Thursday, February 3, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Too Big to Fail App Review

Eric Benjamin Seufert:

The presence of certain apps is so imperative to the App Store’s broader consumer appeal that Apple has no choice but to allow those apps to defy its various platform rules and restrictions. These apps are too big to fail: if Apple were to enforce its rules against these apps and block them from the App Store, it would suffer extreme commercial consequences.

[…]

This creates a very fine line for Apple to navigate, especially in the case of Netflix. Apple must allow the products that are too big to fail to skirt (or appear to skirt) its App Store policies while preserving the agency and legitimacy to enforce those policies for the developers of mobile-only games.

Previously:

Update (2022-02-04): Marco Arment:

Now, in practice, this gets a bit messy when dealing with extremely popular, must-have services for so many people like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Facebook knows that Apple can’t REALLY kick them off the App Store.

…probably.

2 Comments

>Apple must allow the products that are too big to fail to skirt (or appear to skirt) its App Store policies while preserving the agency and legitimacy to enforce those policies…

Agency yes, legitimacy no. Are there still people who naïvely believe that Apple's “same rules for everyone” rhetoric isn't BS?

Yeah, I agree with Ben. This article takes too seriously Apple's own statements about the primacy and importance of the App Store's "guidelines." Apple creates, changes, interprets, and enforces these however they want. They're not like the laws of a country. The fact that a lot of people talk about them as though they are makes me think that at least part of their reason for being is to provide an impartial, legalistic veneer over the self-interested, profit-maximizing exercise of controlling what software can run on an iPhone.

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.

Leave a Comment