Apple will take their case to the Supreme Court and seek an overturn of the Ninth Circuit ruling which found them in violation of California’s anti-steering laws.
The ruling currently means that Apple would have to allow links to outside payment methods and storefronts, essentially third-party alternatives to their own payment system bypassing their 30% cut. Although Apple had some big wins in their appeal against Epic’s controversial case against the mobile giant, marked by high-profile publicity stunts and a war of words with input from major public figures, it’s clear this - the one point they lost on - is still a major sticking point for the company.
It’s worth noting this would only affect Apple in the US. However, as the company is already being pressured in the EU to comply with the Digital Markets Act which would similarly require it to allow alternative app stores on its devices. The ongoing case was previously ruled on in the US back in September of 2021, with Apple appealing it and then receiving a subsequent ruling that - although it ruled in their favour for 9 out of 10 counts - didn’t seem to be enough for the company.
The Ninth Circuit is a subordinate district to the Supreme Court, which makes appeal rulings for cases on the west coast of America, such as in California, Hawaii or Alaska. It’s been noted to have a high rate of overturns for cases taken to the Supreme Court - which has been a political talking point - however, like many legal issues it’s also a nuanced topic affected by the number of cases brought to the court at the time and the types of rulings made.
All of which is to say that it’s far from certain that Apple could win this case. However, their desperation to push this appeal to the highest court also showcases just how important the inherent control Apple has in its walled-garden mobile ecosystem is to the company. With reports that up to 90% of transactions on iOS are done outside their ecosystem, and thus without commission, it’s probably no surprise that losing out on more of this kind of cash is something that Apple isn’t keen on.