Justice Department Files Antitrust Suit Against Apple

I wonder how this will be perceived by the apple loving public? It seems this case has merit.

I don’t know what exactly the DOJ hopes to accomplish. Who, exactly, is being harmed?

Seemingly; the DOJ’s position is that Apple should open up iOS, so that it’s more like Android. But; if one prefers the Android model, why not just buy an Android?

Are the folks who presumably willingly bought into Apple’s walled garden being harmed by the fact the garden is walled? Is that a bug (as seen by the DOJ) or a feature (as seen by Apple)? Are there large numbers of iPhone users desperate to pair a Samsung or Pixel watch with their iPhones?

As for messaging; the whole blue bubble vs. green bubble thing is just silly. The original intent of green bubbles on iPhone was to alert users because the message was SMS, there may be a per message charge from the carrier (not from Apple). When I got my first iPhone in 2007, it was exclusive to AT&T and SMS was 20 cents per message above and beyond monthly service fees. iMessage, bypasses carrier infrastructure, so did not incur charges from the carrier. Does the fact iMessage bypasses carrier infrastructure somehow make it anti-competitive? Anyway; presuming Apple follows through with RCS support (which also bypasses carrier infrastructure), what’s the complaint?

Consumers are being harmed. It’s not as simple as buy an Android. Apple’s app store policies harm developers who can’t offer apps such as cloud gaming. Given the dominance of iPhone in the US market developers aren’t going to spend the resources to create an app that’s going to be Android only.

Apple has said they’ll support RCS but that’s not here yet and impossible to know how they’ll purposefully try to degrade that experience.

To me the DOJ wants the market to be a bit more competitive and make it easier for consumers to switch. Apple makes good products overall and they can handle having to compete just a little bit more and focus less on lock in.

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Is it consumers being harmed or would be developers of cloud gaming apps? Are there examples of cloud gaming or other apps not being developed because of Apple’s market dominance?

Which consumers are being harmed? Those currently using iPhone who as you observe in your original post, seem to be satisfied with Apple’s ecosystem? Those using something other than iPhone? Both? Does the DOJ have evidence there are large numbers of consumers being harmed because they cannot access the types of apps (cloud gaming or otherwise) they would like to?

I don’t ask the above to be argumentative. It’s fine for the DOJ to make broad sweeping statements in filing anti-trust action. In court, they are going to be required to prove specifics. Apple can and will hire the very best lawyers to defend the action. I would point out Apple has not shied away from tangling with the DOJ in the past.

Based on history; RCS support will arrive with iOS 18 in the fall, which would be consistent with Apple’s stated timeline of 2024. It’s unclear to me what Apple might do to intentionally degrade the experience. Apple is working with the GSMA to support RCS Universal Profile. Apple hasn’t done anything to SMS/MMS to purposefully degrade those. SMS/MMS is just old technology whose time has come and gone. Specifically, it’s not Apple who designed SMS/MMS without security in mind. It was the carriers.

Are the current cross-platform messaging issues (essentially non-existent everywhere but the U.S.) a case to be made for Apple degrading SMS/MMS or a case for forcing Apple to bring iMessage to competing platforms? This consumer would be happy if Apple were to choose to bring iMessage to Android.

RCS Universal Profile doesn’t currently support end-to-end encryption. Is that Apple’s responsibility? Or; is it Google’s because it’s Google that’s chosen to implement end-to-end encryption to RCS via proprietary means rather than incorporate it into RCS Universal Profile.

There have been many complaints over time Apple is being anti-competitive because it doesn’t allow alternative messaging apps to access iMessage. As far as I know, there are precisely two messaging apps that work with RCS on Android. For example, I can’t use RCS with Textra. I believe the only two apps with access to RCS on Android are Messages by Google and (because of a unique agreement with Google) Samsung Messages.

Lastly, I expect non-iMessage bubbles to remain green (or some other color that’s not blue). Is that anti-competitive? Is Google’s approach of differentiating between RCS and SMS/MMS using two different shades of blue more competitive?

To switch between what? iOS and Android? Android competes quite effectively worldwide. Is there something unique to the U.S. market making it more difficult for Android to compete here? More to the point, did Apple do something illegal to get there?

Apple currently has around 67% U.S. market share. Historically, that’s nowhere close to meeting the definition of monopoly power. When the DOJ went after Microsoft in the 90s, Windows had roughly 95% of the market. As a consumer, I really have no idea how I benefitted from the DOJ’s litigation against Microsoft and I don’t see how the DOJ’s proposed litigation against Apple benefits consumers either. I guess I’m supposed to have benefitted because I have a choice of web browsers but most use Google Chrome (65% globally). Is that better than most once having used Internet Explorer? It’s not that I believe Apple’s approach to product design is inherently unassailable, however, I don’t see the DOJ doing a better job.

I use both iOS and Android. Each has its strengths and weaknesses but Apple’s choice to pursue vertical integration (a choice the likes of Google and Samsung also make to varying degrees) isn’t, in and of itself, anti-competitive.

I know it’s all the rage these days to go after “big tech”. I think there’s reason to be concerned about “big tech” but as is often the case with government, I don’t think they’re doing so in a thoughtful manner. Government likes simplistic answers like banning TikTok instead of crafting meaningful privacy protection because, of course, TikTok being Chinese owned is bad but Facebook, etc. hoovering up personal data is perfectly fine.


I’m only surprised that it took this long.


Is there any way to sideload an app on an iPhone in the United States? I know they were forced to allow this in EU countries.

Officially, no, however, if willing to jailbreak (iOS equivalent of rooting) it can be done.