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Apple refutes Microsoft monopoly comparison | TechCrunch


a week later Apple finds itself locked in a landmark DOJ lawsuit but vehemently denies any similarities between it and Microsoft in the 1990sU.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland leaned heavily into that comparison in a filing last week.

While the U.S. case against Microsoft was partially overturned, the Windows maker was ultimately required to revise certain business practices that the government deemed a monopoly. Garland and the complaint generals in the 16 states involved in Apple’s lawsuit are undoubtedly seeking a solution. It argued that similar results to the restrictive practices amounted to an unfair advantage for the $2.65 trillion company.

“In 1998, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs criticized Microsoft’s monopoly and ‘dirty tactics’ in the operating system field in order to target Apple, prompting the company to ‘file a complaint to the Department of Justice’ in the hope of allowing Microsoft to ‘level the playing field’. The lawsuit points out that this seriously implies hypocrisy on the part of Apple. “But even then, Apple didn’t face the same types of restrictions imposed on third parties today; Apple users could use their iPods on Windows computers, and Microsoft didn’t charge a fee.” charges a 30% fee per song. Likewise, when Apple brought the iPhone to market in 2007, it benefited from competition between component manufacturers and wireless carriers.”

For its part, Apple’s global iPhone numbers are well below the 90%-plus market share that Windows enjoyed before the turn of the century.A lawsuit like this is a rare opportunity to see how a major company brags about rare In fact, with global sales hovering around 20%, it’s hard to argue that the company is dominating the competition the way Microsoft dominated Apple 25 years ago.

It’s true, of course, that the iPhone has performed particularly well in its home market, where it faces less direct competition from the many low-cost phones that dominate India and China (the first and second markets, respectively). However, Apple said the Justice Department’s suggestion that it had “more than 65% share of the total U.S. smartphone market” was misleading because it referred to revenue rather than sales. Of the latter, the company believes it controls less than half of the domestic market.

The difference between these numbers is the unit price. The Justice Department said here that Apple holds 70% of the “performance” smartphone market. Of course, it’s true that Apple’s devices very much fall into the high-end category, and the company controls most of the products in that category. The U.S. Department of Justice may have difficulty proving that it constitutes a monopoly in itself.

That’s why much of the 88-page complaint focuses on Apple’s tight control over the App Store, the Apple Watch’s inability to interact with Android devices, and, of course, the dreaded green bubble. Overall, Plaintiff General, who co-wrote the lawsuit, says this is evidence that the company uses its market position to coerce third parties and generally make life harder for Android developers.

The more interesting aspect of the lawsuit is the claim that such behavior caused Amazon, HTC, LG and Microsoft’s own attempts to compete in the space to fail.

“As a result of these barriers to entry, many well-funded, well-known companies have attempted and failed to successfully enter the relevant markets,” the lawsuit states. Past failures include Amazon, which released a Fire phone in 2014 but was unable to profitably maintain its business) and exit the following year), Microsoft (stopped its mobile business in 2017), HTC (exited the market by selling its smartphone business to Google in September 2017) and LG (exited the smartphone market in 2021 ). “Only Samsung and Google remain meaningful competitors in the U.S. high-performance smartphone market. Although Google controls the development of the Android operating system, the barriers are so high that Google lags far behind Apple and Samsung. “

Apple is essentially scoffing at the idea that this market failure is anyone’s fault but the company behind it. Rivals consulted by the Justice Department in putting together the case may have different views on how directly the iPhone maker played a role in their failure. To gain meaningful market share (each of the above examples are distinct from each other), at least in the case of the Fire Phone, Amazon should point the finger at itself.

As for why companies like Huawei have not challenged Apple on their own turf, the US government should reflect on it.

this Smart watch example Interestingly. Even Cupertino’s well-paid legal team would have a hard time proving that Apple Watch users won’t be held back by iOS exclusivity. However, the company said technical limitations were to blame. Apple says it spent three years trying to create WatchOS/Android compatibility, but ultimately gave up, citing security and privacy concerns.

Likewise, while Apple points to its recent announcement that it will support RCS message On iPhone, the company maintains that the continued presence of the stigmatizing green bubble is necessary to distinguish encryption and compatibility with certain messaging features.

The complaint cites internal emails from Apple executives suggesting that eliminating the green bubble would be bad for business.

Ultimately, Apple believes the lawsuit seeks to effectively Turn iOS into AndroidThe company cited the 2008 Supreme Court case Pacific Bell Corp. v. LinkLine Communications, in which the court ruled unanimously in Pac Bell’s favor, saying the telecom company did not violate antitrust rules and was able to decide which companies it chose to work with. work.

When the company makes its argument, the company may argue that it’s not Apple’s job to support competitors.

“If successful, [the lawsuit] “This will prevent us from creating the kind of technology people expect Apple to deliver – technology at the intersection of hardware, software and services,” the company said in a statement shortly after it filed its application last week. stated in a statement issued shortly afterwards. We believe this lawsuit is wrongful on both facts and law, and we will vigorously defend it.

For more information on Apple’s antitrust lawsuit, check here:



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