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Phil Schiller arriving at court last week. Photo by Bloomberg.
The Briefing
Media/Telecom Apple

Apple’s Blissful Ignorance on App Store Profits

Photo: Phil Schiller arriving at court last week. Photo by Bloomberg.

If Apple executive Phil Schiller is to be believed, Apple executives don’t know whether the App Store is profitable. That subject “doesn’t come up” in internal Apple discussions, Schiller testified today at the Epic-Apple trial. This is a business that by some estimates generates between $10 billion and $12 billion in annual profits for Apple—nearly 20% of its total profit—and executives don’t know? C’mon, man, as Joe Biden would say. 

Apple executives have previously said, in a congressional hearing, that the App Store doesn’t have its own profit and loss statement. We get that. But that’s not the same as saying executives don’t even talk about the subject. Does anyone really believe that when it comes time for Apple’s finance executives to assemble quarterly earnings reports, they tell CEO Tim Cook “well, Tim, we have no idea where this money is coming from, but we had a good quarter?” 

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