Apple’s App Store is ‘problematic’

  • Mark Zuckerberg called Apple’s control of the App Store “problematic” during an interview on Wednesday.
  • The Facebook founder said Apple’s control of iOS has made it difficult for Meta.
  • Zuckerberg’s comments echo those of Elon Musk, who on Tuesday called the App Store “a serious problem.”

Mark Zuckerberg took a jab at Apple and appeared to side with Elon Musk over the iPhone company’s control of the App Store during an interview on Wednesday.

“I think Apple has branded itself as the only company that’s trying to unilaterally control what apps have a device, and I don’t think that’s a sustainable or good place to be,” Zuckerberg said during a conference call. Interview at The New York Times DealBook Summit. “I think it’s problematic for a company to be able to control what kind of app experiences you get on the device,” he added.

Spokespersons for Apple and Meta did not respond to an Insider request for comment prior to publication.

New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin had asked Zuckerberg for his take on Musk’s recent battle with Apple. On Tuesday, Musk I call Apple’s control over the App Store “a serious problem” and seemed to declare “war” on Apple. The billionaire and “Boss Twit” said the tech giant had threatened to remove Twitter from its app store, without giving a reason.

While Zuckerberg did not comment directly on Musk’s battle with Apple, the Meta CEO said he believes Apple “stands out as the only one where a company can control what apps get installed on the device.” He noted that even though the Google Play Store has launched apps from its store, there are other app stores available for Android users and the ability to download apps as well.

Zuckerberg has been critical of Apple’s policies for several years. In 2020, he accused the company of charging “monopoly rent” in the form of App Store fees and blocking competition. Musk has also criticized Apple’s App Store fee. The tech company controls the distribution of iPhone and iPad apps, taking in 15-30% of most in-app purchases made on iOS apps.

On Wednesday, Zuckerberg said Apple’s policies pose a risk to Meta, as he sees them as one of the company’s “big competitors.”

“There’s a conflict of interest there and it makes them not just some kind of governor looking out for the best interests of the people,” Zuckerberg said. “I think they also have a lot of their own strategic interests, which makes it very challenging.”

The Facebook founder also said Apple’s new privacy policies have “been tough” on the company. Earlier this year, Meta said Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature would cut the company’s 2022 sales by about $10 billion.

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