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Prior to its upcoming bench trial with Epic Games, Apple filed hundreds of pages of documents covering findings of fact, which include some interesting and previously unknown tidbits about Epic Games.

fortnite-apple-logo-2.5.jpg

Epic Games planned its rebellion against Apple for at least two years ahead of when it opted to brazenly violate Apple's App Store rules, with Apple's App Store fees at the heart of the dispute. Epic is of the opinion that it should not have to pay Apple a 30 percent cut to distribute apps on iOS devices, but court filings show that Epic itself used to charge much higher fees.

Back in the 1990s, when Epic initially agreed to distribute games from other developers, it collected a 60 percent commission. According to Apple's documents, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said at the time that the 60 percent fee Epic collected was a "fairly favorable royalty," as most distributors at that time charged 70 percent commissions.

Prior to when digital distribution platforms like the App Store existed, Sweeney commented that it was "so daunting" trying to sell games through brick and mortar locations.
"See, you put a huge amount of effort into developing a program. If you have to release it, then that's basically doubling the effort, because of all the polish and documentation that's needed. And unless you're going to make serious money from that, then it's not worth it."
According to Apple, the App Store "upended the status quo" and introduced a "frictionless marketing, distribution, and transaction system" for both developers and users. Apple claimed that its model revolutionized payment for developers, who kept a 70 percent cut from the App Store instead of having to pay 70 percent to a distributor for typical retail sales.

In its filing, Apple pointed to Epic's own high fees that it charged are evidence that deals negotiated prior to the App Store were much inferior to the 30 percent cut that it takes, while also informing the court about the reduced 15 percent fee that small developers are now eligible for.

Though Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has spent a lot of time maligning Apple on Twitter, he is a fan of Apple's privacy practices. According to Apple's court filing, Sweeney said that he "found Apple's approach to privacy superior to Google's approach to customer privacy and customer data," and that Apple does a "great job."

Apple claims that Epic's lawsuit could have a direct impact on the security and privacy of the iPhone as customer privacy is one of the reasons that Apple wants to oversee apps that are allowed on iOS devices. Apple is planning to soon implement App Tracking Transparency rules that will limit the data that developers can collect from users. If alternate app stores were made possible, there would be no rules on the information that could be sourced from iPhone users.

Apple believes sideloading iOS apps would create "unacceptable vulnerabilities" that would risk exposing customers to viruses and malware. Epic at one point apparently considered disregarding Apple's Enterprise certificate policies to get apps on devices without the App Store, but Epic's own engineers had previously expressed concerns about sideloading apps on Android devices.
There was a series of leaks in the binaries for the Fortnite installer after Epic launched it on Android devices via sideloading in August 2018, which led to malware and fraud. And as a programmer noted on another occasion, '[o]verall a bit worried about the security aspect of this all, a lot of malware already doing the rounds impersonating the Fortnite app.'
The court filings feature some clear indications why Epic Games wants lowered App Store fees - it's not making money from the Epic Games Store. Epic lost around $181 million in 2019, and was projected to lose $273 million in 2020. Epic committed $444 million in minimum guarantees to developers, but made only $401 million. Epic said that it will lose around $139 million in 2021, but Sweeney has said that it's an investment into growing the business.


Apple claims that Epic is funding the Epic Games Store through other parts of its business, such as Fortnite, which are more profitable.

There are plenty more details about how Epic Games planned its attack on Apple and Google, which can be found in the court filing embedded below. We're also sure to hear additional information when the two companies meet in court on May 3.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and several other Apple executives will testify, as will Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney and executives from Facebook and Microsoft. Former Apple executive Scott Forstall will also be called as a witness by Epic.



Article Link: Apple's Filings in Epic Games Case Argue It Has Reduced Industry Commissions, While Third-Party App Stores Would Compromise Privacy and Security
 
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Solomani

macrumors 601
Sep 25, 2012
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Back in the 1990s, when Epic initially agreed to distribute games from other developers, it collected a 60 percent commission....... Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said at the time that the 60 percent fee Epic collected was a "fairly favorable royalty," as most distributors at that time charged 70 percent commissions.

LOL. Epic's hypocrisy and greed knows no bounds.
 

Wildkraut

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2015
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Based on this information provided by Apple:
“Apple believes sideloading iOS apps would create "unacceptable vulnerabilities" that would risk exposing customers to viruses and malware.”

Which also applies to macOS devices!
Same SoC, Kernel, frameworks, libraries, just a different UI.

Apple should immediately stop selling macOS devices, or completely block their access to iCloud, and immediately lock-in macOS by disallowing side loading, just like iOS - to make sure their customer data and privacy stays safe.

Specially because macOS has access to the same data pool that is provided and shared over iCloud by iOS/iPadOS to the “unacceptable vulnerable” macOS.

But no, they prefer to spread fud and security through obscurity.
 
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[AUT] Thomas

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2016
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while also informing the court about the reduced 15 percent fee that small developers are now eligible for
The fact that Apple reduced the fees to 15% in some way is proof enough that the 30% are highly debatable -even more so for IAPs which are purely a financial transaction.

As ugly as this fight is... it's necessary.

What really saddens me is Apple argumentation which has no technical ground in regards to iOS security & privacy.
The security of iOS lies within the OS not the App-Store. And the App-Store does not guarantee privacy either. If Apple would reject all privacy violating apps, no Facebook app would have made it to iOS and no messenger would have ever been allowed to upload your entire addressbook (!!!) to their servers. Yet that is still possible.
 

natnorth

macrumors newbie
Jan 22, 2021
6
69
Based on this information provided by Apple:
“Apple believes sideloading iOS apps would create "unacceptable vulnerabilities" that would risk exposing customers to viruses and malware.”

Which also applies to macOS devices!
Same SoC, Kernel, frameworks, libraries, just a different UI.

Apple should immediately stop selling macOS devices, or completely block their access to iCloud, and immediately lock-in macOS by disallowing side loading, just like iOS - to make sure their customer data and privacy stays safe.

Specially because macOS has access to the same data pool that is provided and shared over iCloud by iOS/iPadOS to the “unacceptable vulnerable” macOS.

But no, they prefer to spread fud and security through obscurity.

I see your side but I think it's also ignoring the other side of the argument. Computers have been around forever and to walk-backwards with them when it comes to them being general-purpose to specific-purpose handle all use cases and software devices would be very difficult. There is an expected way to use them.

When the smart phone came out it was a phone that could do lots of stuff people were using computers for... and apps and improved processing has made them power devices in the palm of your hand.This was a new paradigm and Apple used that opportunity to define it as more "safe" or "locked down" depending on the camp you pitch your tent in.

I know a lot of people who own ONLY a phone, no computer, and use is exclusively as their only digital device. So while computers and malware/viruses/anti-virus software have all become the norm because of the decades of history.. I'm glad that my smartphone hasn't, and it's because of the more locked-down approach.
 

applicious84

macrumors 6502
Sep 1, 2020
294
618
Epic is a big problem, and Apple is arguing that. But cherry picking how stuff was in the past then reverting to arguments about better privacy. Well, past stores were completely private. You could even buy the software add-ons in cash.
 

robco74

macrumors regular
Nov 22, 2020
225
314
Based on this information provided by Apple:
“Apple believes sideloading iOS apps would create "unacceptable vulnerabilities" that would risk exposing customers to viruses and malware.”

Which also applies to macOS devices!
Same SoC, Kernel, frameworks, libraries, just a different UI.

Apple should immediately stop selling macOS devices, or completely block their access to iCloud, and immediately lock-in macOS by disallowing side loading, just like iOS - to make sure their customer data and privacy stays safe.

Specially because macOS has access to the same data pool that is provided and shared over iCloud by iOS/iPadOS to the “unacceptable vulnerable” macOS.

But no, they prefer to spread fud and security through obscurity.
Most users don't carry their Macs around with them everywhere they go, constantly connected to the network, with a built-in GPS chip.

You could potentially learn quite a bit about someone based on what is on their Mac and their usage. But I'd wager that would pale in comparison to the amount of data you could collect from a smartphone. Smartphones are also much more likely to be misplaced or stolen. There are quite a few security risks that are either don't exist, or are greatly diminished compared to a desktop or even a laptop.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
14,544
615
Lard
Neither side is exactly right or without greed.

I trust Apple more than I trust Epic Games but I don't trust either more than 50%.

Removing the apps from the Google Play and Apple App Store hurt Epic Games more than they figured they would be hurt. Filing lawsuit after lawsuit just makes them look desperate.

I don't want sideloading of apps on iOS or on Android. Other people can do that, if they want to jailbreak.

If selling in a retail store is no better than selling in an online store or vice versa, why not flip burgers? You're not going to get what you want.
 

Wildkraut

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2015
2,008
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Germany
I see your side but I think it's also ignoring the other side of the argument. Computers have been around forever and to walk-backwards with them when it comes to them being general-purpose to specific-purpose handle all use cases and software devices would be very difficult. There is an expected way to use them.

When the smart phone came out it was a phone that could do lots of stuff people were using computers for... and apps and improved processing has made them power devices in the palm of your hand.This was a new paradigm and Apple used that opportunity to define it as more "safe" or "locked down" depending on the camp you pitch your tent in.

I know a lot of people who own ONLY a phone, no computer, and use is exclusively as their only digital device. So while computers and malware/viruses/anti-virus software have all become the norm because of the decades of history.. I'm glad that my smartphone hasn't, and it's because of the more locked-down approach.
They could simply make iOS just like macOS, the security and privacy excuse is utter non-sense, it would not compromise the iOS security in any way. Just let the “device owners” decide, they own the devices. They could by default allow only signed Apps, then optionally allow side loading, and add an additional option to also allow the installation of unsigned Apps, simply with a gentle competition friendly disclaimer.

It’s a pure strategic decision Apple made here, and part of their carefully crafted methods of interlocking customers over multiple business areas into their eco system.

I just hope that the court has enough technical skills to recognize this Apple FUD.
 

hans1972

macrumors 65816
Apr 5, 2010
1,375
888
What really saddens me is Apple argumentation which has no technical ground in regards to iOS security & privacy.
The security of iOS lies within the OS not the App-Store. And the App-Store does not guarantee privacy either. If Apple would reject all privacy violating apps, no Facebook app would have made it to iOS and no messenger would have ever been allowed to upload your entire addressbook (!!!) to their servers. Yet that is still possible.

The App Store provides improved security and privacy. It doesn't guarantee it nor do I think Apple make such a claim.

Let's say that without an App Store it would exist 1 million apps which had bad privacy policy. Apple with the App Store is able with the App Store to reduce that to 900 000 apps. That would still mean the App Store improved the privacy of the iOS ecosystem.

You seem to be looking for perfection and a principled take on this instead of pragmatism.
 

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
15,310
14,636
Singapore
What really saddens me is Apple argumentation which has no technical ground in regards to iOS security & privacy.
The security of iOS lies within the OS not the App-Store. And the App-Store does not guarantee privacy either. If Apple would reject all privacy violating apps, no Facebook app would have made it to iOS and no messenger would have ever been allowed to upload your entire addressbook (!!!) to their servers. Yet that is still possible.
A feature like Sign In with Apple would never work if Apple didn’t have their own App Store which they could use to force developers to adopt said feature.

Privacy here doesn’t mean that Apple automatically rejects all apps that try to collect your data. It also means giving users the tools to be aware of when their data is being collected, and for what purposes.

Some of it is baked into iOS (like the prompt when your clipboard is being accessed), some require developers to support said feature (like privacy nutrition labels).

The reason why even google has to do this is because they have no other way of reaching the end user if they don’t.

This to me is the power of the App Store (and of there being only one App Store where Apple is judge, jury and executioner) - they are able to get developers to implement features that are good for consumers but may not necessarily be in these developers’ best interests.

And this is precisely what Apple needs.

The strength to stand up to any foe, no matter how strong.
 

Wildkraut

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2015
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Most users don't carry their Macs around with them everywhere they go, constantly connected to the network, with a built-in GPS chip.

You could potentially learn quite a bit about someone based on what is on their Mac and their usage. But I'd wager that would pale in comparison to the amount of data you could collect from a smartphone. Smartphones are also much more likely to be misplaced or stolen. There are quite a few security risks that are either don't exist, or are greatly diminished compared to a desktop or even a laptop.
As I said earlier, macOS has access to the same data pool, over the iCloud, this includes your GPS location provided by iOS to Apps and Find My. Securing iOS by locking-in Apps to the AppStore, while keeping macOS wide open like it currently is, is just like locking the front door of your house, but leaving the backdoor entrance unsecured, which invalidate their security and privacy FUD. The not End2End encrypted iCloud backups they store on iCloud invalidates it even more.
 
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jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
17,209
2,282
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
As I said earlier, macOS has access to the same data pool, over the iCloud, this includes your GPS location provided by iOS to Apps and Find My. Securing iOS by locking-in Apps to the AppStore, while keeping macOS wide open like it currently is, is just like locking the front door of your house, but leaving the backdoor entrance unsecured, which invalidate their security and privacy FUD. The not End2End encrypted iCloud backups they store on iCloud invalidates it even more.
That's true if you own and have both devices linked. I for instance do have a Mac, but it is not linked to my iDevices. Hence, your argument goes out the door. It also goes out the door given that not many people own Macs, but PCs.
 

DocMultimedia

macrumors 65816
Sep 8, 2012
1,005
2,289
Charlottesville, VA
There is still the very simple fact that if you create your game to run on the web then you can entirely skip Apple. You just need to be a good programmer. As a programmer for the past thirty years, I think Apple has a plan that is really good for both sides. I've done the 70% thing, and I've done the full web-based approach. The Apple one is a great balance with many benefits to developers. IMO of course.
 

Wildkraut

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2015
2,008
3,145
Germany
That's true if you own and have both devices linked. I for instance do have a Mac, but it is not linked to my iDevices. Hence, your argument goes out the door. It also goes out the door given that not many people own Macs, but PCs.
Exactly, which makes it even worse with “iCloud for Windows”. if their FUD would have real technical reasons, they should also stop Windows Devices from being able to access iCloud data, which includes sensitive iOS data. It’s a pure business decision, just to lock-in customers, and grow their monopoly, nothing more.
 

xWhiplash

Contributor
Oct 21, 2009
4,664
3,320
Based on this information provided by Apple:
“Apple believes sideloading iOS apps would create "unacceptable vulnerabilities" that would risk exposing customers to viruses and malware.”

Which also applies to macOS devices!
Same SoC, Kernel, frameworks, libraries, just a different UI.

Apple should immediately stop selling macOS devices, or completely block their access to iCloud, and immediately lock-in macOS by disallowing side loading, just like iOS - to make sure their customer data and privacy stays safe.

Specially because macOS has access to the same data pool that is provided and shared over iCloud by iOS/iPadOS to the “unacceptable vulnerable” macOS.

But no, they prefer to spread fud and security through obscurity.
macOS DEFINITELY has malware problems, just like Windows. However, the ONLY.....ONLY reason its as "secure" as it is, is due to marketshare. Why develop something for macOS when Windows has the majority of the marketshare?

 

AlexisV

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2007
1,647
169
Manchester, UK
"Apple spins this as “losing money”, but spending now in order to build a great, profitable business in the future is exactly what investment is! It’s equally true whether you’re building a factory, a store, or a game."

By that logic no company could ever go bust. You invest by spending profits or borrowing, not spending more than you have.
 
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