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Published: May 24, 2021

Written by: Edward Pearcey

  • Apple’s boss, Tim Cook, has argued that allowing alternative download choices for Apple users is a complexity that users shouldn’t be burdened with
  • He testified in the case brought by Epic Games against Apple over the suspension of Fortnite from the iOS ecosystem
  • Apple has shown resilience and commitment to customer data and privacy over the years and intends to continue doing so

As the Epic Games v. Apple case draws closer to an end, Tim Cook delivered testimony on the fairness of the Apple Store ecosystem. 

No Choice Is Better Than Any Choice

The lawsuit filed by Epic Games versus Apple over the suspension of Fortnite from the iOS ecosystem has brought some interesting skeletons out of the closet, with big companies sitting in to testify and revealing a little bit about themselves than we thought we knew. In the latest round of questioning, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the witness stand on Friday and delivered one of the most interesting and perhaps controversial arguments to date.

Consumers don’t want choice but rather register at the Apple Store so that everything is simplified for them. Cook testified on what Epic Games alleges is a lack of objectivity and openness in managing the Apple Store, something that the company has vehemently denied. Epic’s lawyers approached Cook by asking him if Apple users wouldn’t be open to choosing from which platform they obtain the products they wish to use.

Cook’s argument only suggested that a lack of choice was a good thing, whereas his actual statement said: “They’ve never had to do it before,” Cook said, referring to consumers who may be keen to explore alternatives. “It seems like a complexity they shouldn’t be burdened with.”

Is Apple CEO’s Crossing a Line?

Not entirely. Cook’s argument stands to reason. Apple consumers have been happy with the way things have been running so far, allowing them to access everything they need from a single platform with their information back into the Cloud as opposed to having to deal with various operating systems, loss of data, and alternative download options, as is often the case with Android.

Before vilifying Cook, there is another factor that should be considered – the privacy and safety of the iOS ecosystem. Not even the FBI has been able to pry out information from Apple, demonstrating the company’s level of resilience and dedication to consumer privacy that few other companies have over the years.

Admittedly, Apple has been criticized over how it runs its Apple Store by a global community of developers, but Epic Games’ lawsuit is the first time the status quo has been challenged. “They buy into an ecosystem,” Cook explained.

He is correct. Apple loyalists value the cross-platform integration simplicity that Apple devices offer, and while his statement may sound like a suggestion that a lack of choice is a good thing, the bottom line is that we all would much rather have everything delivered in one capture-all package.

Many of the apps we use today do the same for us today. The case is ongoing, and the ramifications of Epic Games v. Apple may have broad consequences on the entire gaming ecosystem.

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