According to Apple’s Tim Cook, the iPhone’s threat profile justifies the App Store rules

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Apple CEO Tim Cook testifies by videoconference during a US Justice Committee hearing on “Online Platforms and Market Power” as commi in this screenshot from the video

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By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook told a court on Friday that threats to iPhone security and privacy require tight controls on the App Store. According to Epic Games, the “Fortnite” game maker, it is a monopoly that Apple (NASDAQ 🙂 is illegally abusing.

The testimony represents Cook’s largest public statement on the App Store, which anchors Apple’s $ 53.8 billion service business at a time when the company that once urged the world to “think differently” than criticized too big and too powerful.

Epic has run a public relations and legal campaign that parodies Apple’s iconic “1984” commercial, arguing that it is acting anti-competitive by only allowing approved apps on the world’s 1 billion iPhones and forcing developers to abandon the in-app payment system from Use Apple that charges sales commissions of up to 30%. See FACTBOX:

The cook interviewed said he had greater concerns about the phone than Mac computers. “They have a phone in their pocket most of the time and want immediate service. We felt that both the use cases and the threat profile could grow a lot with the number of iPhones out there.”

Cook said that an Apple document created in the trial version that has a 78% profit margin for the App Store was not responsible for multiple costs and was meant to point out trends, not a real bottom line.

Epic has argued that the Mac is very secure without Apple’s App Store review and that most of the privacy and security benefits come from the operating system, not the App Store rules.

The makers of “Fortnite”, in which the players compete in an animated “Battle Royale” fight against the last survivor, is led by CEO Tim Sweeney, who took the public opportunity to compete with Apple.

Sweeney started the trial two weeks ago as the first Epic witness and used his time at the booth to argue that “Fortnite” has become a place for gamers to congregate in a virtual world he “Metaverse” calls, and that Apple is wrongly calling for an oversized profit cut for the provision of simple payment processing technology.

On Friday, Sweeney, who had attended every day of the trial as a company representative for Epic, heard Cook’s testimony and looked at a rubber band that he stretched and twisted between his fingers as he took notes.

Antitrust litigation in federal court in Oakland, California comes after Apple is criticized by app makers like music service Spotify (NYSE 🙂 Technology, European regulators, and US politicians, including that the $ 2 trillion company tries to suppress the small competition.

In the past, Cook asked a handful of questions about the App Store when he testified before US lawmakers last year. However, he was largely silent when lawmakers grilled the bosses of Alphabet (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc, Google and Google Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ :).

Apple tried to convince Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (NYSE 🙂 that the rules for developers are aimed at keeping its customers’ information private and safe from malware. Cook said Friday that developer fees were necessary to support the App Store.

In the United States, lawmakers like Senator Amy Klobuchar considering new antitrust laws are likely to comb through the records made in the Epic case.

“This case has always been part of a larger narrative and not something that will determine the problem for itself,” said John Bergmayer, legal director of the consumer protection group Public Knowledge.

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