EU targets Apple with further antitrust claims
For some time now, Music streaming service Spotify has taken issue with Apple’s App Store rules. Namely, Apple’s 30% commission that they take from subscription sales in the first 12 months. This is reduced to 15% thereafter. Apple has not historically allowed third party App developers to signpost customers to alternative payment options. This has recently changed for Apps considered to be ‘reader’ apps. Apple defines a reader app, as any app that provides access to digital content such as music and video streaming, books, newspapers or magazines.
It seems that the EU are hell-bent on forcing Apple to enable sideloading. In that way, developers such as Spotify could skirt the App Store entirely. Even though they now have an option to avoid Apple’s commission.
The AppleTLDR take
Spotify has also claimed that Apple denies primary access to key technologies, namely direct access to Apple’s HomePod music speakers and Siri support. But that is verifiably untrue. Apple enabled third party music streaming services to be set as the default for iOS, tvOS and HomePod in iOS and tvOS 14. Spotify has wilfully chosen not to add support and yet continues to claim that Apple denies access. Given that Spotify is one of the EU’s biggest success stories in tech, it’s hard not to suspect implicit bias. Spotify has several times the market share of Apple Music and dominates the category.
iPhone 13 production moves to India
Apple has confirmed to Reuters that it will begin production of the iPhone 13 in India. The Indian government implemented legislation in recent years that incentivises local manufacturing. Companies wishing to import tech products face significant tariffs and levies on their goods. By manufacturing in India, Apple will be able to avoid these taxes on sales and offer products at a much lower price to consumers in India.
Another reason for Apple to diversify its supply chain and production line is to avoid over-reliance on any particular company. Or country for that matter. In just the past few weeks one of Apple’s primary production partners in China had to shut down due to local lockdowns. By widening its supply chain and production capacity, Apple can also avoid disruption caused by local legislation, government interference and/or overreach.
Studio Display Patched
Apple’s Studio Display runs iOS and a few days ago, this created a problem for Apple and customers alike. When Apple issued iOS 15.4.1 for iPhone, it stopped signing iOS 15.4. The problem with this, however, is that iOS 15.4.1 was an iPhone specific patch. The Studio Display is not compatible with it. And due to Apple ceasing to sign iOS 15.4, the Studio Display could no longer be updated. Thankfully Apple has now resolved the issue by re-signing iOS 15.4.