Revealed The trial of Apple and Epic Games for additional details about the iPhone manufacturer’s behind-the-scenes negotiations with companies like Microsoft, including a request to bypass the App Store commission.
This 2012 email series highlights Microsoft’s release of the Office package for the iPad, and Apple’s reaction to it.
According to the letters, Apple executives asked Microsoft if it wanted to participate in its annual WWDC developer conference that year.
Microsoft refused, indicating that it was not ready to talk about its plans for an iPad.
Microsoft had two requests. It wanted Phil Schiller and Eddie Q to meet with its executives, and Apple agreed to that request.
Microsoft also asked Apple to allow it to redirect users to its site to collect purchases and bypass the App Store’s 30 percent commission.
Schiller refused this request, indicating in an email that Apple is the one who runs the store and is the one who collects the revenue.
Apple charges developers a 30 percent commission for apps sold in its app store, as well as for in-app purchases.
This is fairly standard, and although Apple has better relationships with some developers than others, which may give these developers a better view, the company has never budged from its 30 percent commission.
Obviously, Microsoft wanted to be an exception to this rule, but Apple categorically refused it.
Although it is not surprising that Apple refused, given the relationship between Apple and Microsoft for decades, it was possible for both companies to reach some kind of compromise.
Microsoft didn’t release the Office package for the iPad until 2014, after Satya Nadella took over as CEO of the company in place of Steve Ballmer.
Other documents and correspondence revealed in the Apple and Epic Games trial showed that the two companies had shared a friendly partnership over several years.
And Apple appears to be interested in persuading Epic Games to support ARKit.
Emails among Epic Games executives in 2017 indicated a meeting with Apple to discuss the use of iPhone’s face-tracking technology to create animated characters.
ARKit discussions between the two companies continued into 2020.
After the iPad Pro was released with LiDAR, Apple executives offered Epic Games a meeting with the ARKit team. She also indicated that she could be promoting Epic Games at WWDC that year.
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