Anyone who buys a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod touch, or Apple TV after October 22nd gets free three-month trial of Apple Arcade, Apple has announced. Apple’s games subscription service normally costs $4.99 a month, and gives you access to over 100 downloadable games with no ads or in-game purchases.
Apple has long used lengthy free trial periods to advertise its subscription services. When it launched Apple TV Plus last year it gave customers a whole year of the service for free with the purchase of an eligible device, and recently extended these trials by up to three months. Three months is also the standard trial period for Apple Music. Until now, however, Apple has only offered a one month free trial of Apple Arcade with new sign-ups.
A new class action lawsuit alleges that Apple enjoys monopoly power in the iOS mobile gaming marketplace, and exhibits anticompetitive behavior to keep it that way.
The complaint, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claims that Apple has “unlawfully [foreclosed] competition” through “persistent, pervasive, and secretive” misconduct.
New Jersey man John Pistacchio, the plaintiff in the case, claims to be paying “supracompetitive prices” for Apple Arcade as a result of the company’s alleged anticompetitive behavior.
More specifically, the lawsuit suggests that Apple exerts monopoly power over the iOS App Store by requiring developers to follow its app guidelines and by prohibiting third-party app stores. It adds that developers and app publishers are “powerless to constrain” Apple’s conduct by refusing to publish apps on iOS.
“No developer or group of developers have sufficient power to entice enough iOs users to leave iOS, such that
A previous head of the App Store told the US House of Representatives that Apple rejects subscription game services because they compete with Apple Arcade.
As the dispute between Apple and Epic Games continues, a former App Store manager has claimed that Apple does reject apps that compete with its own services. Questioned by the US House of Representatives in its antitrust investigation, Philip Shoemaker said that the App Store had been used to protect Apple’s interests.
“[Apple] was not being honest,” he said when asked about the company’s claim that it treats all developers the same. Calling the App Store rules both “arbitrary” and “arguable,” he said that, “Apple has struggled with using the App Store as a weapon against competitors.”
“Apple has complete and unprecedented power over their customers’ devices,” he continued. “The decisions they make with regards to third-party apps needs to be above reproach, and currently
Apple’s iPhone and iPad App Store doesn’t allow subscription-based gaming services like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and Google’s Stadia.
The reason, according to former Apple App Store director Phil Shoemaker, is because “apps that compete against Apple’s services have a track record of problems getting through the App Store’s review process,” a new House antitrust report said.
Shoemaker pointed to Apple Arcade, Apple’s subscription-based gaming service, as a primary reason other game subscription services aren’t available for iPhone and iPad users.
“Apple’s gaming service, Apple Arcade, is a type of app that was ‘consistently disallowed from the store,’ when offered by third-party developers,” the report said, “but Apple allowed its own app in the store ‘even though it violates existing [App Store] guidelines.’”
Apple maintains that any game on a subscription service is subject to the same App Store approval process that an
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This year has been rough, but the novel coronavirus isn’t going away any time soon. In Japan, for example, next February’s in-person Japan Amusement Expo has been canceled.
Japan Amusement Expo (JAEPO) is the industry event to show off the latest arcade hardware—as Siliconera points out, it’s the arcade equivalent of the Tokyo Game Show. Considering not only the proximity of event attendees but also that they would be touching the same arcade cabinets, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
As Siliconera reports, the Japanese arcade industry’s magazine summed up reasons why the physical event is being canned:
It is hard to think that the novel coronavirus will subside by February 2021, and it is also extremely unclear whether an
Apple’s next version of the Apple TV set-top box could use an 12 or A14 chip, a leaker claims, with Apple said to be making a major push to improve the quality of content offered in Apple Arcade.
A report from September pointed to a possible upgrade of the Apple TV with a new processor, as well as a gaming controller to support Apple Arcade sometime in 2021. In a Saturday weet from leaker “choco_bit,” it seems that Apple’s ambitions require some serious hardware choices.
In the tweet, the leaker suggests Apple is working on an A12X or A12Z-based Apple TV, using upgraded SoC versions previously used by the iPad Pro range. In the same tweet, Apple is also thought to be making an “A14X-like” Apple TV, which by the name alone would suggest the use of an enhanced form of the incoming A14 chip.