Microsoft, X Company, and others join the "Anti-Apple" alliance.


Apple is currently the world's second most popular smartphone brand, and it boasts a wide range of products including computers and tablets, rightfully earning its status as a top-tier global enterprise.

Grassroots "Anti-Apple" Alliance 1.0

The "Anti-Apple" alliance is not a new phenomenon. As early as 7 years ago, in 2017, there was a grassroots anti-Apple alliance in China, which primarily opposed Apple's "planned obsolescence" policy. This refers to the company deliberately reducing the performance of older products to force users to upgrade to new versions when launching new products.

It all started with user complaints that after the launch of a new device, Apple would force older devices to "upgrade" their software, causing these older models to become sluggish and slower. This led to suspicions that Apple was doing this deliberately, a claim that spread widely and was eventually confirmed by multiple professional institutions and individuals.

After they could no longer hide this practice, Apple came forward admitting that they did indeed reduce the performance of older devices through updates. However, they argued that this was not to force upgrades but rather to manage the limited lifespan of older devices and ensure a good user experience by reducing phone performance.

Unfortunately, the loud and passionate grassroots "Anti-Apple" alliance eventually fizzled out in silence. Apple continued to release new devices even though their market share was declining. Due to concealing the shrinking reality of the Chinese market from shareholders, Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, was fined.

"Anti-Apple" Alliance 2.0

The grassroots "Anti-Apple" alliance failed, but the cause against Apple did not. Taking up the banner was the well-known internet company EPIC, which sued Apple in 2021 for forcing all Apple users to obtain apps through its App Store and charging developers a purchase commission of up to 30%, in violation of antitrust laws.

In addition to Epic, several other prominent companies joined the fight, including the global music giant Spotify Technology, the dating app Tinder's parent company Match Group, the European Publishers Council, News Media Europe, and Protonmail, among others. Their significant influence helped the "Anti-Apple" alliance gain a stronger voice, forcing Apple to start taking the situation seriously.

Eventually, the antitrust lawsuit concluded with Apple's defeat. A US court issued an injunction against Apple, demanding that it opens up alternative payment methods to developers and guide consumers to use payment channels other than Apple's.

However, it's evident that Apple did not take this seriously, only paying lip service and delaying actions until January of this year. In January, Apple finally stated it would amend its App Store's terms and features to comply with the previous injunction.

"Anti-Apple" Alliance 3.0

Last week, Epic sued Apple again for contempt of court, alleging that Apple's new regulations essentially circumvented the court's injunction. Apple seemed to have made some changes to comply with the injunction, but these have not taken effect in practice, leaving the final say still in Apple's hands.

According to recent statements from companies like Microsoft, Meta, and X, the changes still fail to meet the injunction's requirements. For instance, while Apple has ostensibly opened up an alternative payment method entrance, developers must still apply to Apple to use it. Moreover, Apple promised to lower its commission cut but only reduced it from 30% to 27%.

On March 20, Microsoft, Meta (Facebook), X (Twitter), and Match (a global online dating giant) officially joined Epic's team and the "Anti-Apple" alliance. The direct reasons for each platform to join varied, but the fundamental reason was Apple's compulsory commission and monopolistic policies severely affecting their revenue. Moreover, in recent years, Apple has been attempting to expand its business, entering into competition and infiltrating the industries these companies are in.

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