Apple's "Oh Shit, We Fucked Up" Epic EU Moment

Epic says Apple will reinstate developer account, clearing path for Epic Games Store on iPhone - 9to5Mac
After a whirlwind of events, Epic Games says Apple has reinstated their App Store developer account. The move clears the…

Well, someone got to Apple. Either it was the EU or, perhaps just as likely, the common sense brigade. Regardless, Apple just did the fastest 180 I believe I ever recall them doing, reinstating Epic's developer account this evening. This is not even 48 hours since it came to light (itself undoubtedly not coincidental timing on the part of Epic) that Apple had revoked Epic's European developer account. Apple seemed ready for war. Instead, they surrendered two days later.

Why? Well, the EU could not rush in fast enough to take credit. The DMA just went into effect and already they bagged an elephant. Their inquiry into the matter undoubtedly pushed Apple a bit, especially since they're already battling the EU on another front unrelated to the DMA with regard to Spotify. But I also have to believe at least someone at Apple was reading the tea leaves, or at least the tweets, and saw how public sentiment was trending here.

That's the thing, legal justifications aside, Apple is playing a hilariously bad game of PR right now. I happen to think Epic is far more cunning in this regard than they let on (and that Spotify is almost comically overt the other way). In particular, it seems quite clear that someone needed to explain the reality of the situation to Apple Fellow Phil Schiller, who clearly gets big mad when he feels Apple is under attack. "Phil, you need to calm down." And I'm guessing that may have happened in the past 48 hours.

Did Epic breach Apple's rules and trust with a stunt in the past? Yes. Does it look incredibly petty and stupid that Apple would then revoke their developer license after approving it given the new DMA rules? Yes. Does it look really bad that they revoked it after Schiller emailed Tim Sweeney for assurances, to which Sweeney responded right away in a positive manner, and then Schiller ghosted him, only to follow up via Apple lawyers about the new ban? Yes.

The problem that Apple faces here is that regardless of why Apple changed their mind, there's now blood in the water. The EU smells it. Epic and Spotify smell it. Other developers smell it as well. For whatever reason, Apple is now vulnerable in this regard. The mouse was given the cookie and the glass of milk shall be requested. And will not stop. Until the cows are drained.

Did someone say mouse...