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Spotify CEO Expects Apple To Further ‘Open Up’ Platforms

The Chief Executive of music streaming service, Spotify, expects Apple to further open up its hardware and software platforms to third-party developers, prompting speculation the Cupertino giant may look to take on Google in the expanding smart home ecosystem in coming years. 

The news comes after Spotify lodged an antitrust complaint with the European Union last year, stating Apple gave its own software and services first-preference, enforcing monopolistic behaviour. 

In the complaint, Spotify alleged Apple’s App Store acts as both the “player and referee” to the detriment of other developers. 

Speaking to Bloomberg, Spotify Chief Daniel Ek claims the Cupertino giant is “moving in the right direction”, and that “long term, we do expect Apple to open up.” Ek adds there’s still “many, many steps to go.”

Apple has also drawn some user criticism in recent years for pushing its software as the default for Apple hardware.

Since the EU complaint, Apple has made some changes to open its hardware to other vendors. 

The company has launched a feature to let Siri work with non-Apple Music services, whilst Spotify has debuted new Apple Watch and Apple TV app.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is also developing a new feature which will allow third-party apps like Spotify to run on its smart speaker HomePod, plus an option to change the default music app.

Whilst Siri now supports third-party music apps, users aren’t able to change the default streaming service on iOS/iPadOS, or access third-party music streaming on the HomePod smart speaker.

Apple is also rumoured to be building functionality which will allow users to choose their own default web browser and email client.

The news comes as the global smart home market continues to ramp up, with most consumers opting for Google or Amazon as their preferred smart home assistant given greater flexibility for third-party services and hardware.

Commentators question whether Mr Ek’s predication will see Apple move towards further third-party freedom in order to grow within the burgeoning smart home space.

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