Top Tech News of the Week: July 7

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This week, Epic seemingly had a win in its ongoing efforts to roll out its own app store, though the gaming company still isn’t quite satisfied. Meta, meanwhile, was the target of an investigation that found it to be in violation of the Digital Markets Act.

On the hardware side, Nocs Design has unveiled a thoughtful, minimalistic aluminum speaker. And over at Apple, the first-generation AirPods, first-generation HomePod and the iPhone X have all been added to its official “vintage” list.

Below, Hypebeast has rounded up the top tech stories of the week so you can stay up to date on trends in the industry.

Apple Granted Epic “Temporary” Approval to Launch Its Third-Party App Store

Apple and Epic Games’ multi-year legal battle may be coming to a close. Epic has reported that Apple has given the gaming company “temporary” approval to launch its third-party app store, where games like Fortnite would live.

The news followed a thread posted on X, where Epic called out Apple for its “arbitrary, obstructive” rejections of the app store it had created. Among the apparent issues were buttons – Epic said that Apple was claiming its ““Install” button is too similar to Apple’s “Get” button and that our “In-app purchases” label is too similar to the App Store’s “In-App Purchases” label.”

Epic now plans to fight Apple on the buttons issue ahead of launching the app store.

Nocs Design’s New “Monolith” Is A Minimal, Portable Aluminum Speaker

Swedish audio brand Nocs Design has rolled out a sleek portable speaker called the “Monolith.” Contrary to its name, the speaker can fit in a backpack. Taking a minimalist approach, Nocs constructed the speaker out of a single aluminum shell and there aren’t any buttons, only grilles.

“Countless hours were devoted solely to achieving the perfect symmetry in the positioning of the drivers,” founder Daniel Alm said. “There are no logos, no frills — only the sleek yet refined appearance of solid aluminum remains. Timelessness is paramount to me.”

Nocs Design’s Monolith speaker is available for pre-order now for $1,000 USD.

Meta Is Being Charged With Violating the EU’s Competition Law

The European Commission is cracking down on Meta for its violation of the Digital Markets Act. The Commission has shared its preliminary findings from an investigation into the tech giant, particularly “pay or consent” advertising model.

Within the model, the Commission says that Meta essentially forces users to agree to providing personal data for advertising purposes or alternatively requires them to sign up for the paid, ad-free version of apps.

Under the DMA, however, users must be given the freedom to withhold their personal data should they so choose. The Commission has informed Meta of its breach and the company may face a fine of 10% of its yearly revenue.

Apple Officially Classified Its First-Gen AirPods, HomePod and iPhone X as “Vintage”

The first-generation AirPods, first-generation HomePod and the iPhone X will now be known as “vintage” Apple products. The company has added the hardware to its vintage list, as the products stopped being produced over five years ago.

For the next two years, Apple will continue to provide support for the AirPods, HomePod and iPhone X, after which they’ll be considered “obsolete.”

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