Debate Scheduled to Open Apple’s App Store to All Developers

Federal court hearing to restrict iPhone censorship of independent apps

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, August 11, 2021 / -- A hearing to end the App Store’s twelve-year reign as the exclusive distribution point for iOS apps is scheduled for videoconference debate on October 14, 2021 at 1:30PM. In their papers moving the United States District Court to open the App Store to fair competition, Coronavirus Reporter asserts that the result will be vastly improved selection of innovative apps “limited only by the imagination of independent developers.” The filing reasons that “Apple’s walled garden will finally be allowed to flourish,” a reference to Elon Musk’s statement, made during a Tesla earnings conference last week, concerning Apple’s policing of the App Store in the name of profit over progress.

In the case of Coronavirus Reporter, the company had developed a COVID-19 symptom tracing app in February 2020, but Apple placed it under a ban of all COVID startups, so they could pursue their own app. The company claims that eighteen months later, Apple’s COVID SDK is still unavailable over a large part of the United States. According to Apple’s own research, these app delays caused increased mortality, says the filing. Coronavirus Reporter’s Chief Physician, cardiologist Dr. Roberts, invented the MBCK test for heart attacks used to screen tens of millions of patients since the 1980s. Roberts remarked to CNBC that throughout medical history, startups have made necessary contributions, citing the discovery of penicillin as example. He believes Apple’s policy to ban startups from medical contribution would set a dangerous precedent.

The injunction is part of a larger class action lawsuit seeking nearly $200 billion in damages to small developers of free apps such as Coronavirus Reporter. The suit asserts that Apple’s control over the iPhone is tantamount to purchasing a TV and only being allowed to watch films approved by that TV manufacturer, or buying a car only to be told by the car manufacturer what neighborhoods it can be driven to. If the Plaintiff prevails, an iPhone owner would be free to launch any app and download apps directly from third-party developers, effectively bypassing the App Store. The motion concludes “It is time to realize the smartphone, even if it once subject of science fiction fantasy, is not exempt from laws meant to curtail Apple’s greed.”

The hearing is open to public viewing, and instructions for watching the debate are on the website for the United States District Court for the Northern California District:

Attorney Keith Mathews represents Coronavirus Reporter. Download the motion for preliminary injunction here:

Source: Coronavirus Reporter

Keith Mathews
Associated Attorneys of New England
+1 (603) 622-8100