Gr-apple-fest is on in the Mobile Industry!

By Douglas Karr
Guest Blogger

It appears that Apple is waging war in the mobile industry… and there’s some questions as to whether or not they’re playing fair. Apple first lashed out at the popular open source hack for the iPhone, called Jailbreak, stating that the Jailbreak application violated Apple’s copyright.

Huh? iPhone owners might be stunned to find out that Apple thinks that, even though you bought your phone, they should maintain control over what you do to it.

Then Apple went after the Palm Pre, basically blocking the USB identifier for the Palm so that it could not be used to sync with iTunes. Palm fought back, though, pushing a new release that disguised their device as an Apple device. Apple claimed foul… stating that it’s deceptive. I think that’s about as deceptive as blocking based on the USB device name.

Now Apple is in a full-fledged war against Google, blocking the Google Voice app from the iPhone. The pain isn’t limited to Google, though… other third party apps that enable expanded Telephony services are being rejected by the App store too!

The FCC is now evolved, trying to find out if AT&T is strong-arming Apple into blocking Google Voice.

I’m not sure if Apple simply expanded its legal division, if they’re just bullying everyone else because they’re the big boy on the mobile block and they are trying to control their territory, or if they’re seeing some trouble on the horizon and are trying to maximize profits until the inevitable comes… cross-mobile integration and opportunity.

New development processes are even popping up that are enabling cross-platform development for mobile devices.

Apple, in my opinion, is starting to become the evil little empire and lashing out (even at 11-year olds whose iPods exploded).

In my opinion, these cat-fights have really begun to damage Apple’s reputation to consumers. Instead of being the leaders of innovation, I’m starting to see them as the spoiled little rich kids on the block. Excessive profit margins and an overly zealous legal team are really beginning to bother me.

NOTE: Before you begin to think I’m a Microsoft or Google spy… I’m not. This post was written on my MacBookPro, my iPod Touch is next to me, and I watch my AppleTV every night. I have 3 other Apples in the home, too.

Douglas Karr is the President and CEO of DK New Media, LLC. DK New Media services large and medium-sized businesses in online marketing, social media and search engine strategies. He blogs at The Marketing Technology Blog at http://marketingtechblog.com.

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17 Responses to Gr-apple-fest is on in the Mobile Industry!

  1. I dont really get how people can take Palms side in the iTunes/Pre case.

    First, look at how the Pre manages to sync with iTunes:

    <cite>the process behind this isn't that complicated—the Pre just has to assume an iPod Vendor ID, imitate its file structure and spoof an iPod information file for iTunes</cite>

    Then when Apple blocks this Palm (not Apple) cries foul and says that:

    <cite>we have notified the USB Implementers Forum of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member.</cite>

    And then you look at what the USB-IF says about Vendor IDs:

    <cite> The Vendor ID used by a product must match the VID of the company producing the product (the integrator). Please ensure that the VID used by the product matches the company making the product.</cite>

    How can Palm complain about Apples "improper" use of VIDs when they clearly violate the USB-IFs rules?

    Blackberry and many other devices manages to sync with the iTunes library in other legal ways, why cant Palm do like them?

    (every quote above is from Gizmodo)

    Apples policy against jailbreaking is largely thanks to AT&T and other providers. T-Mobile recently locked out jailbroken iPhones from the Sidekick data plan, Apple had nothing to do with that.

    <cite>For T-Mobile customers, jailbreaking an iPhone had been a particularly juicy option. Users with unlocked iPhones had been able to sign up for the Sidekick data plan, which allows for unlimited texting and data for just a $1 a day. Needless to say, that’s a vastly preferable price to AT&T’s.

    Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and T-Mobile has unceremoniously shut-off access to the Sidekick data plan for iPhone users. The way they have gone about this is by shutting off access to everyone on port 80. This potentially leaves other users on non-Sidekick phones cut out as well, although iPhone users were clearly being targeted.</cite>

    From TUAW

    And Apples "outlash" against the 11-year old wasn't a gag-order or anything, it was just a standard procedure that got blown-up by the girls dad and the media.

    <cite>Apple apparently agreed to return the purchase price of the iPod, and sent a letter to the family offering the refund, denying overall liability with regard to the incident, and included a standard confidentiality clause in it.

    This is where things went a bit off the rails.

    The little girl's father went ballistic, refused to sign, and soon enough, there was press coverage. The Times UK covered the incident, complete with photograph of the girl holding her toasted iPod, accusing Apple of slapping the girl with a "gagging order" and attempting to "silence" them, mafia-style. Whoa, there, Times. </cite>

    From TUAW

    And most recently about Google Voice rejections, I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T was that too, you might say "well AT&T allows GV is on the Blackberry and Android, clearly this must be Apples fault". Do you remember earlier when SlingPlayer was crippled, by AT&T, because it would "create congestion" while they still allowed it on BlackBerry and Android?

    As puts it:

    <cite>In a curiously worded statement, AT&T has claimed it prevented the iPhone version of SlingPlayer from using 3G because it would chew too much data — and because the iPhone is, oddly, not considered a phone.</cite>

    Yes Apple isn't perfect but people blame them much more than it's reasonable to do.

    I think this covers my daily comment-quota.

  2. I'm an AT&T customer myself, and I would love to have a phone as cool and powerful as the iPhone. What's holding me back from getting it is THE COMPANY THAT MADE IT. I don't like the idea that I can buy something and can then be dictated to about how I use it. If I pay that much for an uber-device, then the company that made it shouldn't be handicapping developers in this silly fashion.

    Welcome diversity. It promotes growth to have that many competitors investing in making your device better.

  3. I’m an AT&T customer myself, and I would love to have a phone as cool and powerful as the iPhone. What’s holding me back from getting it is THE COMPANY THAT MADE IT. I don’t like the idea that I can buy something and can then be dictated to about how I use it. If I pay that much for an uber-device, then the company that made it shouldn’t be handicapping developers in this silly fashion.
    Welcome diversity. It promotes growth to have that many competitors investing in making your device better.

  4. I agree, but You can't really blame Apple. They have built a successful business using the "We control it" model. You can't expect them to give up something that works, just because it is not right.

    Get the customers to show them. The way you are: don't buy. That will get them to change (or die…)

  5. I agree, but You can’t really blame Apple. They have built a successful business using the “We control it” model. You can’t expect them to give up something that works, just because it is not right.

    Get the customers to show them. The way you are: don’t buy. That will get them to change (or die…)

  6. I dont really get how people can take Palms side in the iTunes/Pre case.

    First, look at how the Pre manages to sync with iTunes:

    <cite>the process behind this isn't that complicated—the Pre just has to assume an iPod Vendor ID, imitate its file structure and spoof an iPod information file for iTunes</cite>

    Then when Apple blocks this Palm (not Apple) cries foul and says that:

    <cite>we have notified the USB Implementers Forum of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member.</cite>

    And then you look at what the USB-IF says about Vendor IDs:

    <cite> The Vendor ID used by a product must match the VID of the company producing the product (the integrator). Please ensure that the VID used by the product matches the company making the product.</cite>

    How can Palm complain about Apples "improper" use of VIDs when they clearly violate the USB-IFs rules?

    Blackberry and many other devices manages to sync with the iTunes library in other legal ways, why cant Palm do like them?

    (every quote above is from Gizmodo)

    Apples policy against jailbreaking is largely thanks to AT&T and other providers. T-Mobile recently locked out jailbroken iPhones from the Sidekick data plan, Apple had nothing to do with that.

    <cite>For T-Mobile customers, jailbreaking an iPhone had been a particularly juicy option. Users with unlocked iPhones had been able to sign up for the Sidekick data plan, which allows for unlimited texting and data for just a $1 a day. Needless to say, that’s a vastly preferable price to AT&T’s.

    Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and T-Mobile has unceremoniously shut-off access to the Sidekick data plan for iPhone users. The way they have gone about this is by shutting off access to everyone on port 80. This potentially leaves other users on non-Sidekick phones cut out as well, although iPhone users were clearly being targeted.</cite>

    From TUAW

    And Apples "outlash" against the 11-year old wasn't a gag-order or anything, it was just a standard procedure that got blown-up by the girls dad and the media.

    <cite>Apple apparently agreed to return the purchase price of the iPod, and sent a letter to the family offering the refund, denying overall liability with regard to the incident, and included a standard confidentiality clause in it.

    This is where things went a bit off the rails.

    The little girl's father went ballistic, refused to sign, and soon enough, there was press coverage. The Times UK covered the incident, complete with photograph of the girl holding her toasted iPod, accusing Apple of slapping the girl with a "gagging order" and attempting to "silence" them, mafia-style. Whoa, there, Times. </cite>

    From TUAW

    And most recently about Google Voice rejections, I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T was that too, you might say "well AT&T allows GV is on the Blackberry and Android, clearly this must be Apples fault". Do you remember earlier when SlingPlayer was crippled, by AT&T, because it would "create congestion" while they still allowed it on BlackBerry and Android?

    As puts it:

    <cite>In a curiously worded statement, AT&T has claimed it prevented the iPhone version of SlingPlayer from using 3G because it would chew too much data — and because the iPhone is, oddly, not considered a phone.</cite>

    Yes Apple isn't perfect but people blame them much more than it's reasonable to do.

    I think this covers my daily comment-quota.

  7. Here's the thing for me… the more I read about the shadowy decisions that are made about iPhone app submissions, the more Apple starts to look like the domineering Big Brother they so famously strove to put to rest in 1984.

    The iTunes store is the *only* way to put an app on the iPhone? I have *not a single* alternative? I'm not even *allowed* to try out an application until someone at Apple deems it to be acceptable in some process that often seems as well-organized and reliable as the bureaucratic machine inhabited by Sam Lowry in Terry Gilliam's "Brazil"? How many of the rejections that have been sent out happened because a fly flew into the keyboard?

    And I'm the same as the post's author. I'm writing this on my MacBook with my iPhone by my side. My whole family runs Macs, mainly because I'm the resident IT guy and that's what I've trained them to want. I won't run anything else and I won't be happy till I have a 32GB iPhone 3GS in my pocket.

    But Apple does seem to be straying off into Big Blue / Micro$oft territory with the way they're controlling the iPhone platform, and it definitely feels like it's going to get worse before it gets better.

  8. Here’s the thing for me… the more I read about the shadowy decisions that are made about iPhone app submissions, the more Apple starts to look like the domineering Big Brother they so famously strove to put to rest in 1984.
    The iTunes store is the *only* way to put an app on the iPhone? I have *not a single* alternative? I’m not even *allowed* to try out an application until someone at Apple deems it to be acceptable in some process that often seems as well-organized and reliable as the bureaucratic machine inhabited by Sam Lowry in Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”? How many of the rejections that have been sent out happened because a fly flew into the keyboard?
    And I’m the same as the post’s author. I’m writing this on my MacBook with my iPhone by my side. My whole family runs Macs, mainly because I’m the resident IT guy and that’s what I’ve trained them to want. I won’t run anything else and I won’t be happy till I have a 32GB iPhone 3GS in my pocket.
    But Apple does seem to be straying off into Big Blue / Micro$oft territory with the way they’re controlling the iPhone platform, and it definitely feels like it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

  9. Why does this surprise? Apple has ALWAYS been the kid with all the cool toys his parents bought for him because they knew he was such an obnoxious prick that nobody would play with him if he didn't have them and who takes all his stuff home if he doesn't win by 50 points.

    A friend of mine pitched his iPhone into Lake Ponchartrain because it kept schmoozing unbidden with the iTunes store.

    And what's with this "i" crap anyway? But, then, Apple's always been just a little too determinedly precious. Their self-selected image in the "I'm a Mac" ad summed it up: Central Casting's candidate for:

    BARRY AHEARN is a young man, loose-limbed, casually dressed in loose-fitting blue jeans and tennies with no socks, his boyish haircut free in the breeze, free as he is because he knows that whatever he does dad's lawyers will get him off, or buy off whoever is mad at him, while all his co-rebellionists go to the slammer and their parents' lose their homes in lawsuits brought by Barry's parents, contending it was the malign effects of hero-worship which caused him to hatch such unholy schemes in the first place.

  10. Why does this surprise? Apple has ALWAYS been the kid with all the cool toys his parents bought for him because they knew he was such an obnoxious prick that nobody would play with him if he didn’t have them and who takes all his stuff home if he doesn’t win by 50 points.

    A friend of mine pitched his iPhone into Lake Ponchartrain because it kept schmoozing unbidden with the iTunes store.

    And what’s with this “i” crap anyway? But, then, Apple’s always been just a little too determinedly precious. Their self-selected image in the “I’m a Mac” ad summed it up: Central Casting’s candidate for:

    BARRY AHEARN is a young man, loose-limbed, casually dressed in loose-fitting blue jeans and tennies with no socks, his boyish haircut free in the breeze, free as he is because he knows that whatever he does dad’s lawyers will get him off, or buy off whoever is mad at him, while all his co-rebellionists go to the slammer and their parents’ lose their homes in lawsuits brought by Barry’s parents, contending it was the malign effects of hero-worship which caused him to hatch such unholy schemes in the first place.

  11. Apple is still killing it in the mobile department. I still think they need to make their phones screens a bit larger though. The android market does have the upper hand at this.

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