Tim Cook: Apple is getting its App Store commission, one way or another

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In his testimony in the Epic Games vs Apple case, CEO Tim Cook defended App Store security, but also said its payment system was necessary for Apple to get its commission from developers.

Speaking during the Epic Games v. Apple trial, Cook defended the convenience of the App Store. He also touted its security, compared to other systems of distributing software, but it was user convenience that he said was a key aim.

Specifically, he said that in the absence of an App Store, each app available for the iPhone, and other devices, would require their own billing process. He said this would lead to complications for users.

"It would wind up where customers would then have to [fill in] their credit cards for all of these different apps," he said, "so it would be a huge convenience issue, but also the fraud issues would go up."

Rather than one system for collecting payments, if each developer were using their own payment processing, then fraud would rise just because of the volume of different transactions. Also, while Cook did not directly say this, there was the inference that different developers might use inadequate payment processing protections.

Cook did explicitly state that a large volume of transactions would have caused difficulties for Apple itself. Instead of processing all sales and paying out to developers, Apple would instead have to be paid by those software firms.

"We would have to come up with an alternate way of collecting our commission," continued Cook. "We would then have to figure out how to track what's going on and invoice it and then chase the developers; it seems like a process that doesn't need to exist."

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