"It's not about competition. It's about security, Apple says.
Over the weekend, Apple has been heavily criticized for removing many apps similar to the iOS Screen Time app. Developers have accused Apple of eliminating competition by removing applications that do the same thing as Screen Time or offer far more features.
App developers lose their livelihood: – We expected some Apple courtesy
It was an article in The New York Times that sped up the debate. But it was finally revealed that the American newspaper had omitted to publish the full statement that Apple gave in the case. This made the New York Times article seem unified. The article simply did not provide a full picture of the case.
For Apple, it showed some good reasons to remove several applications, which Apple Phil Schiller explained in an email to a Macrumors reader. The content of the email was the same as it was sent to the New York Times.
Phil Schiller's response puts this case in a new light
Apple with official statement
Now Apple has commented more on the case. In a press release, Apple repeats much of what Schiller wrote in the e-mail.
«Unlike The New York Times, reported this weekend, this is not about competition. It's about safety"Apple repeats.
According to Apple, several developers who offer similar applications, such as Screen Time, have taken advantage of the so-called MDM technology, which allows one person to control multiple devices simultaneously. Companies say this poses a risk to children, which is threatening their privacy and privacy.
Claim that they started the investigation in 2017
One reason why Apple was criticized is that the company began to remove parental control almost at the same time as it launched its own Screen Time application. Was it random?
Apple now claims that they began investigating the abuse of MDM technology in early 2017 and that they updated the application review policy in mid-2017.
Difficult without MDM
Applications that offer the same (or more) functionality, such as Screen Time, may continue to reside on the App Store, provided they do not use MDM technology. But that is also where much of the question lies; To provide the functionality that these applications offer today, MDM is almost a necessity. Moving away from this technology means that these applications are very limited.
Apple did not address exactly that problem in its statement. However, they write this:
"In this category of applications and in any category, we are committed to providing a competitive and innovative application ecosystem.There are many incredibly successful applications that offer features and services similar to our own applications in categories such as messages, maps, e-mails, songs, browsers, images, notes, contact applications and payment systems, to name a few. We are committed to providing a place for these applications where they can be successful as they enhance the user experience for everyone ».
Maybe Apple might be launching an API that offers similar functionality without the MDM, but it's just speculation at the moment.
Read the full Apple press release here.