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To: Force Majeure who wrote (32530)7/31/2023 8:40:16 PM
From: Stock Puppy
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So...

How many Scandinavian countries is this?

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To: Force Majeure who wrote (32530)8/19/2023 10:35:50 AM
From: Mick Mørmøny
2 Recommendations   of 32570
 
First Apple Watch --- Priceless

©Dave Whamond

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From: Jon Koplik9/7/2023 10:35:27 PM
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Almost Daily Grant's discusses similarities between Apple and heyday-era IBM ...............................

Thursday, September 7, 2023

China’s government is taking a bite out of Apple, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, instructing employees at state-affiliated firms not to use iPhones or bring them to work. Both national security and commercial considerations factor into the decision, former China-focused White House official Paul Haenle told the WSJ, as local carrier Huawei’s recent rollout of its own 5-G capable smartphone colors that news.

Beijing’s crackdown may be set to widen, Bloomberg relays, as a “plethora” of state-owned and government-affiliated entities (no small constituency within China’s command economy) will soon be subject to restrictions on iPhone use. The Middle Kingdom, which likewise houses large swaths of Apple’s global supply chain, accounts for just under 20% of the company’s total revenues.

Those developments shine a renewed light on a December 2021 revelation from The Information. The tech publication detailed a clandestine 2016 agreement in which Chinese authorities worked to shield Apple from fallout related to the Sino-American trade dispute and maintain access to its vast smartphone market in return for a variety of investment commitments within China’s economy, an outlay that reportedly topped $275 billion over the subsequent half-decade, along with a promise to “strictly abide by Chinese laws and regulations.” The deal covered five years, plus an automatic one-year extension in the absence of objection from either side.

That was then, as Apple reportedly began laying the groundwork to shift some production capacity outside the Middle Kingdom late last year, with yesterday’s thunderbolt suggesting a new state of geopolitical play.

More broadly, might this week’s drama mark a turning point for one of the darlings of the post-2008 bull run? The subject of a bearish analysis in the July 22, 2022, edition of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer (shares are since up 16%, slightly outpacing gains from the S&P 500), Apple has, of course, logged an enviable financial track record featuring a 4,700% total return since the iPhone debuted in June 2007. That indomitable momentum has stalled of late, however, as year-over-year revenue growth has slumped into negative territory for the past three fiscal quarters. Total worldwide smartphone unit shipments will slip below 1.2 billion units this year according to estimates from the International Data Corp. It would represent the weakest such tally since 2013.

To that end, Bernstein analysts led by Toni Sacconaghi penned a provocative analysis Tuesday, drawing comparisons between Steve Jobs’ brainchild and IBM, which dominated the business and financial landscape for decades before stagnating.

Among the similarities between Apple and heyday-era Big Blue: each represented Berkshire Hathaway’s largest holding, commanded large weightings within their benchmark market capitalization indices and were beneficiaries of the notion that owning them “couldn’t get you fired,” owing to near unanimous admiration from investors.

“IBM’s strength in mainframes and associated account control once seemed unassailable, but the world moved to standard industry servers and the cloud,” Sacconaghi et al. relay. “Apple’s key risks are that the iPhone is replaced by a new computing/internet access platform, or that a super app emerges that obviates Apple’s strong customer lock-in.”

Xi Jinping might be said to constitute another risk factor.

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From: Jon Koplik9/15/2023 12:07:44 PM
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Bloomberg / Apple Staff Urged to Stay Mum on iPhone 12 Radiation Issue ........................

Bloomberg

September 14, 2023

Apple Tech Support Staff Urged to Stay Mum on iPhone 12 Radiation Issue

The French government asked Apple to cease sales of the iPhone 12 because tests showed that the device emits electromagnetic waves that are too strong.

By Mark Gurman

Apple Inc., facing a controversy in France over the iPhone 12’s radiation levels, has advised tech-support staff not to volunteer any information when consumers ask about the issue.

If customers inquire about the French government’s claim that the model exceeds standards for electromagnetic radiation, workers should say they don’t have anything to share, Apple employees have been told. Staff should also reject customers’ requests to return or exchange the phone unless it was purchased in the past two weeks -- Apple’s normal return policy.

Customers asking if the phone is safe should be told that all Apple products go through rigorous testing to ensure that they’re safe, according to the guidance.

The French government asked Apple earlier this week to cease sales of the iPhone 12 because tests showed that the device emits electromagnetic waves that are too strong. The country’s digital minister told Apple it has two weeks to fix the issue via a software update.

Apple rebutted the claims and said it would engage with France to show that the iPhone 12 is compliant. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant said it provided officials with in-house and third-party lab testing to demonstrate that the product is within the legal range.

Apple was already phasing out the iPhone 12 just as the issue flared up. The model debuted in 2020, and Apple stopped selling it Tuesday with the announcement of the iPhone 15 line. But France’s stance threatens to spark concern among the millions of existing iPhone 12 users. Apple sold more than 100 million units of the device within its first seven months on sale, according to Counterpoint Research.

In the days since France’s initial statement, other countries in the European Union, including Belgium and Germany, have started to assess the iPhone 12’s radiation levels.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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From: Jon Koplik9/21/2023 5:15:23 PM
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full text / WSJ / Inside Apple’s Spectacular Failure to Build a Key Part for Its New iPhones .................

WSJ

Sept. 20, 2023

Inside Apple’s Spectacular Failure to Build a Key Part for Its New iPhones

The company set out to design a silicon chip that would allow it to cut ties with Qualcomm, a longtime supplier and bitter foe

By Aaron Tilley and Yang Jie

The new iPhone models unveiled last week are missing a proprietary silicon chip that Apple had spent several years and billions of dollars trying to develop in time for the rollout.

The 2018 marching orders from Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook to design and build a modem chip -- ­a part that connects iPhones to wireless carriers -- ­led to the hiring of thousands of engineers. The goal was to sever Apple’s grudging dependence on Qualcomm, a longtime chip supplier that dominates the modem market.

The obstacles to finishing the chip were largely of Apple’s own making, according to former company engineers and executives familiar with the project.

Apple had planned to have its modem chip ready to use in the new iPhone models. But tests late last year found the chip was too slow and prone to overheating. Its circuit board was so big it would take up half an iPhone, making it unusable.

Investors had counted on Apple saving money with an in-house chip to help compensate for weak demand in the larger smartphone market. Apple -- ­which hasn’t publicly acknowledged its modem project, much less its shortcomings­ -- is estimated to have paid more than $7.2 billion to Qualcomm last year for the chips.

Engineering teams working on Apple’s modem chip have been slowed by technical challenges, poor communication and managers split over the wisdom of trying to design the chips rather than buy them, these people said. Teams were siloed in separate groups across the U.S. and abroad without a global leader. Some managers discouraged the airing of bad news from engineers about delays or setbacks, leading to unrealistic goals and blown deadlines.

“Just because Apple builds the best silicon on the planet, it’s ridiculous to think that they could also build a modem,” said former Apple wireless director Jaydeep Ranade, who left the company in 2018, the year the project began.

There were two reasons for the push, said former Apple executives and engineers familiar with the matter: Apple believed it could replicate the success of the microprocessor chips it designed for iPhones. Adoption of those chips fattened profit margins and improved performance for billions of devices. Second, Apple wanted to sever ties with Qualcomm, which it had accused in a 2017 lawsuit of overcharging for its patent royalties.

The companies settled the suit in 2019, and Apple, facing the expiration of its previous Qualcomm agreement, announced a deal last week to continue buying the company’s modem chips through 2026. Apple isn’t expected to produce a comparable chip until late 2025, people familiar with the matter said. There could be further delays, these people said, but the company believes it will eventually succeed.

Apple found that designing a microprocessor, essentially a tiny computer to run software, was easy by comparison. Modem chips, which transmit and receive wireless data, must comply with strict connectivity standards to serve wireless carriers around the world.

“These delays indicate Apple didn’t anticipate the complexity of the effort,” said Serge Willenegger, a former longtime Qualcomm executive who left the company in 2018 and doesn’t know the current state of the Apple chip. “Cellular is a monster.”

Apple’s push to build more of the various semiconductors used in its products stretches back more than a decade. In 2010, the company began using its own processing chips in iPhones and iPads. The chips helped Apple outperform many of its Android rivals, which relied on chips from Qualcomm, Taiwan-based
MediaTek and other makers.

The company in 2020 began replacing processor chips from Intel, used for years in Mac computers, with a proprietary chip that allowed its laptops to run faster and generate less heat, improvements that helped boost flagging Mac sales. The Apple chip also saved the company an estimated $75 to $150 on every computer.

Credit for the success of Apple processor chips brought praise and increased authority to Johny Srouji, the company’s chip leader. “After shipping the first iPhone, we decided that the best way to deliver the best experience to our customers is to own and develop and design our silicon in-house,” Srouji said this year at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, his alma mater.

Split screen

Apple code-named its modem chip project Sinope, after the nymph in Greek mythology who outsmarted Zeus. It began taking shape in 2018, following the directive of Cook, Srouji, and others for Apple to build its own wireless components, said Chris Deaver, a former Apple human-resources executive and co-founder of BraveCore consultants.

By then, Apple’s relationship with Qualcomm had turned ugly. The companies bickered and swapped accusations of lying, theft and monopolistic practices.

Rubén Caballero, Apple’s longtime head of wireless, supported the Intel chip partnership at the time, while Srouji, senior vice president of hardware technologies, backed the pursuit of a company-built chip, said people involved in the project. Caballero left Apple in 2019.

Many members of Caballero’s team who were versed in wireless chip design were placed under Srouji. Other employees engaged in complementary wireless work, such as antenna design, were split off into the hardware engineering group. One of the top project managers on Srouji’s team had no background in wireless technology, said people who worked on the project.

Apple, which had been poaching engineering talent from Qualcomm for years, stepped up those efforts in March 2019. The company announced a new engineering hub in San Diego, Qualcomm’s hometown, and planned to add around 1,200 local jobs. That summer, Apple announced the acquisition of Intel’s wireless team and a portfolio of wireless patents.

Srouji flew to Munich to greet Apple’s newly acquired Intel wireless employees in December 2019. He told a gathering that the modem-chip project would be a game changer for Apple, the next step in the company’s evolution, said people who watched the meeting. He said the chip would distinguish Apple devices, as Apple’s processors had done.

As Apple filled the project’s ranks with Intel engineers and others hired from Qualcomm, company executives set a goal to have the modem chip ready for fall 2023. It soon became apparent to many of the wireless experts on the project that meeting the goal was impossible.

Apple found that employing the brute force of thousands of engineers, a strategy successful for designing the computer brain of its smartphones and laptops, wasn’t enough to quickly produce a superior modem chip.

Tall order

Modem chips are trickier to make than processing chips because they must work seamlessly with 5G wireless networks, as well as the 2G, 3G and 4G networks used in countries around the world, each with its own technological quirks. Apple microprocessors run software programs designed solely for its iPhones and laptops.

Apple executives who didn’t have experience with wireless chips set tight timelines that weren’t realistic, former project engineers said. Teams had to build prototype versions of the chips and certify they would work with the many wireless carriers worldwide, a time-consuming job.

Executives better understood the challenge after Apple tested its prototypes late last year. The results weren’t good, according to people familiar with the tests. The chips were essentially three years behind Qualcomm’s best modem chip. Using them threatened to make iPhone wireless speeds slower than its competitors.

The company scratched plans to use the chips in Apple’s 2023 models, and the planned rollout was moved to 2024. Eventually, Apple executives realized the company wouldn’t meet that goal either. Apple instead opened negotiations with Qualcomm to continue supplying the modem chips. Apple’s licensing deal with Qualcomm expires in April 2025, though it can be extended for another two years.

Apple has the cash and the desire to keep pursuing its modem chip, according to people involved with the project.

“Apple isn’t going to give up,” said Edward Snyder, a managing director of Charter Equity Research and a wireless industry expert. “They hate Qualcomm’s living guts.”

Write to Aaron Tilley at aaron.tilley@wsj.com and Yang Jie at jie.yang@wsj.com

Copyright © 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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From: Jon Koplik9/28/2023 1:45:41 AM
1 Recommendation   of 32570
 
WSJ / full text / iPhone 15 Pro Owners Complain About Overheating Problems ...................

WSJ

TECHNOLOGY
PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY

Sept. 27, 2023

iPhone 15 Pro Owners Complain About Overheating Problems

The issue could threaten Apple’s premium phones, a cash cow essential to its growth and profits

By Aaron Tilley, Joanna Stern, and Yang Jie

The new iPhone 15 Pro may be too hot for some to handle. Literally.

Apple’s priciest new iPhones are heating up in some scenarios, reaching high temperatures that make them difficult to touch at certain times, according to reviews, tests by The Wall Street Journal and social-media posts from buyers in China, the U.S. and Canada. Some iPhone 14 Pro owners have noticed similar hot temperatures over the past year.

The high temperatures in Apple’s newest 15 Pro models -- ­typically when charging and using intensive apps -- ­are prompting concerns that the company might need to address overheating in software updates that could impact performance. Premium iPhones have long been a critical cash cow for Apple as smartphone demand has slumped globally. The company is hoping the iPhone 15, especially its Pro models, will return its business to growth.

Thomas Galvin, a 23-year-old from Cleveland, says his iPhone 15 Pro Max has been “super hot” and that he is considering returning it. Apple customer support told him the heat was a result of setting up the new phone, but even a few days later, it is still “way worse than the iPhone 13 Pro Max,” he said.

Apple declined to comment on the reports.

Other users on X (formerly known as Twitter) and Reddit have had similar complaints about the heat, with some mentioning that the phone had become so warm it is difficult to hold.

The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern noted in her review last week that the iPhone 15 Pro Max hit 106 degrees Fahrenheit while charging. In further testing, the phone reached temperatures up to 112 degrees when simultaneously charging and doing processor-intensive tasks, such as gaming.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max hit similar temperatures in the same test. During typical everyday usage­ -- texting, emailing, scrolling through Instagram -- ­the temperatures have been in the normal range for both of our test phones.

Titanium troubles?

Ming-Chi Kuo, an influential Apple analyst at TF International Securities who follows the company’s supply chain, attributed the heat issues to the iPhone 15 Pro’s new lightweight design, which might not dissipate heat as well as past models. The new titanium frame found in just the Pro models is also likely an issue, Kuo said. Titanium is a poor conductor of heat, making it difficult to get heat out of the phone.

In a test of an iPhone 15 Pro Max by Chinese tech information platform DGtle, downloading the hit mobile game “Genshin Impact” on a 5G network caused the phone to heat up to around 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Playing the game in high-resolution mode for about 15 minutes kept the phone at a similar temperature.

On another popular Chinese social-media platform, a user identified as Zengzeng complained that her new iPhone 15 Pro frequently overheated. She said she was trying to charge the device while sending text and voice messages, which normally doesn’t put too much stress on a phone’s processor, but got a “charge on hold” warning because the phone was overheating.

The trade-off between weight and heat dissipation has long been a challenge for Apple. The company is considering using a new material for the phone’s printed circuit board next year, making it thinner and better at dissipating heat, according to people familiar with Apple’s supply plans.

In certain regions, including China, Apple includes a physical SIM card slot in its iPhones because of regulatory requirements and user habits. Adding a slot to the phone’s already-cramped interior creates additional challenges for heat dissipation, said people familiar with the iPhone’s design. This design isn’t new and hasn’t proved to be a problem in previous years, but it might contribute to the overheating problem, along with other factors such as the use of titanium, the people said.

‘The Icarus theory’

Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, a popular iPhone repair website, also said that one potential reason for the hot iPhones is that the new titanium case design has less mass to absorb the heat.

“It’s the Icarus theory,” he added. “Apple flew too close to the sun, and the wings started melting off.”

September is usually a season when users discover challenges with new iPhones or the software that runs them. Last year, for example, some iPhone 14 owners set off Apple’s car-crash detection while on roller coasters. The company later released software updates to improve the feature.

Apple is facing a slowing smartphone market, making any problems with its latest models an issue for the company. Global smartphone shipments are expected to decline 6% annually to 1.15 billion devices by the end of this year, the lowest smartphone shipment figure in a decade, according to Counterpoint Research.

iPhone sales declined 2.4% to $39.7 billion in the company’s most recent earnings report for the quarter ended July 1, missing analysts’ expectations. The iPhone still takes up around half of Apple’s total sales.

Many of the social media postings indicate that problems mostly exist in the Pros versions of the latest iPhone. The more expensive Pro models are especially important to Apple, as it keeps sales moving upward even if the company is shipping less phone volumes.

Kuo said that Apple could address this heat issue with software updates, but improvements might be limited if Apple doesn’t lower the chip’s performance.

“If Apple does not properly address this issue, it could negatively impact shipments over the product life cycle of the iPhone 15 Pro series,” Kuo said.

Write to Joanna Stern at joanna.stern@wsj.com, Aaron Tilley at aaron.tilley@wsj.com and Yang Jie at jie.yang@wsj.com

Copyright © 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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To: Jon Koplik who wrote (32536)10/31/2023 5:28:20 AM
From: zax
2 Recommendations   of 32570
 
The Patent Fight That Could Take Apple Watches Off the Market

nytimes.com

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To: zax who wrote (32537)10/31/2023 6:17:13 PM
From: Jon Koplik
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easier URL for that NYT piece : archive.ph

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From: zax11/20/2023 11:10:26 AM
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From: Jon Koplik12/12/2023 11:28:13 AM
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Bloomberg / Google’s Epic legal defeat threatens $200 billion app store industry .....................

Bloomberg

December 12, 2023

Google’s Epic Legal Defeat Threatens $200 Billion App Store Industry

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Jury decision poised to accelerate crumbling of business model

Case takes aim at app store commissions of up to 30%

Google Loses App Store Antitrust Fight With Fortnite Maker Epic Games

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By Mark Gurman and Davey Alba

Google’s legal defeat at the hands of Fortnite maker Epic Games Inc. threatens to roil an app store duopoly with Apple Inc. that generates close to $200 billion a year and dictates how billions of consumers use mobile devices.

The loss -- handed down by a San Francisco jury on Monday -- is a blow to the two companies’ business model in apps, where they charge commissions of as much as 30% to software developers who typically have few other options. Google shares were down less than 1% in New York Tuesday morning at $132.62.

Epic has spent years railing against the practice and got a federal jury to agree that Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit had acted unfairly as a monopoly. The case is likely to accelerate the weakening of app store rules, which have already come under fire from regulators and lawmakers around the world.

“The dominoes are going to start falling here,” Tim Sweeney, chief executive officer of Epic, said in an interview after the verdict. “The end of 30% is in sight.”

Though Apple won a similar case against Epic in 2021, that ruling was made by a single judge. The nature of the Google suit -- where a jury sided unanimously with Epic -- let actual consumers weigh in on the world of smartphone apps. In under four hours of deliberations, they found that Google had engaged in anti-competitive conduct, harmed Epic and illegally forced its own billing system on developers.

There were other significant differences between the Apple and Google trials. During the current case, Epic highlighted agreements Google reached with top game developers, including Activision Blizzard Inc. and Nintendo Co., for smaller fees.

“Revenue sharing deals among Google, smartphone makers and game developers came to light during the trial,” Justin Patterson and other analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets wrote in a note to clients. “We believe this was a key difference between the cases that contributed to Apple’s victory and Google’s loss.”

In Apple’s App Store, the same 30% take rate was applied evenly, while Google was attempting to steer traffic away from rival app stores on Android, analysts at Jefferies wrote in a note. “Meanwhile, Apple simply does not allow any rival app stores whatsoever.”

The battle began in 2020, when Fortnite was kicked off the Apple and Google Play app stores because the game developer installed its own payment system. The idea was to bypass the up-to-30% revenue share that the two tech giants take from in-app purchases and subscriptions on their platforms. In response, Epic sued both companies.

Google also has drawn criticism for making side deals with big developers like Spotify Technology SA where it offers lower commissions. In Monday’s decision, the jury found that Google shouldn’t require Android app developers to use its billing system for software sold through its store ­ and that it shouldn’t offer custom agreements to certain developers.

“The immediate aftereffect is we will see a shift in the marketplace where big tech companies will have to make accommodations -- whether it is more access, better terms, more options for developers -- to stave off legal exposure,” said Paul Swanson, a partner at Holland & Hart who specializes in technology and antitrust law.

The case also underscores a sentiment among many consumers that major technology companies have gained too much power. Google also faced scrutiny from a Justice Department judge this fall over its power in search, though the outcome of that trial won’t be clear for months.

Epic’s Sweeney predicted that -- as Google starts making changes to its operations and public pressure mounts -- its app store peer will be forced to act as well. “The same thing will start happening with Apple,” he said.

And that will ultimately help consumers, Sweeney said. “The economics is real,” he said. “When you remove a 30% tax from an ecosystem, consumer prices will get better. Or quality will get better and selection will increase.”

There’s a fortune at stake for both Apple and Google. In-app spending is forecast to reach $182 billion next year and $207 billion in 2025, according to research firm Sensor Tower. Google will get about $10.3 billion in revenue from app sales and in-app purchases from the Play Store in 2023, according to analysts at Wells Fargo. For every 5 points that the Play Store fee rate decreases, Google loses about $1.3 billion in operating income or 9 cents of earnings per share, the analysts wrote.

Already, the Digital Markets Act in the European Union will spur changes. For the first time, Apple will need to allow third-party app stores and billing systems in the region. A ruling against Apple or requirements imposed by the EU’s DMA “represent more meaningful potential changes for the industry,” than the Google ruling alone, the KeyBanc analysts said.

Even before the DMA takes effect next year, the two companies have been making adjustments. Apple now lets so-called reader apps -- such as software for cloud storage, watching video and reading books -- link to outside websites to let users pay. That bypasses Apple’s revenue cut.

Both Apple and Google also have changed their policies to take a commission on subscription apps. And Apple has been forced to let dating apps in the Netherlands bypass its billing system.

Apple’s and Google’s aren’t even the only app stores that Sweeney has targeted. He has used Fortnite’s popularity to take aim at Valve Corp.’s Steam, the dominant video game marketplace, which also takes a 30% cut of sales. In 2018, Epic launched its own game store, offering exclusives to draw in audiences. Five years later, Epic’s game store isn’t profitable, according to Steve Allison, who runs the store, and Steam remains the market leader for video game apps. Valve is facing its own antitrust lawsuit from game developers angry about the 30% revenue split.

“In the long run, the cat’s out of the bag,” said Joost Van Dreunen, an entrepreneur and lecturer at NYU Stern School of Business who has expertise in video games. “The unanimous verdict from a jury -- which took only a short term to decide -- has the potential to cascade across other ecosystems considering how blatantly Google sought to optimize its interests.”

The Epic win against Google has the potential to bring major changes to the companies’ home country. That includes shifting internet software back to a more open environment, rather than the app stores’ closed ecosystems, according to Stanford Law professor Mark Lemley.

“The last two decades have seen a profound shift away from the open internet towards walled gardens,” Lemley said. “That is one of the things that has kept the internet market so concentrated. This verdict just knocked a big hole in the garden wall.”

Though Apple won nine out of 10 counts against Epic when that decision was made in 2021, one issue is still up in the air: whether Apple should let all third-party developers point customers to websites to pay for purchases, bypassing Apple’s fees. It may now be harder for the iPhone maker to avoid that fate.

Google, which plans to appeal its verdict, said it “will continue to defend the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners and the broader Android ecosystem.” Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Apple has said it doesn’t have any side deals with developers, though it offers discounted rates to some video streaming partners like Amazon.com Inc. During the trial, Epic’s lawyers said Google also didn’t properly retain some internal records relevant to the case.

“I don’t think there’s much of a debate that the monopoly finding with Google holds true with Apple too,” said Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, a trade association for digital content companies. “The distinction that will be pored over is whether or not Apple abused that.”

-- With assistance from Leah Nylen, Malathi Nayak, Subrat Patnaik, and Cecilia D'Anastasio

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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