Apple clashes with UK regulator over warnings it may require it to ‘redesign the iPhone’

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Apple has aggressively defended its ecosystem in a recently published response to the UK’s competition watchdog.

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The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published today Apple’s response For this Interim Report on Mobile EcosystemSimultaneous responses dozens of other companiesIncluding Google, Microsoft and Epic Games.

Apple’s detailed 47-page response aggressively dismissed the interim report’s findings, saying the CMA has “without argument, either completely ignoring them or speculating” on the benefits of Apple’s ecosystem. is dismissed on the grounds of nothing else. Apple alleged that the CMA’s report is based on “unfounded allegations and hypothetical concerns” from Apple’s rivals that would benefit commercially from “deep” changes to the iPhone:

… reaches conclusions about IR technologies, product design, and competitive impact stemming from unfounded allegations and hypothetical concerns, primarily from a handful of multi-billion dollar developers such as Microsoft, Facebook, Match, Spotify, of self-service complaints. And Epic, without all the independent verification, is seeking to make deeper changes to the iPhone for its own commercial gain.

Apple expressed deep concern about potentially “redesigning the iPhone” to benefit this small, powerful group:

Apple is deeply concerned that IR is proposing solutions to hypothetical problems that would result in interference in the real-world market forcing it to redesign the iPhone to benefit a handful of powerful developers. could. It appears that IR recognizes that its proposed changes will be relatively simple. Yet many will require a complete re-architecture of a product that has existed for 15 years, has been steadily improved by Apple’s investments in IP and is valued and trusted by millions of consumers.

The CMA’s proposal to allow alternative app stores on the iPhone or sideloading was shot down for “mitigating security risks” and “failing to take into account the fact that users highly value that security, And many people choose Apple over Android on that basis.”

Remedies that jeopardize Apple’s holistic approach to security would effectively remove the competitive gap between Apple and Android, taking this critical element of choice away from users.

Apple addressed specific issues raised by the interim report, such as the company’s WebKit restrictions on iOS and iPadOS, which ban any rival browser engines on the platform. It claimed that WebKit is innovative and responds to the demand for features, such as “adding new functionality to enable more features and functionality for web apps.”

Open Web Advocacy, a group of web developers who are in talks with the CMA and who have raised the profile of Apple’s WebKit ban, disagree, saying that “Apple’s ban on third-party browsers on iOS is highly anti-competitive.” … all artificial barriers placed by the gatekeepers should be removed. Web apps if allowed can provide equivalent functionality with greater privacy and security for demanding use cases.”

Apple highlighted the iPhone’s high level of customer satisfaction, ease of use and performance, as well as the company’s commitment to innovation and privacy. Apple rejected the interim report’s findings and ruled out the possibility of discussion of changes to the company’s ecosystem.

… the findings in IR are, in fact, nothing more than hypotheses about how Apple may have the “potential” of harming competition in its ecosystem, as they are untested and based on one-sided evidence. Such hypotheses are insufficient to warrant, regardless of support, discussion of potentially radical measures at this stage…

Apple urged the CMA to “conduct a more detailed analysis of the benefits that Apple’s ecosystem brings to both consumers and developers, and to objectively consider the impact of any proposed interventions on consumers and competition in markets.” to do.” For more information see Apple’s full response to the CMA,