The latest news and information about startups and innovations from the mobile world.
Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la!
I am grateful that after a challenging year that has tremendously disrupted our lives but also made us realize our priorities. Thank you for being a subscriber and for your support in 2020. I hope you and your loved ones are staying positively and testing negatively.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Here is to a better 2021 and more conversations with you! 🥂
Here are the top mobile news this week >
Facebook vs Apple
Google - 2023 trail date
Apple - 96M for first half of 2021
Apple - Tim Cook will go on trial
Apple - App Store Privacy
Apple - Epic Games App Store 12%
Amazon - $281 billion ad spend
Industry - Section 230 Coalition
Calling Startups in Supply Chain Innovation
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The brewing battle over the soul of Silicon Valley has finally hit a breaking point. Apple, which sees individuals as its customers, is advancing iOS users’ privacy with the choice to opt into ad tracking. Facebook, which sees individuals as its raw material, is fighting back, supposedly in the name of its small business customers. The two perspectives—product-focused versus ad focused—have been challenging each other for some time. But Apple has now drawn a line in the sand, saying that user data is owned by the user, while Facebook is fighting to maintain its free access to that data so it can boost its sales to advertisers.
If nothing else, this battle should make every individual question whether they are underestimating the value of the data they give away with every click.
September 12, 2023 will be the first day of the trial, but the DOJ’s lawsuit against Google, filed in October, is already hanging over Silicon Valley’s head.
The suit focuses on Google’s search and ads business and accuses the company of maintaining illegal monopolies in those markets. A date in 2023 gives Google plenty of time to sharpen its defenses and do what it wants until then, but it also means the specter of a major regulatory threat will loom large for the foreseeable future.
Apple detailed its new privacy disclosure requirements for developers, and tightened up what kinds of data devs are allowed to share with third parties. Apple is using its market power to act as America’s privacy regulator by default (which of course runs directly into competition issues).
Spotify is now available on the Epic Games Store, signaling that developer Epic Games may be taking steps to turning what has so far been strictly a PC games store into a more general app distribution platform. Spotify is free to download.
The Epic Games Store is still a relatively new digital distribution platform, having launched in December 2018 as a rival to Valve’s Steam. But from the jump, Epic offered more generous payouts to developers, taking only 12 percent of a developer’s revenues for its cut instead of the 30 percent taken in many cases by Valve, as well as Apple and Google.
Ad Age reveals the world’s top 100 advertisers. This year, the list is topped by a new leader: Amazon, whose advertising and promotion spending soared 34% to $11 billion in 2019 as net sales surged 20% to $281 billion.
Amazon leapfrogged Procter & Gamble, which has previously topped the list every single year since 1987, bar 2017 when it was outspent by Samsung. Altogether, ad spending for the world’s 100 biggest advertisers edged up 0.9% to a record $300 billion in 2019—before marketers slammed the brakes on spending in early 2020 amid the global pandemic.
Internet Works members are worried that the larger companies could make concessions in negotiations with Congress that expose the entire industry to the threat of greater legal liability. Companies such as Facebook and Google can afford costs associated with curtailing their legal immunity—including defending themselves in more lawsuits—while some smaller companies cannot.
Other members of Internet Works include: Automattic, Cloudflare, Dropbox, Etsy, Glassdoor, GoDaddy, Medium, Nextdoor, Patreon, Pinterest, Tripadvisor, Vimeo and the Wikimedia Foundation.
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