The Epic/Apple battle shows how execs think about their business


Other than Apple’s case note slideshow, its internal emails are perhaps the only interesting thing to emerge from Epic’s assault against the App Store. They provide a glimpse into how company execs think.

Android v Apple

As you might expect, there’s plenty of information concerning how Apple works to differentiate iOS from Android, and a little insight into how the company sees services as a way to retain iPhone users. “I am concerned the iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove an obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones,” Apple’s Phil Schiller — now an Apple Fellow — told other executives.

iMessages never made it to Android, but the exchange proves the company did at least think about it – and that many of Apple’s top brass (including Eddy Cue) thought it a good idea. It is interesting that even where Apple’s teams have different opinion, they seek consensus.

When it comes to Epic’s case against Apple, executives are pretty clear:

“Epic wants us to be Android, but we don’t want to be. And our consumers don’t want that either. They want the choice,” Apple’s lawyer Karen Dunn said in the opening remarks.

What about Web apps?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs once raised consternation about the original iPhone when he suggested third-party apps would only be allowed to run on the device as Web apps. We all criticized that decision at the time and it turns out the move was a big topic of discussion then. Executives soon changed their mind and the iOS ecosystem was born.

“My experience was very clear that those apps would not be as good as native apps, and I wanted to have the best possible apps in the platform we could,” Scott Forstall, who led iOS development at that time, said in a deposition.

This series of exchanges show Apple’s teams are sufficiently agile to change their decision if it doesn’t fit corporate plans.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.



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