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May 4, 2021
📅 Good morning! Somehow it’s already May 4, so may the fourth be with you, and such.
Epic vs Apple: Day 1 intrigue

The Epic Games vs Apple trial is going to take some time to play out, but the documents, data, and detail, being uncovered and shared around the world has a lot of juice.

There’s also a bunch of weird/fun stuff happening. For example:

  • Kids called into the courtroom conference call, and no one could figure out how to mute them. The kids begged for Fortnite to return to iOS: “More than 200 participants were dialed into the public line, with many screaming “free Fortnite” or “bring back Fortnite on mobile please judge.” Others played Travis Scott tunes, chatted away, or advertised their YouTube channels.”

In terms of the meat:

  • The detail of the day was around Apple’s 70/30 split of revenues, as it was always going to be. We also saw fiery emails from then Apple VP Phil Schiller about bad apps (in this case, a Temple Run knockoff) ranking highly in Apple’s App Store, while Schiller also revealed that he didn’t think the 70/30 split could last (9to5Mac).
  • In the opening statements, Apple’s team suggested prior court rulings will side with it. Epic was prepared for this too — its lawyer Katherine Forrest, referenced documents suggesting Apple isn’t just unfair but monopolistic: “There’s a name for businesses that set prices without regard to costs: monopolies,” she said.

Epic finances:

  • Epic doesn’t just get to unearth Apple info, with Apple parsing out useful docs for its side during discovery too.
  • For example, financial figures were revealed: Epic has been making total gross revenue of $5.6B in 2018, $4.2B in 2019, $5.1B in 2020, with the vast majority of revenue coming from Fortnite and its 400 million player base.
  • Not bad for a free-to-play game!
  • Another bit of Epic detail was how much it has been paying game developers to give away its games via its online Epic Store: about $12M between December 2018 to September 2019, usually paying less than $1 per user per game, mostly down to a lot of older games being included (Polygon).
  • There’s also detail showing just how much Sony hated crossplay.
  • Protocol has four big takeaways from day 1, and I’m partial to a general overview by MacStories from a former corporate lawyer.

The is expected to last three weeks, and will probably have juicy bits coming out each day. 

  • I’ll focus on anything big but try to keep the coverage to useful links for the most part, lest this becomes a court reporter newsletter.

📈 This Windows-powered Switch rival is now available on Amazon, packing a Core i5 or i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, and it’s not quite in the same price range as a Nintendo Switch, going for $1,200 (Android Authority).

🔜 Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: What we know so far and what we want to see (Android Authority).

🎮 Stadia product lead exits, and yeah that’s not going well for Google (Android Authority).

👉 Only now has Samsung finally dropped quarterly Android update support for the Galaxy S8, ending the run for the 2017 flagship (Android Authority).

🔗 Sony will integrate Discord into the PlayStation Network (in 2022), and Sony invested in Discord, too (TechCrunch).

🍏 Early research suggests about 5% of iOS users in the US are opting into ad tracking, worldwide slightly higher at 13% (Flurry).

🔭 A border town confronts the reality of police surveillance drones and other tech (Wired).

🚀 A 21-ton Chang Zheng 5B rocket looks set for uncontrolled reentry following Chinese space station launch. It’s unusually big: the biggest object that’s set to unpredictably smack into Earth, including inhabited areas, possibly as early as May 10, though lower energy than something like a meteor (Spacenews).

🙊 Bill and Melinda Gates divorce after 27 years of marriage (BBC).

🧠 “So, what’s your plan for seducing Bill Gates?” (r/askreddit). (“Tell him that he has Access to all my information and I Excel at being a successful person as I have a practical Outlook on life.”)

Chart Tuesday

A really fun chart has been doing the rounds, looking at the nutritional content of fruit (r/dataisbeautiful), where an apple a day might be good but maybe we should all be having passion fruit a day instead:

fruit nutrition
  • Two problems though: the data for a quince is wrong, with the Vitamin A levels not that high.
  • And more so, it’s hard to read! Good for an overview that strawberries, for example, are pretty solid, but tough to know what you’re getting.

Here’s a little bit more of a readable graph (and excluding the quince) with a reduced set of data (ironically, you might have to click to read it more easily):

nutrition content
All the best,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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