Apple Files Expert Witness Testimony Ahead of Upcoming Trial With Epic

On Monday, May 3 Apple and Epic will meet in court as their bench trial kicks off over the dispute that Epic started last summer by defying the App Store in-app purchase rules.

fortnite apple featured
In preparation for the legal battle, Apple today filed the written testimonies of its witnesses with the court, and if approved, it serves the same function as actual trial testimony, providing insight into the arguments that Apple will make. The expert testimony includes several professors with expertise in law, economics, marketing, computer security, and antitrust.

The witnesses will rebut claims made by Epic's witnesses, and will argue the merits of the ‌App Store‌ rules and policies for consumers. University of Pennsylvania Professor in Operations, Information and Decisions Lorin Hitt, for example, calculated Apple's digital game transaction market share to argue that Apple doesn't have a monopoly and to point out that Apple's fees are the same as other game transaction platforms.

My market share calculations support the conclusion that Apple does not have market or monopoly power in a properly defined market. Apple's share of the digital game transaction market lies between 23.3% and 37.5%. In light of my conservative approach, these market share estimates, especially at the high end, are likely to overstate Apple's true market share and are, in any event, inconsistent with Apple having substantial market power. The entry of new game transaction platforms is also inconsistent with Apple having market power.

University of Michigan Professor of Economics Dean Francine Lafontaine points to Safari as an alternative to in-app purchases that some developers use, though it's worth noting that Apple does not generally allow developers to advertise payment methods outside of the ‌App Store‌, so developers like Epic would need to make customers aware of the option outside of the app.

Even the rare consumer who has access to only an iOS device has a readily available game transaction alternative to the App Store--the Safari browser. For example, any Fortnite player can use Safari (or Chrome) to purchase Fortnite's in-game currency, 'V-Bucks,' a transaction that generates no commission for Apple.

A survey conducted by UCLA Professor of Marketing Dominique Hanssens argues that Apple does not have a monopoly in the gaming market because most iPhone and iPad users regularly use other devices that can access digital gaming content like consoles.

Results of my first survey show that 92 percent of respondents who downloaded apps from the App Store had regularly used at least one other type of device (i.e., devices other than iPhones and iPads) with which they could access digital gaming content, in the last 12 months. Further, 99 percent of respondents in the first survey had regularly used or could have regularly used at least one other type of device (i.e., devices other than iPhones and iPads) with which they could access digital gaming content, in the last 12 months.

On the topic of security, Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute technical director Aviel Rubin will cover the importance of the ‌App Store‌ review process when it comes to security. Epic will likely argue that the ‌App Store‌ is not as secure as Apple says it is, pointing to scam apps and malware that slip through the review process as it aims to convince the court that third-party app distribution methods are needed.

The introduction of third-party app stores for iOS would decrease iOS security, safety, and trustworthiness, as evidenced by the cases of Google and statistics indicating that third- party app stores host 99.9% of discovered mobile malware... Irrespective of whether they would be able to or intend to achieve the same security goals, the reality is that they could not. Moreover, there is no guarantee that all, or even most, third-party app stores would commit to upholding user security and privacy and intend to achieve such security goals, particularly if those standards come at the expense of efficiency and revenue.

The filings are limited to Apple's expert witnesses and do not include topics that will be covered by Apple executives during the trial. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple Fellow Phil Schiller, and Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi will all testify in person in the Northern California court.

Epic will likely share its own expert witness testimony at some point ahead of when the trial begins. Epic also has an interesting witness list, which will include Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney and other Epic employees along with iTunes chief Eddy Cue and former iOS software chief Scott Forstall. Both companies will also call executives from other companies like Facebook and Microsoft.

Apple's witness statements are below for those who would like to see them in their entirety to get a better idea of how Apple plans to defend itself against Epic next week.

Top Rated Comments

WiseAJ Avatar
17 months ago
Can't wait for Apple to epically smack Epic Games.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
17 months ago
Can’t really argue with the point that epics customers could go online a make purchases. Isn’t that what Spotify customers do? Last time I ordered something from Amazon, I didn’t see vendors advertising their own web stores. Although I used to find products on Amazon, then buy them direct from sellers so I didn’t have to pay Amazon tax. Then I got burned Amazon policies are way better. Now I go the Amazon route

same thing. If Amazon can do it, so can other companies
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
17 months ago
Netflix does just fine without any in-app purchases, and without paying any money to Apple. Well, except $99 a year for the development tools, and they probably have a support contract to pay for support from Apple.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
17 months ago
Good.

App Store has been more than fair with the cut.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
digitalrampage Avatar
17 months ago
Not a monopoly because they only have 23-37% market share?
They have 100% share of their platform.
I’m surprised by how many people here support Apple and deny EPIC.
End of the day, how many small companies and developers have been wiped off the planet because Apple decided unilaterally they no longer fit their needs because of duplication of services or etc. This isn’t clean cut. Gone are the days of buying a title and owning it forever. We are all renting everything. Planned obsolescence is assured with Apple’s current systems.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Realityck Avatar
17 months ago
Good move, have multiple experts written testimonies available to use to question the basis of this trial. :cool:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

fortnite apple logo south korea feature 1

Epic Games Asks Apple to Restore Fortnite in South Korea Following Ban on In-App Purchase Requirement [Update]

Thursday September 9, 2021 5:00 pm PDT by
Epic Games today said that it has asked Apple to reinstate its Fortnite developer account because it intends to release Fortnite in South Korea. South Korea in late August passed a bill that bans Apple from requiring developers to use its in-app purchase system. The bill forces Apple (and Google) to let developers use third-party payment methods to make purchases. Epic Games now says that ...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic Games Began Planning Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple Two Years Ago With 'Project Liberty'

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:01 am PDT by
Ahead of its upcoming bench trial against Epic Games, Apple today filed 500 pages of documents covering findings of fact and conclusions of law, which basically summarizes the information exchanged between Apple and Epic, presents the relevant facts to the judge, and argues for the logical conclusions that should be drawn when law is applied to the case. Apple sticks to many of the talking...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic Games Appeals Ruling in Apple Lawsuit, Claims Court Made Errors

Thursday January 20, 2022 10:29 am PST by
Epic Games today kicked off its appeal of the judge's decision in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit, filing an opening brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Both Apple and Epic Games have decided to appeal the original ruling as neither company was satisfied with the outcome. Epic Games wanted the court to force Apple to support third-party App Stores, which did not...
fortnite apple featured

Epic Games vs. Apple Trial Begins With Opening Remarks Underway

Monday May 3, 2021 9:05 am PDT by
The first day of the bench trial between Fortnite creator Epic Games and Apple is officially underway, with the companies delivering opening remarks before District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in a Northern California courtroom. The saga dates back to August 2020, when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games introduced a direct payment option in the app for its in-game...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic Games CEO Renews Attack on Apple and Calls for Single, Universal App Store

Tuesday November 16, 2021 3:31 am PST by
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has today renewed his attack on Apple and called for a single, universal app store that works across all platforms (via Bloomberg). Last year, Epic's popular game "Fortnite" became the subject of heated litigation with Apple and Google over the rate of commission on in-app purchases. After Epic broke App Store rules by implementing a direct payment option, the game ...
roblox logo

Department of Justice Exploring Apple's Treatment of 'Roblox' Game in Antitrust Investigation

Monday December 6, 2021 12:46 pm PST by
The United States Justice Department is investigating Apple for antitrust issues, and Roblox is an area of interest for prosecutors attempting to put together a case, reports The Information. Investigators are looking for situations where Apple is unevenly enforcing rules for app developers, and Roblox is an area of interest because of the way the app works. Roblox is an online gaming...
fortnite samsung

Apple Says Epic Games 'Wants Us to Be Android, But We Don't Want to Be'

Monday May 3, 2021 5:43 pm PDT by
The highly-anticipated Epic Games vs. Apple trial kicked off today in a federal court in Oakland, California, with lawyers for both companies delivering opening remarks before District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. Lawyers for Epic Games attempted to paint the App Store as anti-competitive and monopolistic, noting that developers are forced to use Apple's in-app purchase system, and thus pay ...
fortnite apple logo geforce feature

Fortnite Coming Back to iOS Soon Thanks to Nvidia's GeForce NOW Service

Thursday January 13, 2022 11:19 am PST by
With the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit continuing on, there are no signs that Apple has any intention of allowing popular battle royale game Fortnite to return to the App Store on iPhone and iPad. Epic Games has found a workaround though, by partnering up with Nvidia. GeForce NOW, Nvidia's streaming gaming service, will soon add Fortnite support, allowing Fortnite to be played through a...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
battery percentage ios 16

Here's Why the iPhone Battery Status Icon in iOS 16 Is So Controversial

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:34 am PDT by
In the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple has updated the status bar battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the exact percentage remaining rather than just a visual representation of battery level, and while the change has been largely welcomed, some users are unhappy with the way it has been implemented. In iOS 15 and earlier, battery percent has not been present on iPhones that have...
Apple Watch Body Temperature Finished

'High-Accuracy' Apple Watch Temperature Sensor Revealed by Patent Filing Just Weeks Before Series 8 Unveiling

Wednesday August 10, 2022 5:39 am PDT by
Apple has been granted a patent for a temperature sensor suitable for the Apple Watch, just weeks before the company is expected to unveil the Apple Watch Series 8 with body temperature sensing capabilities. The newly granted patent, spotted by MyHealthyApple, was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is titled "Temperature gradient sensing in electronic devices."...