Apple executive Craig Federighi. Photo by Bloomberg.

Apple’s Malware Red Herring

Photo: Apple executive Craig Federighi. Photo by Bloomberg.

In case you missed it—by perhaps living in the Arctic with no internet access—Apple wants you to know that allowing people to “sideload” apps from third party app stores would pose a security risk for iPhone users. It made that case today in a paper it published that was written in the most consumer-friendly way, complete with colorful drawings. In it, Apple gave examples of the scams that could trap unsuspecting (and fictitious) consumers—John and a seven year old daughter, Emma— dealing with dodgy alternatives to Apple’s own App Store.

Apple has been beating this drum every chance it gets over the past few weeks—without mentioning John or Emma—as it tries to head off legal and antitrust inquiries into its rigid control of the App Store. Apple executive Craig Federighi made the case when he testified during Epic’s lawsuit against Apple, reinforcing points the company made in documents submitted to the court for the trial, while Apple CEO Tim Cook repeated the points last week as well. And sure, malware is a real issue: As we’ve noted, every step Apple makes towards embedding control of people’s bank accounts, cars and houses in their iPhone makes the dangers of iPhone hacking more grave.

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