Tim Cook, Apple’s top executive, is the personification of imperturbability. When faced with tough questions from investors, journalists, or lawmakers, Cook usually speaks with the sparkling precision of a diamond-cut iPhone – slow, calm, with an elegant Mediterranean accent that gives the exact finality you get from the head of a $ 2 trillion -Technology titans would expect.
But last week Cook may have felt a little like a spinning wheel under the courteous but relentless questioning of a federal district court judge who had to decide whether Apple was a ruthless monopoly. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of Oakland, California has identified a plague that affects almost every Apple customer and the software developers who want to create apps for them.
Apple’s tax is a huge boon to the bottom line. This is a costly burden on users who spend huge sums of money on their products and developers who want to create apps to add tricks to their tricks iPhone. And it can no longer be defended with a straight face.
The present federal case came about last summer when Epic Games, the blockbuster video game Fortnite, sued Apple over the company’s strict control over software on iPhones and iPads. Unlike PCs, which allow users to download software from anywhere online, Apple’s mobile devices only offer a single source of apps: Apple’s built-in App Store. (The Google App Store on its Android phones has similar rules and fees. Epic has filed a separate lawsuit about this.)