When Epic first brought its incredibly popular video game Fortnite to smartphones two years ago, the company sidestepped the App Store and Google Play by offering its own Android app launcher.
Eventually Epic made its game available in the official Android and iOS app stores, but company officials were never happy about having to split revenue with Apple and Google. Today Epic launched a new payment option that would allow users to save money on in-app purchases if they made them using Epic’s payment system… something that clearly violates Apple and Google rules.
Apple swiftly responded by kicking Fortnite out of the App Store. Epic responded by filing a lawsuit and releasing a short video accusing Apple of becoming the monster it once fought.
Apple notes that the revenue cut it takes isn’t a one-way street: in a statement the iPhone maker notes that companies like Epic benefit from the App Store ecosystem as well.
In some ways this is a case of giants fighting giants. It’s unlikely that a smaller company with a less popular/profitable app could afford to take this kind of risk. But in this particular battle, it’s not clear that Apple needs Epic more than the other way around… but it’s also not clear that Epic really needs Apple… if the lawsuit fails to crack open the App Store in any way, Epic will probably be fine. Fortnite is still one of the most popular games in the world, something that was true even before the game was available for iPhones.
Meanwhile, Apple continues to prohibit game streaming services from its platform, so it’s not like Epic can distribute Fortnite for iPhone users that way.
Update: Google too.
Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.
- Epic is daring Apple and Google to ban Fortnite from their app stores [Android Police]
Apple and Google take a 30-percent cut of app and game sales and in-app purchases when you buy through their respective app stores. Some developers are unhappy about that – and Epic has basically gone against the rules by launching its own payment system.
- Apple accepts that dare [CNBC]
Well, that didn’t take long. Apple has removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic introduced a new payment method to get around Apple’s rules. It’s still in the Google Play Store… for now. Update: Google has removed the game, and Epic is suing Google now too.
- Vulnerabilities found on Amazon’s Alexa (and patched by Amazon) [Check Point]
Amazon Alexa voice assistant vulnerability could have exposed the personal information and voice history for users of hundreds of millions of devices. Amazon has addressed the issue, but Check Point describes the vulnerability in detail in this article.
- Intel Dishes on Alder Lake-S: First x86 Hybrid CPU for Desktops [Tom’s Hardware]
Intel confirms that Alder Lake-S processors are headed to desktop PCs in 2021, bringing the company’s hybrid architecture to the desktop space. A single chip will combine high-performance Golden Cove CPU cores with energy-efficient Gracemont (Atom) cores).
- Apple Readies Subscription Bundles to Boost Digital Services [Bloomberg]
Apple may be developing an “Apple One” subscription bundle that gets you Apple Music and Apple TV+ for one price. Optional tiers could include Apple Arcade, Apple News+ or extra iCloud storage. Sounds like Apple’s answer to Amazon Prime, w/o free shipping. It’s said to be launching in October.
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