Thursday September 17, 2020 |Notes

Rooting for Epic over Apple

The battle between Apple and Epic will have longstanding repercussions for the technology industry. For independent businesses, the best outcome is that Epic prevails in preventing Apple from taking a 30% cut off in-all purchases. Few companies have the ability to take on a company like Apple, it's beyond time to address this issue.

For too long, Apple and Google have had too much control of the mobile phone operating system market. Together, the companies account for over 98% of the market leaving developers little incentive to create apps for a potential competing OS. Because they control demand, Apple has been able to levy undue control over what services are allowed, as well as how they are able to generate revenue. Ultimately, consumers pay for the tax in both monetary value and lack of access to new technology.

Crypto has been particularly stifled by Apple, as covered by Fred Wilson recently:

There is no better place to see that than crypto, the next big wave in computing (after web and mobile). There are a number of reasons that decentralized crypto apps (dapps) have not gone mainstream, but certainly one of them is that the Apple and Google app stores don’t allow a number of important features that decentralized apps require.

Coinbase, Epic, and Spotify are not alone in their struggles with Apple and Google. They are simply large enough and protected enough to go public with their struggles. The truth is every developer that distributes software through these two app stores struggles with them.

For tech, this will have longstanding ramifications. Innovative businesses rarely have the opportunity to fight behemoths like Apple and the best choice now is to root from the sideline for Epic to prevail. In the long run, the entire industry benefits from more open innovation as opposed to siloed standards.

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