Apple’s new devices target markets led by smaller competitors
“We believe it is entirely appropriate that Congress take a closer look at Apple’s business practices,” said Mr. Prober.
Apple has come under intense scrutiny in recent years for its strict control over its App Store, including Apple’s practice of forcing apps to use its payment system, which allows it to earn up to 30% commission on many app sales.
This policy fueled a multi-billion dollar company, but also brought Apple regulatory headaches, including Wednesday’s hearing and legislative battles in several states. Next month, Apple is set to face a lawsuit against Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, which is suing Apple over its policies on the App Store.
As part of its Tuesday announcements, Apple announced the redesign of its podcast app, which now features millions of shows, up from 3,000 when Apple launched the service 16 years ago. Starting next month, creators will be able to sell subscriptions to their podcasts, Apple said. It was not known if Apple would cut those sales, but that was its approach as it entered new industries, including apps, music and news.
The subscription service will put Apple in even more direct competition with Spotify, which is working on its own podcast subscriptions. Spotify has been one of Apple’s main critics in recent years. The business of the music service depends on the ability to reach listeners through iPhones, which puts the company at the whim of Apple. Spotify has filed antitrust complaints against Apple in Europe and complained about the company to US regulators.
Apple also introduced a series of thinner, faster, and more colorful iMacs. Desktop computers, which have 24-inch screens, range from $ 1,300 to $ 1,700. Apple also unveiled its new iPad Pro, its top-of-the-line tablet, with a sharper screen, faster speeds and the ability to connect to 5G wireless networks. The iPad will cost between $ 800 and $ 1,100.
Apple’s other announcements on Tuesday included an update to its branded credit card that would allow spouses to create credit together, and improvements to its Apple TV devices, such as a new, faster remote processor that will make video playback smoother.