Technology

What's Up With Apple: No Fortnite Anytime Soon, Sticking It to Facebook, and More

Late Tuesday night, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) notified Epic Games that the Fortnite maker is banned from the App Store until all legal appeals have been exhausted in Epic’s lawsuit against Apple. Earlier this month, a federal judge issued a ruling in the lawsuit that satisfied neither party to the dispute.

In Tuesday’s letter to Epic Games, Apple said, “Epic committed an intentional breach of contract, and breach of trust, by concealing code from Apple and making related misrepresentations and omissions.” The letter concludes:

… Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s developer program account at this time. Furthermore, Apple will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and nonappealable.

Epic’s CEO, Tim Sweeney,  tweeted on Wednesday that his company had agreed to play by Apple’s rules and that “Apple lied” when the company said it would welcome Epic Games back “if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else.” The appeals process could take up to five years, according to Sweeney.

In a blog post Wednesday, Facebook’s vice-president of product marketing, Graham Mudd, updated the company’s customers on the impact of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature on “real-world conversions.” In webspeak, a conversion occurs when a user clicks on a buy button or a button to install an app or takes some other positive action that can be measured and tracked. According to Mudd, Facebook has been “underreporting iOS web conversions by approximately 15%,” although the range is wider.

What’s unusual about this is that Facebook has been accused before of providing inaccurate metrics, but the inaccuracies have always been in the company’s favor. This time, the inaccurate reporting is making Facebook look worse than it is.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has had just about enough of leaking memos related to the company’s internal affairs. In a leaked email Cook sent to Apple employees on Tuesday, he commiserated with employees who were upset about a leak last week regarding the company’s plans for treating unvaccinated workers:

I want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to identify those who leaked. As you know, we do not tolerate disclosures of confidential information, whether it’s product IP or the details of a confidential meeting.

Cook also made clear what will happen when the leakers are identified: “We also know that people who leak confidential information do not belong here.”

Apple is giving retail store employees hired before March 31 of this year a $1,000 one-time bonus next month, according to a report at Bloomberg. Employees hired after that date will receive a one-time bonus of $500 and new employees hired for the 2021 holiday season are going to receive a $200 bonus payment. And yes, Bloomberg received the information from sources “who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.”