In a new court filing, Epic Games challenges Apple’s position that third-party app stores compromise iPhone security. And it points to Apple’s macOS as an example of how the app “sideloading” process – installing apps outside of Apple’s App Store, i.e. -n doesn’t have to be the threat Apple describes it. Apple’s Mac, Epic explains, doesn’t have the same constraints found in the iPhone operating system, iOS, and yet Apple touts the operating system used in Mac computers, macOS, as being secure.
The Cary, North Carolina-based Fortnite maker made these points in its latest brief, among several others, regarding its ongoing legal battle with Apple over its control of the App Store.
Epic Games wants to earn the right to ship Fortnite to iPhone users outside of the App Store, or at the very least be able to use its own payment processing system so it can stop paying Apple commissions to be able to deliver its software to iPhone users.
A California judge ruled last September in the district court case Epic Games v. Apple that Apple did not have a monopoly in the relevant market – digital mobile game transactions. But the court ruled that Apple could not prohibit developers from adding links for alternative payments in their apps that indicated alternative ways to pay outside of Apple’s App Store-based monetization system. While Apple widely touted the decision as a victory, both parties appealed the decision because Epic Games wanted another chance to win the right to distribute apps through its own game store, and Apple didn’t want to allow it. developers to suggest other ways. for their users to pay.
On Wednesday, Epic filed its appeal response and cross-appeal response brief, following Apple’s appeal of the district court’s decision.
The game maker says in the new filing that the lower court was misled on many points by Apple and came to the wrong conclusions. Many of his suggestions relate to how the district court interpreted the law. It also underscores the important allies Epic now has on its side – Microsoft, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and attorneys general from 34 states and the District of Columbia, all of whom have filed briefs supporting Epic’s case with the United States Court of Appeals. for the Ninth Circuit.
However, one of Epic’s biggest points is about the Mac’s security model and how it differs from the iPhone. Epic says that if Apple can allow sideloading on Mac devices and still call those computers secure, surely it could do the same for the iPhone.
“For macOS, Apple relies on security measures imposed by the operating system rather than the App Store, and a ‘notarization’ program that scans apps and then sends them back to the developer for distribution,” says Epic’s new folder. He says the trial court even agreed that Apple’s witness on the matter (head of software engineering Craig Federighi) was misrepresenting the truth when he disparaged macOS as having a “malware problem.”
Epic then cites examples from Apple’s own marketing of security for its Mac computers, where it touts that “apps from the App Store and the Internet” can be “installed without worry.”
Apple has opposed switching to that same iPhone model because it would require rethinking how its software works, among other things, including what it says would be reduced security for end users.
As app store legislation targeting tech giants continues to push through Congress, Apple has sounded the alarm over being forced to open up the iPhone to app stores third parties as would be required by the bipartisan Open App Markets Act and other international regulations. Apple said mandatory sideloading is inconsistent with its pro-consumer privacy protections.
In an article published by Apple to further detail this issue, it said allowing sideloading could put users’ “most sensitive and private information” at risk.
“Supporting sideloading through direct downloads and third-party app stores would cripple the privacy and security protections that made iPhone so secure and expose users to serious security risks,” reads the newspaper. Apple also cited Google’s Android operating system as an example of this risk, noting that over the past four years, Android devices have had 15 to 47 times more malware infections than the iPhone. .
At the time of the new filing, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney was interviewed by the Financial Times where he continued to berate Apple for its alleged anti-competitive behavior. Sweeney said that even if Apple wins the hardware market fairly, it shouldn’t be allowed to use that position to “gain an unfair advantage over competitors and other markets,” such as software.
“They should have to compete fairly with the Epic game store and the Steam store, and suppose the Microsoft Store and the many other stores that will emerge – just as they do with any other marketplace in the world except app stores. digital. “said Sweeney.
Epic’s response and answer by TechCrunch on Scribd