Faced with protest, Apple says app developers are thriving on iPhone

Apple Inc, looking to address criticism of its competitive practices from the European Union, developers and US lawmakers, pointed to a report showing third-party apps are thriving on the iPhone and other devices. In a study published by the Analysys Group and promoted by the iPhone maker, analysts said Apple’s own apps are rarely the dominant choice and account for only a small share of app usage.

“We found that Apple’s own apps, while used by many, are rarely the most popular of a particular type and are outpaced by third-party apps in nearly every country and type of apps we considered,” the report said.

In the US, the report found that Spotify is 1.6 times more popular than Apple Music, Google Maps is used 1.5 times more than Apple Maps, and Netflix is ​​17 times more popular than Apple’s service. Meanwhile, the Amazon Kindle was 4.5 times more popular than the Apple Books app.

Apple is under scrutiny by the European Union, which is working on legislation that would force the company to allow apps to be installed from outside the App Store. Such a move would threaten Apple’s grip on its platform and could limit its ability to charge developers a commission.

US lawmakers have also pushed to allow the practice, known as lateral loading. Apple said that sideloading would bring privacy and security risks to consumers.

Thursday’s move was an attempt to show that app developers are doing well without change. It also represents an unusual attempt by Apple to play down the success of its own services, which now generate more than $60 billion annually for the California-based Cupertino company. The study found that Apple’s Music, TV, Books, and Maps services are the dominant player in a few key areas.

“In the US, iPhone users spend more than 50% of their time on Spotify compared to Apple Music,” the report said.

The researchers also found that there are a variety of alternative applications across major categories. In Asia, for example, third-party communication apps like LINE, WeChat, and KakaoTalk dominate the iPhone.


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