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Apple in Court Battle Over App Store

If Apple fails to overturn the previous decision, the company is likely to face years of legal wrangling in a case that dates back to 2011

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Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Try these fitness apps on Apple Watch Series 4 for marathon season. Flickr Commons

Apple will head to the US Supreme Court this week to block a group of customers from suing the tech giant for monopoly abuse, media has reported.

The company is battling a group of iPhone owners who claim Apple forces them to overpay for apps by forbidding rivals to the multibillion-dollar App Store.

After the customers won the right to launch a class action lawsuit against the company in 2017, Apple is now appealing to the Supreme Court to have the decision overturned, The Telegraph reported late on Saturday.

If Apple fails, the business model of the App Store, one of the company’s fastest-growing and most profitable divisions, could be threatened, it added.

Apple makes billions each year by taking a 30 per cent cut of apps sold through the App Store, which are created by developers. App revenues grew by around a third in 2017 to $38.5 billion even as sales of Apple’s iPhones and iPads stalled.

The customers argue that its sizeable commission is evidence of the company exploiting its monopoly position over iPhone users. They argue that “iPhone consumers nationwide have paid (Apple) hundreds of millions of dollars more for iPhone apps than they would have paid in a competitive market”.

Apple
An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

Apple is seeking to dismiss the case by appealing to a Supreme Court ruling made in 1977 that said only “direct purchasers” can seek damages for antitrust abuse.

The company argues that because the app developers themselves set the price of apps in the App Store and not Apple, iPhone users are purchasing the apps from the developers directly.

Its opponents claim that because Apple sets the rules about the App Store, such as the minimum price, it is effectively selling the apps on to users.

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The Supreme Court is due to hear the arguments on Monday, although it is likely to take months until its judges announce any decision.

If Apple fails to overturn the previous decision, the company is likely to face years of legal wrangling in a case that dates back to 2011. (IANS)

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Apple to Refresh its Offerings in iPad, MacBook Pro Line-up

Though the launch dates of all the products remain unclear, the first ones are expected to come in March

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Apple, women
The Apple logo is shown outside the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

Apple is expected to refresh its offerings in iPad, MacBook Pro, monitors and iPhones even as the company has been bearing heavy losses in 2019, according to famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

“Kuo says that the 2019 iPhone models will retain the 6.5-inch, 5.8-inch and 6.1-inch screen sizes along with lightning connectivity, the current 9.7-inch iPad will increase in size to 10.2-inch and the company will return to the display market with a 31.6-inch 6k3k monitor,” 9To5Mac reported on Monday.

The iPhones are expected to feature ultra-wide band connectivity for indoor positioning and navigation, frosted glass casing, bilateral wireless recharge for charging other devices, upgraded Face ID, larger batteries and a triple camera design for iPhone 11 Max.

According to Kuo, this year, Apple may also release two new iPad Pro models with upgraded processors, a new MacBook Pro between 16 inches and 16.5 inches in a new design with “easy to upgrade components”.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

Currently, the 13-inch MacBook Pro maxes out at 16GB RAM, but Kuo suggests that the iPhone-maker may add a 32GB RAM option also.

“Kuo adds that the Apple Watch ECG function will come to additional countries this year along with a ceramic casing design and AirPods 2 will support wireless charging and upgraded Bluetooth connectivity,” the report added.

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Though the launch dates of all the products remain unclear, the first ones are expected to come in March. (IANS)