Tag Archives: Apple

Apple to Pay $29.9M to Workers Over After-Hours Bag Checks



Apple Inc. agreed to pay $29.9 million to employees at its stores who were forced to submit to security bag checks – off the clock — when they left work after or during their shifts, Bloomberg reported.

The lawsuit only covered workers at California’s 52 Apple stores. The class includes 14,683 workers; each will get $1,286 from the settlement, the lawyers said in the court filing.

The name of the lawsuit is Frlekin v. Apple Inc. It is not a new lawsuit. According to Bloomberg, the class-action lawsuit was filed in 2013, in which a group of workers claimed that Apple was violating California law by not paying them for the time it took to check their bags. Apple countered that claim by stating that the bag searches were necessary to make sure workers were not hiding stolen electronic devices in their bags. Apple argued in court that anyone who didn’t like the policy could choose not to bring bags to work.

This lawsuit is specific to California Apple Stores. Apple should have known better than to make its workers wait around – off the clock and unpaid – for someone to check their bags. In February of 2020, Los Angeles Times reported that Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote in a decision that an industrial wage order defines hours as “the time during which an employee is subject to the control of an employer, and includes all the time the employee is suffered or permitted to work, whether or not required to do so.”

Los Angeles Times also reported that the California Supreme Court unanimously decided that California law requires Apple Inc. to pay its workers for being searched before they leave retail stores.

The good news is that these workers are going to get paid for the time they were required to stand around waiting for their bags to be checked (without pay). Unfortunately, I don’t think all states have the law that California has (requiring workers to be paid for their time). So it is possible that Apple, or other companies, in other states, may attempt to force security checks on their workers without having to pay them for their time.

According to Bloomberg, Apple said that it discontinued the bag check policy in 2015.


Judge Orders Apple to Allow External Payment Options



The Epic v. Apple lawsuit feels like a never-ending one. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said Apple must comply with an order to let developers add links and buttons to external payment options, denying Apple’s request for a stay, The Verge reported. As you may have guessed, Apple announced that it would appeal the Judge’s decision.

You can read a copy of Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ ruling on The Verge. They have embedded it into the article. Here are a few key parts of the ruling:

…Having considered all the filings, and oral argument, the Court finds Apple has failed to satisfy its burden, and the request is framed is DENIED. In short, Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of this Court’s findings and ignores all the findings which supported the injunction, namely incipient antitrust conduct including supercompetitive commission rates resulting in extraordinary high operating margins which have not been correlated to the value of its intellectual property. This incipient antitrust conduct is the result, in part, of the anti steering policies which Apple has enforced to harm competition…

…Further, even if additional time was warranted to comply with the limited injunction, Apple did not request additional time other than ten days to appeal this ruling. Thus, the Court does not consider the option of additional time, other than the requested ten days…

The New York Times reported that Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rodriguez interrupted Apple’s lawyer, Mark Perry, when he argued that allowing developers to include links to outside websites within their app would take months to figure out.

According to The New York Times, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said: “You did not ask for a few months. You did not ask for six months. You didn’t ask for a limited amount of time. You asked for an across-the-board stay, which could take three, four, five years.”

Apple is seeking a reversal of the Judge’s decision. The Verge reported that Apple plans to appeal to the Ninth Circuit for a stay, since it did not get one from Judge Gonzalez Rogers. According to The Verge, pending a stay of some kind, the injunction is scheduled to go into effect on December 9, 2021.

This really feels like a lawsuit that is going to be slowly moving through the courts for an indeterminate amount of time. I guess that’s what happens when two big companies decided to fight each other via the courts. Perhaps the result will be that whichever one of them has the most money will win by attrition.


Fortnite Will Not Return to the App Store Anytime Soon



Fortnite will not be returning to the iOS Apple Store anytime soon, The Verge reported. This was clarified by Apple recently in a series of emails between Apple and CEO and co-founder of Epic, Tim Sweeney.

Recently, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued a permanent injunction to Apple, to restrain Apple from “prohibiting developers from including their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and communicating to customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.” That seemed to be in Epic’s favor.

In addition, the judge also sided in Apple’s favor, requiring Epic to pay damages to Apple in an amount equal to 30% of the $12,167,719 in revenue Epic Games collected from users on the Fortnite app on iOS through Epic Direct Payment between August and October 2020, plus 30% of such revenue Epic Games collected from November 1, 2020, though the date of judgement, and interest.” In short, the judge felt Epic Games had breached its contract with Apple.

Epic Games decided to appeal the ruling.

CEO and co-founder of Epic, Tim Sweeney, posted on the Epic Games website about this situation (and also tweeted about it).

Tim Sweeney wrote, Apple lied. Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d “welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else.” Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly over a billion users. According to Tim Sweeney, Epic has paid Apple $6,000,000 as ordered by the court.

The blog post includes a screenshot from Tim Sweeney to someone at Apple. There is also a screenshot of a response from what appears to be a lawyer for Apple. The response briefly reviews the outcome of the case. The key points appear to be these: “Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s developer program account at this time. Furthermore, Apple will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgement becomes final and nonappealable.”


Epic Appealed the Ruling in Epic v. Apple Case



Epic has decided to appeal the ruling in the its case against Apple. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rodgers, of the United States District Court of Northern California issued a permanent injunction in the Epic v. Apple case.

The judge also wrote a judgement that includes a counterclaim in which she was in favor of Epic Games, on the Tenth Court for violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law and in favor of Apple on all other counts.

The judge also wrote in favor of Apple on Epic’s breach of contract. The judge required Epic to pay damages in an amount equal to 30% of the $12,167,719 in revenue Epic Games collected from users on the Fortnite app on iOS through Epic Direct Payment between August and October 2020, plus 30% of any such revenue Epic Games collected from November 1, 2020 through the date of judgement and interest of law.

One could reasonably assume that it is the part that Epic doesn’t like. On the day the ruling was released, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted: “Today’s ruling isn’t a win for developers or for consumers. Epic is fighting for fair competition among in-app payment methods and app stores for a billion consumers.”

The Verge posted a copy of Epic’s appeal. Here’s the main paragraph:

Notice is hereby given that Epic Games, Inc., Plaintiff and Counter-defendant in the above-named case, appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from the final Judgement entered on September 10, 2021… and all orders leading to or producing that judgement, including but not limited to the Rule 52 Over After Trial on the Merits … and the Permanent Injunction… each entered on the same date.

Overall, I think this means that the Epic v. Apple case is going to continue its way through the courts. It might be the court case that seems as though it will never actually end.


Judge Rules Apple Must Allow Other Forms of In-App Purchases



The legal battle between Epic and Apple has made it to court. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rodgers, of the United States District Court of Northern California, has issued a permanent injunction in the Epic v. Apple case. From the injunction:

Apple Inc. and its officers, agents, servants, employees, and any person in active concert or participation with them (“Apple”), are hereby permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from (i) including their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and (ii) communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.

The Verge reported that this means that iOS apps must be allowed to direct users to payment options beyond those offered by Apple. The permanent injunction will take effect in 90 days.

In addition, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rodgers wrote a judgement that includes a counterclaim:

On the complaint, in favor of plaintiff Epic Games, Inc. on the Tenth Count for violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law (with a separate injunction issuing herewith) and in favor of defendant Apple, Inc. on all other counts.

On the counterclaim, in favor of Apple on the counterclaim for breach of contract. Epic Games shall pay (1) damages in an amount equal to (i) 30% of the $12,167,719 in revenue Epic Gams collected from users in the Fortnite app on iOS through Epic Direct Payment between August and October 2020, plus (ii) 30% of such revenue Epic Games collected from November 1, 2020, through the date of the judgement, and interest according to law.

CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, tweeted: “Today’s ruling isn’t a win for developers or for consumers. Epic is fighting for fair competition among in-app payment methods and app stores for a billion consumers.”

Tech Reporter for NPR, Bobby Allyn, tweeted: “Epic spokeswoman confirms it is appealing the decision; Apple is “considering all legal options” in response. Nobody’s happy!”

The results of the permanent injunction could be a big deal for companies that make games for iOS. They can do that and point consumers toward their own platform for payment.


Apple Announced California Streaming Event



Apple announced an Apple Event called California Streaming. It will take place on September 14, at 10 a.m. PDT. It will be broadcast from Apple Park. You can watch it live online at apple.com. That’s all the information that Apple has given about this event.

MacRumors reported that this event will be held digitally with no members of the media to attend in person. They think Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for each new product..

What might those products be? We won’t know for certain just yet. MacRumors expects Apple to announce new iPhone 13 models, the Apple Watch Series 7, and possibly the AirPods 3. They don’t think that new MacBook Pro models and new iPads will be part of the event.

Mashable reported that opening the September 14 event page on an iPhone reveals a graphic that mimics the video being shared by company bigwigs on Twitter: The glowing Apple logo floating over an alpine lake. But when you tap on that logo, “the augmented reality magic happens”.

I tried this out for myself, and saw the glowing Apple logo over a lake. Tapping on the screen started the AR, and I now had a glowing Apple logo on my desk (when viewed through my iPhone). It kind of reminded me of how Pókemon GO uses AR in their game. I could see the date of the event hovering over the lake.

Based on this, Mashable predicts that we might soon see an iPhone AR. According to Mashable, the latest iPad Pro is optimized for AR tech.

MacStories speculated that we might see new Macs, considering that it has been several months since the M1 iMac was introduced. They also think Apple will announce upcoming versions of its operating systems and release dates for each.

Overall, we have no clear idea what Apple will present at the event. That’s part of the fun, I think. Some of the speculation could turn out to be accurate, and some not right at all. Apple could surprise us with something that nobody expected.


Apple Delays Rollout of CSAM Detection



Silvery Apple LogoLast month, Apple provided an explanation about its expanded protection for children. In short, Apple stated that the purpose was to protect children from receiving or sending sexually explicit photos. Parents would get a message if their child or teen viewed or sent one. In addition, Apple stated that was going to scan user’s iCloud photos in an effort to detect CSAM, which if found, would be reported to law enforcement.

Those features were intended to roll out with updates to iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS Monterey. 9to5Mac reported that Apple has decided to “take additional time” to refine the features before launching to the public.

Apple gave a statement to 9to5Mac:

“Last month we announced plans for features intended to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material. Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.”

It is unclear when Apple will decide to release those features, and it is unknown what kinds of improvements Apple intends to make.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) responded to Apple’s decision to “take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements.” EFF states that those features will weaken privacy and security on iPhones and other products.

EFF wrote that it is “pleased Apple is now listening to the concerns of customers, researchers, civil liberties organizations, human rights activists, LGBTQ people, youth representatives, and other groups, about the dangers posed by its phone scanning tools. But the company must go further than just listening, and drop its plans to put a backdoor into its encryption entirely.”

Personally, I think Apple really messed up when they announced those new features in a way that made users think the two were connected. It resulted in a lot of confusion. I also think Apple made a huge mistake when it assumed people would be okay with the idea of having their iCloud photos scanned. The best way around this, in my opinion, is to pull your family photos out of iCloud and store them elsewhere.