Apple's Craig Federighi: Mac Not Meeting the Bar for Customer Protection

Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi is testifying in the ongoing Apple v. Epic games trial this afternoon, providing details about iPhone security to convince the judge that any change to the App Store policies would be detrimental to ‌iPhone‌ users.

Mac App Store General Feature
Epic Games wants the judge to force Apple to allow multiple app stores on iOS, similar to how it works on Mac, which would allow users to install apps that have not been reviewed by Apple. During questioning, Federighi was asked why app stores on iOS shouldn't work like the Mac, where apps can be installed via the Mac App Store or from third-party sources.

In response, Federighi said third-party app installation is often exploited on the Mac. "iOS has established a dramatically higher bar for customer protection," he said. "The Mac is not meeting that bar today."

He went on to explain that the level of malware on the Mac is not something that Apple finds acceptable, and if iOS worked similarly, it would be overrun with malware, a particular danger because there are far more iOS devices.

Sideloading apps on iOS would "dramatically" change security on iOS, according to Federighi. "No human policy review could be enforced because software could be downloaded directly." People could put an unsafe app up for sale and "no one would check that policy."

Federighi was also asked about earlier testimony that said iOS and Android have no significant security differences, leading him to point out a report from Nokia that said Android devices have 30 times more malware infections than iOS devices. "It's well understood in the security community that Android has a malware problem that iOS has succeeded in staying ahead of," he said.

Later this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook will also be testifying in the trial. Yesterday, we heard lengthy testimony from Apple Fellow Phil Schiller, who is in charge of the ‌App Store‌. Schiller focused on the inner workings of the ‌App Store‌, the ‌App Store‌'s value, and the value of Apple's SDKs for developers.

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Top Rated Comments

HeavenDynamic Avatar
40 months ago
And there it goes
macOS 12 : you can no longer install apps outside the Mac App Store
Score: 65 Votes (Like | Disagree)
XXPP Avatar
40 months ago
If Apple loses, it will be the end of a secure platform. Various companies, game publishers and banks will begin to force you to install applications from their stores. there will be 100 different stores and a total mess.
Score: 64 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blkant Avatar
40 months ago
I like my iPhone being locked down as it’s a small integrated device that follows me everywhere throughout the day, but for the love of god not my Macs. They are different devices with different purposes, a policy that works for one won’t necessarily work for the other.

This case should have never gotten this far.
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LiE_ Avatar
40 months ago

Epic really needs to win this for our sake
Agreed, I can’t wait to install all that malware ASAP…
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Number 41 Avatar
40 months ago
I rely on a phone as a communications device first and foremost. I need it to work 100% of the time. It also follows me around, stays on my person, and has access to WAY more information about me personally -- my exact location (via GPS), what I'm saying (via the microphone), what I'm seeing (via the camera), etc. With the Apple Watch, it also his my personal health information that I never want being out without my permission.

I'm exponentially more comfortable with the idea that my phone is locked down and in a walled garden of reviewed applications than I am my computer. This is (no pun intended) an apples to oranges comparison.

The idea that people are rooting for Epic to win and make their devices less secure is just insanity and shows a profound lack of understanding as to exactly how vulnerable their lives are when it comes to their personal digital devices. There's a reason law enforcement tries to crack open these things the second someone is arrested.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boss.king Avatar
40 months ago
They say security, but all I hear is App Store revenue.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)