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Apple burning bridges with the developers Vision Pro really needs


Apple’s “malicious compliance” with Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) is burning bridges with the very people the company needs to make Vision Pro a success, argues a new editorial.

The piece suggests that Vision Pro’s current market is so small that developers can afford to ignore it – or even ensure their iPad apps can’t run on it – which is something they are more likely to do if they are angered by Apple’s treatment of them …

Your quick primer on the Digital Markets Act

The DMA is a piece of antitrust legislation aimed at tech companies. The goal is to increase competition in the sector by removing some of the advantages held by tech giants.

The thinking is that when you reach a certain size in the market, you can effectively use your market dominance to make it very hard for smaller companies to compete, and to impose unfair terms.

Apple’s App Store was held to do this, because the store was the only place a developer could sell an iPhone app, so they were forced to agree to whatever terms Apple chose to impose. The EU ruled that Apple must allow third-party app stores, and let developers opt out of the official one.

Apple’s proposals come under fire

Apple announced that it would indeed allow third-party app store, but with some extremely tough requirements which would make it impossible for most developers to create one – and would also ensure any who chose to sell their app through a competing store would likely be worse off financially.

Unsurprisingly, the company has come under significant fire for the terms it has chosen to impose.

The Coalition for App Fairness – an admittedly partisan group funded by Epic Games, Spotify and others – said that Apple’s plans were “a shameless insult” to developers and legislators which “must not stand.”

Spotify said Apple acts as if the rules don’t apply to the company.

Apple is nothing if not consistent. While they have behaved badly for years, this takes the level of arrogance to an entirely new place. Under the false pretense of compliance and concessions, they put forward a new plan that is a complete and total farce. Essentially, the old tax was rendered unacceptable under the DMA, so they created a new one masquerading as compliance with the law.

Microsoft said Apple was headed in the wrong direction.

Apple’s new policy is a step in the wrong direction. We hope they listen to feedback on their proposed plan and work towards a more inclusive future for all.

Macworld calls it ‘malicious compliance’

Macworld is the latest to attack Apple’s response to the DMA, describing it as “malicious compliance.” This is when someone abides by the letter of what is required, but deliberately does so in a manner intended to make matters worse.

The new iOS App Store changes in the EU, to comply with the Digital Markets Act, have been announced and are part of iOS 17.4 (in beta now, to be released by March). Apple’s description of them sounds like good news–lower commissions and the like–but many developers are calling the changes a master class in malicious compliance. In fact, Apple’s new terms are listed as one of the examples of malicious compliance in the Wikipedia entry […]

Let’s just say it seems clear that Apple is making it as un-appetizing as possible to use anything other than the App Store. Under the current terms, an app with 5 million users and €2 million in annual sales (in the EU) will pay about €46,000 a month. Under the new terms, that explodes up to over €197,000 a month, and even if you don’t use the App Store or Apple’s payment processing, you’d pay over €166,000 a month!

Could harm the prospects of Vision Pro

The site’s Jason Snell argues that making developers angry at a time the company really needs their goodwill is a big mistake.

The Vision Pro needs developer goodwill. It needs developers to take a chance on it, to build the apps that make the device desirable. This is not the time for hubris. It’s the time for Apple to bend over backward for developers, making its platforms (all of them–it’s an ecosystem!) as desirable as possible. While none of the new EU terms apply to Vision Pro, at least not yet, they’re still burning bridges with the very people who need to make Vision Pro apps.

It seems like the worst possible move to tank developer goodwill with new terms that seem to be deliberately designed to anger Apple’s biggest critics and provoke regulators just as Apple Vision Pro is launching.

Photo by Igor Omilaev on Unsplash

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Mr.Mario
Mr.Mario
I am a tech enthusiast, cinema lover, and news follower. and i loved to be stay updated with the latest tech trends and developments. With a passion for cyber security, I continuously seeks new knowledge and enjoys learning new things.

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