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Bad PR Forces Apple To Reconsider Banning Mark Fiore's App

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  • Simple. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3&gmail,com> on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:25PM (#31879206)
    If the cost of losing customers due to bad press is greater than the cost of changing their policies/practices, they will change (usually temporarily) to alleviate the bad press. Next.
  • by ZeBam.com (1790466) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:25PM (#31879208) Homepage
    This will be more the exception that proves the rule than anything particularly earth-shattering.
  • by mozumder (178398) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:26PM (#31879220)

    so that any publisher could submit apps without Apple's editorializing.

    It would be nice if more publishers were allowed onto the app store, instead of only Pulitzer-prize winners.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:28PM (#31879244)

    Fortunately, you don't have to be a Pulitzer prize winner to develop an Android app.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:32PM (#31879268)

    You must be new here.

    The first generation iPhone lacked the 3G technology and therefore would only work on AT&T's EDGE data network. These are the models that are too old and slow to get the forthcoming iPhone OS 4.0. Time for those users to upgrade...

    As for monopoly on their own store... yep. Remember the Microsoft bundling mess? Taking one thing you have a monopoly on and using it to get an advantage somewhere else is not allowed.

  • by mikael_j (106439) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:37PM (#31879302)

    As for monopoly on their own store... yep. Remember the Microsoft bundling mess? Taking one thing you have a monopoly on and using it to get an advantage somewhere else is not allowed.

    Here's the thing, Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the smartphone market like Microsoft had (and has) on the desktop operating system market. You can't have a monopoly on your on products and services. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on integrated software downloads and purchases for smartphones, it would be impossible for them to have this without having a monopoly on the smartphone market.

  • What are you talking about? As of April 8, 2010 there were over 185,000 apps in the App Store (source: Wikipedia App Store entry [wikipedia.org]). I'd say that's a heck of a lot of publishers; even Opera has their browser in the App Store these days. I cannot fathom how people can fail to understand that it's Apple's store, and they are completely within their rights when it comes to deciding what will or won't be accepted. If you don't like it, stop using your iPhone/iPad/iWhatever, use something else, and get on with your life.
  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Unka Willbur (1771596) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:49PM (#31879390)
    How many small publishers, authors or artists without access to the media that Mr. Fiore has won't ever get the lordly invite to "resubmit"" their content for King Jobs' oh-so-kindly "reconsideration"?
  • Facts? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Graham J - XVI (1076671) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:52PM (#31879398) Homepage Journal

    Who says it was due to bad PR? You might want to avoid stating guesses as facts.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:02PM (#31879452)

    Oh please, that argument doesn't stand up against any scrutiny.

  • by XonMus (630535) on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:05PM (#31879460) Homepage
    Let's not forget the portable music player market, where the iPod is more dominant. Taking a step back from smart phones, and considering something more general, such as wifi-enabled portable entertainment devices, it's possible that Apple could have an undue influence on such a market. The iPad might tilt things further. All of these products are tightly tied to the iTunes App Store. Now, if Apple has undue influence on this market, are they abusing that influence by restricting these devices to run only those applications that they approve and allow into iTunes? I dunno, but it's worth asking the question.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:22PM (#31879562)

    I cannot fathom how people can fail to understand that it's Apple's store, and they are completely within their rights when it comes to deciding what will or won't be accepted.

    That's because they don't fail to understand that, it's just that it's shitty of them to be so heavy-handed about it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:25PM (#31879574)

    That number of 185,000 is VERY SUSPICIOUS. Tucows says that they only have 40,000 [twocows.com] software listings. In 2007, Freshmeat.net only listed just over 43,000 [archive.org] projects. Even SourceForge only claims to have 230,000 [sourceforge.net] projects.

    I find it very hard to believe that there are 185,000 apps in the App Store. Oh, wait, where did that number from the Wikipedia article actually come from? MacRumors.com. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Now I see why it sounds like bullshit.

  • by DABANSHEE (154661) on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:30PM (#31879604)

    Apple does have a monopoly on OKing & installing apps onto iphones.

    Well that's the way I understand it.

  • by sirsnork (530512) on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:37PM (#31879644)
    But you knew that going in. It's not like that wans't the case when the iPhone was a brand new product with no market share. Apple hasn't changed the rules you agreed to when you bought the product, no mater how much the market has changed
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:59PM (#31879768)

    Apple hasn't changed the rules you agreed to when you bought the product, no mater how much the market has changed.

    Of course they have - if they accept Fiore's app today when they turned it down a couple of months ago, then either they have changed the rules or there was a secret rule that "Pulitizer prize winners are exempt from the rest of the rules." Either way, the rules are different than when he bought the product.

  • by MistrBlank (1183469) on Friday April 16, 2010 @10:14PM (#31879834)

    Do Burger King's sell Big Macs where you come from?

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday April 16, 2010 @10:51PM (#31879996) Homepage

    I love how in one breath the Apple-ites are claiming Apple doesn't have a monopoly and in the next they are saying developers can't afford to the miss the market.

    No, you need to go figure out was is a monopoly according to the Sherman act [wikipedia.org] and subsequent case law. Controlling the contents of a privately held store isn't a monopoly as far as Federal regulation is concerned.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Friday April 16, 2010 @11:01PM (#31880036) Homepage

    There's more to government regulation of the market than the word "monopoly". There's also a broader concept known as "restraint of trade", which is what Apple is wandering into when it arbitrarily limits what other businesses can develop for its system.

    p.s. No EDGE iPhone? You seem to know less about the iPhone than you do about commerce law. Shutting up would be smart.

  • What lock in? You're perfectly free to go buy an Android handset if you don't like Apple's App Store policies. This has nothing whatsoever to do with lock in.
  • Re:No rethinking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Friday April 16, 2010 @11:25PM (#31880126)

    There is nothing about Opera Mini that crosses even the unwritten rules Apple has, only the rules anti-Apple people THINK Apple has.

    I think that the reason the anti-Apple people THINK this "duplicate functionality" rule exists might be because there were:

    a few rejections with that wording.

    I can't imagine why the zealots would think a rule existed merely because it had been cited by Apple as the rule that justifies banning an application.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday April 16, 2010 @11:26PM (#31880128) Homepage Journal

    It seems like Apple is rethinking some of it's heavy-handed decisions

    The lesson here is that as consumers, if you don't hold a companies feet to the fire with things like bad publicity, they're not looking out for your best interests.

    Unswerving fandom to a corporation is not only misplaced, but always works against consumers. You want to be a fan of a person, an artist, a writer, a great athlete, a craftsman, that's fine, because as a human being, he has a desire to do something of value, even if for the appreciation of one other person. A corporation's only reason for existence is to make a profit, and profit does not respond to people's desires or needs or appreciation of beauty or excellence. You think a product is a good value, or makes you happy, then by all means buy it, but when you start tattooing a logo on your tricep, you are going to spoil it for everyone. A corporation sees that and the response is: here's another one that will take whatever we dish out. After all, what are you going to do once you've defined yourself by the companies from which you buy? Once you've entered the 21st century phenomenon of corporate fandom, are you really capable of making a rational decision, even for yourself?

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Friday April 16, 2010 @11:36PM (#31880190)

    He has to *resubmit* it? What, do they delete them after they reject them? That seems odd.

    It's all about control. He must respect their little system, whereby he asks them for permission and they get to exercise total arbitrary power over him. Even in fault, the plaintiff must do the grovelling and play his part as head-bowing subject.

    I think around Apple, the 'Submit' button means something far yuckier than it does, say, when posting on Slashdot.

    -FL

  • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Friday April 16, 2010 @11:43PM (#31880218) Homepage

    And when Microsoft Windows was declared a monopoly, you were perfectly free to go buy a Macintosh. By your description, you weren't locked in to Windows. (In fact, you were less locked in than you are with the iPhone, because you always could install OS/2 or Linux on your PC hardware - while there is no viable alternate OS for the iPhone.)

  • Re:Facts? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by prockcore (543967) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @12:10AM (#31880312)

    What else could it have been? They rejected the app in December. He won the Pulitzer Prize recently and "Apple rejects Pulitzer Prize winner" is all over the news now. You think it's coincidence that they changed their mind 5 months later?

  • by santiagodraco (1254708) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @12:23AM (#31880362)

    They can certainly be called to task for anti-competitive trade practices - like not allowing flash thereby creating a situation where untold numbers of companies are forced to modify their websites, drop certain advertisers and and thereby materially affecting Adobe's business.- just so they can use that to enter into the advertising market....

    Don't be fooled by the pretty box cover, it's pretty dank and dark inside.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2010 @12:30AM (#31880382)

    They have low-level individual reviewers reviewing hundreds of apps each day. It's not like Steve Jobs said "this app is banished!" Like any system, it has flaws.

    I don't see why people are making such a big whoop.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2010 @12:59AM (#31880482)

    Perhaps you would like to point to another definition of "monopoly" that can be enforced by federal or state laws, jackass!

  • by xigxag (167441) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @08:33AM (#31880776)

    Every manufacturer has the monopoly on his own products.

    That's clearly not the case, at least, not in the way intended by the people raising the issue.

    If you buy a Ford automobile, you don't have to buy Ford tires.
    If you buy an HP computer, you're not required to buy HP-branded software

    It's one thing for Apple to have an app store. It's another thing entirely for them to artificially bar other methods of getting software on the iPhone. (And it's a third thing for them to use their "appopoly" to artificially limit the categories of software one can use.)

    The fact of the matter is that Apple could appear much less heavy-handed simply by legitimizing jailbreaking. "Oh, you want install your own apps? Go right ahead. But 'for safety reasons' we will then disable your access to the app store and any apps you've installed from the app store. And you'll void your warranty and get no support from us." Most people would keep on using the app store anyway when faced with such a choice, but at least they would feel it was their own choice.

    Do I think that Apple is doing something illegal, or should be forced to open up their product? No. But I do think they deserve to get hammered on this issue in the court of public opinion.

  • by wrencherd (865833) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @08:39AM (#31880814)

    The upshot of this seems to be that we're all now expected to seek out this "comic" b/c (1) it's been given a Pulitzer, and (2) reading it "sticks it to the man" (the man in this case is Steve Jobs).

    Free PR notwithstanding, this "comic" is not really up to the standards of most parodies on youtube.

    It seems to be a choice between being a "Pulitzer-zombie", or an "Apple-zombie".

    In the end, a zombie is a zombie: "They're all messed up." --John Russo & George A. Romero [imdb.com]

  • by jo_ham (604554) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (999mahoj)> on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:03AM (#31880974)

    Yes, but commercial (and Linux) alternatives were squeezed out by MS by bullying the OEMs - "Only sell Windows preinstalled or you may just find your OEM licence cost increases".

    There is no viable alternative OS for the Xbox 360 either, but they are not telling game shops that they mustn't stock PS3s or they may find the wholesale cost of the 360 might go up...

    It's not illegal to be a monopoly - it's what you do when you are one that matters. Even at the height of the Windows monopoly, you were never locked into it in a literal sense, but practically you were, especially if you relied on being able to use office documents or Exchange.

    If you currently rely on something specific to Mac (say MobileMe or something) and suddenly you find you need something that the iPhone doesn't offer then you face the same level of "lock in", but there is nothing stopping you changing platforms - there are plenty of other options.

    Apple are also a long way from being a monopoly in the smartphone and cellphone market as a whole.

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:28AM (#31881120) Journal

    Apple is responsible for setting up the system this way. Either train the reviewers better, or stop exerting such anal-retentive control over your device.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:40AM (#31881186)

    We're all behind you on this one. Apple are becoming tyrants.

  • by D'Sphitz (699604) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:00AM (#31881338) Journal
    Are you gonna provide a link to all this outrage, or should we just take your word for it?
  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:33AM (#31881560) Homepage

    Well it's not as flashy, but there are some possible reasons to ask him to resubmit. First, their system might not really be build for retrieving rejected apps. It is possible that rejected apps are discarded, and they don't have easy access to a copy.

    Also, it could specifically be about the PR. If they simply say, "Oh, yes, we changed our mind and we'll put this application on the store," then it's unclear what that means. It could be a specific instance of bending the rules for a Pulitzer Prize winner. By instead saying, "Please resubmit your app and it won't be disqualified for the reason stated earlier," they're actually signaling a change in policy: apps will not be discarded for this reason.

  • by Chyeld (713439) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dleyhc.> on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:20AM (#31881828)

    Is that possibly the same document that forced you to buy a Windows machine?

    A monopoly is a monopoly. Apple has one on the iPhone. Having a monopoly isn't illegal, using your monopoly illegally is.

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]

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