US criticises Apple for not having an app monopoly, while suing Apple for monopoly

Line up of iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max colours from Apple
Credit: Apple

Line up of iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max colours from Apple
Credit: Apple


  • The DOJ is criticising Apple for blocking the popularity of super apps, like Tencent’s WeChat
  • US lawmakers argue that Apple is blocking so-called super apps to make it difficult to transfer to rival smartphones
  • Apple insists that it helps bring apps like WeChat to the platform, and the lack of popularity isn’t due to Apple’s rules

Apple isn't immune to criticism. The company is currently facing a lawsuit in the US, which accuses the smartphone producer of creating a monopoly, mainly due to its gate-kept ecosystem, and especially its proprietary iMessage service. Bizarrely though, US lawmakers are now criticising Apple for... not having an app monopoly?

The US lawsuit against Apple is the major news beat right now, after years of the company dealing with complaints regarding its locked-down ecosystem. However, as noted by Bloomberg, the DOJ is accusing Apple of stopping super apps, apps with various purposes all in one, like Tencent's WeChat.

According to Bloomberg, the DOJ accused Apple of putting up blockades, preventing super apps, in case they would make switching to rival smartphones easier. Apple, on the other hand, states that it has made apps, such as the aforementioned WeChat, accessible on iPhones, and the lack of popularity for the app in the West is not due to Apple's platform rules.

Arguably, an all-rounder app like WeChat could make switching to an Android smartphone easier. But, generally, it's believed that people are simply used to single-use apps. For example, I'd hate to rely on the Facebook app as a social media and Wallet app, and I much prefer having my services spread over a variety of apps that do a great job at their specific niche, rather than a 'super app' that does everything mediocrely.

The strangest bit is that, this comment from the DOJ seems to imply that Apple should've had an app monopoly with a super app... during an anti-monopoly lawsuit from US lawmakers. There's no doubt that, for security and stability, an Apple super app would be locked to iOS.

While I don't agree with Apple's ecosystem a lot of the time, the US has been fairly strange with technology in recent years. The TikTok ban in the US is one example, and considering the US' hatred for Chinese-owned apps, WeChat would've constituted an antitrust case from the US anyway. Either way, it will be interesting to see how this case unfolds, especially if the DOJ's arguments remain similarly strange.

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!

Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!