Katie Paul and Sheila Dang, Reuters
Published Wednesday, December 16, 2020 8:24PM EST
PALO ALTO/NEW YORK — Facebook Inc. accused rival Apple Inc. of engaging in anticompetitive practices on Wednesday, firing another shot in a monthslong standoff between the two tech giants over Apple’s planned privacy changes for iOS14.
“Apple is behaving anticompetitively by using their control of the App Store to benefit their bottom line at the expense of creators and small businesses. Full stop,” Facebook Vice President for Ads and Business Products Dan Levy told reporters.
In response, Apple said its new rules will not require Facebook to change its “approach to tracking users and creating targeted advertising” but instead requires Facebook to give users on Apple devices a choice of whether to opt in to those practices.
“We believe that this is a simple matter of standing up for our users. Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not,” Apple said in a statement.
The world’s biggest social media company ran full-page ads in major newspapers criticizing Apple’s plans, which will limit apps’ ability to gather data from people’s phones that can be used for targeted advertising.
It said in a blog post that Apple’s own personalized ad platform would be exempt from the new prompt requirement the iPhone maker is planning to impose on other companies.
Apple said in June that such activity will require a pop-up notification asking iOS users for “permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies,” which digital advertising firms expect most will decline.
Levy said that although Facebook disagreed with Apple’s approach, it would comply with the new rules and display a prompt. “We don’t have a choice if we want our app to be available in the App Store,” he said.
He declined to say whether Facebook would take any action to push back against the policy.
Facebook and Apple have also tangled over commission fees the iPhone maker charges apps listed on iOS devices, with Facebook again aligning itself with small developers most affected by the policy.
Opposition against Apple continued to grow on Wednesday as Digital Content Next, a digital media trade association representing members such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, said it had joined the Coalition for App Fairness.
The nonprofit, which includes members like Epic Games and Spotify, is calling on regulators around the world to fight “anticompetitive” app store practices such as Apple’s 30% revenue cut on purchases made within apps.
Facebook previously tried to push a notification to its users about Apple’s fees but said Apple rejected its “transparency notice.”
Facebook said in a blog post that it was “committed to providing relevant information” in a federal antitrust lawsuit filed by Epic Games challenging the commission fee rules, but declined to specify how it would participate in the litigation.
Apple Faces Lawsuit in Italy Over iPhone Battery Life – The Deep Dive
It appears that Apple is in hot water once again, this time about making misleading claims regarding the battery life of older iPhones.
Altroconsumo, an Italian consumer organization, on Monday announced it has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, alleging the iPhone manufacturer of planned obsolescence. The association is seeking $73 million in damages, after Italian consumers were allegedly mislead regarding the battery life of older iPhone models, specifically the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, 6S, and 6S Plus. Sales of the iPhone models in Italy totalled over 1 million between 2014 and 2020.
In an emailed response to the lawsuit, Apple maintains that it has not done anything intentional to reduce the lifespan of its products, or diminish the user experience in order to increase consumer upgrades. However, this is not the first class-action suit of its kind: similar lawsuits were previously filed in the US, claiming that the iPhone manufacturer purposefully created software updates that reduced the performance of older devices.
In November 2020, Apple agreed to pay US$113 million to settle the case with several US regulators. In the meantime, US consumers are still awaiting the results from a US court regarding a class-action settlement worth up to US$500 million.
Information for this briefing was found via Bloomberg and Reuters. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.
You Can Take Shawn Mendes or Dolly Parton on Your Walk With New Apple Fitness+ Feature – Billboard
“I’ve loved walking ever since I was a little girl in the Smoky Mountains,” Parton said in the official Apple press release. “I think it’s so important to be able to get out and walk if we can during this time. I do my best thinking when I walk. And while many of us feel confined during this time, I’m hopeful that people will take a walk down memory lane with me and we can all feel a little more freedom taking the time to walk together.”
“Taking a walk is a great way to clear your mind,” Mendes said in the release. “It’s the most simple thing you can do to calm the body and soul, reflect, and slow down. I hope people get to feel the same sense of calm I do while walking and can bring that to their own experiences.”
Fitness+ subscribers can enjoy Time to Walk episodes on their Apple Watch with AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones. New episodes will automatically appear on the Workout app on Apple Watch and on the Fitness+ tab in the Fitness app on the iPhone. Apple Watch users who use a wheelchair will have access to Time to Push, which automatically starts an Outdoor Wheelchair Walk Pace workout.
Apple shifts hardware execs as mysterious new project looms – MobileSyrup
Dan Riccio, who has worked as Apple’s senior vice-president of engineering since 2012, is stepping back from leading Apple’s hardware division.
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that Riccio is working on a mysterious “new project” and will continue to report directly to Tim Cook, its CEO. Riccio has worked on several notable projects, including Apple’s ARM-based M1 processor, the AirPods Max, the iPhone 12 and even the original iMac.
“Working at Apple has been the opportunity of a lifetime, spent making the world’s best products with the most talented people you could imagine,” said Riccio in a recent press release.
“After 23 years of leading our Product Design or Hardware Engineering teams — culminating with our biggest and most ambitious product year ever — it’s the right time for a change. Next up, I’m looking forward to doing what I love most — focusing all my time and energy at Apple on creating something new and wonderful that I couldn’t be more excited about.”
John Ternus will take on Riccio’s former role of senior vice-president of engineering. Ternus has served as Apple’s VP of hardware engineering since 2013 and played a significant role in the release of the first iPad and, more recently, the first-generation AirPods.
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