Yesterday’s Senate Judiciary hearing on antitrust and app stores turned into largely a referendum on Apple. In a rare show of bipartisan cooperation, Protocol’s Issie Lapowsky writes, senators on the antitrust subcommittee gave representatives from Match, Tile and Spotify ample space to air their grievances against Apple. […]
Apple was left to do most of the explaining. And Kyle Andeer, its chief compliance officer, struggled: He couldn’t refute Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s questions about the App Store’s huge profit margins, or explain the difference between using an iPhone to get an Uber (which Apple doesn’t charge a commission for) and using it to get a Tinder date (which it does).
By any account, Apple came out of this one looking really bad. I think sending in the chief compliance officer was probably a mistake, but also just Apple’s history of being very 90’s Microsoft hasn’t done it any favors.
Apple could save itself a lot of grief by cutting App Store fees, loosening a few of their draconian App Store rules, and being the company developers love to work with again.
Apple may think their services, like Apple Music, are the best, but they need to be very gracious and humble when a user says they want to sign up for Spotify. Instead of making the sign up painful for both user and developer, go the extra mile and make that sign up process great: charge a 2% fee, let the developer ask for a credit card number directly, and allow the user to set the new app as the default.
And then smile knowing you’ve still got the iMessage lock-in.