Investor and advisor Matthew Ball has shared his thoughts on the ruling in the Epic Games v Apple trial. He explained how it doesn’t actually benefit either developers (least of all Epic, which lost on 9/10 counts) or consumers.

Ball posted a long thread about the matter on Twitter, saying that the ruling “helps only the largest, already successful developers — and even then, it’s unlikely and not enough.”

Apple uses its control over hardware and app distribution to stop or slow apps and services, including competing browsers and cloud gaming. However, the judge failed to conclude that Apple is a monopoly in its control over hardware and app distribution. The court found Epic Games’ case “unconvincing.”

The judge also didn’t find that Apple’s 55% market share is a monopoly, saying that “success is not illegal.” The court seems to only have taken issue with Apple’s preventing gamers from learning about other payment options.

According to the court’s ruling, Apple should now allow developers to put links in their games sending users to other payment solutions. However, as Ball pointed out, there are two main problems with that:

  • To to make a payment via an alternative payment system, people will have to log in again on the web or even create an account (if they don’t have one), which is quite inconvenient;
  • This rule only helps big brands and already successful developers, as people will most likely go to the trouble of using an external link to make a payment for games they already love rather than doing it for small or unknown titles.

“If Apple is there + easy + familiar, why go to browser, log-in with a forgotten [password]…” Ball said. Of course, developers could offer discounts to entice players to use proprietary payment systems, but Ball thinks it would require additional marketing to inform users about lower prices.

“Some will benefit, if marginally,” he noted. “But that’s only the big developers (Zynga or Activision) who can spend millions on marketing to drive awareness, already have non-iOS revenues and accounts, billions in cash. No one is doing this is save $1 on 5 Flappy Bird lives.”

Epic Games wanted developers to be able to exclude Apple’s payment option entirely. But the only thing they can do now is to add additional and much less convenient solutions. And there is also a chance (although Ball doubts it will happen) that Apple will demand pricing parity for apps, which will make other payment options useless.

Matthew Ball’s full thread can be found here.

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