Supreme Court greenlights Apple customers' lawsuit over App Store price-fixing

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/13/scotus-gmafb.html

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I got rid of that POS iphone, never going back.

Not sent from an iphone!

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I have had iPhones since the 3gs. And have been genuinely happy for the most part. But while traveling with my gf last winter. My 8+ felt very dated next to her huawei pro 20 both hardware and software-wise. I lost count the number of times she did something and then I had to explain I couldn’t do the same because, Apple. it got old, then a private meme, then old, then just sad. By then end of the trip I was in the huawei store feeling my CC burning in my pocket. I ended up resisting since I had already spent a lot on traveling. But the magic sparkle feeling iPhones used to give me is gone. It’s just a matter of time before I switch to android. I think my biggest concern is not the price of a phone but rather dealing with photos.

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My Dear Wife had a complete melt down while she was on a business trip, the iPhone just had multiple debilitating issues. When she returned we went with galaxy 9’s from T-mobile. They gave us $200 each for our 5s iPhones and we paid a balance of $275.00 each for the galaxies. I have zero regrets on the purchase, she still wants to iPhone face-time with the Gals, so she gripes about that, no much else.

Oh yeah, and they cut our monthly bill to $70.00 for both lines and unlimited everything.

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Yes, at some point they stopped innovating while androids competing with other androids kept pushing the envelope. Now there are android smart phones at a wide range of price points that all deliver a great experience. I never bought an iPhone for the name or some status bs. I bought it because it was a well designed piece of software and hardware.

Now they keep taking away features to make integration suck with non-apple systems. For example on the trip, I needed to get photos from my laptop to my phone. This was in a remote location with little to no network. I tried transfers with cables and tried Bluetooth (which they quietly took away recently).

I guess the idea was for me to say, geee sure is hard these days to use an iPhone with a PC laptoptop, let me go out and buy a mac book. But instead I said fuck this, and my next smart phone wont have an apple on it.

Btw, the pc laptop was a replacement for a 2009 MBP that had all the ports I needed and a great keyboard. My new laptop has a great keyboard (fuck you butterfly switch) and all the ports I need (fuck you dongles) and my laptop is thin and light while still giving me the features I wanted ANNNND for less money.

ETA: There are plenty of video chat options that don’t depend on a particular phone brand. I was never very happy with FT actually. These days I chat with WhatsApp. I appreciate being able to still send messages in chat while on video and the connection is great for international video chats. Of course WhatsApp got slurped by FB soooo I will be switching to something else but I don’t know what yet. But options exists. is the point.

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I’d just like to point out that the two reasons given are reasons we shouldn’t be surprised by a 9-0 decision. They are also reasons we should be appalled by a 5-4 decision. What was the dissenting argument? “Apple has a lot of money, so they must be right?”

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I find it funny that Repubs are targeting Apple but, not Google. Google controls 90% of it’s market and virtually has no competitors.

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The dissent looks complicated. But Brick doesn’t seem analogous to the purchasing structure in place in the App Store.

It’s also weird to see Kavanaugh writing the opinion for the liberal justices.

Folks like to rail against Apple’s “walled garden” approach to maintaining a single entry point for apps, but it’s prevented the sort of virus-ridden buggy crap I see riddling my Android-using family’s phones. There’s a solid benefit to maintaining a walled garden when it comes to software that I am happy to buy into.

That said, if this lawsuit’s outcome is to make the App Store a marketplace for indie developers without paying such a high premium, I’m all for it.

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This isn’t “repubs,” it’s a class action suit – customers of Apple, suing the company.

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How do I know this isn’t some conspiracy launched by repubs? I kinda remember them saying after they scammed their way into having a majority on the USSC, “we’re the majority now”. I’m an Apple customer and other than the battery fiasco, I’m fine with what Apple does, atleast they try to care about their customers privacy. I also remember Republicans literally creating the “Tea Party” to social engineer their base into trying to expand corporations rights and their ability to further avoid paying taxes as a ruse to “get big government out of my life”. When you look at the special interest groups that financed that charade, it doesn’t create doubt in my mind that they’re capable of using the legal system to further drive their political asperations. To what end you might ask? I don’t know yet.

I would not be at all surprised if there was a certain amount of “jeez those tech companies are too liberal, we gotta take them down a peg” in Kavanaugh’s decision – but if I believe this is generally the right decision, I shouldn’t be changing my mind just because some asshole also thinks it’s the right decision.

The only question in my mind is – is there a specific, immediate hazard that gets created if this specific power is taken away from Apple, and nothing else changes? The obvious one to me is, if Apple’s prevented from monopolizing the app store, they lose the power to prevent people from installing apps which they don’t like. If you’re looking for some worst case white supremacist scenario, suppose, that would be like now you can go to a third-party app store and download KlanFinder or something like that. This is basically the situation with Android already, so it’s not clear to me that this like… terrible. Inasmuch as I agree with Apple’s censorship, this is bad, but I already don’t agree 100% with Apple’s system and censorship. There are positives here too – there are apps I’d love to get/distribute which won’t appear in the app store for structural reasons (mainly small open source projects).

IMO the thing keeping Big Tech honest at the moment is not the values of the leadership, it’s the values of the workers. Breaking up big companies is not going to change that landscape, and I actually think overall the effect of reducing that concentration of power will be generally positive because it reduces the risk that in a few years, when there’s leadership turnover, that concentrated power gets turned to an alarming end.

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Take that Tim Apple

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To my mind, the big hazard is simply their reputation. A lot of folks are drawn to the iPhone/iPad because it’s ‘safe’. It’s never had a major virus issue, the products aren’t known to be crash-prone, etc. Apple’s vetting process and the single-entry-point of the App Store does a good job of preventing people from being stupid with their phones, really. If the result of this lawsuit is that sideloading and alternate app stores are allowed, I predict a whole lot of people being upset when their fancy new iPhone starts sending malware to their friends, “and all I did was put a bunch of Huawei emojis on it!”

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I own android devices, however my day to day drivers are my Apple ones. I have never had problems sideloading my apps…have to have a Mac with Xcode, but it is possible.

The worst part of all of this is that the companies that ARE doing sideloading or finding ways around the rules Apple puts forward are the ones that don’t give a single fuck about privacy. Facebook gets a certificate that is only supposed to be for internal testing of apps…decides that they will give preteens $5 a month to let them see everything they do and to funnel all their messages and photos into FB’s databases. VPN companies that are supposed to keep kids from playing videogames more than X amount of hours…all seeming to slurp all the photos from the kids phones and send them so some eastern european country?

There are always ways around the security…and I for one pay the Apple Tax because I want it harder to do this.

From a quick glance it seems the argument was basically that the plaintiffs weren’t entitled to sue because they weren’t the people Apple was directly using their monopoly against.

On that theory, the app developers could sue Apple because Apple demands an allegedly monopoly abusing 30% commission from them but the end consumer can’t because they are too far removed from the alleged abuse.

They sort of deal with the argument that consumers are in fact buying from Apple by arguing that the majority’s ruling just means that Apple would need to change their processes so that money goes direct to the developers who then have to pay Apple and suddenly no monopoly problem. They say that can’t be right either.

Even though that’s exactly what they say is happening and is the right answer.

I find Gorsuch’s opinions extremely difficult to read. He tries to present a folksy tone but uses it to waffle on and hide declarative statements rather than legal argument.

Don’t be too envious of Huawei users:

(https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/3/18293706/huawei-matebook-pcmanager-bug-nsa-microsoft-defender-vulnerability-malware%20%20%20%20%20%20https://thehackernews.com/2018/03/android-botnet-malware.html)

[https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/3/18293706/huawei-matebook-pcmanager-bug-nsa-microsoft-defender-vulnerability-malware https://thehackernews.com/2018/03/android-botnet-malware.html]

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It’s a “cosmetic” for when he starts siding with obvious crooks and against pro-choice. His “look how fair I can be” ploy will also give leverage to conservatives when he starts showing his true colors.

Yes, at the time, I heard the rumors of “something” but never any details. But this article seems to state there is now more than rumor. Welp China has probably already had their fill of me then. :joy::face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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