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Censorship Businesses Software Apple

Apple Rejects iPhone App As Competitive To iTunes 375

Posted by kdawson
from the walled-garden dept.
DaveyJJ sends news of yet another rejection of an iPhone app by Apple, with perhaps a chilling twist for potential developers of productivity or utility apps. John Gruber of Daring Fireball writes: "Let's be clear: forbidding 'duplication of functionality' is forbidding competition. The point of competition is to do the same thing, but better." Paul Kafasis (co-founder of Rogue Amoeba Software) makes the point that this action by Apple will scare talented developers away from the iPhone platform. And Dave Weiner argues that the iPhone isn't a "platform" at all: "The idea that it's a platform should mean no individual or company has the power to turn you off."
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Apple Rejects iPhone App As Competitive To iTunes

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  • One Can Hope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:29PM (#24993473) Homepage Journal

    ``Paul Kafasis (co-founder of Rogue Amoeba Software) makes the point that this action by Apple will scare talented developers away from the iPhone platform.''

    I hope it will, but I doubt it. I hope the talented developers will favor open platforms over closed ones, help create and improve open platforms, and help making the world more open.

    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:49PM (#24993625)

      As an iPhone developer, I hope it will too. Less competition for me. :-)

    • Re:One Can Hope (Score:5, Insightful)

      by John Whitley (6067) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:01PM (#24993715) Homepage

      I hope the talented developers will favor [profitable] platforms over [unprofitable] ones, help create and improve [profitable] platforms, and help making the world more [profitable].

      There, fixed that for ya. Really, when push comes to shove, developers want their proverbial bread on the table as much as anyone else. If openness coincides sufficiently well with developer self-interest, then openness may win out as well. If it doesn't, then there's not much hope for it; ignoring economic incentives (or disincentives) doesn't make them go away.

      • Re:One Can Hope (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:16PM (#24993823) Homepage Journal

        ``If openness coincides sufficiently well with developer self-interest, then openness may win out as well.''

        If, at least, developers act in a way that maximizes their self-interest. In practise, that is probably only partially the case. At best, they will act in a way that they _think_ maximizes their self interest ... but their thinking can be affected, say, by a clever marketing campaign.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by linhares (1241614)
          if Google takes a cut of only 5% of the price, compared to Apple's gargantuan bite of your work, and if Google does not restrict developers, ANDROID will rapidly surpass the iPhone. First, it should be easier to develop, as you can _talk_ about it, and exchange ideas on the web. Moreover, FUCK YOU APPLE for blocking us hard-working developers, and sucking it up to the Phone companies.

          Does anyone wonder why there is no skype for the iPhone?

          • Re:One Can Hope (Score:5, Informative)

            by davester666 (731373) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @06:31PM (#24994281) Journal

            "compared to Apple's gargantuan bite of your work"

            If you actually tried to get an application on ANYBODY ELSE'S 'application stores', like handango, or through one of the telco's, you would know the true meaning of gargantuan. Try 60/40 split for THEM. Or worse. As in, you get less than half. Apple has slapped all the other mobile phone application stores upside the face with pricing. And you can offer your app for free if you wish. How many other app stores let you do that?

            Now, is there room for another competitor to come in and offer better terms than Apple. Certainly.

            Just as a WAG, I would guess Google probably will go for something in the 15%-25% range for their app store, to slightly undercut Apple, while still being a little more than break-even for bandwidth, returns, techsupport and credit-card fees.

             

          • Re:One Can Hope (Score:5, Insightful)

            by dunkelfalke (91624) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @07:22PM (#24994543)

            that is why i prefer phones with windows mobile.
            there are no restrictions for applications, the developer have a wide choice of developer tools (vb, visual c++, any .net language with netcf support, third party tools like lazarus).

            there is skype for windows mobile (afaik it was the first mobile port of skype), there are other voip apps, starting wm6 there is even a built in voip support.

            and i don't get why people whine about the interface. it is pretty much the same well known windows interface. even my mum and dad and my girlfriend can use their windows mobile smartphones (xda, xda II and xda III). if you can cope with windows on your desktop, you'll have no difficulties with wm. i do own an ipod touch (it was a gift) and i don't like the interface at all. if i want to delete an mp3 file, with my htc universal i start up my favourite file manager (total commander in my case), go to the file, open the context menu, chose "delete" and i am done. with the ipod touch i have to delete the file in the itunes on my pc, then synchronise. it sucks.

            • Re:One Can Hope (Score:5, Insightful)

              by aussie_a (778472) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @07:52PM (#24994769) Journal

              there are no restrictions for applications, the developer have a wide choice of developer tools (vb, visual c++, any .net language with netcf support, third party tools like lazarus).

              Its a pretty sad world when Windows is less anti-competitive then someone else.

              • by Frankie70 (803801) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @10:25PM (#24995615)

                Right from day 1, Bill Gates knows that it's 3rd party developers who make his OS successful. That's why Ballmer goes around shouting "developers, developers".

                • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                  by Stiletto (12066)

                  Exactly... The iPhone app store is Apple's first attempt at NOT treating third party developers with utter contempt. They're having growing pains. I bet in a few years, they'll be much better. They might even stop poisoning 3rd party developers' food and kicking their dogs.

          • Re:One Can Hope (Score:5, Interesting)

            by samkass (174571) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @09:10PM (#24995187) Homepage Journal

            Apple's cut (30%) is extremely low for what you get. Unlimited distribution, completely flexible pricing, international markets, hosting, updates, auto-pariticpation in their "top 100" lists and "feature apps", etc. And the $99 entry fee is also very comparatively low. If you can't make back $99/year on the App Store, you're doing it wrong.

            And if the argument is ease of development, Apple definitely has Google beat so far regardless of ones ability to share. I'm no huge fan of XCode, but iPhone development is really easy. So easy that here we are less than two months after release and there's thousands of apps. My guess is that within a few months all the big names will have their stuff ported including Skype. So from a user's point of view.

            So it's good for the users, and good for the developers. In return, you occasionally (4 apps so far out of 3000) get slapped down by Apple. I don't think it's going to affect the market much.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheSpoom (715771) *

        The thing about it is, talented developers often find themselves in the "software architect" position on projects; that is, deciding upon which platform to build a project. While popularity of a platform (and therefore the possibility of profit) does have an impact on that decision, many developers find that it's simply easier to code on open platforms, as well as obtain assistance from the community that's built up around them.

        Economic reasons are not the only thing looked at, in other words.

    • Re:One Can Hope (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Ilgaz (86384) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:09PM (#24993777) Homepage

      If they released all their software to Symbian OS, at least S60 with high end device features (e.g. N95) simultaneously, that would teach Apple. It would be a great favour to Symbian users too. I am not speaking about high end,commercial software of course.

      Not applying for iPhone competition or WWDC something doesn't match it.

      Funny is, there is a huge fight in Symbian scene, people ask Nokia (the Godfather) why they gave up their "Download! for PC" which was working perfectly, years ago before iPhone was even mentioned.

      Yes, believe or not, Nokia had "App store" on Windows OS at least and still has it inside every recent S60 phones ROM, not an option even, that app is on every phones root level menu. The result? Still not updated! I think Apple already knows the Symbian platform is not really competitive with current management so they feel comfortable taking decisions like that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by IdahoEv (195056)

      Actually, a friend and I have recently come up with two ideas for fun phone apps, and have been waffling between doing them for iPhone or for Android.

      The coolness and market base of iPhone combine to create a strong draw towards iPhone. But at the same time, I'm already a seasoned Java developer and learning Objective-C and Cocoa is a pretty hefty hurdle to overcome when I'd like to get things rolling quickly.

      Additional crap like this is making me lean more and more away from iPhone and increasingly toward

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      I'd be happy to favor an open platform if anyone used the devices.

      But heres the reality of it, there are millions of iPhones out there and no openmoko or android phones worth meantioning. So while its great to be an idealist and 'do the right thing', I'll have to be honest with you, I'd rather be able to sell my software and eat.

      And thats pretty much how everyone else without someone to support them feels as well. It easy to be an idealist living with mommy and daddy, a little harder when you have to feed

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dwater (72834)

        > I'd be happy to favor an open platform if anyone used the devices.

        You should consider Symbian then. Last time I looked, it had 20 times the market share of Apple.

  • Well, yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FroBugg (24957) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:29PM (#24993477) Homepage

    The last comment clearly has it right. The iPhone is not a platform, it's Apple's toy that you're allowed to use. Is anybody really surprised?

    You're never going to be allowed to use alternative hardware, obviously, and with the subscription status and deals with phone companies, you're going to be seriously restricted when it comes to software. How long did it take them to allow any third party programs on their phone?

    • Re:Well, yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by the_humeister (922869) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:34PM (#24993503)
      That's the problem with language. Once Apple sells the phone, it is no longer Apple's phone - it is the customer's.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AuraOfDeath (895466)

        That's the problem with language. Once Apple sells the phone, it is no longer Apple's phone - it is the customer's.

        Since WHEN has apple ever allowed people to own their own equipment? Apple has never been about freedom (as in beer, or choice apparently), it has been more like a mortgage company.. Leasing you the use of your home/equipment until such time as they see fit to no longer support it. It was a great frustration to me, when I use to service Apple computers (eons ago... Back before the last ice age..) to not be able to order a replacement part from a 3rd party source with ease. Apple, for as long as I can

        • Re:Well, yeah (Score:5, Informative)

          by moosesocks (264553) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @09:40PM (#24995365) Homepage

          [citation needed]

          What sort of Apple hardware parts aren't standardized these days? All of the system internals are relatively "normal," and don't seem to contain a sufficiently higher percentage of proprietary bits than a Dell would.

          I'm not a fan of their iPhone strategy, but this other information seems pretty blatantly false. Apple lets its users run Windows on their machines (and helps them do so, a la Boot Camp, and their publicized support of Parallels/VMWare). I ran Ubuntu on my old G4 without a problem. The only major linux support issues on any remotely recent mac have to do with NVidia's lack of open drivers, rather than anything specific to Apple.

          The iPhone/iPod software licensing seems a bit draconian, though nobody's forcing you to buy one...

          I have a Mac, and I use it as I see fit. I'll probably get a touchscreen iPod once Apple comes to its senses regarding app licensing (which, to be fair, is a lot more liberal than how most phone companies treat 3rd-party apps)

      • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <{taiki} {at} {cox.net}> on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:54PM (#24993659)

        I'm on an iPhone so take this as you will.

        my phone, their app store. no one is bitching about not being able to buy windows vista or a Zen at an apple retail location.

        • Re:Well, yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jmpeax (936370) * on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:02PM (#24993729)
          It's not quite as simple as that, though.

          Not only are restrictions placed on the app store, but on the device itself. It wouldn't be a problem if anyone could set up their own app store to distribute software to iPhone users.

          no one is bitching about not being able to buy windows vista or a Zen at an apple retail location.

          A better analogy would be buying a Mac and then only being allowed to buy software from Apple retail locations.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by iCEBaLM (34905)

            It wouldn't be a problem if anyone could set up their own app store to distribute software to iPhone users.

            I'm also an iPhone owner, people and companies are already doing this.

            A vast amount of iPhone users have their phones jailbroken (if this poll posted earlier today [engadget.com] is any indication, it would seem the majority do) thanks to the iphone-dev team. Cydia is a GUI application installed which uses apt at the backend, just like debian/ubuntu, for installing third party software. Pretty much anyone can get an

            • Re:Well, yeah (Score:5, Informative)

              by jmpeax (936370) * on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:55PM (#24994111)

              if this poll posted earlier today [engadget.com] is any indication, it would seem the majority do [have their iPhones jailbroken]

              You're not serious? Not only is that statement contrary to all common sense, but that poll has all the statistical reliability of a Slashdot poll. For a start, non-technical users tend not to read Engadget, let alone know how to get an iPhone jailbroken.

              I take your point that you can jailbreak your iPhone to allow third-party software, but it's far from the same thing as Apple allowing any third-party software on their phone.

              For a start, most iPhone users won't have the first clue who iphone-dev are, what Cydia or even a GUI is, what apt is or what Debian/Ubuntu are. To the average user, iPhone applications come from the app store - that's the end of it. For these users, who I imagine make up the vast majority, Apple controls the software they're allowed to install on their iPhone.

    • Re:Well, yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by statusbar (314703) <jeffk@statusbar.com> on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:17PM (#24993827) Homepage Journal

      It is time for us to start supporting OpenMoko instead of complaining about apple's policies!

      --jeffk++

  • Apple Design Awards (Score:5, Informative)

    by Khakionion (544166) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:33PM (#24993501)
    So, hopefully iPhone devs do something about it. Ars's John Siracusa proposes boycotting the iPhone category at the Apple Design Awards [twitter.com]. Makes sense to me; like he says, it'll cause a blemish on Apple's reputation without damaging the pocketbooks of those devs who have invested in this platform. (And for Chrissake, yes it's a platform, just a badly restricted one at the moment.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by onefriedrice (1171917)
      A boycott of the iPhone Apple Design Awards would undoubtedly send a message to Apple, but I doubt it could be pulled off. Those awards are coveted; it's such a big temptation for developers that they won't miss out on it just for a stand on principles.
      • by causality (777677) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @06:16PM (#24994213)

        A boycott of the iPhone Apple Design Awards would undoubtedly send a message to Apple, but I doubt it could be pulled off. Those awards are coveted; it's such a big temptation for developers that they won't miss out on it just for a stand on principles.

        If that be the case, then what they have are not principles at all.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cycon (11899)

          A boycott of the iPhone Apple Design Awards would undoubtedly send a message to Apple, but I doubt it could be pulled off. Those awards are coveted; it's such a big temptation for developers that they won't miss out on it just for a stand on principles.

          If that be the case, then what they have are not principles at all.

          I for one would love to see NetShare [nullriver.com] enter and win an award for their iPhone application.

          It was a great idea, filled an important need many users were having, and got pulled due to seemi

  • This reminds me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by causality (777677)
    This reminds me, in one single way (and only that way; cue replies that ignore this line) of religious people who want to use law to force their beliefs on others -- such people do not believe in the power of their own message. When a company goes out of its way to forbid competition, they are saying that they don't believe their own sanctioned offerings are good enough to compete. Otherwise they would welcome competition and allow it to lead to a superior experience for their customers.

    For the knee-je
  • by LinuxInDallas (73952) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:38PM (#24993539)

    I hope this trend ends soon. The screening of apps started not long ago and I think was a result of the amount of crap that Apple allowed to sell on the store. Between the numerous "flash light" apps and the infamous "I am Rich" app a lot of people were annoyed at the signal to noise ratio. Then there was "Netshare" which was pulled because it violated ATTs terms of service (luckily I got my copy early.)

    My guess is that Apple responded to all this by making it some middle manager's responsibility to come up with a set of ground rules to "improve" the situation. He/she/the committe or whatever obviously went way overboard. As a potential iPhone developer it gives me the chills that you could spend months on a project just to have it rejected for a rediculous reason like the one here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iron-kurton (891451)

      "As a potential iPhone developer it gives me the chills that you could spend months on a project just to have it rejected for a rediculous reason like the one here."

      If Apple really wants that tight control, they should allow a way for proposals to be submitted before development begins. That way months aren't wasted on the project, and you would know early on whether your project is bad. (I'm not an Apple Store dev so I don't know if this is currently an option).

      Actually, maybe it's not such a great idea be

    • by dfghjk (711126) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:54PM (#24994097)

      Nonsense. The screening of apps starting in the very beginning with a process designed to enable that very thing. Apple stated from the start that they would be screening apps. Only fools believe it's for anything other than Apple's best interests.

      • by causality (777677)

        Nonsense. The screening of apps starting in the very beginning with a process designed to enable that very thing. Apple stated from the start that they would be screening apps. Only fools believe it's for anything other than Apple's best interests.

        I think it's more a question of whether Apple perceives that giving its customers what they want, the way that they want it and thus creating happier customers is in its best interests more than strict control is in its best interests. Obviously any for-profit corporation is going take actions that it believes to be in the best interests of its profitability; it's what those actions are that tell you what sort of company you are dealing with.

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      Netshare was officially banned today:

      September 13th, 2008 NetShare, banned from the AppStore Looks like Apple has decided they will not be allowing any tethering applications in the AppStore. As such, NetShare will not be available in the iTunes AppStore. We are seeing a lot of similar reports from various developers who's applications were abruptly removed and banned from the AppStore without any violations of the terms of service. This is all unfortunate news for the iPhone platform end-users.

      http://www.nullriver.com/ [nullriver.com]

      I noticed Tris is gone too.

  • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross AT yahoo DOT ca> on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:38PM (#24993541)

    I have stated multiple times on Slashdot and have multiple times be called a troll...

    THIS is EXACTLY the same behavior Apple exhibited with the Apple and their token program!

    Ah, but this is so old news (over 20 years ago) that people tend to have forgotten!

    Now Apple is all good and dandy! BS!

    • by causality (777677) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:59PM (#24993691)

      I have stated multiple times on Slashdot and have multiple times be called a troll...

      THIS is EXACTLY the same behavior Apple exhibited with the Apple and their token program!

      Ah, but this is so old news (over 20 years ago) that people tend to have forgotten!

      Now Apple is all good and dandy! BS!

      Yeah, I know what you mean. I posted on this same story and said that a company which believes in its products isn't afraid of competition; I was almost instantly modded Redundant even though all preceding comments were about whether the iPhone can be considered a "platform". It seems that Apple is another of these near-religious subjects that weak-minded people get all upset over and of course that's your fault for saying something with which they disagree. In a society where many children don't even know who their father is, it seems that there is a lack of calm, collected, strong-minded men not given to this type of childish impulsiveness who could perhaps model a better example of how to live. Make no mistake, it is about how to live; that sort of impulsive, reactionary mentality is not at all limited to this subject or this Web site. If anyone perceives my disdain of it as being caused by a lower score on a Slashdot posting, they have missed my point entirely.

    • by riggah (957124) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @07:53PM (#24994777)
      Apple has consistently and predictably followed the same practices for which people condemn Microsoft. The caveat is that Apple has always cultivated a "cult" attitude, as well. I know I'll probably be modded flamebait for this, but the fact is that it's "ok" for Apple to practice competition stifling policies if they continue to also perpetuate the "Cult of Mac" attitude.

      Apple is no more nor is it any less evil than Microsoft or any of their ilk. Is it any surprise that they're exercising strict control over the iPhone? No. No. No, not at all!! It's the same behavior Apple has exhibited with everything it produces!

      "Let's be clear: forbidding 'duplication of functionality' is forbidding competition. The point of competition is to do the same thing, but better."

      Sure. Why would they want to possibly put themselves in the position of admitting that someone "did iTunes" better than they do? Their business practices and marketing are almost the same thing; they need to promote "Cult of [Apple]" and to effectively justify their approach they need to be able to say, "No. We did that application/utility better. See what our strict adherence to our policies brought us? A better product." If they can't say that then the millions (billions?) they've spent on their marketing for the last 30 years is worthless.

      They built the cult for a reason.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GaryPatterson (852699)

      Now Apple is all good and dandy! BS!

      Huh? Who is saying that? Normally pro-Apple blogs are almost universally against this, tech sites like Slashdot are almost universally against this, so who's on Apple's side here?

      Perhaps you might like to read some of the comments in this topic today and recalibrate your sense of reality.

  • by blool (798681) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:42PM (#24993559)
    Apple has created an embedded device and is choosing to tightly control the available applications for it. If you think this is a bad thing, don't develop for it and don't buy an iphone, it's that simple. Things like the gameboy and xbox live tightly control the available content, and I don't see nearly as much bitching about them as I do about the iphone. People jailbreak/develop home brew apps for the devices and don't expect to be embraced by the hardware creators. If you want to develop for an open platform develop for the PC or another device which actually wants and maintains good relationships with independent developers.
    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      If you think this is a bad thing, don't develop for it and don't buy an iphone, it's that simple.

      You left out the part about raising a big stink about it so that others don't make the same mistake of buying it, or taking the risk of developing for it, either.

      • What risk? Apple was clear right from when the SDK was launched that you couldn't do apps that duplicated the functionality of the built in apps. And also various other categories of apps that were not allowed (porn, gambling for money etc.)

        People who have gone ahead and developed apps that they weren't sure were OK should have asked before spending time on them.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      don't develop for it and don't buy an iphone

      You're absolutely correct.

      I won't do either.

    • Things like the gameboy and xbox live tightly control the available content, and I don't see nearly as much bitching about them as I do about the iphone.

      Probably because neither of those pretended to be a complete computer. The iPhone's biggest appeal is that it is more than just a phone, and is, in fact, a general-purpose pocket computer.

      Apple never said this, but frankly, that's where the hype comes from, and I imagine that's largely what these developers see in it.

      It's also directly detrimental to consumers -- here's an example of an app which probably would have been beneficial, but Apple blocked it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Babbster (107076)
        Don't forget also that Microsoft doesn't say "get out of here" to developers who want to sell scifi first-person shooters, nor does Nintendo ban developers from making 3D platformers or go-kart racing games. Any developer who wants to make a game for the Xbox 360, Wii or PS3 is encouraged to do so, even if a game might compete with, or demolish the sales of, one of their in-house games (there are, of course, some content restrictions relating to sexual content and such, but they're not intended to stifle c
    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @09:12AM (#24997979) Journal
      I would imagine that the "bitching" is mostly because every other phone/handheld platform out there is more open, and has been for a while now. People have gotten used to it. Now they rightly see the lack of openness as a deficiency in the product, and complain about it. Saying when something sucks when it does is not "bitching".
  • tell me again... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:43PM (#24993569)

    Tell me again why this phone is so cool?

  • Prepare to be spun (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:44PM (#24993581) Homepage Journal

    Here's what's going to happen. It'll happen because it always happens.

    Apple gets caught with its pants down. Everyone condemns Apple while its PR teams huddle together to find a way to deal with the issue. Finally, Apple announces that the issue was to do with an oversight caused by a miscommunication caused by an unrelated issue that actually was a case of the application not being approved yet, not that it was really rejected.

    People outside of Apple circles will laugh, but then be flamed endlessly for laughing to the point that we no longer want to talk about it any more.

    Happened when Apple was using cheap third world labour to build iPods. Happened when Apple stopped releasing source code to Darwin. And it's going to happen again. Apple will, as with those issues, completely reverse itself, while making it sound like it was its policy all along.

    So I'm not even going to bother. Here's the thing though: this is Apple's mentality. They will try to lock down iPhone if they can. They do in many areas already, and they will continue to do so. I can swap out a SIM in an iPhone and tether my laptop to a real cellphone instead, and it'll work, but Apple bans applications that allows you to use iPhone for this. I can install any application I want on my Motorola V635 - which isn't even something most people would describe as a "smartphone" but is, thanks to J2ME, completely programmable and has oodles of storage space thanks to microSD - but I can only install "approved" applications on an "smart" iPhone.

    So yes, Apple will reverse itself on this issue, and all of you criticizing it now will be criticized as lying Apple haters who misrepresented what Apple was doing. But iPhone will always be a locked down platform. And as long as it is, there will be many of us who will just steer clear of it.

    And if what you want is a locked down platform, don't start whining when you hear some app developer has been screwed over because of it.

  • by houbou (1097327) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @04:58PM (#24993689) Journal

    By the way, I've cut and paste what I found to be relevant to this topic, two paragraphs of the Terms and Conditions of the iPhone SDK download Agreement and the first paragraph of the iPhone Application Submission Agreement.

    SDK Terms and Conditions

    1. Relationship With Apple Inc. ("Apple"). You understand and agree by becoming a Registered iPhone Developer, no legal partnership or agency relationship is created between you and Apple. Neither you nor Apple is a partner, an agent or has any authority to bind the other. You agree not to represent otherwise. You also certify that you are of the legal age of majority in the jurisdiction in which you reside (at least 18 years of age in many countries) and you represent that you are legally permitted to become a Registered iPhone Developer. This Agreement is void where prohibited by law, and the right to become a Registered iPhone Developer is not granted in such jurisdictions.

    9. Apple Independent Development. Nothing in this Agreement will impair Apple's right to develop, acquire, license, market, promote or distribute products, software or technologies that perform the same or similar functions as, or otherwise compete with any other products, software or technologies that you may develop, produce, market, or distribute. In the absence of a separate written agreement to the contrary, Apple will be free to use any information, suggestions or recommendations you provide to Apple for any purpose, subject to any applicable patents or copyrights.

    iPhone App Submission Agreement

    1. iPhone GTM Programs. The web applications you submit will be considered for inclusion in Apple's iPhone product pages, ADC web pages, Apple eNews programs and other related Apple developer and marketing web pages and programs (collectively "iPhone GTM Programs"). You understand and agree that Apple has complete discretion over whether to include your web applications in any iPhone GTM Program. You also understand and agree that Apple reserves the right, at its complete discretion and without prior notice to you, to remove your web applications from any and/or all iPhone GTM Programs. Should Apple decide to include your web application in one or more iPhone GTM Programs, you agree that Apple shall have the right, and you hereby grant Apple a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive right and license, to use, reproduce, publicly display, reference, link to, and distribute in connection with such iPhone GTM Programs, your web application URL and all related information and materials (including without limitation images, trademarks, and logos) you provide with your submission to Apple (collectively, the "Submitted Materials").

    End Result

    Apple covered themselves very well on this topic and basically, if you are going to develop an app for the iPhone, you should be well aware of the risks and they are fairly, clearly stated.

  • Openmoko (Score:4, Funny)

    by NoobixCube (1133473) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:00PM (#24993705) Journal

    Come on in, the water's fine in the Openmoko pool! A truly free platform, and anything compiled for Linux on an ARM CPU will run (assuming the dependencies are also present).

  • Apparently (Score:2, Informative)

    by speedingant (1121329)
    It is just one guy who is being over cautious and denying the apps. There's a few instances of this person at Apple denying perfectly legitimate apps. Normally they will go through and review the decision, and allow it into their store.
  • Windows Mobile is offered on a LOT of devices these days and is gaining in popularity. If Apple isn't offering a level playing field for 3rd party developers, then use your talent to write applications for other mobile platforms.

    • Windows Mobile has been around like a decade longer than iPhone and has not generated a lot of interest because many apps do not sell well. This is not due to the applications but rather the limitations of Windows Mobile and the the interface. Open Moko and Android have far more potential.
  • I own a tmobile Wing and I have had no problems using the Amazon mp3 service to download songs on the go, and then I have the music DRM free and can use it however I like.

    Amazon could certainly stand to make a streamlined interface for use with the Windows Mobile Internet Explorer, since it's very handy to hear a song on the radio and then simply go and get it when I'm out and about. Then I can put it on my stereo when I get home or play immediately.

    With Iphone you're paying for something that supposedly wo

  • I don't get it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:38PM (#24993985)

    I'm a fan of Apple hardware. I've got an iPod Touch. I'd never use the app in question because I'm happy with the way iTunes handles my podcasts.

    But I don't see why Apple should care about this app. I assumed the Slashdot summary was way off base, which more often than not is the case nowadays - but it's pretty accurate in this instance. So why is Apple doing this? As far as I know they don't make money off of podcasts - heck, most of them are free. So why should they care? Are they worried that, somehow, this will be used to move other files onto the iPod/iPhone? I just can't figure it out (and yeah, I'm discounting with prejudice the conspiracy theories that seem to be rampant here today - those don't really stand up to any sort of analysis either).

    It just doesn't make sense.

  • I lump Apple, Microsoft and Google together these days. Same business practices and callousness to their customers and the public.

    Well, who will be the next up and coming company that we can love and rely upon? - that is, until the lust for money drives them into the same above category.

  • Wait a second.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Khyber (864651)

    They rejected an iPhone app because it COMPETES with the iTunes service?

    Hello, antitrust lawsuit. Welcome to Microsoft's shoes, Apple.

    • Re:Wait a second.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by amorsen (7485) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Saturday September 13, 2008 @07:25PM (#24994569)

      Hello, antitrust lawsuit. Welcome to Microsoft's shoes, Apple.

      I don't think the iPhone is popular enough for that yet. They aren't leveraging a monopoly, because they don't have one.

      I think it's much more likely that we will see antitrust action about the lock-in between newer iPods and iTunes (Only iTunes can put music on those, because a special hash has to be generated). Apple is very dominant in the mp3-player market, and they are using that to dominate the market for media player software -- and to promote the iTunes store.

  • "And Dave Weiner argues that the iPhone isn't a "platform" at all: "The idea that it's a platform should mean no individual or company has the power to turn you off.""

    I disagree. All of the modern game consoles are clearly platforms, yet you must have approval in order to develop and sell software for them. You have to submit your game to MS, Sony or Nintendo and they have to approve it. They can (and will) refuse authoring and certification of your game if you fail to meet their criteria. Granted, I don't

  • ... there's freedom, for developers, and users as well:

    "Our license gives developers and users freedom to cosmetically customize their device or radically remix it; change the wallpaper or rebuild the entire house! It grants them the freedom, for example, to transform a phone into a medical device or point of sale device or the freedom to simply install their own favourite software. Beyond freeing the software on our devices we have also released our CAD files under Creative Commons. And at Linux world 2008

  • Now it seems that Apple can't compete when it comes to applications on their hardware...

    I see a pattern here...

    Potentially visionary ideas, incompetent execution... It's almost funny, yet sad in a way...

    Don't bother trying to defend Apple on this one Fan-boys...

  • by alisson (1040324) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @10:52PM (#24995781)

    They should allow it, and sell zunes in the apple store.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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