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Apple Threatens To Pull Siri Clone From App Store 251

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the larry-wall-is-full-of-lies dept.
daria42 writes "Steve Jobs might not be around any more to enforce some of Apple's stricter policies, but that doesn't mean the company is letting it all hang loose. Overnight the U.K. company which produces a speech recognition app called Evi, which mimics many of the functions of Apple's Siri, confirmed Apple had approached his company letting it know that Evi was being reviewed for possible breaches of Apple's App Store policies. The reason? A clause in the policy which bans apps too similar to Apple's existing software. It does appear to matter to Apple that Siri doesn't function that well in the U.K., because of a lack of good localisation." Supposedly Evi will be continue to be allowed on iOS if it alters its interface to be dissimilar enough from Siri to placate Apple.
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Apple Threatens To Pull Siri Clone From App Store

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  • by sjwt (161428) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @04:25AM (#39182945)

    Sounds like its time for an antitrust case to me.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @04:32AM (#39182965)

    Sounds like its time for an antitrust case to me.

    Yes,

    But Apple has been pulling competing applications from the app store since it's inception, no alterate email clients, SMS clients, diallers, MP3 players, browsers (proper browsers, not viewers for server generated images or window dressing for the existing rendering engine) and others.

    The question is, why is Apple even threatening? Their normal procedure is to pull the app, remove it from everyone's phone, revoke the developers key and send an iAssassination squad to eliminate the one who dared defy them.

    Has this guy got compromising photos of Tim Cook and Steve Jobs?

  • by CyberSnyder (8122) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @04:37AM (#39182991)

    At least 70% of my attempts to use Evi result in some version of a "unable to process your request" error.

  • by sjwt (161428) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @04:58AM (#39183067)

    yes, but you are not a hard coded program, you are the current top of the line adaptive learning system.

  • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @04:59AM (#39183069)

    The only source for this info is the developer itself and they have an obvious reason to put it out there. Not only does it get them PR ("The app so good Apple doesn't want you to have it!") but it may lead to impulse sales since once an app is pulled you get to keep it if you already bought it.

    There is no inkling from Apple. And now the developer is even backing down, so that they have a convenient answer when people ask why their app was never pulled.

  • by mikael_j (106439) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @05:09AM (#39183109)

    Why would it be time for an antitrust case?

    Apple doesn't have a monopoly on smartphones, software for smartphones or anything really.

    They do however have a product (the iPhone) which is designed to only receive software authorized by Apple (through the App store) but this is not a monopoly, there are plenty of competing products on the market.

  • misleading (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @05:37AM (#39183221) Homepage Journal

    Supposedly Evi will be continue to be allowed on iOS if it alters its interface to be dissimilar enough from Siri to placate Apple.

    Which is not an entirely unreasonable request. Apple's strength is massively in brand recognition, so making sure your customers aren't confused about what is and what isn't an Apple product makes a lot of sense.

    Plus they didn't just pull it, they apparently told the developers what they were concerned about and asked for their cooperation.

    I fail to see where the news story is in this one.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @05:44AM (#39183245)
    You could also use Google's walled garden, or Microsoft's walled garden, or RIMs walled garden.

    Google's walls are considerably shorter than the others, but walls nontheless. It really just comes down to business management: There is some profit to be had in device manufacture alone, but there is far greater profit to be made in providing services those devices must depend upon.
  • by Inconexo (1401585) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @05:44AM (#39183247)

    Apple is now more microsoft than Microsoft used to be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @06:00AM (#39183319)

    Yes, but to establish market power (not market "domination", which has no definition because it's not a meaningful term), you have to concede that the other smartphone platforms pose no significant competition to Apple. As any Slashdot story or any sales figure would show, that's not the case.

    Apple is an immensely powerful player in the smartphone space, but its ability to cause competitors to act isn't because of market power in the economic and business sense, but instead because of a publicity profile. Apple is the one to beat because of a combination of customer satisfaction, marketing, and industrial engineering and design prowess (and increasingly, technical achievement in certain areas). They're not the ones to beat because of units sold or because they can force competitors to do specifically what Apple wants them to do.

    Their success despite stronghold on platform rules, and especially considering that they are sometimes unevenly applied and result in some functionality gaps with competing products is very strong evidence of competitive success, not interference with the market. These forces would tend to drive customers away toward the fine alternatives available, except that people view the benefits as far outweighing the inconveniences. Report after report shows unparalleled satisfaction and repeat purchases of their mobile devices, along with strong growth over a period of time.

    In short, popularity alone isn't market power in the context of competition law. Customers and developers have plenty of options if they don't like the balance of pros and cons offered by Apple. Just because a huge number of people use something that a small but vocal crowd thinks is unduly restrictive is not an antitrust issue.

  • by phayes (202222) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @06:00AM (#39183321) Homepage

    Sounds more like the typical whine of people who, after tens of articles on /. bitching that Apple doesn't allow (apps similar to their OS apps, porn, flagrant ripoffs of existing apps), still don't comprehend that the Apple is not a monopoly & thus App store rules are not abuse of a monopoly.

    If you want different app store rules on your iPhone, jailbeak it. If, as I suspect, you don't event have an iPhone, spare us from your whining...

  • by Anonymus (2267354) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @06:18AM (#39183379)

    Every product Apple has created in the last 10 years has been designed specifically to drive sales of their other products, while maintaining a closed, integrated system that can't be broken out of. That is literally Apple's core business model, if you look at anything Steve Jobs has ever said. If they ever actually achieve market dominance in an area, they will be destroyed by anti-trust litigation (or should, but with $80+ billion for lawyers, they're untouchable) because their entire strategy is abusing power in one area of their business to feed and promote another.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @07:16AM (#39183567)

    If they ever actually achieve market dominance in an area, they will be destroyed by anti-trust litigation

    With iPod they had monopoly dominance in the MP3 player market for years. No anti-trust suit. It's not illegal to have a monopoly.

  • by gyaku_zuki (1778282) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @07:45AM (#39183697) Homepage

    I don't even like Apple, but I agree with everything this dude ^ said. I love my Android, I find it much better than any iOS device, but when so many people buy and don't care about the lock-in and so on, you can't really argue they aren't doing something right.

  • by coinreturn (617535) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @08:00AM (#39183739)

    You could also use Google's walled garden, or Microsoft's walled garden, or RIMs walled garden.

    Google doesn't have a walled garden. it's an open park you can walk into and out of all of your own accord. I think you need to look up the definition of "walled garden" or actually use Android for yourself. It's nothing like Apple's system of lockdown.

    The definition seems to be "A term used derisively by Apple haters."

  • Business plan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rbowen (112459) Works for SourceForge on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @09:05AM (#39184019) Homepage

    I'll bet this threat sells a million copies of the app. I hadn't heard of it yesterday. Now I've bought it. It was only $0.99 How many more of you did that?

    I see a business plan here. What other of the default apps can I copy ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @09:05AM (#39184031)

    Only in an apple related thread you got this level of analogy R&D. Jesus, cut the crap, the whole thing is summarised in the first couple of comments.

  • by Deorus (811828) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @09:30AM (#39184205)

    Just another reason to avoid the proprietary lock-in hell that is Apple's walled garden. Sure their products are shiny and smooth but you trade all your rights to the device you just forked out enough to buy a car on for that ease of use.

    What proprietary lock-in hell? How do they lock you in? At most you could claim that they lock you out, but considering the fact that they tend to use standard protocols and formats for everything (with the dock connector being a historically-justified exception, because there was nothing "standard" when it was created), I fail to see exactly what locks you in to Apple products other than your willingness to stick to the only fully integrated ecosystem that works seamlessly.

    Also, what kind of rights are you talking about?

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