A great deal had been written on Apple’s decision to pull some 5000 apps from the App Store due to their inclusion of scantily clad bodies, explicit sexual references and more. The New York Times jumped into the ring today and quoted Apple Senior VP of Marketing, Phil Schiller on the matter. (Rene Ritchie of the iPhone Blog has a great synopsis of it.)
I have long maintained that Apple has every right to determine what apps make it into the App Store and what don’t. Heck, if Apple wanted to require every developer to include a smiley face on the splash screen of their app that is without their rights. If they want to prohibit the use of “Carolina Blue” in their apps that is their right. (And as a Blue Devil I would whole-heartedly support such a position.) :0
Apple has the right to determine what apps are available in their App Store. We, on the other hand, have the right to choose whether to buy devices that require the use of Apple’s App Store or not. Simple.
But Apple’s actions do raise two significant questions for me.
First- I have a hard time understanding how Apple can summarily pull applications from the App Store apparently without warning. Developers have to wait for admission to the App Store yet their apps can be pulled without notice based upon their whims of the day. IT IS NOT RIGHT. At a minimum Apple should give developers a week or two of notice and the chance to correct what is at issue. To leave developers wondering from day-to-day if their app is will going to be allowed in the App Store or not is just… well… slimy. As Ritchie points out your choice has come down to this…
Stick to safe, friendly games and helpful utilities and you should be fine. Push any boundaries corporate or familial and you could be gone.
And the operative word is COULD. You see, 5000 apps were pulled. The Playboy app, FHM and other “major players” weren’t. Seems Apple has their favorites too.
Second- This action reveals yet again that long-standing apps are totally vulnerable to being pulled from the Apps Store. Mix that in with the fact that Apple’s reasons for ditching apps includes the app “replicating core functionality” and we have a potential train wreck coming. You see, Apple doesn’t yet have a native eBook reader on the iPhone. That means the Kindle app, the B&N app and the eReader app are all safe. (Relatively speaking) When the iPad comes out it WILL include Apple’s own eBook app. We can also assume there will be some form of it for the iPhone too. Does this mean the other eBook apps not replicate core functionality? Has Apple set up precedent for pulling those apps when the iBook app is ready? Would that push you over the edge and away from Apple’s ecosystem?