Today’s Cache | Apple hit with class action lawsuit; Microsoft, Google bear the cost of AI; ChatGPT comes to Android  

Updated - July 26, 2023 06:32 pm IST

Published - July 26, 2023 01:54 pm IST

A file photo of Apple’s App Store app.

A file photo of Apple’s App Store app. | Photo Credit: AP

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

Apple hit with class action lawsuit

Apple is being targeted by a class action lawsuit seeking over $1 billion in damages from developers angry about the high price it charges to market the apps to users of its products. Launched by competition professor Sean Ennis at the University of East Anglia, the lawsuit represents 1,500 British app developers.

Apple has faced scrutiny in the United States and Europe regarding its hold over its App Store and the inability of developers to sell directly to customers. The California-based company, meanwhile, asserts that the majority of developers pay no commission to Apple, and insists that most apps are subject to only a 15% commission, due to exceptions given to small businesses.

Microsoft, Google bear the cost of AI

Tech giants including Microsoft and Google will have to make deeper investments before gains from artificial intelligence trickle in. Costs rose sharply for Microsoft as the company built new data centers to support AI. Expenditure is expected to rise as it buys chips from Nvidia Corp. to power them.

Meanwhile, analysts say that though Google-parent, Alphabet, may have kept costs down due to the use of its own custom chips, that will not be the case for long. The company conceded that it will buy chips from companies as well as using its own, which could put a drag on its profits and growth.

ChatGPT comes to Android

OpenAI’s ChatGPT is now available for Android users in the United States, India Bangladesh, and Brazil. The AI chatbot used widely in tasks such as content writing and coding has been available on Apple’s iOS platform since May.

Earlier this month, traffic to the website and unique visitors for ChatGPT declined for the first time ever since June. The chatbot from OpenAI set off a frenzied use of generative AI in daily tasks reaching 100 million monthly active users in January, two months after its launch.

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