and every plugin within the app prompts you for their own updates. On iOS, having none of that is great, and with apps hosted within the App Store, not running into that is far more enjoyable.

        There was a bit of a sigh of relief in knowing some apps had transitioned into the App Store because it gave me one to twenty less things to think about.

        Now that’s just me as a user enjoying increased simplicity.

        If I was a developer, engineer or a professional with very specific needs that were unlikely to be met by the App Store system, that would absolutely be the nail in the coffin and I’d stop using Apple products.

        I acknowledge that if Apple was to go through with that level of limitation setting, it would decidedly cut itself off from the professionals market as we know it. the question then becomes does that impact Apple enough to change back, or does it in the end put so much pressure on developers that they reluctantly come into apple’s system anyway?

        From my perspective I still don’t know if I see it as a blatant grab for money, and if it went that way on macOS I would hope that they would adjust the percentages to better represent the market. especially since there is a very different pricing structure and range for computer apps compared to mobile apps.

        Really though if it gets that bad, Apple hardware for their desktop/laptops hardly meet the ideals and standards of professionals anyways, so maybe it would be time to just start focusing on customized better hardware and Linux instead of the Apple ecosystem.

  • Peter

    Sorry.. all the ranting and raving you’re doing doesn’t change the fact that you’re wrong. You’ve dumped a huge pile of words onto this page but none of it has to do with the fact that in Sierra you can *still* run apps that aren’t from the Mac App store..

    The link you’ve provided even says so:

    “This doesn’t mean that you’re left out in the cold if you really need to open an unsigned app, though. There is still an option to open it anyway – you just can’t allow it universally any more. To open an unsigned app, just right-click the app and select Open.”

    You did read that page right? You didn’t just link to it without understanding what it’s actually saying, right?

    So to sum up:

    1) You can still run apps that aren’t from the mac app store in Sierra
    2) Well.. that’s it really.

    And you know how I know that this is true? I didn’t have to google.. I just loaded up my developer’s beta of Sierra and tried it. And guess what.. it’ works! I can run non Mac App Store apps (even completely unsigned ones) just fine on Sierra.

    So… what’s the problem again? Have you actually run the Sierra beta? or did you just misread a bunch of web pages (like you’ve misread the one you linked me to, obviously.. since it doesn’t say anything like what you’re saying)?

  • Peter

    So.. no apologies to everyone because you lied and/or misled everyone with your screed about sierra?


    Thought not.

  • credulousgeek

    What font is this apple used in its letter?