Apple’s ‘stranglehold’ on App Store blocks innovation: Zuckerberg

“We’re staying focused on building communities for the more than 380 million people who play games on Facebook every month — whether Apple allows it in a standalone app or not.”

By   |  Published: 29th Aug 2020  12:29 pm
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

San Francisco: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has slammed Apple for its App Store policy, saying it blocks innovation and allows the tech giant to “charge monopoly rents”.

Buzzfeed first reported that Zuckerberg told 50,000 employees in a webcast that Apple has a “unique stranglehold as a gatekeeper on what gets on phones.”

The Facebook CEO added that App Store “blocks innovation, blocks competition” and “allows Apple to charge monopoly rents.”

“Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes,” a Facebook spokesperson told FOX Business on Friday.

“Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30% tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience”.

Facebook Gaming app was rejected by Apple for several months before the social network tweaked it for release on iOS devices.

Apple prevented the social network from launching its gaming app on iPhones and other devices as it was a direct threat to the livestream gaming service Apple Arcade.

According to Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the company managed to launch an iOS version of its gaming app after it was “forced to make a concession to bring it to the App Store”, CNBC reported earlier this month.

“Unfortunately, we had to remove gameplay functionality entirely in order to get Apple’s approval on the standalone Facebook Gaming app — meaning iOS users have an inferior experience to those using Android,” said Sandberg.

“We’re staying focused on building communities for the more than 380 million people who play games on Facebook every month — whether Apple allows it in a standalone app or not,” she said in a statement.

Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce also faced trouble with launching iOS versions of their apps due to the App Store’s guidelines. Microsoft has accused Apple of treating gaming apps unfairly while allowing other media services to exist on the platform even when they include interactive content.

“Apple stands alone as the only general-purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge recently.

Apple has said such cloud gaming services are in violation of App Store guidelines. Facebook Gaming saw a massive 238 percent growth in hours watched in the month of April (year-over-year) when people stayed home owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by the live game streaming platform Twitch that saw 101 percent growth.

Microsoft is all set to launch its much-anticipated game streaming service xCloud on September 15 for Android users in 22 countries.