Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 10th Apr 2010 08:57 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y "Apple's current - and in our opinion, objectionable - position is now close to the complete opposite of its initial stance. From promoting openness and standards, the company is now pushing for an ever more locked-down and restricted platform. It's bad for competition, it's bad for developers, and it's bad for consumers. I hope that there will be enough of a backlash that the company is forced to reconsider, but with the draw of all those millions of iPhone (and now, iPad) customers, I fear that Apple's developers will, perhaps with some reluctance, just accept the restriction and do whatever Cupertino demands."
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RE[3]: I applaud Apple's move.
by mutantsushi on Mon 12th Apr 2010 07:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I applaud Apple's move."
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Right, because Apple has a monopoly, legal or otherwise, on cell phone software and cell phones!

Wait, they don't: they have their own store... and if you don't like it as a supplier or a buyer, well, there are other stores!
I'd disagree with that. Apple is clearly pursuing a 'lock in' strategy here, which is inherently anti-competitive. I'd wager their pecentage of world-wide sales for hand-held computers and software is actually very signifigant - java apps for feature phones are clearly a very different market than full multi-functional devices like iPhones, Android or Maemo/Meego devices. And don't think they need to have a 100% or even 90% 'monopoly' to have to deal with competition regulations, they just need to distort the market. Dictating 3rd party developers work Apple's way and only Apple's way to prevent what would naturally develop into a more level playing field is clearly a pretty serious market distortion.

Apple's blindness is that they think their own success won't have wider repurcussions in the regulation landscape they exist in. Clearly the direction we see Apple going with this is having TOTAL control from the device to the OS to the Apps, only allowing carriers to deal with "the pipes" (essentially shifting the paradigm one step from the total-control cell carriers' approach, which also clearly restricted innovation and competition). The problem for Apple is, there's no reason regulators as well can't take an 'integrated' approach to 'full cycle' of hand-held computer devices, and they're also likely to look at things in terms of revenue not # of units. Of course, if that happens and it's decided that actions must be taken, getting rid of the AppStore lock-in is going to be the most obvious remedy, so it's really in Apple's interest not to test the regulators' limits. Oh well, I wonder if Jobs will get canned when these antics back-fire.

Imagine all the effort Apple will have to go to enforce this provision. Imagine that same effort used to actually screen out low quality apps, regardless of the tools used to create them. Even with free abilty to load apps from any source, having safe, Apple verified downloads is going to appeal to a solid chunk of users, and 'curating' the offering to only have quality apps will only re-enforce that. Going down the path they are is simply addiction to para-monopoly profits rather than productive technological development, and they obviously aren't confident in their own hardware/OS' ability to continue to demand those monopoly profits in the hand-held market.

The fact of the matter is that there is no way Apple is going to enforce this consistently across the board, there are already too many apps written with 'non-approved' languages at some level or an other, especially games (not even counting GL Shader Language) and apps which are highly rated and popular. The outcome is simply going to be a little fascist purge of those not important enough to Apple, while scaring everybody enough to maintain 'loyalty' amongst 3rd party developers who might otherwise address the wider market beyond Apple's AppStore. I'm not going to be crying for Flash apps, run-time or compiled, but this approach is shit and I hope regulators start looking at their practices.

Edited 2010-04-12 07:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

mutantsushi Member since:

Oh yeah, link to Apple's 2009 share of hand-held app market: (~99%)

Reply Parent Score: 1