Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, speaks in Brussels, on October 24, 2018.
ARis Oikonomou | AFP | Getty Images
Apple CEO Tim Cook plans to tell the House Antitrust Subcommittee on Wednesday that the company is in fierce competition with rivals for the smartphone market.
“The smartphone market is fiercely competitive, and companies like Samsung, LG, Huawei, and Google have built very successful smartphone businesses offering different approaches,” Cook said in prepared remarks released by the committee. “Apple does not have a dominant market share in any market where we do business.”
Cook is one of four technology CEOs who will appear in Wednesday’s hearing. He will be joined by Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. All four CEOs released prepared remarks on Tuesday night.
Cook’s prepared remarks suggest that the company will heavily employ a defense leaning on the fact that Apple does not have a majority of the smartphone market — only 46% of smartphones shipped in the U.S. in the first quarter were Apple’s, according to Counterpoint Research.
Apple is facing criticism over its App Store, which is the only way to install consumer software on an iPhone. Detractors say that the store has challenging and inconsistent rules, and that Apple’s 30% take of digital transactions made through apps sold in the store is too high.
Cook plans to discuss the origins of the store, which was created in 2008, and Apple’s reasons why it maintains control over what stays on the App Store and what’s not allowed. Detractors often say that Apple’s approach to software distribution is like a walled garden, and Apple is the gatekeeper.
“Clearly, if Apple is a gatekeeper, what we have done is open the gate wider. We want to get every app we can on the store, not keep them off,” Cook said in the remarks.
Cook will also defend the company’s 30% fee of digital transactions on the App Store.
“Apple’s commissions are comparable or lower than commissions charged by the majority of our competitors. And they are vastly lower than the 50 to 70 percent that software developers paid to distribute their work before we launched the App Store,” Cook said in the prepared remarks.