Zuckerberg tells Facebook employees "to inflict pain" on Apple
This weekend, a Wall Street Journal report elaborated upon the ongoing rift between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook boss was reported telling employees close to him, "we need to inflict pain" on Apple. Cook has been publicly critical of Facebook's privacy policies, while Zuckerberg has strongly objected to Apple's curbs on ad tracking.
In 2018, Cook said Apple doesn't treat customers like products
In a 2018 national television interview following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Cook said if he were running Facebook, he wouldn't have found himself in such a situation to begin with. He said Facebook treats its customers like products. Cook slammed Facebook's "disinformation juiced by algorithms". Zuckerberg seems to have taken these direct remarks as well as other indirect ones as an act of war.
The two companies have different ideologies but are interdependent
Zuckerberg and Cook met in 2017 to ease an already-tense relationship. However, the effort reportedly "resulted in a tense standoff". We believe the key element causing the rift is that Apple has a hardware-centric business, whereas Facebook is reliant on data tracking and targeted advertising. This makes the companies interdependent, which also causes their differing ideologies to escalate into disputes.
iOS 14.5 update mandating consent for activity tracking worsened relations
The differences resurfaced last year when Apple announced that the upcoming iOS 14.5 update would require apps to seek user consent for tracking activity using IDFA tags. The update hasn't been enforced yet. Facebook told investors to expect a sharp drop in revenue once Apple deploys the update. It also ran newspaper adverts encouraging people to opt in to ad tracking.
Following activity tracking update announcement, Apple introduced App Store ads
Following Apple's sanctimonious pro-privacy PR stunt, it introduced advertisements in the iPhone UI and App Store Search tab. Cook has attempted to position Apple as a protector of digital privacy as its advertisement model doesn't track activity like Facebook and Google. Seemingly in retaliation, Google suspended stable app updates for iOS devices. This led to users complaining of issues arising due to out-of-date apps.
Facebook's AR and VR ventures could directly compete with Apple
Facebook and Apple could also end up becoming direct rivals in the augmented and virtual reality space. Both these companies have been reportedly developing products such as smart glasses and AR/VR headsets that could compete for market share within the same product category. Meanwhile, both the companies are subject to lawsuits alleging anti-competitive behavior for different reasons.