Happy Vision Pro pre-order day, at least it is if you live in 🇺🇸!

I'd like nothing more than to write more about visionOS today, but there was some more significant news announced earlier this week. Apple's announcement of court-mandated changes to the rules allowing links to external sites with alternative purchase methods.

I won't cover the details here, as I'm sure you've already seen them. If not, Michael Tsai, as always, has an excellent summary of the announcement and reactions. I will give a couple of thoughts, though.

Apple has been clear about how it sees this issue for several years. I remember Tim Cook mentioning the difficulty of collecting a 27% fee outside the App Store purchase process when he was in court during the Epic trial in 2021, then again when courts in the Netherlands ruled on dating apps in 2022, so there's no excuse for being surprised. Of course, it's a much bigger deal now the additional guideline applies in the US.

My view remains the same as I have written many times before. You can read my thoughts the last time this issue came up in Issue 544's comment, and I'll even quote my conclusion from that issue:

I've said this before too, but I would support a bigger rethink of how the App Store works. A shake-up that focuses on downloads and usage more than taking a percentage cut of financial transactions. One that makes sure that the largest companies in the world, who get massive value from the platform, pay something instead of nothing. I don't know what that model looks like, but I can only really see changes of that magnitude putting an end to this current situation.

I would write the same today.

I know nothing and am glad I don’t have to fix these problems. However, it seems like my prediction that making the smallest possible concession after every judgment will only make things worse is coming true. Every move brings so much negative attention and additional scrutiny. So, I’ll close this comment the same way I closed my comment in Issue 544:

As it is, this is going to go on and on, and the inevitable result is a mess.

Dave Verwer  




And finally...