Even though a judge handed down a verdict in the legal battle between Epic Games and Apple, one in which both companies had something to lose, this was only a first instance. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that Apple doesn’t have to necessarily offer alternative stores for Epic Games, but that it will have to offer alternative payment methods accessible from the apps. Now, however, the two companies are meeting again to begin the process of appealing the original decision.
Epic Games wants an open iOS, Apple doesn’t want to give up App Store revenue
The battle between the two companies could drag on until 2025. An appeal of the original decision, which will be launched now, could take until late 2023 to reach a conclusion. The first step is to hear the parties from judges. They will hear the reasons for appealing the original decision.
If the appeal proceeds, new evidence from Epic Games is expected, but Apple shouldn’t change its plea much. The appeal isn’t the last step in the process, however. Regardless of the outcome, there’s one more step to a conclusion: the U.S. Supreme Court, which has the final decision.
But the Supreme Court process could drag on for several years, with experts estimating a verdict as late as 2024, or even 2025. In the meantime, companies can delay implementing previous rulings.
Thus, Apple has yet to offer alternative payments except in countries where this is mandatory, and Epic Games does not seem interested in returning to the App Store under these conditions. Not that it could do that without Apple’s consent, which would have to unlock its developer accounts. That could only happen if there are negotiations between the two parties, and those discussions won’t happen until they resolve their issues in court first.
Apple still believes that loosening controls will lead to weaker security for users and their data. Ironically, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, has previously admitted that he uses an iPhone as his personal phone because of its high security.