| Cult of Mac

Apple’s treatment of Netflix highlights arbitrary App Store rules

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Netflix Downloads for You puts suggested shows right onto your iPhone
Unlike Epic Games, Netflix wasn’t banned from the App Store when it did an end run around Apple’s in-app purchase system.
Photo: Netflix

The latest insider info brought to light by the Epic Games v. Apple trial is the lengths the Mac-maker went to convince Netflix to continue taking subscriptions in its iPhone/iPad app. But Netflix stopped anyway, and Apple took no action.

When Epic Games tried to do something similar, Apple banned all its software from the App Store.

Read Epic Games’ reasonable idea for opening up the App Store

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Read Epic Games' reasonable idea for opening up the App Store
The CEO of Epic Games had an idea for making the App Store more open. It’s likely to find some support.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Epic Games suggested a change to the iPhone App Store that, if Apple had followed it, might have prevented the lawsuit that landed the two tech giants in court this week.

The game developer recommended that Apple continue to police third-party software, looking for malware, privacy violations, etc. But once the iPhone-maker signed off on an app, it would be up to the developer how the software got distributed.

Apple says it doesn’t have Scott Forstall’s phone number

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Scott Forstall 2
Scott Forstall left Apple in 2012 after the Apple Maps debacle.
Photo: Philosophy Talk

It wasn’t all that long ago that Scott Forstall, Apple’s former SVP of iOS software, was being talked about as a possible CEO successor to Steve Jobs. Then came the disastrous Apple Maps launch in 2012, and Forstall’s subsequent departure from the company.

Forstall has shown up a couple of times since then, but otherwise maintained a low profile. Now, as unearthed by the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit, the Cupertino company says it doesn’t even have a current phone number for Forstall — only a Twitter account and P.O. Box reference.