Technology

What's Up With Apple: Epic Trial Ends, Another iPhone Software Update and More

Attorneys for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Epic Games did not get an opportunity to wrap up their arguments in the anti-competitiveness lawsuit Epic brought against Apple. Instead, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers quizzed lawyers for both sides.

Both Apple and Epic agreed that the dispute focused on two key points: the definition of the market and potential remedies if Apple is found to be anticompetitive. To the first point, Apple’s share of the game market is minuscule, so it cannot be charged with anticompetitive behavior for that. However, the company does have a tight grip on the market for iPhone (iOS) games. Is that compelling enough?

As for remedies, Epic wants Apple to open up its walled garden, but the Fortnite maker is not seeking specific damages. Apple wants to maintain its right to control on what apps are available through its App Store and how people pay for both the apps and for in-app purchases.

Dean Takahashi, at VentureBeat, has a good summary of the final day’s events. Judge Gonzalez Rogers said she would try to have a written verdict by August 13, exactly one year from the date that Epic filed its lawsuit, but that she was not sure that was possible.

On Monday, Apple released another update to the iPhone’s iOS operating system. Version 14.6 includes, among other things, support for Apple Music’s Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio features, Apple Card sharing and a way for podcast creators to collect subscription fees.

iOS 14.6 also contains several bug fixes, including the problem with Apple Watch being unable to unlock the iPhone, disconnecting Bluetooth devices and call blocking. MacRumors has a more complete list and description of the update.

Apple may be getting a new competitor in the market for online games. Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is reported to be considering expanding its video streaming service by creating a subscription offering for video games. Reuters, on Friday, confirmed an earlier report in The Information, that Netflix is searching for an executive to take charge of its expansion into video games. The company is considering adding a bundle of video games, a la Apple Arcade, to its trove of videos. One issue that appears to be decided is that the games will not support advertising.

On Monday, Apple confirmed the program for its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The conference begins on Monday, June 7, with a 10.00 a.m. PT keynote presentation streamed from the company’s headquarters in Cupertino. Like last year’s WWDC, the entire conference will be virtual again this year.

AppleInsider reports that a well-known Apple leaker has claimed that the company will reveal new models of the MacBook Pro at the conference.