Apple’s App Store: monopoly or miracle?

“Launched just a decade ago, Apple’s App Store transformed our interactions with computers, phones, and the internet and remade the world of software,” Bret Swanson writes for the American Enterprise Institute. “There are 1.5 billion iOS devices now in service and 1.8 million apps available, which iPhone and iPad users have downloaded 130 billion times.”

“In a sane world where innovation is celebrated, such an explosion of choice, functionality, and creativity would be considered a miracle. Alas, although the app revolution is pretty amazing, not everyone is happy,” Swanson writes. “And earlier this month, the US Supreme Court ruled that consumers can sue Apple for overcharging in the App Store.”

“The Justices, however, don’t necessarily believe Apple has done anything wrong. That’s because the opinion did not address the merits of App Store antitrust — or whether Apple is in fact a monopolist that overcharges consumers,” Swanson writes. “At some point we’ll get back to the merits of whether the App Store (and other digital platforms) are harmful monopolies. And on this point, I continue to wonder how anyone can assert that the benefits — millions of apps, enterprise quality web services that are often free, one-day (instantaneous) delivery of multitudinous goods (services) — don’t massively outweigh the costs. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

The amount by which Apple Inc. has driven down software prices across the board, on every major computing platform, makes legal actions such as this eminently laughable. — MacDailyNews, August 16, 2013

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