Sometimes I reflect on my life and wonder where I went wrong, such that I am sitting on a wooden pew in federal court, watching a Google search for Candy Crush Saga on the display monitor. This is a huge trial with major stakes for tech companies. It is also a crashing bore.
On the stand is Lorin Hitt, professor of operations, information, and decisions at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton, looking uncomfortable behind his face shield. During his direct examination in the ongoing Epic v. Apple trial, Hitt testified that he didnt think having to access an app like Candy Crush through a browser instead of the app counted as friction for the user and that it certainly was less friction than real-world alternatives, such as leaving a convenience store and then crossing the street to go to another convenience store.
The point of Hitts earlier testimony was that game developers multi-home games to PC and mobile. Hes Apples expert witness, and he is here to convince the judge that being blocked from the App Store isnt a huge barrier to developers. Epic whose game Fortnite is in fact blocked from the store has taken Apple to court to show otherwise. And the picture Hitt painted on his direct examination was largely dismissive of Epics concerns.
Epic attorney Yonatan Even, also in a face shield, is now doing his best to blow a hole in Hitts testimony. I am doing my best to follow a confusing spreadsheet that includes games that Hitt has promised are on both PC and mobile phones. Even begins by pointing out some of these games are not, in fact, available for PC. One game, Words Story, is listed as available on PC on the document, but does not say this on the developers website. In the Microsoft store, a Words Story with the same art exists, but its not the same developer. Sir, this is not the same developer and not the same game, is it? Even says. Its what is called a fake game.
We go through this tiresome process for several games: Helix Game, Crowd City, BitLife, Happy Glass, Paper.io 2, and Mr. Bullet. I have never heard of any of these small-potatoes games, which makes them sort of a weird point of comparison for the most popular game in the world. The app developer pages suggest they are not available on PC, despite Hitts document to the contrary. Things are getting contentious, and Hitt is beginning to have a hang-dog Rick Moranis in Honey I Shrunk the Kids vibe. Did Hitt double-check the data to make sure it was the same developer across stores? Can he tell the court under oath that a certain app is from the same developer?
Hitt cant guarantee all the games listed in the unintelligible spreadsheet are from the same developer across all platforms, it turns out. He says his team of researchers did the analysis, and he trusts his team.
Hitt said earlier that hed identified eight games that let people buy things on the iOS web browser, and then use them in iOS apps; these are identified in the spreadsheet. Epic has complained that this process isnt good enough and certainly isnt ubiquitous. Now, Even raises the frictionless process that Hitt had blithely testified to earlier in the day. Candy Crush Saga is the example Even chooses. We go to the website, and press install, where we are promptly sent to the App Store. We tab back to the website. The only possible way to play on the web is on desktop. The Facebook option for Candy Crush, too, is desktop.
We try another game, Clash Royale, developed by Supercell. We go to Supercells FAQ, where it emerges that payment processes are only through Apples App Store or Google play. Supercell itself doesnt keep payment information And yet you believe that your team managed to go into a website and buy legitimate Clash Royale money and go back to the app? Thats your testimony? Even asks.
I am terrified we are going to go through all eight apps, but thankfully Even spares us the exhaustion. According to Even, there are three apps that support buying something on the web, then using it in an app: PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds, Roblox and Fortnite. (Fortnite, however, is now banned from iOS.) Does Hitt have any basis to dispute this?
On redirect, Apples Cynthia Richman tries to stop the bleeding. Sometimes developers license games to other developers which might explain some of the cases where the developers dont match. Hitt also tells us that Evens rather brutal examples arent typical. Hitt has personally purchased V-bucks on a mobile browser, he tells us proudly.
It looked pretty difficult given the examples you provided, says Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. Whats the explanation for why we couldnt do these things during the cross-examination? Well, Hitt says, there were other links in the spreadsheet.
That may very well be true. But Evens point stands: most of us do not have research teams. I wish I did I could send them to the trial in my stead and blame them if the work was subpar. Instead, I am personally sitting through excruciating expert testimony. Why am I focusing on this, specifically? Its the most interesting thing that happened all day.
Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the most valuable technology company in the world. It was the first publicly traded U.S. company whose market capitalization hit $1 trillion in August 2018. However, it did not stop there and continued its rapid growth. In a short span of just two years, its market value skyrocketed to a record $2 trillion, once again becoming the first company to hit that milestone. Apple is best known for its iconic products such as iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks.
The California-based tech giant recently announced its financial results for the second quarter. Apple reported earnings of $23.6 billion, or $1.40 per share for the three months ended March 27,well above $11.2 billion, or 64 cents per share in the comparable period of 2020. Analysts on average were looking for earnings of 99 cents per share.
Revenue for the quarter climbed 54 percent on a year-over-year basis to $89.6 billion, crushing the consensus forecast of $77.1 billion. iPhone sales jumped to $47.9 billion in the quarter, significantly higher than $29 billion in the comparable period of 2020.
If we look at the performance of other segments, iPad revenue came in at $7.8 billion, versus $4.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. Comparatively, Mac revenue jumped to $9.1 billion, versus $5.4 billion in the same period last year. Moreover, revenue from the wearables, home and accessories segment rose to $7.8 billion, as compared to $6.3 billion in the comparable quarter of 2020.
Speaking on the results, CEO Tim Cook said, This quarter reflects both the enduring ways our products have helped our users meet this moment in their own lives, as well as the optimism consumers seem to feel about better days ahead for all of us.
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