What you need to know
- Apple's trial against Epic Games will begin next week.
- One key witness, Facebook's VP of gaming, is no longer set to testify.
- It is unclear why Vivek Sharma was removed from Epic's list of witnesses, but Apple had previously sought to have Sharma ousted from the case.
Facebook's VP of gaming, Vivek Sharma, who is an outspoken critic of Apple's App Store, is no longer set to testify at the Epic Games vs Apple trial due to begin next week.
As first reported by Bloomberg:
Epic Games filed its tentative updated trial witness list to the court on April 26, with Apple submitting its own revised list on the same day.
A quick scan of the document confirms Sharma is no longer listed as a witness for Epic. In Epic's original witness list, filed on March 26th, Sharma was listed as a third-party witness who was expected to testify remotely on app distribution, Apple's restrictions on iOS app distribution, Apple's App Store review process, and Facebook's interaction with Apple.
Facebook and Sharma openly clashed with Apple last year over Facebook's Instant Games Platform. From an August report:
Sharma made the statements after Facebook submitted its Facebook Gaming app to the App Store, only for it to be rejected multiple times. Eventually, the game was accepted but Facebook had to remove all of the games from the app to get it through App Review, somewhat defeating the point of the app.
Earlier this month Apple sought to have Sharma removed from the case as a witness for Epic alongside Microsoft's Lori Wright and Benjamin Simon of Yoga Buddhi Co.. Apple claimed in court filings Epic had breached court rules by disclosing these witnesses as company entities not as individuals, but the judge disagreed and denied the motion. It is not clear whether Sharma will no longer testify because of these concerns raised, or for some other reason.
Both Facebook and Epic Games declined to comment.
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9