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AntiTrust Division of DOJ Said to be Investigating Apple App Policies
Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 2:20 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

[izurl.com...]

According to a person familiar with the matter, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are locked in negotiations over which of the watchdogs will begin an antitrust inquiry into Apple's new policy of requiring software developers who devise applications for devices such as the iPhone and iPad to use only Apple's programming tools.

Regulators, this person said, are days away from making a decision about which agency will launch the inquiry. It will focus on whether the policy, which took effect last month, kills competition by forcing programmers to choose between developing apps that can run only on Apple gizmos or come up with apps that are platform neutral, and can be used on a variety of operating systems, such as those from rivals Google, Microsoft and Research In Motion.

 

johnnie

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 2:46 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Happy to hear this. Personally, I have been growing extremely tired over Apple's closed policies. In many cases it is the end consumer who ultimately has to suffer over Apple's arrogance. Also, developers spend extraordinary amounts of time developing apps which ultimately get rejected for some obscure reason.

StoutFiles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 3:04 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Also, developers spend extraordinary amounts of time developing apps which ultimately get rejected for some obscure reason.


Obscure? You mean..

1. App directly competes with an App that Apple already provides.
2. App provides something for free that AT&T charges for.
3. App is of low quality and cheapens the App Store.

I guess they should say why an app has been denied if it's been denied. Their store though, their rules.

albo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 3:06 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Very glad to hear the walled garden investigation. AAPL content-based software sourcing is IMHO silly. "Their rules"? No logical, published rules to which they commit, on which developers may depend, and which in some cases have been changed and applied retroactively.

jwolthuis

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 3:13 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

1. App directly competes with an App that Apple already provides.

Correct. Back in the 90's, Microsoft tried to limit competiton on just a single application (the web browser), and the DOJ stepped-in to level the playing field.

What Apple is attempting is much worse, and government action is needed to address Apple's monopoly powers with iApps.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 3:17 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Their store though, their rules.


Not quite, it is subject to the laws of the land that the store resides in.

Just because it is your store doesn't give you the right to break rules. For example you couldn't refuse service to white people because they are white.

This is good news though. Someone needs to remind Apple that they can't do as they please and that there are rules that we must all follow.

Many people are quick to point out that consumers have the choice not buy Apple products if they don't like Apple's stance on things, but many people already owned their iDevice long before these announcements of limitations started coming out.

StoutFiles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 4:11 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just because it is your store doesn't give you the right to break rules. For example you couldn't refuse service to white people because they are white.


Of course. But Apple's going to continue to run their store how they see fit until they're legally forced to do otherwise, which could take months if not years for any changes to be made. The inquiry is just step one, then there would need to be a formal investigation, then a lawsuit, then a victory...with Apple fighting them the whole way of course. By the time any real changes are made the damage will be done and developers will have picked sides by then, with Apple or against.

IanKelley

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 5:30 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

An investigation and court proceedings are two different things. Apple doesn't have enough market share for anything to come of this.

Which is why...

Back in the 90's, Microsoft tried to limit competiton on just a single application


There is absolutely no comparison.

It would be a crime for the government to try to get involved in a situation like this where a company does not have a dominant market share and is not in any way restricting consumer choice (there are all kinds of iPhone alternatives).

Apple will pay for their closed philosophy without the government's help.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 5:51 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ian,

I agree but consider that this isn't about the device but about the apps that can be installed on the device.

Apple has a 100% market share of iPhone apps.

iPhone apps have become an industry, there are businesses build on iPhone app revenue. This has nothing to do with phones or consumer choices on phones it has to do with developer competition by forcing programmers to choose between developing apps that can run only on Apple iDevices and/or come up with apps that are platform neutral, that can be used on a variety of operating systems and not just the iPhone.

If this were about not supporting certain video formats then I would agree but this is about developers not consumers.

Hugene

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 6:16 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I must say that I am happy with the DOJ lately: the action on G + Y, the quick reaction to Buzz (was there one, or am I making up news now) and now Apple.

Apple definitely needs to get a visit from the DOJ people, because they are pushing the limits of their wall way higher than anyone should.

I disagree with the "Apple is not a monopoly yet" argument and I like these quick actions by the DOJ, because M$ is the best example of what happens when you wait for the monopoly to form and prosecute only then:
* Competition killed (Netscape)
* 15 years latter we are stuck with a) horrible browser, b) horrible OS, c) horrible Office apps.

Today, because of the inaction of the DOJ in the 90ies, we're paying a hefty economic price. Again, just last week, my parent's 1 year old new HP laptop with Vista started crashing its disk. It's a 1 year old machine, and the HD is being read non-stop, I can only guess it's Vista.

IanKelley

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 6:50 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple has a 100% market share of iPhone apps.


It's true, it's more developers than consumers that are having their choice restricted in that case.

But don't developers have the choice to develop for Windows Mobile, Android, Blackberry or etc.? Or even better, all of the above at once?

If Apple had 60% or 70% or more of the SmartPhone market then the answer would be no, developers really wouldn't have the choice to ignore iPhone if they didn't like how Apple does business. But that's not the case here.

I disagree with the "Apple is not a monopoly yet" argument


Ah, premptive government regulation based on speculation. I can't imagine anything going wrong with that!

Anyway it's not a 'yet'... Apple has already lost any chance of having an overly dominant share of the mobile market.

15 years latter we are stuck with a) horrible browser, b) horrible OS, c) horrible Office apps.


I was a Netscape user and I remember how terrible the later versions were, they self destructed long before MS pushed them out.

Not that I don't agree something had to be done about MS practices back then.

StoutFiles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 6:53 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

* 15 years latter we are stuck with a) horrible browser, b) horrible OS, c) horrible Office apps.


a) Plenty of browser choices out there.
b) Plenty of OS choices out there.
c) Office is horrible?

It's a 1 year old machine, and the HD is being read non-stop, I can only guess it's Vista.

Probably right, but it's so easy to jump on the Vista sucks bandwagon.

Last week my friend's computer was stuck on Local Only for wireless, turns out it was Norton that was messing things up. My parent's wireless didn't work at all, turns out HP had a hardware problem with their wireless card. I've had 0 problems with Vista for over a year now; I only acknowledge it as bad because everyone else does. Shouldn't be blamed for everything though.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 7:16 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

But don't developers have the choice to develop for Windows Mobile, Android, Blackberry or etc.? Or even better, all of the above at once?


Yes of course, but that still doesn't address the iDevice app market. I do get your argument and it isn't even that I disagree but I think one should make the distinction between the market for smart phone applications and apps for iDevices. They just aren't the same market.

iPhone, iTouch, iPad all use 1 app store. If I, a developer want to target iDevice users I have only 1 place I can do it. If Apple allowed users to install apps for iDevices from places other than the Apple app store then I would 100% agree with you but since Apple forces the Apple app store on iDevice users as the sole place they can get apps, then to me it becomes a stand alone market, an Apple app market of which they control 100%.

I was a Netscape user and I remember how terrible the later versions were, they self destructed long before MS pushed them out.


So true.... the only entities responsible for the death of Netscape was Netscape themselves and AOL... see Netscape3.5 and SeaMonkey for proof of this.

Office is horrible?


I think so. The whole .docx .xlsx thing is one of the biggest scams going, also VBA -> #*$!?

physics

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 7:43 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Vote with your feet and get a droid.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 7:47 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Vote with your feet and get a droid.


The Nokia N8 has really caught my eye... and it has FLASH out of the box! Symbian^3 looks really good.

My problem is that my loving wife got me an iPhone for Xmas. It is hard to take a gift that someone loving bought for you and return it.

She thinks it is the coolest thing ever, I am trying to figure out a way to give it to her and buy something else for me.

Any sneaky suggestions?

sgietz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 8:07 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

@ Demaestro

Let her use it as much as possible, then make her feel guilty for doing so. This will open the door for you to buy yourself a new, shiny toy for all the pain and suffering you had to endure.

Hugene

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 8:13 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Office is horrible?


I think so. The whole .docx .xlsx thing is one of the biggest scams going, also VBA -> #*$!?

That's what I meant too, the whole .docx thing is a fiasco IMHO. Also, I couldn't find the "print" option, and my of couldn't find the "help" option. And in general terms, Office is a bloated piece of software, with way too many features.

I was a Netscape user and I remember how terrible the later versions were

Agree 100% but at that point NS was dead, and actually one of the main reasons they bloated was to add features that M$ had pumped straight in the OS: Outlook Express, Notepad for code viewer, etc....


a) Plenty of browser choices out there.

Yes, but most users stick with IE only because it is pre-installed. I can even see it at tech companies. The choice is out there, but it is not exerted (thank god that last few years we've had a bit of movement there)

BillyS

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 8:40 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Vote with your feet and get a droid.

I was going to buy an iPad but Apple is being a bully in the market right now.

I only wanted the iPad to read my paper, I'll wait.

BTW - is anyone really surprised by the DOJ stepping in on this one? I'm not.

Sierra_Dad

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 10:34 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

If Apple had 60% or 70% or more of the SmartPhone market then the answer would be no, developers really wouldn't have the choice to ignore iPhone if they didn't like how Apple does business. But that's not the case here.


What is their share of the IPod market? Is that a majority?

I don't know the answer - just asking.

Sierra_Dad

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 11:07 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

To answer my own question, I've seen reports that the IPod has about 73% of its target market, so that might qualify.

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 11:26 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm still extremely annoyed with the extra files the itunes software installs on your computer, ie "itunes helper" etc, THAT COME BACK EVEN WHEN YOU DELETE THEM. Deleting songs if they aren't from the itunes store is bad enough but forcibly installing software that re-installs itself when you get rid of it should be banned too. I'm glad someone will finally investigate the imonopoly.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 6:54 am on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

a) Plenty of browser choices out there.

True, but it very nearly was not: there was a time when "this sites works only with IE" seemed set to become the norm.

b) Plenty of OS choices out there.

Lots of people are locked in to Windows. MS's market share is hardly indicative of healthy competition.

c) Office is horrible?


I have not used Office for a while, but my view was:

1) Excel is good - unless you rely on it too much for accuracy, or you write apps in it.
2) Word is not so good, and has got people so used to its way of doing things that it holds back innovation (a less geeky version of Lyx would make people very productive).
3) Powerpoint is a productivity killer - but then so would any similar app be, so its not MS's fault.
4) Outlook has a hard to learn UI, but people are used to it. Looking at Outlook again after several years, I found it very confusing.

oodlum

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 12:36 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

How is the iPhone any more closed that my Xbox 360 or Wii?

BTW anyone here read the Nintendo developer agreement? "an Authorized Developer will have a stable business organization with secure office facilities separate from a personal residence ( Home offices do not meet this requirement )".

I'd say that qualifies as restrictive.

ByronM

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 1:14 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

How is the iPhone any more closed that my Xbox 360 or Wii?


With the Wii or Xbox 360 you can develop your own apis, pre-processors or even SDk's and development kits that integrate on top of the tools provided by MS or Nintendo. With the iphone/ipad you can't. You have to code in native Apple provided tools.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 1:41 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

The point about his is that Apple's restriction is arbitrary. It has no benefits for the consumer (the console agreements help keep console prices low in return for high game prices - much the same trade off as locked mobile phones)

Apple also dominates that class of smartphone.

I would prefer the Nintendo etc. practices to go away, but the case against Apple is probably much easier to prove.

Anyway, once we have a precedent against this sort of agreement, maybe the regulators will go after others.

CyBerAliEn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 5:23 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

1) Excel is good - unless you rely on it too much for accuracy, or you write apps in it.
2) Word is not so good, and has got people so used to its way of doing things that it holds back innovation (a less geeky version of Lyx would make people very productive).
3) Powerpoint is a productivity killer - but then so would any similar app be, so its not MS's fault.
4) Outlook has a hard to learn UI, but people are used to it. Looking at Outlook again after several years, I found it very confusing.


A bit off topic of thread... but am I the only one who likes Office? lol

I was use to old-Office since 2000 was around for so long; and I liked it then. I have to say I really enjoy the newer Office better. It takes awhile to get use to because it is different, but in the long run I have found few personal faults with it.
Word = amazing; wouldn't use any other.
Excel = awesome; do tons of analysis and work with it without issues. It does have some precision issues, but these are usually hard to come by (and often user fault/bad setup/misunderstanding). Besides, if I'm gonna do anything requiring high precision I will do it in appropriate engineering software anyways (MATLAB, MiniTAB, DesignExpert, AMPL/CPLEX, etc+).
VBA = I hate it, lol (I also hate VB/etc).
PowerPoint = great for presenting, but it has been overkilled. Take any type of course (college or high school; probably even elementary school by now) and the lesson will be read from a powerpoint. Instead of being used as an aid; many use it as a boring crutch.
OneNote = Amazing software for my tablet, yet so many people don't know it exists. Great for quickly drawing diagrams or notes, taking notes in lectures, etc.
Visio = Awesome for creating diagrams.
Outlook = Don't use it; use to use Outlook Express way back in the day.


My rant: I can understand people hate MS (still? really? a bit 90s?). But come on, has anyone seriously tried OpenOffice? It's a joke, all in all. Sure, its free (+). But some of the most basic things are hard to figure out without doing something incredibly geeky. And when you try to open an Office file (which most things are when you collaborate with others), the formatting/styling often gets messed up. Worst part is, if you try to find help with OpenOffice (which a normal person would likely need), you encounter a dozen linux nerds --- who prefer "newb" remarks and cryptic responses instead of helping (not helpful); and most of the documentation I find is not "public" friendly (ie: common American person/non-nerd). With this environment, OpenOffice (or any similar platform) will not gather any significant market share. I have it on my girlfriend's laptop cause it is free, but I will gladly pay to switch it to Office.

Though I will also add... I enjoy Vista. Had it for 2-3~ years, no major issues. However, I have mine setup in "classic" mode (ie: looks like Windows 98 style, lol), which disables Vista's fancy AERO engine; so maybe this is why I don't have any problems? Anyway... my BIG complaint with Vista: it takes FOREVER to boot up. We're talking so long it reminds me of Windows 95/98 boot up times on an old 300Mhz computer! Rediculous! I have to hibernate my laptop all the time, because even though it takes about a minute to resume from hibernation, it beats the ~2 to ~5 minutes required to "boot up".

(rant over lol)

ByronM

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 5:36 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

@CyBerAliEn

I agree.. No problems from me regarding office, vista or win7... I couldn't stand MS in the 90s but the MS of 2010 is a bit different.

MS is actually embracing many technologies and learning from their mistakes, meanwhile both Apple and Google are trying to get where MS was.. Google re-inventing the wheel to own everything and Apple trying to restrict people on their choices and openness of platforms.

Its funny that today MS is the company extending an embracing services like flickr, youtube, facebook, twitter and integrating them with their systems all the meanwhile providing their most robust & stable OS's ever across all platforms and integrating their office suite from desktop to the cloud and beyond yet their still seen as "Evil"..

Google is trying to re-invent everything under their brand and creating the worlds largest black box of a corporation and apple.. well, lets just say I will never own an apple product, buy an apple product for my children nor support any apple services. Expensive.. restrictive and i don't want to support their computing paradigm.

sgietz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 5:45 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

In time MS will be liked again, as long as they stay on course. Most haters are nerds anyways. In general no one really cares as long as the computer does what they want it to do, something I can't say for the iPhone/iPad. I don't care how many apps they have. They don't replace a full set of applications that have been around for over ten years.

ponyboy96

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 5:48 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I actually find this quite amusing after Steve Jobs' jab at Adobe last week. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. I was wondering when Apple was going to get smacked for something like this. It reminds me too much of tying agreements.

Yes, I own an iPhone and love it. I do not like Mac computers though.

StoutFiles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4126117 posted 6:29 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

something I can't say for the iPhone/iPad. I don't care how many apps they have. They don't replace a full set of applications that have been around for over ten years.


Huh? Are you angry because a mobile OS can't do what a desktop/laptop OS can?

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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