Things are going bad for Apple, ProtonMail co-founder also accuses them of monopoly

Some weeks ago Pavel Durov, co-founder of the messaging app Telegram, expressed the wish that Apple would allow to iPhone users install apps from sources other than the Apple app store.

In fact, I wanted more than that: asked for a law to force Apple to do so. In a blog post, he talked about the threats of removing the Telegram app from the App Store that forced his company.

"Eliminate the Telegram game catalog that we had already created and most of the platform interface."

He also explained how Apple is abusing its dominant position., while noting that “developers of digital services have never been so helpless.

This time, Andy Yen, co-founder of ProtonMail, took the floor to show his anger and said apple

«He uses his monopoly to hold us all hostage. Apple controls 25% of the global smartphone market (the remaining 75% is largely controlled by Android).

This means that for more than a billion people (especially in the United States, where its market share is close to 50%), the only way to install applications is through the App Store. This gives Apple a huge influence on the way software is created and used around the world.

“Apple tries to justify these fees by arguing that the App Store is no different from a shopping center, where companies looking to offer their products must pay rent to the owner of the shopping center (in this case Apple).

This argument conveniently ignores the fact that there is only one mall when it comes to iOS and there is no ability for a competing mall to rent space. It is not illegal for Apple to own a shopping center and rent a space, or to own the only shopping center. What is illegal is the exploitation of the fact that it has the only shopping center that charges excessively high prices, which hurts its competitors.

Proton Mail raised the case of applications threatened with being removed from the App Store if they refused to offer in-app purchases for paid features available for purchase elsewhere: “In other words, Apple wants to take advantage of a third of its sales, whether or not it wants to sell on its platform. That is precisely what happened with Proton ”.

Andy Yen says Apple is helping spread authoritarian laws around the world Andy Yen He also analyzed another dimension:

“While it is inappropriate (and illegal) to exploit market dominance for anti-competitive purposes, harnessing that power to suppress digital freedom is simply unethical, and Apple has long been reminded of this. As first-hand witnesses to this behavior, we can share our story.

“In January 2020, ProtonVPN submitted an update to the description of its iOS application on the App Store. The new description highlighted ProtonVPN's features, including the ability to 'unblock censored websites.'

Despite that ProtonVPN had been on the App Store since 2018 and the basic functionality of the VPN has not changed, Apple brutally rejected the new version of the application and threatened to remove ProtonVPN entirely.

They demanded that we remove this anti-censorship language on the grounds that freedom of expression is severely restricted in some countries. The options had to comply with the policies of the App Store or else they would be removed from the storefront. Most disturbingly, Apple has called for the removal of language around censorship in ALL countries where our app is available, in fact responding to demand from authoritarian governments even in countries where freedom of expression is protected.

He also mentions that, as part of Proton's mission to make privacy and digital freedom are universally accessible, have developed ProtonVPN, the world's first free unlimited VPN service that does not track or log user activity.

We are at the forefront of the global freedom fight and recently ranked third on the Hong Kong App Store during the Hong Kong Freedom Protests. By censoring the ProtonVPN app description to comply with the government's authoritarian demands, Apple is making it increasingly difficult for people to exercise their basic human rights and sending a clear signal that profits come before people.


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