Developer Epic Games is portrayed as a martyr in the fight against the dominant tech giants Apple and Google; Microsoft is confusing us with its foldable smartphone the Surface Duo, which could have been a great chance for a smartphone comeback. Here are our winners and losers of the week.
Just before we almost fell asleep from boredom this week (one iPhone 12 non-leak chased the next), then something really exciting happened on Thursday evening. Apple and Google banned the popular game Fortnite from the App Store and the Play Store respectively after developer Epic Games introduced a new payment method for mobile gamers that allowed the company to avoid the transaction feeds on the two biggest app stores. As a result, Fortnite was removed from the app stores and the developer promptly filed prepared lawsuits against Apple and Google. The reason: monopolistic practices.
Winner of the week: Epic Games
We were divided on this choice of the winner. On the one hand, because almost 50 percent of Epic Games is owned by the Chinese company Tencent, and monopolies are commonplace in China. On the other hand, we also saw opinions online that make it clear: “Apple and Google stores? Their rules!”, right? I don’t see it quite that simply. Because established rules must be allowed to be questioned. Especially when it comes to top dogs, which actually leave hardly any opportunity for alternatives.
To the background stories:
Epic Games is now driving a process to bring the practices of the tech giants to the public eye at least once again. Whether this will actually become a process and to see how it will end, we will have to wait at least another month. Nevertheless, Epic Games will emerge this week as the winner that had the courage to stand up to the biggest tech companies in the world. But also because Epic Games successfully targeted Apple’s 1984 Macintosh advertising with this, rather excellent, troll video:
Here’s the original Apple commercial:
Loser: Microsoft does not take its chance
The Microsoft Surface Duo was THE subject of all the headlines in the product news last week (lucky for Samsung, because nobody wanted to cover the outrageous Galaxy Note 20, except us). However, Microsoft’s approach leaves us with some question marks. The Surface Duo is one of the most important devices in Microsoft’s mobile division in recent years.
With the failure of Windows Phone, Microsoft must now pull out all the stops and take its last chance to gain a foothold in the smartphone market. Instead, there was no hype about the Surface Duo, no elaborate marketing campaigns, and even (for the time being) no release outside the USA.
It is also questionable whether developers will design useful apps for the dual screens at all. Microsoft offers corresponding support for developers, but the $1,400 Surface Duo is not (yet) a ready-to-go device with exceptional added value. It seems as if Microsoft is starting with the foldable smartphone where it once ended with Windows Phone. However, the fear of renewed failure in the smartphone market may also be great. This would explain why Microsoft is initially reserving the device for business customers in the USA.
Would you buy the Microsoft Surface Duo? Who are your winners and losers of the week? Let us know in the comments.