How Apple's Monopoly Destroys Competition, A Monumental Shift In Tech Industry
Apple, the giant tech company, is a monopoly, and it shows. This article will explore how Apple is abusing its power and how legislators sit, wait, and don't react. I will also include a story about a popular weather app that no longer works on Android smartphones since Apple's acquisition.
Big tech companies today should be considered as natural monopolies, and we should heavily regulate them. Natural Monopoly is when something is needed for society to function correctly but is extremely expensive, so there are no other competitors. The first thing that should pop into your mind when you hear natural monopoly are public roads, water, electricity. In the 21st century, we should also consider internet providers, and it's infrastructure as a natural monopoly since the internet is needed for the better of society.
Apple, and some other big tech companies, are not just monopolies, they're natural monopolies. Especially in Apple's ecosystem, there's no other provider needed or allowed. Apple's ecosystem of devices serves music, movies, apps, games, news, and many more, without any competition. Their App Store is the only place where iPhone user can download apps, so no Spotify isn't a competitor to Apple Music and here is why.
Why Spotify Isn't Apple Music's Real Competitor
So I'm just going to give you some simple questions that I'm almost sure you can answer quickly. What is preinstalled on Apple's iPhone Spotify or Apple Music? From how many sources can you download Spotify on Apple's iPhone? Which company, Apple or Spotify, has more money to invest in future development?
I hope you could answer the questions above. Here are my explained answers. The preinstalled app is, of course, Apple Music. Having a preinstalled advantage is extremely important since what's a default matters. Average users don't care about choice, and if the default works, they won't look for alternative. If you want to download Spotify, you first need to know it exists; then, you need to go to Apple's App Store, search for it, and download it. It takes some extra time to create a Spotify account while Apple Music works with Apple ID automatically.
On the iPhone, you can download Spotify from only one source, Apple's App Store. With this one sentence, I've proved that Apple is a clear monopoly. If Spotify isn't available on the App Store, it's not available for almost half of the Americans since iPhone has 46% market share in the USA.
When it comes to money, Apple has a lot of it, so why does this matter? How can more money help? Well, the first thing that comes to mind is better developed and more exclusive deals for Apple Music. All of that is true, but we're missing the point. Apple could decide to undercut Spotify by reducing prices and paying from their pocket to destroy competitors. Apple has enough money to run this game for years, while Spotify would go out of business by losing customers or label deals.
Apple Music also has the advantage of being developed by Apple, so it's UI and features can be better executed, and there are no limitations to what Apple can implement. On the other hand, Spotify has to follow Apple's strict App Store policy.
Spotify is just one example where Apple is abusing its monopolistic power. More recently, Epic, Fortnite developer, put in a class lawsuit against Apple and their anti-competitive behavior. The story continues with Apple disabling Epic's developer tools, meaning players won't be able to access the game on the iPhones. This is the kind of power that is so frightening to me.
Dark Sky, The Weather App, Revived
Dark Sky, one of the best weather apps, was purchased by Apple in 2020. Since it's acquisition Android app no longer works. I've included this part to brighten up this awful story because XDA developers reported about an alternative app called Darker Sky with the same UI and set of features. I've tested the modified app, and it's the same as the original Dark Sky, with a few missing features.
Here's the comment from the XDA developers. “Darker Sky was made by a prolific developer and reverse engineer who wishes to remain anonymous since this modification was done on shaky grounds. The developer in question is well-known by us for their work on reverse engineering other popular applications, but they decided a low-profile release was more appropriate this time around.”
You can now subscribe to Darker Sky's Telegram channel to download and install Darker Sky on your Android device. I believe that all future news and updates will be available on that channel. This gives us just a glimpse of hope for the dark future that is ahead of us.
Apple Isn't The Only One
I believe that Apple isn't the only example of abusing monopolistic powers in the tech industry. Apple's customers do get an extremely polished product, even I used some Apple products in the past. There are many different issues to tackle when it comes to monopolistic power in the tech industry. There's Google, Amazon, Facebook. I would recommend reading my article Four Horseman Of The Big Tech. We need to understand that even Spotify and Epic are big corporations and I'm not sure if their stand is really for the benefit of the customer.
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