Epic Games’ lawyers had a chance to put Apple’s expert witness through the faster latest from here California bench test.
The advice for Apple called the stand Lorin Hitt, an academic from the prestigious Wharton Business School in Pennsylvania.
Hitt – who was selected as the expert witness for Apple – asked if iOS was as effective at locking in users as previously claimed, citing a 26 percent turnover rate. He also debated whether users remained loyal to a platform because of moving costs, or because they just wanted it.
He proved that Apple’s tight control over monetization and distribution isn’t so difficult as Epic claims that users can, in many cases, get the equivalent experience through a web browser or other platform, with the former Tinder app cited as an example. They have a choice.
But when the advice for Epic was cross-examined, it varied these services that didn’t quite meet the promised experience without friction.
One example, the freemium time-waster Candy Crush, is only available in the browser when using a desktop or laptop computer, and the user is asked to log in to Facebook or King.com.
Hitt’s evidence claims you can buy credit for the free-to-play game Clash Royale through its website. It went wrong. Its developer, Supercell, processes all payments through the App Store and Google Play Store.
Hitt’s testimony pointed to eight games that allow off-iOS payments, but only three actually have: Roblox, PUBG Mobile, and Fortnite. Ironically, it contradicts previous testimony from Apple marketing manager Trystan Kosmynka, who claimed Roblox is not a game, but rather an app. Roblox is, we note, categorized as an action game in the App Store.
Things quickly deteriorated for Hitt, who submitted a spreadsheet of iOS games claiming he could only play on other devices.
A game, Word Stories, said there is an alternative PC. Upon scrutiny, the alternate mentioned has been verified to be from a completely different developer.
“Sir, it’s not the same developer and not the same game, is it? It’s the so -called ‘fake game’,” pressed Yonatan Even, adviser for Epic Games. Hitt blamed the error on his research team, and admitted he didn’t see the PC equivalent first hand.
The legal battle between Epic Games and Apple raises an important question. So, does US and California antitrust law violate the way iOS works? Regardless of which side Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers falls on, the outcome will have dramatic consequences for both companies.
If Epic wins, it could force Apple to rethink how iOS software is purchased and distributed, as well as the business model for the App Store. If it loses, the Fortnite the manufacturer (as well as countless other app developers) will remain subject to the policies of whatever platform it chooses to use.
The question at the heart of this matter has a binary answer – yes or no – yet there is an enormous amount of nuance to consider.
Are web -based alternatives equal to native ones? Will native iOS apps be replaced with those for other platforms? When it comes to gaming, iOS is more like a PC or a games console?
They are, to an extent, dependent. But nonetheless they will play a significant role in determining whether Apple has too much control over its mobile ecosystem and the developer community.
The trial continues. ®
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