March 21, 2022

RE: Cameron et al. v. Apple Inc., Case No. 4:19-cv-03074-YGR

Clerk of Court
United States District Court
Northern District of California
1301 Clay Street
Oakland, CA 94612

I, Steven Wytyshyn, a U.S. iOS App Developer, Founder & CEO of Cosmosent Labs, Inc., a California C Corp,
Object to the Settlement (& ask the Court to deny approval of the Settlement) for the following reasons:

1.) It does NOT prevent Apple from continuing to "intentionally" suppress Third-Party App Innovation !

I intend to prove to the Court that Apple has "intentionally" suppressed third-party App Innovation, kept App Store consumers from at-least one type of credible & viable Camera App Experience, & that they would NOT have been able to get away with it if they did NOT have a Monopoly.

Three key points:

i.) Apple has NO "App Discovery" competition.

Apple uses the the Today tab of its App Store App, which has NO third-party competition, to Fully Control the Narrative in its "curated" iOS App Store.

Russian State TV is a good analogy !

ii.) Apple has full control of the In App Ratings Dialog, & provides NO transparency of its use to App Developers.

Apple decides whether to present the In App Ratings Dialog OR NOT, when requested by an app to do so.

NOT Rocket Science, an app's Ratings & Reviews are key to its success in the App Store.

iii.) For some UN-known reason, the Original Settlement Agreement did NOT address either issue !

The problem is best illustrated by example:

In late-2013, Apple acquired the popular SnappyCam Burst Photo Camera App, & then did nothing with the Technology OR the Application, & was subsequently Leapfrogged in both by others, including (my) Photosets, yet to date, Apple has never once, to my knoweldge, recommended OR promoted a single third-party Burst Photo Camera App.

Photosets made its debut in Apple's "curated" iOS App Store in June 2015, & has been a rare, true Flagship-caliber Burst Photo Camera App since the release of the 2016 iPhone 7+.

It has been Approved by App Review more than 300 times (i.e., more than 300 Approved App Updates).

As such, Apple is well-aware of its Features & Capabilities.

It is very-likely the most-Advanced & Highest-Performance Camera App in the history of smartphones.

Yet, has received NO love from Apple in their "curated" iOS App Store.

Why ?

Simply put, Photosets is what SnappyCam could have become !

And Apple doesn't want that getting out !

But there are other possible (additional) reasons as well, which I've detailed below.

BIG picture perspective, because Apple has NO "App Discovery" competition they are able to Fully Control the Narrative & suppress whichever Apps & App Categories (& types of Apps) they choose (& get away with it).

Until such time that third-party "App Discovery" competition "goes live," I believe the Court should consider forcing Apple to Disable the Today tab of their App Store App !

This should have been included in the Original Settlement Agreement !

See below for the details of my Proposal for a Pro Sports-style "App Discovery" Competitve Landscape.

It solves the problem in an innovative way.

2.) It does NOT prevent Apple from continuing to swamp the Today tab of their App Store App with Game Apps, & now ALSO Apple Arcade Apps !

Paraphrasing court documents in Apple's battle with Epic, 70% of Apple's App Store Revenue comes from Game Apps.

Apps for Little Kids & Streaming Media "sub" Apps account for another 20% OR so, leaving ONLY 10% for everything else.

For some UN-known reason, the Original Settlement Agreement did NOT address this issue at ALL !

Apple needs a mechanism in-place (i.e., New Law) that Forces them to try to at-least somewhat even-out the Numbers.

The problem is very easily fixed.

I am proposing New Law that would require Apple to disclose per-Category Revenue Numbers for the iOS App Store here in the States.

And, require them to do so at the end of each work week.

Also, that the per-week per-Category Reports should include what percentage was generated by the Top 10 Apps in each category.

And, what percentage of apps in each category generated NO revenue.

So, three columns of data per Category, reported by Apple every week.

NOT Rocket Science, forcing Apple to become Transparent with the per-Category Revenue Numbers would force them to try to "somewhat even-out" the Numbers.

And that, could enable the NON-Game App portion of the App Store to (finally) blossom !

For starters, I recommend the Court consider forcing Apple to add "Settings filters," that would enable App Store consumers to filter-off Game Apps, Apple Arcade Apps, Apps for Little Kids, & Streaming Media "sub" apps, in the Today tab of their App Store App.

ALL this should have been included in the Original Settlement Agreement !

3.) It does NOT provide a mechanism in-which an App Developer gets Public Credit for, is sufficiently compensated for, & isn't financially harmed by, Discovering a (Performance-crippling) Apple Hardware Bug.

This is important because under the current structure, Apple uses Bug Discovery as a Reason to "intentionally" suppress an App & App Category.

And, I have a Prime Example of this, which I refer to as Phil's Bug, after Phil Schiller, the guy who runs Apple's "curated" iOS App Store.

On Friday, October 26, 2018, Apple released the iPhone XR.

I received my XR on that day.

The next day I began testing Photosets on my new XR, at which point, I immediately realized something was horribly wrong !

The app kept immediately crashing when transitioning into the app's Camera, which it had never done before.

After just a few hours of testing, this ex-Chip Verification Engineer realized I had discovered a Performance-crippling Hardware Bug in Apple's A12 chip.

Specifically, in this chip's Performance Controller.

I immediately put the word out to the General Public & to Apple.

A few days later, on Tuesday, November 1st, 2018, Apple announced that they would NO longer report iPhone Unit Sales.

As a reminder, OR for those who are UN-aware, Photosets wasn't my only app in the App Store at that time.

I had a second app, called Timmy, a per-Qtr, per-Device iPhone Unit Sales Estimator App.

It is the only such app on the planet.

I mention Timmy, which Apple abruptly pulled without Warning from its iOS App Store the day BEFORE its BIG iPhone event in Sept of 2019, because I believe the connection between the two could be an additional Reason for Apple NOT ONLY "intentionally" suppressing Photosets, but ALSO the entire Burst Photo Camera App category.

And here, simply because Photosets is Best-in-Class.

Subsequent testing of Photosets on the iPhone X revealed a similar situation to the XR.

The BIG picture, if Apple had recommended Photosets even as late as early-2017, the A11/A12 Performance Controller Chip Bug would very-likely have NEVER happened !

For those who don't know, Apple fixed the bug in the A13, making the 7+ & the A13 & newer iPhones the ONLY true High-Performance iPhones !

Those in the middle have what I refer to as the "Phil Schiller Chip Bug" !

And very specifically, if Photosets hadn't (simply) been an UN-Discovered Gem App in early 2017, Apple's R&D very-likely would have used it to stress test their A11 design !

And in the process of doing so, would have discovered what I ultimately discovered the first day I tested my iPhone XR !

Also, & very specifically here, the Chip Bug made it through two generations of Apple's A-series processors.

Note that I did NOT buy any of the 2017 iPhones.

I kept my 2016 iPhone 7+ for an additional year.

I had NO reason to believe that a Performance-Crippling Chip Bug was even a remote possibility !

Need Proof ?

Apple had been touting fancier & fancier Performance Controller designs in their A-series processors, starting with the A11, & then at the A13, NO mention of it at all.

Anybody can do a Google search & confirm this.

So What Happened ?

They forgot to test a particular case.

One in which an app uses the CPU's NEON vector processing cores.

Was it a Corner Case ?

NOT to me, it's at the very core of Photosets' Camera Capture Pipeline !

How did you deal with it ?

I was forced to throttle-down the Capture Performance of A11 & A12-based iPhones & iPads.

NO changes were necessary for A10 & earlier A-series processors, OR for A13 & later A-series processors.

Just for the A11 & A12.

When Apple released the A14, I removed the Governor that had been throttling A11 & A12 processors.

Why did you do that ?

I (naturally) assumed that Apple would Fix the Issue in subsequent revs of the A11 & A12.

And by then, I figured they had plenty of time to do so.

Is there ANY way to test whether the Fix is In ?

Absolutely, using Photosets, simply see if the app crashes immediately when you transition into the app's Camera.

If it does on an A11 OR A12 device, you don't have the Fix.

Has ANY other App Dev Discovered the Problem ?

NOT to my knowledge.

How do you explain that ?

ONLY Burst Photo Camera Apps that have the same, OR similar, Camera Capture Pipeline as Photosets would encounter it.

Clearly there are NONE !

Last but NOT least, did Apple ever compensate Cosmosent Labs, Inc. in ANY way ?

Nope !

In fact, just the opposite.

I believe they used it as a Reason to NOT ONLY suppress Photosets, but ALL Burst Photo Camera Apps, since Photosets is Best-in-Class.


My Proposal for a Pro Sports-style "App Discovery" Competitive Landscape:

The BIG Picture, the Top NON-Game App Developers, both Independent & Small Company, would make the exact same as the Top Pro Sports Athletes here in the States.

And, just like in Pro Sports, there would naturally be a trickle-down affect.

The key to making it work is "App Discovery" competition, & a mechansim in which third-party "App Discovery" App Stores are financially compensated for their success.

E.g., they get 1/3 of Apple's take.

And, very specifically, would be Required to use a good portion of that to recruit (& subsequently promote) specific Apps for inclusion in their "App Discovery" App Store.

For starters, I believe there should be FIVE third-party "App Discovery" App Stores here in the States.

Im my opinion, that's the MIN necessary for a true competitive landscape.

And specifically, it's for NON-Game Apps ONLY, & each App can be offered ONLY in one third-party "App Discovery" App Store at a time, with changes made ONLY on the 1st & 15th of each month.

Think of it as short-term contracts.

And BTW, the current benchmark is Aaron Rodgers' latest extension, which gets him $50M USD per year !

Also BTW, NO reason third-party "App Discovery" App Stores couldn't be structured as Public Utilities.

In fact, that's probably the preferred approach.

As a Public Utility, their Profits could be Restricted, by Law, & divided-up on a per-State basis, to Roads, Bridges, K-12 Education, & Social Services.

In addition to the much needed "App Discovery" competition, that would be a HUGE improvement on the Status Quo !

Now let's take this a step further, & say that App Developers can decide, on a per-App basis, to include their App(s) ONLY in third-party "App Discovery" App Stores.

That, in my opinion, could become The Catalyst for a "Renaissance in App Discovery," similar to what occurred in the App Store its first few years !

Mainstream Discovery of just one UN-Discovered Gem App (in a third-party App Store) is ALL that's needed to loosen Apple's Complete & Total Stranglehold on "App Discovery" !


I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed this 21st day of March 2022, at San Diego, California.


Steven Wytyshyn