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OPLIN 4Cast #622: Is the Apple app store a monopoly?

Posted in 4cast, and Apple

Since the first Macintosh came out and revolutionized how we interact with our computers, there has been this truism: if you want the Apple software experience, you have to buy Apple hardware. Nearly 44% of US smartphone sales are iPhones, a statistic that is poised to rise as 82% of teens are iPhone users, and even more say their next device will be an iPhone. Apple invented the App Store, and with it, the modern app marketplace. If you have an iPhone (or any iOS device) the only way to install apps is through the App Store; all those apps must use Apple’s purchase APIs for all digital transactions — and Apple takes a 30% cut of all sales. (This is why you can’t buy a Kindle book or Audible audiobook within those apps on your iPhone.) A class action lawsuit by an Apple customer and three other plaintiffs alleges this is a monopoly allowing Apple to overcharge, and this week, they defended their case before the Supreme Court.

What? You’re not fascinated by legal hair-splitting? You don’t care what bearing a 40-year-old decision about brick manufacturing may have on how you buy extra Poké Balls or Lures in Pokémon GO? Then check out a couple other news items linked below about how to get money back from the Apple App store, or what perils you might face from an app store without Apple’s strict controls.

From the Ohio Web Library: