A new Comscore study, sponsored by Facebook, reveals that Apple’s and Google’s preinstalled apps on their smartphones dominate third-party apps. The commissioned study, shared exclusively with The Verge, aims to highlight the anti-competitive practices of the aforementioned tech giants by showing that preinstalled iOS and Android apps are used more than third-party apps.
Facebook is one of iPhone Maker’s loudest critics. Especially after the launch of the new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) privacy feature which can potentially jeopardize Facebook’s targeted ads-based business model. The ATT feature prevents developers from tracking iPhone users’ online activity across third-party apps and websites without their permission. This restriction blocks Facebook from keeping tabs on users’ preferences to show them targeted ads and generate large sums of revenue.
Facebook sponsored study shows Apple and Google preinstalled apps are anti-competitive
The study reveals that 9 out of 10 top apps on iOS are native apps like Phone, Weather, Photos, Camera, Clock, Messages, Calculator, App Store and News. YouTube is the only third-party app amongst the top 10 iOS apps and Facebook ranked on 12th on the list.
On Android, Facebook and Facebook Messenger ranked on 5th and 6th spots in the top 10 apps. Google Play, Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Drive, Photos, Contacts are preinstalled apps in the top 10 list. And the study intends to use the data to criticize tech giants, Apple in particular.
Facebook paid for the Comscore study to show the “impact of preinstalled apps on the competitive app ecosystem,” according to company spokesman Joe Osborne. The social network’s executives have long criticized Apple’s limitations on third-party developers for hindering their ability to distribute mobile games and compete effectively with iMessage.
Apple rejects Comscore’s study on preinstalled apps
Cupertino tech giant’s spokesperson told The Verge that;
Apple rejected the report’s findings. “This Facebook-financed survey from December 2020 was narrowly tailored to give the false impression that there’s little competition on the App Store. In truth, third-party apps compete with Apple’s apps across every category and enjoy large scale success.”
The Verge aptly pointed out that;
The timing, as Facebook likely intentioned, is apt: Apple and Google are increasingly under scrutiny for how they favor their own services over competitors like Spotify. US lawmakers are currently reviewing a new set of bills designed to curb the power of Big Tech, including legislation that could potentially bar Apple and Google from giving their services the upper hand against rivals.