Yes, Apple has power. Any company with 1-billon or so customers exerts power somewhere. Google has even more users. Facebook, too. There is power in numbers. Power. You know who doesn’t want 3rd parties to have too much power over people? Politicians.
OK, kids. It’s coming. No more Instagram for you. Or, Twitter. Or, Facebook, or SnapChat, or text messages. There is too much power in big tech so #BreakUpBigTech is a big thing and it might have some legs if some of where the meme is going isn’t just utter stupidity and obvious misdirection.
Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren says Apple should be broken up because it exerts too much power in its App Store. Let’s look at the Apple Store and the App Store as if they are Kroger, or McDonald’s, or Home Depot. They all sell products, but they all sell their own branded products.
That’s too much power. Those retail outlets should only be allowed to sell what, 1) politicians say they can sell, and, 2) what competitors say they should sell.
Here’s the deal. Apple sells 3rd party apps on the App Store. Most of Apple’s apps are free, yet many have shown up on top of 3rd party commercial apps in search results. Apple gets a commission when someone buys a 3rd party app, but not when someone downloads one of Apple’s free apps. Yes, Apple put its own apps on top of App Store search results, but most of those are free. That’s just dumb. Or, it was dumb. Apple changed it. Probably because it was dumb.
3rd party apps get 70-percent or more of whatever the price tag is. Apple does not set the price tag, but does set increments; starting at a minimum of 99-cents, for example. How is that abuse of power? It’s Apple’s damned Store, right? Cannot Kroger or McDonald’s set their own prices and minimums? Why not Apple?
Senator Warren’s recent tweet:
Apple’s App Store is one of the dominant platforms for app makers, and they’ve got too much power to stifle competition and promote their own products. That’s not right—and it’s why I’ve got a plan to #BreakUpBigTech.
So, Apple gets lumped into the breakup meme along with Google and Facebook and Amazon and probably Kroger and McDonald’s, too– they use big tech, too, right?
The problems with the meme should be obvious but are not. First, could it be that Senator Warren is trying to distract people and media away from the fact that she took campaign money from Wall Street? Second, could it be that her stance is just a shakedown to get Silicon Valley giants to help fund her campaign? Third, could it be she simply has no understanding of how all this techno-babble-gibberish works?
Let’s go with what’s behind any one of the damned doors, Monte.
Big companies have big power and wield it accordingly. That’s the nature of humanity. Corporations are people, too.
Warren linked to a rather outdated NYT’s peice How Apple Stacked the App Store With Its Own Products which graphically displays App Store search engine results– from the past– where Apple seems to have favored its own products over those of 3rd party app developers.
It was stupidity on Apple’s part. The vast majority of Apple apps that got higher ranking than 3rd party apps were free. Apple derived no monetary benefit. That has changed. Check the dates on the NYT report. Old news. If anyone fits Warren’s tweet descripton about stifling competition and promoting their own products, it’s Google.
Wanna bet Google gives more money to Warren’s campaign for president than Apple?