Twitter thread leads to solidarity from tech companies against Apple
posted Sunday Dec 4, 2022 by Scott Ertz
Obviously, this week has been absolutely brimming with news from the new Twitter and Chief Twit Elon Musk. From employment problems to the release of the first batch of Twitter Files, it seems like Twitter is always in the news (though the Twitter Files topic seems to be missing from most tech sites as of this writing). However, the story that seems to keep on giving is Elon Musk's comments about Apple. Even though he and Tim Cook have settled their dispute, other tech companies are still coming out to agree with Musk's position.
What Elon Musk said
As more attention is put on the new Twitter and its CEO, some companies and individuals have positioned themselves behind the idea that free speech could endanger free speech. While a difficult idea to wrap your head around, it has led many to look at the availability of Twitter under Musk's leadership. Even Musk commented[url" class="UpStreamLink"> that Apple threatened to remove Twitter from the App Store. He also attacked the company's 30% revenue cut from publishers, commonly known as the Apple Tax. Later, Elon Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook met in person and Musk announced that there had been a misunderstanding and Twitter is not in danger of being pulled from the App Store over its moderation policies.
Others join the conversation
While Elon Musk and Tim Cook seem to have come to an understanding about the app's state on iOS, one topic is still looming in the air - the Apple Tax. It does not appear that, in their discussions, they came to any agreement on the topic of Apple taking 30% of in-app purchases. This is a huge sticking point for Twitter, as the current plan is for Twitter Blue to not be relaunched until they can address this issue.
Of course, Elon Musk is not the only one unhappy with Apple's imposed tax for a feature that no one wants. As such, some of the other aggrieved parties joined in to voice their discontent about the topic. Among those raising awareness was Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, who took the opportunity to remind people that he has been fighting this issue for years. In fact, he bumped a blog post from 4 years ago, in which he decried the damages being done by Apple to media and subscription-based services that could not afford to lose the 30% of each transaction.
Another company joining the discussion is Coinbase. The company recently tweeted about the lack of ability to send NFTs on iOS anymore. The company claims that this is because Apple denied a recent app update because it contained the feature and they were not getting a cut of the action. The issue arises from the "gas fees" charged as part of the transfer. Apple demands that the fees be paid through their in-app purchase system. However, because of the way blockchain works, this is technologically not possible. So, the feature has been removed, with Coinbase hoping they can work something out with Apple.
The unfortunate thing is that, there is little to no chance that Apple will relax their policies for a transaction that they see as potentially profitable, even if the fee cannot be processed through their system. Their interest is not in the sustainability of their developers' app ecosystems or on the customer experience. Apple only cares about their own profits, as was evidenced when they pulled Fortnite, initiating this war in the first place..