Another day, another collection of very funny and insightful documents being released as part of the Apple vs Epic lawsuit. For tonight we have a 2015 email from Epic’s Tim Sweeney to Apple CEO Tim Cook, where one executive issues an impassioned plea for marketplace reform, and the other says “who is this man”.
The email, dated June 25, 2015 — so well before Epic was flush with Fortnite billions — was sent directly to Cook by Sweeny, and reads:
Y’all should think about separating iOS App Store curation from compliance review and app distribution. 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.
Compliance review could be limited to API compatibility, safety, data privacy and fair disclosure practices. Compliant apps could be signed to allow open distribution via web or by confirmed invocation from another app, with no restrictions on engaging in commerce directly with users.
Rather than replying directly to a dude who began an unsolicited request to alter Apple’s billion-dollar business plan with the word “y’all”, Cook forwarded the email to colleagues Phil Schiller and Eddy Cue, saying:
Is this the guy that was at one of our rehearsals?