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It’s just a few days before the court case between Apple and Samsung kicks off. The big showdown has been fought out in the legal papers, but this week the parties’ executives have their chance to state their cases in front of the judge and jury. Apple CEO Tim Cook has used his pre-trial hearings to tell a lot of interesting stories about his company, from the early days of the Macintosh, to the way the App Store has changed the face of the smartphone industry. Now the judge and jury are hearing his arguments for why a $5 billion fine is fair compensation for the patented hardware and software that Samsung produces.
On the first day of court, Apple’s CEO walked into the courtroom and said, “I have a feel about App Store profits, but I don’t have any data.” The judge responded, “That’s not enough, Mr. Cook, by itself, to prove you have a feel for App Store profits.” The CEO responded, “I know, judge, but I think I have a feeling about it.”
The antitrust trial in the Epic v. Apple case has entered its final stages, with a pivotal moment for Apple’s side when CEO Tim Cook came forward. Cook’s appearance on the stand followed testimony from a witness brought in by Epic Games, who estimated that the App Store would have a 78% profit margin in 2019. When Cook was asked about Apple’s profit from the App Store, he didn’t give specific numbers, but said he thought most of the App Store revenue came from app purchases, which is a vague answer because Apple doesn’t calculate profit or revenue by individual department. I have a hunch, if you will, Cook said. Both parties have since made their final arguments, with Apple arguing that Epic is approaching this [case] from two sides, while the implications, the results, how it will happen, the impracticability, are obvious and clear, and also arguing that the App Store model is already protected by law. The law protects technological incompatibilities as pro-competitive. The consumer therefore has a choice. Apple’s business model was developed long before it had anything you could call market power, it served its customers and developers well, and now Epic is trying [to change that] without… Indicating what the consequences of this attack will be. In its closing argument, Epic said its efforts were necessary for the app development world, while trying to parry Apple’s arguments that what it does is already protected and should be left alone. You claim to be a benevolent gentleman and say: We don’t think anyone should compete, we try to do a good job. But what it comes down to is that you have to compare, you have to decide if what they do is equivalent to what they would do in a competitive environment. The decision now rests with Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers, who said she would issue a written order, but that it would take time because of the amount of testimony and documents submitted in the case. For now, we can only wait and see. View all our previous reports by clicking on the links below. ViewApple announced this week that it’s closing its App Store with a “great, big, fat zero” as it has hit a magical $1 billion in annual profits. That’s a big number! It’s so big that Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook “has a stock tip that he can’t resist,” said Cook on the company’s first-quarter earnings call. “He’s been wrong before, but he feels it in his gut that this is it.”. Read more about apple vs epic and let us know what you think.
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