Wedbush investment bank analysts believe Apple will be able to win the legal battle against Epic Games that begins today, despite the words of a senior Google engineer.
In a note sent to investors, Daniel Ives writes that Epic Games took a calculated but risky path in its dispute against Apple. The analyst says Epic is trying to leverage its 350 million players around the world to bypass Apple and Google platforms. Along this tortuous path, the software house hopes to collaborate with other developers in a “wave movement” against Apple.
Apple is currently in the spotlight of antitrust agencies in the United States and the European Union. However, Ives says the lawsuit and Epic’s attack on Apple’s App Store policies is a “high risk poker game“, As Apple has repeatedly successfully defended its store from various charges. For Ives, the battle with Epic Games will be no different a in the end, Apple will win.
Financially, Ives says Apple’s services business and its annual revenue of more than $ 65 billion remains rock solid and is only set to grow. Even in the case of an unfavorable judgment against the App Store, Ives says that the fee structure for the apps should not undergo major changes anyway.
In the meantime, Epic Games announced that it has acquired the artist portfolio and related ArtStation site, for a figure not yet disclosed. According to some, this move was designed to strengthen the antitrust lawsuit against Apple, as Epic just announced it plans to reduce the standard fee artists have to pay from 30 to 12 percent. In court, the software house will be able to bring this change as an example to force Apple to lower its fees on the App Store.
A senior engineer from Google has also moved in favor of Epic, who blogs he questioned a key part of the defense that Apple wants to bring forward in the process.
Apple denies that the App Store is a monopoly, for two reasons. First, it says developers can build apps for other platforms, such as Android and game consoles. Second, it claims that those who want to reach iPhone users can simply create web apps. And it is this latter claim that has been criticized by the engineer Google.
Alex Russell, Google’s head of Chrome web standards, says that web apps cannot perform as expected on iPhones. The reason is that Apple forces all browsers to use WebKit, and this is outdated and underpowered.
Apple’s iOS browser (Safari) and engine (WebKit) are under-powered. Constant delays in delivering important features ensure that the web can never be a credible alternative to its proprietary tools and the App Store.
Additionally, Russell adds that Safari is not only incompatible with other browsers, it is wrong in so many other ways: for example, it doesn’t conform to agreed web standards.
In line with the web platform test data, Chromium and Firefox implement more features and deliver them to market more consistently. From this data, we see that iOS is the least complete and competitive implementation of the web platform and the gap is growing. By the time Confluence was last run, the gap had widened to nearly 1000 APIs, doubling the 2016 figures.
In almost all areas, the low-quality implementation of features already supported by Apple’s WebKit requires workarounds. Developers wouldn’t need to find and fix these problems in Firefox (Gecko) or Chrome / Edge / Brave / Samsung Internet (Blink). This all adds up to the development expense for iOS.
Let’s assume Apple implemented WebRTC and gamepad API in a timely manner. Who can tell if the ongoing game streaming revolution happened earlier? It is possible that Amazon Luna, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Google Stadia, and Microsoft xCloud were made years earlier.
It’s also possible that APIs provided on every other platform, but not yet available on any iOS browser, may hold the key to unlocking entire categories of web experiences.
All of this means that developers have no choice but to build native iOS apps.
Apple’s policy of managing WebKit adds years of delays beyond design iteration, specification creation, and browser functionality development.
These delays prevent developers from reaching iPhone users with great web experiences. This gap, created uniquely and uniquely by Apple’s policy, forces nearly all companies to exit the web and enter the App Store, where Apple prevents developers to reach users with web experiences.
Russell presents many specific examples and data to support his argument, which could be used by Epic against Apple during the trial.