Tim Sweeney had asked Tim Cook to make iOS an open platform in 2015
Tim Sweeney had sought separating iOS App Store curation from compliance review and app distribution.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney had sought Apple to make the iOS an open platform way back in 2015.
According to new emails made public as part of the ongoing antitrust trial, Sweeney had written to Apple CEO Tim Cook directly to push for a more relaxed distribution of the apps on iOS.
"Hi Tim, y'all should think about separating iOS App Store curation from compliance review and app distribution," Sweeny wrote in the original email. "The App Store has done much good for the industry, but it doesn't seem tenable for Apple to be the sole arbiter of expression and commerce over an app platform approaching a billion users."
Cook forwarded the email to Phil Schiller and Eddy Cue saying, “Is this guy that was at one of our rehearsals?”
Interestingly, Epic Games had made an on-stage appearance at Apple’s annual developer conference to demonstrate Fortnite and Unreal Engine on Mac just a few weeks before the email exchange.
The latest disclosure comes as Apple and Epic Games are battling it out in the court over App Store policies. As expected, Apple has defended its policies. Sweeney and Epic Games have raised concerns around Apple’s 30% cut on app payments and purchases.
During the trial, Sweeney said he had sued Apple to stand up for developers cheated out of commissions by the App Store.
Sweeney said he waited to sue Apple until last year because it took him time to realize the “negative impact” of App Store policies. “It got to the point when Apple was making more profit from a developer’s app in the App Store than the developer was making himself.”
Apple has faced backlash not only from Epic Games but several other developers and global regulators as well. Critics say the fee structure and other policies are aimed at benefiting the company’s apps and services.