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Tim Cook praises Canadian App Store growth, talks upcoming Epic trial

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Apple CEO Tim Cook promoted the App Store's progress in Canada as part of a wide-ranging interview that also discussed the upcoming Epic Games trial.

On Monday, Apple revealed the App Store supports more than 243,000 jobs in Canada, up 18% year-on-year, as part of a series of regional reports. Following a roundtable with Canadian developers that have benefited from the App Store's growth, Cook offered some observations about the digital storefront.

Reiterating a previous claim that the app ecosystem was an "economic miracle," to the Toronto Star, Cook said it was one of the "fastest-growing job segments" in the country.

"There are 243,000 developers who are making their living in Canada on the App Store," said Cook. "There's more than that who are registered, but those are the ones where there's a full-time job created."

Cook reportedly greeted the Canadian developers in the meeting with a peace sign and called them kindred spirits, before stating "To see your work and to see how you're changing the world, it's what makes my heart sing."

Cook's talk with the publication moved on to discuss the Epic Games lawsuit and trial, where the developer asserts Apple is using its dominance to force others to abide by overly-restrictive and anti-competitive App Store rules.

"The view I have is Apple's not dominant in any market it's in. There's fierce competition everywhere," said Cook.

Declaring there's a "street fight" for market share in smartphones, Cook doubled down on the statement, adding "Worldwide, our (market) share is in the teens. Hardly what anybody would say is dominant."

On Epic Games directly, Cook believes the heart of the complaint is that Epic wants to use its own payment information. "But that would make the App Store a flea market and you know the confidence level you have at the flea market," the CEO suggested.

The volume of people using that sort of market would be "dramatically lower," which would be bad for users because "they would miss out" on the kind of innovation successful developers can bring. Developers would miss out "because they wouldn't have a huge audience to sell to. So nobody wins in that environment," he concludes.

As for Apple's chances at the trial, Cook is upbeat. "I believe if we tell the story, the facts, if we can communicate those clearly, then I'm confident that we should prevail."

Apple's lawsuit with Epic is set to commence on May 3.

The interview is the latest for the Apple CEO, who has offered a wide array of takes on behalf of the company in public in the last two weeks. On April 1, he provided a statement in response to Georgia's "SB 202" voting law, adding that technology could be the answer to make it easy for people to vote.

A podcast interview published on April 5 covered many topics, including Parler, politics, Apple's dealings with Facebook, and Cook's expectation he won't be in charge of Apple in 10 years time.

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