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I prefer free markets where the better product wins. The App Store is a fixed market created within a somewhat free market system. I don’t object to them rejecting apps for content (although they are heavy-handed with this practice). Rejecting apps for anti-competitive motives will put them under federal scrutiny. Several prominent politicians are already pointing this out. It’s only a matter of time until this hits the courts. Taxpayers must pay to sort all of this out. Apple isn’t just robbing Spotify. They’re robbing the American people. When this goes to trial, it will go on for years, at the tax payers’ expense.
It’s fine if Apple claims “this is our App Store, play by our rules”. We have no alternative to the App Store, other than completely switching platforms. I can’t recall any consumer-oriented OS in history that forced users to buy apps from one App Store. This is a monopoly and they are abusing it.
Apple Should Focus on Creating New, Breakthrough Devices
Apple can afford to tie this up in court for years. Spotify can’t. An extended legal battle with Apple will be the end of Spotify. This isn’t good for consumers or taxpayers.
It’s quite a contrast. Spotify provides a music service that people love. Anyone can use their free service. It’s a public good. Apple, however, can’t create a better product, so they leverage their App Store hegemony to squeeze Spotify like a hungry python. Yes, the stock holders need more profits. How about creating a new device that people will actually buy? Not a lame smart watch. Not a weak “me too” TV appliance. They need to stop fiddling with the size of tablets and smartphones and make something that people will buy!
Right now, consumer confidence has improved greatly since the first iPhone launched on the brink of the “Great Recession”. Consumers have money, but they’ll only spend it on something worthwhile, not various sizes of iPhones and iPads. Apple needs a new, breakthrough device. That’s what they are (or were) good at. Instead, they flex their monopolistic muscle to push an inferior music subscription service.
Apple’s last, great original product was the iPhone. That was a decade ago. It would seem, without the vision of Steve Jobs, Apple is doomed. The generosity of their ecosystem is already drying up. It’s time for Apple to leverage synergies and stick it to their captive customers. Eliminating competing third-party apps, such as Spotify, is part of this strategy. They own the railroads, now it’s time to bleed the farmers and take their land. This is exactly why we have antitrust laws.
I tried Apple Music and found it to be horribly buggy on every one of my devices. Spotify is a better product. It has more users. Its user base has increased even more after Apple Music launched, as they added over 10 million new paying users. Instead of competing on merit, Apple is leveraging their hegemony in an attempt to put the best and most popular music streaming service out of business. I may very well move away from Apple products if they succeed. I can’t support a robber baron, monopolistic company.