After Spotify filed a complaint against Apple earlier this week, Apple has today released a statement trying to address Spotify’s claims.

According to the statement:

What Spotify is demanding is something very different. After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.

and

Spotify wouldn’t be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem, but now they’re leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs. We think that’s wrong.

Great points, but the statement complete sidesteps why the company disallows apps to mention other available payment models. I think Apple is fair in asking for a 30% cut for payments made through the App Store, but Spotify (and other apps) should also be allowed to tell their users that they can purchase the same subscriptions, using other payment methods, sometimes cheaper, from the service’s own website. Apple itself says that many Spotify users are free users and Apple is fine not getting any revenue from them. For any revenue Spotify receives outside of the App Store payment system, Apple shouldn’t need to ask for a cut.

Moreover, Spotify wouldn’t be in this tough position if Apple didn’t have its music streaming service, with substantial unfair advantages over Apple, offered at the same price as Spotify. Right now, Apple offers a competitor service on the same platform as Spotify, at the same price as Spotify, and has substantial advantages that users like.

Spotify has announced that it has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and nondiscriminatory.

Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of Spotify, writes:

In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience—essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers. After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we’re now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition.

and

We aren’t seeking special treatment. We simply want the same treatment as numerous other apps on the App Store, like Uber or Deliveroo, who aren’t subject to the Apple tax and therefore don’t have the same restrictions.

More power to Spotify!

The company has created a lovely website called Time to Play Fair that shows a timeline of all the ridiculous App Store policies that Apple has in place as well as the rejections that Spotify has faced over the years.

Lars Rehm, writing for Digital Photography Review:

The main camera on the back features a total of five Zeiss-branded lenses which all come with an equivalent focal length of 28mm, an F1.8 aperture and a 12MP image sensors. Three of the latter are monochrome, two are RGB sensors. A sixths module captures additional depth information of the scene.

As ridiculous as it looks, this thing is very real and I’m actually looking forward to seeing samples from this phone.

Writankar Mukherjee & Sagar Malviya reporting for ETtech:

In an email to customers, Aramex India country manager Hector Crasto said: “Aramex is entering into a strategic relationship with Delhivery, who shall take over the domestic business of Aramex India. Accordingly, effective March 1, 2019, Aramex India will be discontinuing its domestic operations.”

Crasto wrote that Aramex in India will focus on its global competencies of express and freight and will continue the international business in the country. “However, as part of our strategic arrangement the pick-up/delivery of the shipment in India shall be done by Delhivery,” the email said.

The deal is set to be effective starting March 1st, 2019. I wonder how this is going to affect Aramex’s deal with dbrand.