I’m sure Apple was legally right, but it was still a huge mistake from a marketing and customer care perspective …
I have no doubt that Apple had full legal authority to make this decision. Epic broke the App Store’s terms and conditions with the introduction of its own in-app purchase method, and as it was unwilling to remove it, pending the outcome of the court case, Apple company’s developer accounts Was fully entitled to cancel.
Since the Sign in Apple option is linked to a developer account, it would be a logical consequence that it would also be canceled. All the same, it was a dumb thing for Apple.
Sign in with Apple was launched last year, but is still very much in its infancy. I’ve talked to some non-tech iPhone owners, and they’ve either never heard of it, or don’t know why they should use it. Apple has a lot of work here to show the benefits.
So deliberate sabotage was a strange thing to say the least. This is what Apple did: iPhone owners who chose to use it were going to be inconvenient, maybe in a small way, maybe in a big way. Because Apple gave them very little notice to create an alternative login method, at best it forced them to hurry to deal with the trouble created by Apple; At the very least, it could completely shut them down from their accounts.
Apple has now made a U-turn, so the login option will continue to work for an unspecified period. My guess is that it will actually continue to work forever, so until Apple and Epic finally resolve the underlying dispute, one way or the other.
But the damage is done. This threat, even now withdrawn, has drawn attention to the fragility of the sign with the Apple option. This made users aware of the fact that, if they choose this option, they could lose the ability to use it on Apple’s Whats.
If I were an Epic Games player, and I would have chosen to sign in with the Apple option, the lesson I would have learned from it would have been: Never choose that option again with any other app. This was a huge mistake from Apple for a service that aims to promote as part of its original privacy message.
For the record, I also think Epic is being dumbed down here, and for the same reason. After making its point, it should have agreed to simply remove the option, return to the App Store and then wait for the court case and / or later antitrust law results. By doing this, he has nothing to lose. Rather, it is not only a large proportion of income, but it is depressing its own customers. This is a stupid thing.
Neither side has done themselves any favors here.
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