The US Supreme Court ruled last week that the antitrust lawsuit against Apple, which claims their App Store constitutes a monopoly, can proceed. Nothing has been decided except that the case can go forward, but the fact that the case is being given a hearing is significant. Apple’s App Store is the only place where developers and business owners can make their apps available to Apple users. This could now change. Let’s talk about what that means.
If the suit is heard and decided against Apple, the App Store will no longer be the exclusive hub for applications on Apple products. This means that the market for other app stores will be opened up. Google would likely take advantage, among others. Furthermore, smaller application markets created by innovative programmers will likely appear. If this is the case, the only practical difference for buyers will be where they get their apps. For sellers and creators, there may be some changes in formatting, in standards, in e-commerce rules, or in any other number of things. As it is, however, things will probably stay largely the same unless some bigger change happens with Apple as a result.
Apple could decide, after the hassle of the lawsuit, given a losing decision, to remove the issue entirely. The use of applications and the App Store was a conscious decision on the part of Apple and is by no means endemic to the business of smartphones as a rule. Apple could eliminate the option of using applications altogether, and simply make the iPhones more feature-heavy out of the box, and make web accessibility more geared toward the downloadable app-like interface. This option seems less likely. Apps are a part of the culture of smartphones, and Apple would lose out on a large portion of fence sitters and new converts. Applications are likely here to stay, Apple likely knows that, so no matter what happens they’ll probably still have an app store, and definitely still will make apps a part of having an Apple product.
The only certain thing that a ruling against Apple will mean would be an open market place. The justification of the case is that Apple’s App Store represents a monopoly, meaning that competition surrounding forums for the sale of apps is non-existent for Apple. While this may be true, the justification for this claim seems a bit shaky. Regardless, the final result of a ruling against Apple would likely be more forums like the App Store popping up, and Apple competing for users loyalty to their own. They would likely retain a large base of customers based solely on familiarity, and brand loyalty, but the final word is that such a change would not change much practically for business owners, coders, and consumers.
Keeping track of changes like those possible given the decision for the Apple case to move forward could be essential to your business. Always stay tuned on our blog for the latest updates on important tech news. When something does change, and you need to adapt, contact us. We can help with any aspect of your online business strategy. Whether it be design and functionality, or SEO and marketing, we’ve got you covered.
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