What's Up With Apple: Privacy Collides With Carriers, Playing Ball With MLB, and More

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) included a new feature called Private Relay in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey that encrypts iPhone and Mac users’ web requests and prevents anyone, including Apple and your wireless carrier, from seeing what websites you visit. The feature is similar to a virtual private network (VPN), but iPhone and Mac owners have to subscribe to iCloud+ in order to use the public beta version. That means the feature is turned off by default and device owners must enable it and agree to pay $0.99 monthly to become an iCloud+ customer.

While Apple device users may be happy, wireless carriers are not. European carriers, including T-Mobile, already have complained to European Union regulators, according to a report in The Telegraph cited by Gizmodo:

The way private relay is implemented will have significant consequences in terms of undermining European digital sovereignty. Furthermore, private relay will impair others to innovate and compete in downstream digital markets and may negatively impact operators’ ability to efficiently manage telecommunication networks …

In another contretemps with Alphabet/Google, Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer on Saturday accused Apple of using “bullying as a way to sell products.” iMessage, Apple’s text messaging program, displays texts from iPhones in blue bubbles. Texts from Android phones are displayed in green bubbles. Having an iPhone has become a status symbol among some (usually younger) users.

Emails disclosed in the recent Epic Games lawsuit indicate that Apple consciously decided not to allow non-iOS devices to use iMessage. In one email cited in a weekend report by The Wall Street Journal, a former Apple executive wrote in a 2013 email, “iMessage amounts to serious lock-in.”

Briefly noted:

According to a Monday afternoon report at the New York Post, Apple has been engaged in “substantial talks” with Major League Baseball (MLB) related to streaming MLB games next year. The package includes the weekday national games formerly broadcast by ESPN (Disney). The sports network did not renew its contract for the Monday and Wednesday night games. The games are not walled off from regional coverage and that means that Apple, like ESPN, would not have exclusive rights to stream/broadcast them.

Ride-hailing giant Uber has shut down its Apple Watch app and encouraged people to switch to its mobile app. As of Monday, the Apple Watch app was still available in Uber’s App Store listing, but people trying to use get an error message directing them to use the mobile app.

In its latest update to its annual report on Services, Apple said that app developers selling goods and services through the App Store have earned more than $260 billion since 2008. In last year’s report, Apple put the figure at $200 billion, meaning that the App Store generated $60 billion in 2021 income for developers.

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