The rules that determine what is approved and what is not in Apple's App Store have always been somewhat mysterious. But a new ones Bloomberg interview with Phillip Shoemaker, an ex-Apple exec who oversaw the App Store approval process between 2009 and 2016, offers some interesting insights. This is particularly relevant at a time when Apple faces antitrust issues in both the US and the EU due to its management of the App Store.
In the interview, Shoemaker says that Apple has long been afraid that competing apps from companies such as Google and Facebook will replace the most important iOS functions such as calling and messages. He notes that this fear is "absolutely the reason" that the company still does not allow users to set third-party apps as a standard service for these primary functions.
"That was real. I mean the fear that someone would come by, a Facebook, a Google, anyone and anyone and wipe all our stuff," says Shoemaker.
Talking about the early days of the App Store, Shoemaker notes that the approval process was quite hit-and-miss. He tells an incident in which a notorious & # 39; baby shaking app & # 39; used to be adopted, which reduces the company's price. Shoemaker says that this mistake brought him a call from Apple founder Steve Jobs himself.
"Steve just had simple words for me: & # 39; You are stupid and you employ stupid people & # 39; & # 39;" he says. "This was one of the best conversations I had with Steve. It was so concise and to the point. He hung up. & # 39;
Looking at more modern times, Shoemaker notes that there are inherent conflicts when Apple enters markets that are "ripe for competition." This certainly fits in with Spotify's complaint against the company that the iPhone maker has abused his control over the App Store to rival punishing music streaming services.
"I'm really worried about the competition piece," says Shoemaker, about 20 minutes after the interview. "You see that Spotify goes to the EU regulators and you have Elizabeth Warren talking about breaking Facebook, and Apple, etc … I believe there is now a conflict as Apple enters these spaces that are ripe for competition."
Shoemaker elaborates on the specific rules that he thinks Apple should change a blog post Medium, pointing out that companies such as Netflix and Spotify "rightly worry about fair treatment." It provides interesting reading, along with further quotes and the full interview with Bloomberg& # 39; S Mark Gurman, available here.