Thursday, June 3, 2021

More Documents From Epic vs. Apple

Ryan Jones:

Here’s all the Apple vs Epic court files OCR’ed.


I also converted all the PPT to PDF, so they can be searched now too.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Ooh there are plenty of interesting documents I missed from the Epic trial, like this 2015 Apple report on the Mac App Store and why developers are rejecting it (including testimonials)

In 2017, Apple planned on adding… A/B product pages, and paid upgrades to the App Store?

Matt Gallagher:

The lack of progress on Mac App Store issues (from 6 years ago) is a tragedy. Apple should dogfood the real-world development stack (notarisation, package managers, third-party CI hosting, CD pipelines, App Store review, etc). Shouldn’t need surveys for the blatantly obvious.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Reading this, you’d get the impression that the Epic v Apple suit was designed just to get Apple to the negotiating table and change its policies by turning developers against them (which is exactly what happened). The antitrust sharks circling made this the best possible shot

To be fair, dev sentiment has been simmering for the past decade, and it’s only now that it looks like something might actually happen that a lot of us are comfortable talking about it. We lost an entire generation of 3rd-party innovation on iOS that just didn’t fit the App Store

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Wherein Apple strongarms Uber into switching to IAP, knowing that Uber would have to raise subscription prices and pass Apple’s 30% along to the consumer

This is interesting because Apple specifically mentioned in the trial that Uber and other physical goods are not subject to the 30%, and that this is by design because they can’t guarantee that the service was delivered.

Internal Tech Emails:

Phil Schiller forwards a Six Colors report card to other Apple execs, highlighting App Store/developer comments from @jamesthomson, @rgriff, @Ihnatko, @gruber, and Katie Floyd

Steve Troughton-Smith:

As late as August 2007 Apple still hadn’t committed to opening up the iPhone to developers beyond EA. Also: 15” MacBook Air and ‘Tablet’ were penciled in for 1H 2008? They thought they were mere months away from those products?

Internal Tech Emails:

App Store execs discuss Google’s app review process

James O’Leary:

holy whackamole some app reviewer at Apple pulled some tmobile app that required the customer service company death sentence, immediate training and mitigation because it screwed up everything


i feel really bad for the tmobile coo, schiller lecturing him about app review email dates and you were told to comply, etc etc. like it’s his fault Apple’s doing this weird money grab. Services(tm)!


Update (2021-06-05): Matthew Panzarino:

The gist of it is that SVP of Software Engineering, Bertrand Serlet, sent an email in October of 2007, just three months after the iPhone was launched. In the email, Serlet outlines essentially every core feature of Apple’s App Store — a business that brought in an estimated $64 billion in 2020. And that, more importantly, allowed the launch of countless titanic internet startups and businesses built on and taking advantage of native apps on iPhone.

Forty-five minutes after the email, Steve Jobs replies to Serlet and iPhone lead Scott Forstall, from his iPhone, “Sure, as long as we can roll it all out at Macworld on Jan 15, 2008.”

Update (2021-06-13): John Gruber:

This email is simultaneously not surprising — because he’s Phil Schiller, steward of the Apple brand, and because, of course, at some point surely some discussion was had within Apple about the permanence of 70/30 — but also shocking, because, my god, it spells out a game plan that would have kept Apple out of all this.

Update (2021-08-21): Sean Hollister:

After sifting through over 800 documents spanning 4.5 gigabytes, here are the roughly 100 things I learned.


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