Meta CEO Zuckerberg says Apple's walled garden will eventually fall

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,725   +1,176
Staff member
In context: Apple has long kept its walled garden tightly controlled with very few customer complaints. However, the company has faced increased criticism from developers and regulators regarding its gatekeeping. Gradually, lawsuits to force it to allow outside stores to compete and mandates from regulators worldwide have eroded the buttresses of the iOS walled garden. While they have not crumbled, some say the business model is "unsustainable," including Mark Zuckerberg.

On Wednesday, The New York Times hosted its annual DealBook summit. Tech industry professionals and journalists attended to see and hear leaders throughout the sector espouse their opinions on everything from the future of cryptocurrency to mounting pushes for more stringent regulations for some of the more prominent corporations.

A chat with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that he does not think Apple can continue walling off iOS from other app stores that want to compete against it for iPhone customers' business. He believes that isolating apps to only the App Store so that Apple can collect a 30-percent commission from every app and all in-app sales is not "sustainable or good."

"Of the major computing platforms, Apple stands out," the Zuck said. "It is the only one where one company can control what apps get on the device. I don't think it's sustainable or good. [Unlike a government], Apple obviously has [its] own interests [and] the fact that companies have to deliver their apps exclusively from platforms controlled by competitors — there is a conflict of interest there."

He pointed to the recent dustup this week between Apple and Elon Musk as an example of what can happen when a single company has complete control over a platform. Musk alleged that Apple threatened to remove his newly acquired Twitter app from the App Store over content moderation. Musk has since said that it was all a misunderstanding and that the two are again on good terms. However, such was not the case when Epic Games butted heads with the Cupertino powerhouse.

Over two years ago, Epic challenged Apple's closed ecosystem when it circumvented the so-called "Apple Tax" by directing Fortnite players to purchase in-game items for a 30-percent discount from a store outside Apple's control. Apple retaliated by removing Fortnite from the App Store, which sparked a massive antitrust lawsuit.

The courts ultimately settled the case primarily in Apple's favor, but neither party was entirely satisfied with the outcome. Both have filed appeals which continue to rage on in the judicial system. Meanwhile, Fortnite remains banned from the App Store indefinitely, eliminating Epic's revenue stream from the iOS platform.

Twitter's former head of trust and safety told The Times last month that if Apple or Google were to ban Twitter from either marketplace, the results would be "catastrophic." He believes Apple and Google can use this dominance to exert pressure on content moderation. In other words, if user-generated content is not moderated in a way that Apple or Google agrees with, a threat to pull the app can force conformity and censorship.

While comparing Apple's and Google's manipulative powers is valid, Zuckerberg stopped short of saying they used the same business model.

"Google might control what goes in the play store [sic], but they have always made it so you can side-load and have other app stores and work directly with phone manufacturers," Meta's head honcho pointed out.

Of course, it is worth mentioning that the Zuck has an ongoing bone to pick with Apple over its advertising transparency policies.

In 2020, the company decided that developers needed to be more honest and forthright about the data they collect from iPhone users and how they use and share that information. Facebook immediately warned advertisers that the results of Apple's new rules would be "catastrophic."

So far, advertisers still seem to be advertising. So apparently, the "adpocalypse" was averted.

Image credit: Anthony Quintano

Permalink to story.

 

m4a4

Posts: 3,184   +4,271
TechSpot Elite
"Problematic"? Yes, for consumers. But "not sustainable"? They've already shown they can sustain it without regulation.

I'm just glad they're finally slowly getting forced to relinquish control of devices they've sold (and no longer own).
 

human7

Posts: 152   +131
The Quest 2 allows sideloading apps, but it's not straightforward, either. One has to register a developer account, and then the sideloaded apps show up under an "Untrusted" label. Zuck should put his money where his mouth is: if he truly believes sideloading to be the differentiator, the products Meta makes should embrace it. Until then, I'm not convinced that Mark truly stands behind sideloading, but is rather only interested in combating other platforms forcing Facebook to comply with certain policies to remain on the platform.
 

bviktor

Posts: 1,165   +1,701
"Problematic"? Yes, for consumers. But "not sustainable"? They've already shown they can sustain it without regulation.

I'm just glad they're finally slowly getting forced to relinquish control of devices they've sold (and no longer own).
Actually, it's only problematic for app publishers.

Consumers get to enjoy the added security of an enforced central app store. It's no coincidence Android has 50 times more (yes, you read that right) malware.

Or you could look at how great Windows turned out to be regarding malware.

The evidence is crystal clear, yet to this day 99% of people keep bashing this nonsensical argument about how "great" it is to be able to install any random cr@p on your devices. No, it's not great, and I most definitely don't want it.

And you can argue that "it's just an option, freedom of choice is always good", except it isn't. When sideloading is allowed, the app publisher is no longer REQUIRED to publish it in the default store. And that's when they tell the customer to set up this or that random store on your phone, it'll be great, we promise! And that's what opens the floodgates to malware.

Huawei's already playing this game with their "AppGallery" on Android. They REFUSE to keep the Play Store version updated for their watch companion app, for instance, they just tell you to use their own store or GTFO.

Brave new world. Can't wait to be told to set up all kinds of bogus app stores on my phone just to have basic apps. All because Tim Sweeney and Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want to pay 30%.

Sooooo pro-consumer. Remind me again, what kind of advantages does it provide to me if the app dev doesn't have to pay that 30% to host their free app? There's ZERO advantage for the consumer. Nada.

Even if we assume it's about paid apps, is there anyone here who actually believes that if the app store fee is waived, they'll reduce their app prices by 30%? Seriously? We all know that's not gonna happen. The managers will get nicer holiday bonuses, that's what will happen.

Again, ZERO benefit for us, customers. Only disadvantages. No thanks.
 

Axle Grease

Posts: 286   +233
Even if we assume it's about paid apps, is there anyone here who actually believes that if the app store fee is waived, they'll reduce their app prices by 30%? Seriously? We all know that's not gonna happen. The managers will get nicer holiday bonuses, that's what will happen.

Again, ZERO benefit for us, customers. Only disadvantages. No thanks.


Actually, if waiving the fee had zero benefit, I have no problem with "the managers" getting nicer holidays. Why wouldn't I?
 

godrilla

Posts: 626   +339
Yeah, I'm pretty sure Facebook will fall long before Apple, and I don't even like Apple!
Hey did you know that an IPhone 14 pro max 1 terabyte costs as much as an RTX 4090.

The fastest SanDisk 1 terabyte extreme pro micro sd costs around $200 for reference.
While Apple does have a religious like cult following Facebook on the other hand has a lot of competition now. Unfortunately Apple isn't going anywhere.
 

J Oelschl

Posts: 24   +20
Actually, it's only problematic for app publishers.

Consumers get to enjoy the added security of an enforced central app store. It's no coincidence Android has 50 times more (yes, you read that right) malware.

Or you could look at how great Windows turned out to be regarding malware.

The evidence is crystal clear, yet to this day 99% of people keep bashing this nonsensical argument about how "great" it is to be able to install any random cr@p on your devices. No, it's not great, and I most definitely don't want it.

And you can argue that "it's just an option, freedom of choice is always good", except it isn't. When sideloading is allowed, the app publisher is no longer REQUIRED to publish it in the default store. And that's when they tell the customer to set up this or that random store on your phone, it'll be great, we promise! And that's what opens the floodgates to malware.

Huawei's already playing this game with their "AppGallery" on Android. They REFUSE to keep the Play Store version updated for their watch companion app, for instance, they just tell you to use their own store or GTFO.

Brave new world. Can't wait to be told to set up all kinds of bogus app stores on my phone just to have basic apps. All because Tim Sweeney and Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want to pay 30%.

Sooooo pro-consumer. Remind me again, what kind of advantages does it provide to me if the app dev doesn't have to pay that 30% to host their free app? There's ZERO advantage for the consumer. Nada.

Even if we assume it's about paid apps, is there anyone here who actually believes that if the app store fee is waived, they'll reduce their app prices by 30%? Seriously? We all know that's not gonna happen. The managers will get nicer holiday bonuses, that's what will happen.

Again, ZERO benefit for us, customers. Only disadvantages. No thanks.

I agree with you 100% I have owned Android devices that got maybe ONE security update ever. My Android tablet got some type of virus that borked it. I went to Apple specifically for the added security plus the fact that everything I have tried to do (device to device file/video transfer, casting to other. devices, bluetooth connections) JUST WORKS. That was never the case on my Android devices. EVER. I had to find some app to make it work. I remember trying to transfer photos from my Android phone to Android tablet. Such a simple task right? Bluetooth transfer came up with some bogus incompatible bluetooth protocols error message. Look at all the MALWARE that the Google store has "missed" and gave users the false sense of security that the app was safe to use. I have never had that issue on my Apple devices. My circa 2015 iPhone 6s just stopped receiving updates! That they supported the device for 7 long years is astonishing. The fact Apple is putting the reigns on third party apps for what personal data they harvest is also MOST WELCOME. The fact that Facebook's ad revenue took such a huge hit after Apple implemented its new policies tells me all I need to know on HOW MUCH data harvesting was being done before this policy change.
I download relatively few apps and use what is provided by Apple. The walled garden is a NET POSITIVE in my eyes. I also do not have to worry as much about connecting to other people's Apple devices for file/photo transfers. If apps were allowed to be sideloaded in the Apple ecosystem I would be much more wary as those devices may be compromised.

Zuckerberg had better worry about his own company surviving versus Apple. Apple will be just fine. They have a few hundred billion in the bank and their products are just superior to the competitors. The market tells you that.
 

m4a4

Posts: 3,184   +4,271
TechSpot Elite
Actually, it's only problematic for app publishers.

Consumers get to enjoy the added security of an enforced central app store. It's no coincidence Android has 50 times more (yes, you read that right) malware.

Or you could look at how great Windows turned out to be regarding malware.

The evidence is crystal clear, yet to this day 99% of people keep bashing this nonsensical argument about how "great" it is to be able to install any random cr@p on your devices. No, it's not great, and I most definitely don't want it.

And you can argue that "it's just an option, freedom of choice is always good", except it isn't. When sideloading is allowed, the app publisher is no longer REQUIRED to publish it in the default store. And that's when they tell the customer to set up this or that random store on your phone, it'll be great, we promise! And that's what opens the floodgates to malware.

Huawei's already playing this game with their "AppGallery" on Android. They REFUSE to keep the Play Store version updated for their watch companion app, for instance, they just tell you to use their own store or GTFO.

Brave new world. Can't wait to be told to set up all kinds of bogus app stores on my phone just to have basic apps. All because Tim Sweeney and Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want to pay 30%.
Always with the alarmist crap. Last I checked, desktop wasn't the h3llscape you want people to believe. I can download apps off of verified websites just fine (and have never got a virus before).
And actually downloading malware on Android isn't the same as security firms finding it (considering there are more apps on Android and submitted to it). One thing you are quiet about is that your walled garden Apple still gets malware, so don't pretend that they're impervious.

And then considering Apple is both the only publisher AND a competitive developer on iOS means there can't be any serious competition while they have a monopoly on the OS. Something you are so conveniently ok with. They're a trillion dollar company, they don't care about you.
Sooooo pro-consumer. Remind me again, what kind of advantages does it provide to me if the app dev doesn't have to pay that 30% to host their free app? There's ZERO advantage for the consumer. Nada.

Even if we assume it's about paid apps, is there anyone here who actually believes that if the app store fee is waived, they'll reduce their app prices by 30%? Seriously? We all know that's not gonna happen. The managers will get nicer holiday bonuses, that's what will happen.

Again, ZERO benefit for us, customers. Only disadvantages. No thanks.

But here's my favourite part. The major subscription services are either more expensive on mobile, or just don't let you buy subscriptions in the app.

Why is that? Be honest.
 

PEnnn

Posts: 1,011   +1,361
They have been saying this about Apple since what, 1990s or even earlier??

The only thing going down the drain is Zucky and his ever-changing names for his septic tanks.
 

GoldenGoat

Posts: 119   +190
Actually, it's only problematic for app publishers.

Consumers get to enjoy the added security of an enforced central app store. It's no coincidence Android has 50 times more (yes, you read that right) malware.

Or you could look at how great Windows turned out to be regarding malware.

The evidence is crystal clear, yet to this day 99% of people keep bashing this nonsensical argument about how "great" it is to be able to install any random cr@p on your devices. No, it's not great, and I most definitely don't want it.

And you can argue that "it's just an option, freedom of choice is always good", except it isn't. When sideloading is allowed, the app publisher is no longer REQUIRED to publish it in the default store. And that's when they tell the customer to set up this or that random store on your phone, it'll be great, we promise! And that's what opens the floodgates to malware.

Huawei's already playing this game with their "AppGallery" on Android. They REFUSE to keep the Play Store version updated for their watch companion app, for instance, they just tell you to use their own store or GTFO.

Brave new world. Can't wait to be told to set up all kinds of bogus app stores on my phone just to have basic apps. All because Tim Sweeney and Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want to pay 30%.

Sooooo pro-consumer. Remind me again, what kind of advantages does it provide to me if the app dev doesn't have to pay that 30% to host their free app? There's ZERO advantage for the consumer. Nada.

Even if we assume it's about paid apps, is there anyone here who actually believes that if the app store fee is waived, they'll reduce their app prices by 30%? Seriously? We all know that's not gonna happen. The managers will get nicer holiday bonuses, that's what will happen.

Again, ZERO benefit for us, customers. Only disadvantages. No thanks.

I have never once gotten malware on my PC and I don't want to pay 30% more for pc games so microsoft can be the only seller because other people can't figure out how to only install trustworthy apps. I don't see it being any different on phone.
 

DonquixoteIII

Posts: 126   +73
Publishing Zuck's dreams wont make them reality... In Zuck's dreams the Metaverse was a success. In Zuck's dreams, the Appleverse isn't. In Zuck's dreams, people are dumbf***s. OK, so he got one dream sorta right.
 

yannus

Posts: 165   +146
All american corporations are being replaced by chinese ones as youtube is being replaced by tiktok. The "great reset" includes the end of the US. Our elites are transfering their wealth to their favorite model.