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Apple Beset by Criticism From Leading Mac Bloggers

By Laroquod on 15 Sep 2008

Wolves Surrounding An Apple Logo

When lodestar users like Harry McCracken, Dave Winer, and even John Gruber are gunning for you online, you know your mobile platform has a real problem on its hands.

Thus, is Apple reaping what it has sowed with its increasingly pathological obsession with control.

These aren’t just some PC World geeks with permanent chips on their shoulders putting the most negative possible spin on Apple. These are Apple-friendly guys (well, let’s call Winer Apple-compatible) and extremely influential writers in the Apple ecosystem. They can’t and won’t be ignored. This chain reaction is well past critical mass, and the smart money is on Apple to respond formally in the very near future — maybe even this week.

But make no mistake, here: all these bloggers have been asleep at the switch and are only now waking up to what we here at rgbFILTER have been talking about for weeks.

The first unmistakeable warning sign was Apple’s breezy willingness to extend their technological control into the silencing of artistic expression — this was the first clear evidence that they do not feel any responsibility to carry the principles of democracy forward into their spanking new media space, and that there is really no limit to the control they are willing to exert upon their users.

Don’t believe it? You will. Because with the recent news that they are now banning software that competes with them from the App Store, Apple has finally made the mistake that will spark the collective ‘duh’ moment among those who didn’t see the problem before with electronics mavens claiming this kind of control.

Let’s hope that Apple takes the biggest possible bath over this, and that other companies, who are by no means innocent in this regard (I’m looking at those who forged the shackles worn by game console artists), will sit up and take note that their days of controlling user culture are numbered.

(NOTE: if anyone is wondering why Gruber’s blog is so popular with the Mac crowd, it’s because of PR-busting posts like this.)

[Submitted by The Laroquod Experiment. Photo based on an original by Leanulfean.]

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  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    And even in his latest article Gruber still hasn’t quite removed his head all the way, when he says…

    “There are pros and cons to this (the App Store) model versus the wide-open nature of Mac OS X. ”

    How about the pros and cons versus the wide-open nature of just about every other smart phone operating system? Or is that too on the nose? :D

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    To my mind, although you are quite correct, you are *not* on the nose because this isn’t about platform wars. The same companies that design open smartphones design closed consoles and other devices. The sharks are circling the public commons, and they are going to take any bite they can get. Your argument is like saying, ‘I like the blue shark better because he didn’t take a chunk of my left flank that time like the white shark did.’ True, but pointless, because in the end you will be swallowed up, anyway.

    There is a war going on between new media corporations and their users. It’s us against them, and I’m sick of wasting of my time with friendly fire.

    So no, for me, this is not at all about other smartphones. It’s about the big picture.

  • http://www.ryanfox.ca RebelScum

    I honestly don’t see this as a platform issue at all, and certainly not even remotely as a Smartphone issue. I see this as a bad corporate decision and little else; the fact that it affects a phone is incidental. This dictatorial practice of deciding who is and is not worthy of Apple’s distribution is absurd, and my fear is that, if it takes off on a mobile platform, it’ll leech its way into other devices like notebooks and desktops. I that ever happens, rest assured, the iMac I currently own will be the last one I ever purchase, and I’ll switch back to XP like lightning, regardless of how vastly inferior I feel it (or Vista) is to OSX.

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    Absolutely agree — I just think everyone would *love* to be in the position Apple is in with popularity of their platform and ‘owning the whole widget’ and if they were, they would likely be making exactly the same mistakes and we would have to fight them, too. I certainly don’t see any *moral* difference between the companies.

    What happens to the future when 90% of our casual computing (surfing, email) happens on handheld devices or appliance-like consoles? The corps. are *all* slavering over the prospect of defining different rules for these new spaces. Because of the hobbyist origins of both desktop systems and many smartphones, they never really had much of a viable choice *but* to keep it open — don’t imagine that they wouldn’t have closed it if they felt they could get away with it at the time, the way Apple apparently does now.

    We need to push back against the *whole idea* of controlled culture, and not just hammer one company we don’t like while softpedalling the sins of the rest.

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    I’d say there’s a bit of a difference in comparing consoles and smart phones though. Unlike smart phones, consoles have always been closed systems, so I can’t entirely agree.

    One could say that Apple is trying to shoehorn a console mentality into what is essentially a computer environment, but at the same time gaming consoles are trending more towards openness now than they’ve ever been, both for consumers and developers.

    Don’t get me wrong, as you know I agree with your big picture view (and old media corporations are doing their biting as well), but consoles aren’t the same as they were even a single generation ago.

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    Who cares if consoles have always been closed systems? That don’t make it right. It sounds like you’re trying real hard to find a way (by portraying consoles as something we have less of a right to expect openness from) to make Apple slightly more guilty than anyone else — but who cares about that, either? Maybe they are. So what?

    Let’s just not excuse *anyone*. Consoles have no special status. And console game developers are not second-class citizens. (Remember, this is about the right to create, not the right to consume.) This treatment of technological media spaces as ‘private property’ has to stop.

  • drsquid

    why is this surprising
    why is this news – the iphone never was and never will be an open platform – and really the only people who care are the small percentage of cell phone user who own iphones (notice how I did not say smart phone). If those users just went out and got a windows mobile (or Android, or Symbian) phone they wouldn’t have this issue.
    Also I don’t get the statement “popularity of their platform”…their platform isn’t actually that popular in the grand scheme of things…a tiny percentage – but of course since a greater percentage of bloggers are mac/iphone users fans I guess this story has got way more exposure. I wish there could be at least one whole week with no apple news on rgbfilter :)

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    ‘First, they came for the iPhone users, and I did not speak out– because I was not an iPhone user…’

    Sound familiar?

    If you just want to pretend Apple doesn’t exist, and pretend this issue will never come to your door — well, good luck with that.

    Remember the Zune? Your next Windows Mobile device might have more in common with the iPhone than you think, and what you are holding in your hand right now might be the next decade’s PlaysForSure.

    If you care at all about what happens on *your* favourite devices, you should do everything you can to make sure Apple does *not* succeed in establishing a precedent for this business practice in this market. And somehow, I don’t think burying our heads in the sand is going to cut it in that regard.

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    Don’t worry, I’m well aware that we’re discussing the right to create, not consume, and that’s why I disagree with using consoles as an example, as opposed to other phone platforms.

    Whether a company wanted their console to be open or not, it was, until very recently, technologically and fiscally unfeasible for consoles to be an open development platform. It still is for the most part, though because of technological advances, that barrier is starting to come down.

    Even still, real dev kits cost a minimum of $10,000 for a single machine.

    That historical difference when compared to the phone market can’t just be brushed off because of an ideological stance (and a stance I fully support), unless you’re suggesting that just because someone WANTS to make a console game, they should be given a dev kit that costs tens of thousands of dollars, and any console maker who do so is denying people’s right to create.

    Just another reason why Apple has to be compared to other mobile OSes. Whether it’s Palm OS, Windows Mobile or Blackberry (hell any phone that runs Java even), any programmer can make and distribute any program they want, and charge for it (or distribute it freely), without any imposed top down distribution model arbitrarily telling them what’s acceptable from the corporate taste makers.

    In the context of the mobile OS space, Apple isn’t just slightly more guilty, they’re WAY more guilty, because they’re the only ones who do it.

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    No kidding on the ‘way to much iPhone news’ comment, and just about everything squid said. :D

    I agree with the ‘let’s not set a precedent’, but I don’t think getting a kick out of watching prominent Apple bloggers experience their first glitch in the RDS matrix is akin to burying ones head in the sand. It’s more along the lines of ‘nyah nyah told you so’. In other words, plenty of people saw this kind of situation coming when the App Store was announced. They were just “dugg down” and “Low Ranked”.

    Just about every platform is moving towards more openness, from gaming consoles to phones. Apple’s swimming against the current with the App Store, and it’s up to them to change it (which they won’t unless users defect).

    If Apple DOES continue on this path, the only people burying their heads in the sand are those who continue to buy apps from the App Store when they know Apple is stifling creativity.

    But why be all doom and gloom?

    For my part, I’ll keep extolling the virtues of mobile companies who don’t shut down independent websites, even when people in the community are developing not just applications, but tweaked custom ROMs compiled from multiple devices by different manufacturers, without worrying about a phone update from the mother ship suddenly crippling the device.

  • drsquid

    “Remember the Zune? Your next Windows Mobile device might have more in common with the iPhone than you think, and what you are holding in your hand right now might be the next decade’s PlaysForSure.”

    the zune is no plays for sure, and does not have any apps for it, and is not an OS – so therefore bears no comparison to OsX on the iphone – it’s not a platform – if anything it itself if just an app that might get (rumored) developed for windows mobile

    “If you care at all about what happens on *your* favourite devices, you should do everything you can to make sure Apple does *not* succeed in establishing a precedent for this business practice in this market. ”

    I don’t care what happens to my favourite device because I have never been dumb enough to buy a product (ipod or phone, not PC) made by a company who has obviously for many years had no interest in caring about the user, to be honest – itunes and ipod in itself from it’s inception has always been a closed ecosystem ever since it came out, designed to maximize apples profits, and anyone who assumed that apple was suddenly going to change they way they do business with the iphone is very very deluded

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    “Whether a company wanted their console to be open or not, it was, until very recently, technologically and fiscally unfeasible for consoles to be an open development platform.”

    Umm … no. That is simply not true — not since the days of cartridges has there been any significant technological barrier, so that’s been more than 10 years that there’s been no excuse. If you think there *is* some technological barrier to letting users assemble a bunch of bits to be burned to an optical disc, I’d really like to hear what it is.

    ‘Even still, real dev kits cost a minimum of $10,000 for a single machine.’

    That’s entirely because Microsoft decided it would be so. Funny how you are perfectly comfortable under Microsoft’s thumb but not Apple’s. Do you really expect us to buy that old ‘benevolent dictator’ canard. Let’s just pry everybody’s thumbs from ALL our necks!

    There is no technological reason to charge this fee — none. It’s a bar to entry that is its only reason for being. And the number of hoops you have to jump through to become a licensed developer — I have just been looking through it, it is quite insane. XNA Community looks interesting — but forcing games into ‘peer review’ before they are published is not much of an improvement — it’s still tyranny by the majority, and that’s *not* what free speech is supposed to be about. Or have we all forgotten that artists are supposed to be able to express themselves without asking permission from their ‘peers’? I’m sorry, but — what a joke. This is what happens when you allow media spaces to be ‘private property’ — you will either simply be barred arrogantly or you will be forced to run through a maze so baroque that few dare to enter, and even fewer to make it out the other side. And that’s the X-Box developer’s community, in a nutshell. If you think X-Box developers are any freer than iPhone developers, you are fooling yourself.

    “That historical difference when compared to the phone market can’t just be brushed off because of an ideological stance (and a stance I fully support), unless you’re suggesting that just because someone WANTS to make a console game, they should be given a dev kit that costs tens of thousands of dollars, and any console maker who do so is denying people’s right to create.”

    Yes that’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Ten thousand dollars! For basically, just an XBOX with some extra software and a bigger hard drive. Why don’t they just charge the same as an XBOX, or only slightly more? Is it because it’s *grey*? I mean that’s just stupid — how can you even write that *without* feeling Microsoft’s foot on your neck. Oh. I forgot — you don’t notice that. You only see the sins of Apple. As for historical differences — they are important to people who are fighting pointless, provincial wars, as you and drsquid are right here. They are not much use to people who are actually focused on what is best for the future.

    “Just another reason why Apple has to be compared to other mobile OSes. Whether it’s Palm OS, Windows Mobile or Blackberry (hell any phone that runs Java even), any programmer can make and distribute any program they want, and charge for it (or distribute it freely), without any imposed top down distribution model arbitrarily telling them what’s acceptable from the corporate taste makers.”

    Yes, fine — I’m just saying that driving people to the competition isn’t the point, and as long as we all continue to see that as the point, we will fight a bunch of battles against each other, but lose the real war. Because we aren’t opposing in principle the *actual wrong belief* (that technology companies should control who can develop for their devices) that will ultimately put us all in slavery. We are giving are own favourite companies a pass. That has to stop. RebelScum and I are both Mac users, and we’re fighting the good fight. You and drsquid are still apologising for your own in the eager hopes that you can benefit from this and exploit it *for* your own. You know what? That’s going to happen anyway, you don’t need to flog it. And if we lose this long-term struggle it’ll be exactly because everyone who could have spoken out about the right thing, instead spoke out about wrong thing and made exactly the kind of decision that you are drsquid are making here, and turned off everybody who could make a difference.

    “In the context of the mobile OS space, Apple isn’t just slightly more guilty, they’re WAY more guilty, because they’re the only ones who do it.”

    I wasn’t speaking solely in that context, obviously. In fact, my whole argument is that seeing only one context is just a way of crippling the larger cause to suit your agenda. But — sure, ok. 87

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    “the zune is no plays for sure, and does not have any apps for it, and is not an OS – so therefore bears no comparison to OsX on the iphone – it’s not a platform – if anything it itself if just an app that might get (rumored) developed for windows mobile”

    You’ve completely missed my point by about a thousand miles.

    “I don’t care what happens to my favourite device because I have never been dumb enough to buy a product (ipod or phone, not PC) made by a company who has obviously for many years had no interest in caring about the user”

    So you don’t care what happens to your favourite product, because you would never be dumb enough to buy it? WTF?? I was talking about *your* favourite product, not Apple — the one that could end up working exactly like the iPhone and the App Store in a few years. Look to the Zune for precedent on this. Are you there yet? Or must I be even more literal?

    “to be honest – itunes and ipod in itself from it’s inception has always been a closed ecosystem ever since it came out”

    Yes, that’s right. A closed ecosystem that can play MP3s ripped from any CD anywhere. drsquid, your arguments are boring old-hat myths that were exploded long ago. How long have you been swallowing just any old BS about Apple? I suggest you up your game.

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    It’s interesting that you turned it into ‘all about Microsoft’, if you’re gonna throw around terms like ‘provincial wars’, look back through the thread and see who’s filtering everything through the Apple vs Microsoft lens. :D My comments apply equally to Sony and Nintendo in the console space, and Palm, Blackberry et al in the mobile space, and would be exactly the same if MS (oh sorry, should I say M$) was completely out of the equation.

    That you’re somehow calling me an ‘apologist’ (for my own? – really?) suggests that there’s no point in this debate anymore. Look at this piece of self-congratulatory backpatting:

    “RebelScum and I are both Mac users, and we’re fighting the good fight. You and drsquid are still apologising for your own in the eager hopes that you can benefit from this and exploit it *for* your own.”

    Really? Is this how you’re really viewing it? That we’re somehow wrong for pointing out that other mobile OS companies have been open to develop on for years.

    I agree that Apple’s gated community approach is wrong headed and stifles creativity, and should be fought. By the same token, anyone with just a bit of sense knew going in that the App Store was going to be a gated community. It was one of the major reasons why the device held absolutely no interest for me.

    Though your replies don’t seem to get this, I support 100% your battle against this arbitrary system of control imposed from on high.

    Have at ‘er. Fight the good fight.

    I’ll continue to point out that there ARE other options that have absolutely zero restrictions imposed on developers. That’s right. Absolutely zero. If you can program, you can make and sell applications however you want.

    Why you get your back up when someone points this out is beyond me. You talk of ‘the big picture’, but seem to frame the whole image through the lens Apple has provided for you.

    I just don’t get why you think that a new player in a mature market with a bad development environment is going to make bigger players sit up and say “Hey, look at those guys. They’re pissing off their customers. Let’s be like them”.

    The only way that’s gonna happen is if people who dislike “Apple’s Law” continue to support the App Store even against their ethical POV. You should be pointing your “First they came for the XXXes” speech at them, because THEY are the enablers of such a system, not those saying “Hey the world outside the Reality Distortion Field is a lot more open”. Let’s face it, a lot of iPhone users are first timers to the ‘computer in your pocket phenomenon’, and may not be aware of the history of the mobile space.

    Pointing out this historical reality actually BOLSTERS your point of view.

    For all the talk of fighting the ‘real war’ instead of battles, you seem not to get that wars are fought on multiple fronts.

    Just an observation.

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    Well, I was just picking the most relevant example, with Microsoft. I am not a console expert. Your comment was excellent and challenging, and forced me to do a little research — I wasn’t going to research *everything*. And I really only needed to research one thing to make my point. Sony and Nintendo might be a completely different story (I actually seriously doubt it, but…), my point still stands because I’m not arguing that Apple is *better* than Microsoft, am I? So … perhaps you’ve missed something here, too. You and drsquid are the ones claiming there is a moral difference. Isn’t that rather …. cultish? 8)

    As for who is being an apologist — well, *definitely* drsquid is, and you agree with ‘just about everything he says’. Therefore it was very easy to put you in that category. Apologise if I went too far.

    BTW how did *you* become the one arguing for fighting the war on multiple fronts? I thought *I* was the one arguing for that, and you were the one saying, ‘the other fronts are more forgivable’. You’re *still* saying it.

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    BTW I totally agree with what you said about people continuing to support the App Store. I have no desire to support it whatsoever.

  • http://www.ryanfox.ca RebelScum

    ~I don’t care what happens to my favourite device because I have never been dumb enough to buy a product (ipod or phone, not PC) made by a company who has obviously for many years had no interest in caring about the user, to be honest – itunes and ipod in itself from it’s inception has always been a closed ecosystem ever since it came out, designed to maximize apples profits, and anyone who assumed that apple was suddenly going to change they way they do business with the iphone is very very deluded~

    That’s interesting. I love it when supporters of one platform or another effective call people stupid for buying into an opposing camp than theirs. That’s nice.

    ~itunes and ipod in itself from it’s inception has always been a closed ecosystem ever since it came out, designed to maximize apples profits~ – A phrase like that implies that you feel that, by contrast, a device like the Zune was designed exclusively to make the world a happier place, and if they made a little money off it in the process, why they’ll just use the profits to buy a little more love and share it with the world.

    ~anyone with just a bit of sense knew going in that the App Store was going to be a gated community.~ – Well, yeah. It was actually described as a “walled garden” by Apple itself on various levels. Whether that’s the official term for it or not, I have no idea. To be honest, my issue with the App store does not include the fact that I can ONLY install apps via the App Store…not that I particularly like the model, but from teh perspective of a company who wants to keep everything under it’s roof, it’s OK. EXCEPT when Apple starts picking and choosing which apps get the Golden Ticket. That counts as censorship IMHO and shouldn’t be allowed, even under the guise of “We own it and can do whatever we want.”

    But what do I know…I was dumb enough to buy the device. OH WOE IS ME THAT I AM SO UNENLIGHTENED!!!!

    Issues with the App Store may be rendered moot, anyway. The application Podcaster, which was eliminated from the store, is currently installed on my iPhone and works flawlessly. I got it ad-hoc from the developer (www.nextdayoff.com) and installed it by dragging it into iTunes, as though I was importing a new song. Easy-peasy. No jailbreaking required. All the developer asked of me was my iPhone’s UDID, which I provided, even though I’ll admit I was a little nervous about it. If it’s *THAT* easy, I doubt it will take very long for someone to release a hack patch for iPhone apps and for even more people to start selling apps ad-hoc. Seems like the natural evolution to me. I would *MUCH* rather support that system than something like the App Store, which, while interesting, is too limiting and controlling.

  • drsquid

    Paul you seem to be so totally unaware of what Windows Mobile is about – so any comments you have about the Zune – yes which is somewhat similar to itunes – don’t make any sense. The Zune is an ipod – and is not an platform for apps like the touch or iphone – therefore there are no apps that can be downloaded yet (other than the possibly XNA games coming out that are to be judged, as you said, by peer review ) – so who knows what MS’s plan’s would be for 3rd party apps for the Zune. How does the way the Zune works mean that the next windows mobile OS might be closed, more like the iphone ?

    I dont’ care what happens to my favourite device because it is Windows Mobile and I know what apple is doing WILL NEVER happen. It’s quite simple. Winmo is an open platform, like desktop windows. There are 1000′s of apps out there that would need to work in future versions, and since like RIM, Winmo is used by millions of corporate users, many of them running custom applications developed by those companies, MS will never make winmo a closed OS because they would loose there core market. Apple doesn’t really give a f**k about the corporate (other than some half hearted attempts to make the 3g more enterprise friendly) space because they are not interested in it, because they would have to make too many concessions – with the mindless consumer (which I not saying you a Ryan are) Apple can do what it wants and the vast majority will never complain. Those who do, like the bloggers and you guys, will only be small (but loud online) voices in the chorus of probably many satisfied iphone uses who are blissful unaware of the shortcoming of the iphones closed Os.

    Yes I stand by my point that despite how many positives the iphone has, anyone who bought one expecting the application side to be open and free as any (mac or pc) desktop, or real smartphone, was dumb to think that this was the case. Perhaps naive, blinded, etc might have been a kinder term, but really I have no sympathy for those complaining about this. I have decided with my wallet that I was not going to support Apple (though, yes I almost was swayed into buying an iphone :) ) – I love many aspects winmo phone – I just love how I am branded an apologist – since really there is nothing to apologize for – I have no problems with MS and windows mobile as far as the issue on censorship becuase there is no issue – however there are plenty of other issues with windows mobile and MS in general that I would be quite happy to complain about, disscuss. I am quite willing to accept that a company like MS has it’s good and bad sides, it’s just bewildering to me that so many Apple fans seem to feel so betrayed when Apple does something they don’t like. How their expectations of a company got set so high beats me.

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    Could it be that *I* became the one arguing for fighting on multiple fronts because *you* were seeing everything through an Apple/Microsoft lens? :P

    Sure Squid is mentioning MS, but only because it’s the mobile OS that he uses, and it doesn’t have any of the arbitrary rules imposed on it that the iPhone does. The reason I agree with him is because he’s right about that. If he was using a Palm OS device, or a Blackberry et al, he’d also be right.

    In other words, pretend that MS doesn’t exist, at all, in either the console or mobile space, and my argument doesn’t change one bit.

    This open development model in the mobile space goes back over a decade to the days before smart phones even existed, and Palm OS devices were merely PDAs, and Windows Mobile was merely an empty corner in Redmond, and that openness has never changed for those OSes.

    This history is key to the discussion, because the iPhone is sold as a computer in your pocket. Get the internet, get movies, get anything that’s online. Unless Apple doesn’t approve. No other mobile OS maker imposes that limit on its developers.

    I’m also making this point, because a lot of iPhone users are new to this space (if the sampling of people in the first day line up for the 3G are any indicator), and might not be aware of this history. Maybe they’ll think different

    In regards to consoles, I think each of the current gen ones have their own pitfalls for developers. Nintendo is the worst for not giving a lot of promotional support to 3rd parties, Sony is a tough system to write for because of technological hurdles, and Microsoft has it’s own issues. Consoles are also in a transitional phase (IMHO) where they’re going from a closed gaming environment to being something more, especially with the PS3 and 360 with their comprehensive media playback etc.

    That combined with the 5+ year generational cycle of consoles, and a much different distribution model than mobiles makes it’s difficult, for me anyways, to place them in the same technological space as mobile devices which see both evolutionary and revolutionary shifts on a yearly basis, and have always enjoyed a wild and wooly environment for application distribution.

    Just take a look at http://www.xda-developers.com – I know I do just about every day.

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    RebelScum said: “from teh perspective of a company who wants to keep everything under it’s roof, it’s OK. EXCEPT when Apple starts picking and choosing which apps get the Golden Ticket. That counts as censorship IMHO and shouldn’t be allowed, even under the guise of “We own it and can do whatever we want.”

    When you’re in someone house, you live by their rules. That’s the fact of the real world, message boards and the App Store. If enough of the guests complain, maybe Apple will listen, and for your sake, I hope they do. But as long as those complaints are coupled with support of said house rules with your dollar, don’t be surprised if that change never comes.

    Isn’t there a definition of insanity that goes something like “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”? :D

    We’ll just see if or how Apple responds.

    As for Squid’s point regarding these complaints about Apple’s rules for the App Store, and the relative stupidity of people: I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but he’s absolutely right that people shouldn’t be SURPRISED at Apple’s behaviour. This was predicted the moment the App Store was announced (and came up on set – but not on camera IIRC – during rgb shoot nights).

    Like I said in an earlier though, the people who were saying that “dugg down”, “Low Ranked”, and “Below Viewing Threshold”.

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    BTW, since the ‘apologist’ label has been thrown around – here’s a prime example of what REAL apologists look like:

    http://www.applegazette.com/itunes/thoughts-on-the-app-store-and-the-podcaster-rejection/

    :D

  • drsquid

    BTW I revised my previous comment

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    No — THIS is a real apologist: 8)

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/09/16/banned-iphone-apps-the-podcaster-situation/

    I take back my accusation. After reacquainting myself with Mr. Daniel Eran Dilger, I realise that we are all of us here in this thread a bunch of Vulcans compared to *that* guy.

    Will post more later when I’m more at liberty.

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    That’s pretty brutal.

    I love the “Keeping the Pod in Podcast”, as if there aren’t millions of people downloading podcasts on non Apple products, through non Apple software every single day.

    It’s a shame that the idea of internet distributed audio and video shows got shackled with the name of a single device, or more importantly, it has lead people to believe that Apple deserves some right over that whole space.

  • http://www.ryanfox.ca RebelScum

    Re. Squid’s comment, and Doug’s response:

    ~he’s absolutely right that people shouldn’t be SURPRISED at Apple’s behaviour. ~

    THAT I agree with. Naivetée and stupidity may not necessarily be mutually exclusive, but one does not always beget the other.

    SQUID, I can appreciate your being non-apologetic re a comment like “everyone’s stupid but me”, but I would suggest that it’s not necessarily accurate. I mean, yes, it’s fair to say that anyone who is surprised at this practice of Apple’s to keep everything under its own roof is probably kidding themselves, but I think people are more frustrated and pissed off at the practice than they are (or ever were) ignorant to it. It’s one thing to understand a policy in theory; it’s quite another to experience it in practice.

    And when Apple just makes up rationale on the fly like “It duplicates our iTunes functionality”, well that’s just flat out lying and deserves people’s outrage.

    It’s also fair to say that, in spite of all these corporate bullshit practices, I can still say “Well, at least I’m not stuck with a WinMo device” :)

    BTW: “Keeping the ‘Pod’ in ‘Podcast”‘ ranks as one of the funniest things I’ve read all day. What a load of horseshit :)

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    Reb said: It’s also fair to say that, in spite of all these corporate bullshit practices, I can still say “Well, at least I’m not stuck with a WinMo device”

    Ah, had to get back into the whole Apple/Microsoft thing again, eh?

    How provincial. *snores*

  • http://www.ryanfox.ca RebelScum

    ~Ah, had to get back into the whole Apple/Microsoft thing again, eh?

    How provincial. *snores*~

    Incidentally, but…yeah :P

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    @drsquid: No my point has *nothing* to do with whether or not the Zune is an applications platform. Let’s do it by the numbers. All of the following statements except for #3 apply equally to both the iPhone and the iPod. (1) Pre-existing ecosystem with Microsoft licensing technology and multiple hardware players. (2) Apple enters this market with a vertical solution, creating a lot of buzz and capturing practically the whole media. (3) All of that buzz has a big effect on the marketplace*(not enough time has passed with the iPhone to see whether it will ultimately grow as far as the iPod did in the same timspan, but the buzz is actually bigger for the iPhone). (4) Within years, Microsoft suddenly adopts Apple’s business model, vertical solution and all. The former licensing regime all but goes the way of the dodo.

    What this means for you, drsquid, is that completely ignoring what is happening with the iPhone business model, is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. I would say that it would be fun to watch your platform crumble below your self-satisfied feet in the future as the result of Apple’s influence — but then we would *all* lose something, so I sincerely hope that you will never find out how comically self-defeating your position really is.

    @Doug: Clearly I was not seeing ‘everything through an Apple/Microsoft lens’. That’s just so far off-base the only response really required is, ‘see above’. You’re really trying to get a lot mileage out of the fact that I *mentioned* Microsoft, but since this isn’t a buzzword lightning round, pointing out the mere mention of something is not an actual argument. Also I think we are in agreement on something: I don’t think *either* of our stances would require changing merely due to the absence of Microsoft, especially considering what you’ve just said about Sony and Nintendo. I may have gone overboard on the whole ‘forget history’ angle — but I definitely do not credit false divisions like what is a ‘computer in your pocket’ and what is not. You guys realise that those product categories were *created* by the same dudes whose ethics we are all questioning here — right? Any technological ‘platform’ that can be arted *on*, should be freely artable, console, mobile phone, or otherwise. Because the only alternative to drawing this line is to abandon the future to a gaggle of increasingly private media enclaves, with the illusion of choice, but all of whom kow-tow to the same standards of so-called ‘propriety’ and are basically all editorial cowards. And thanks for the link.

    @ClichePCGuy (without naming names): As for whether or not people should be surprised, I find this kind of point to be so petty and wholly irrelevant to the discussion at hand, that my response to stuff like that is just to give it to you, if you really need to hear it *that* badly. I don’t need to fight over that. So … *fine*. Perhaps we *shouldn’t* have been surprised. Enjoy your little self-confirming trinket. Is that really the ‘win’ you were looking for out of this event? You set your sights way too low. Can we now get on with roughing up *all* the media dictators *everywhere*, whether we should be surprised at them or not?

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    I’m sorry but you’re not going to convince me that the division between mobile phone and console is ‘false’, no matter how often you say it, especially in the context of fiscal and technological challenges in creating ‘art’ for the different media spaces, as well as the slow but definitely opening up of consoles as they DO become something more than to sell games on, which is a positive trend.

    This is really the ONLY place we have a fundamental disagreement on, and I suspect never the twain shall meet. As you fully know, I agree with the chilling effect that such arbitrary rules have on iPhone development, but I disagree with you and RB that this is going to set a precedent in the mobile (or any other) space.

    And just as an aside:

    As for MS/Apple… LOL . You didn’t just ‘mention them’. You CLEARLY turned the larger discussion into the same old same old when you said…

    “That’s entirely because Microsoft decided it would be so. Funny how you are perfectly comfortable under Microsoft’s thumb but not Apple’s. Do you really expect us to buy that old ‘benevolent dictator’ canard. Let’s just pry everybody’s thumbs from ALL our necks!”
    and
    “I mean that’s just stupid — how can you even write that *without* feeling Microsoft’s foot on your neck. Oh. I forgot — you don’t notice that. You only see the sins of Apple.”

    in the space of one post. I’d call that more than ‘mentioning’ Microsoft. It makes false assumptions about my attitude towards the company and it’s policies, before I even say word one. So yeah, you ARE guilty of the same sin as Squid, you just try to hide it up your sleeve. If I were being juvenile right now I’d say *pwnt*, but I’m not, so instead I’ll say *owned*. :D

    As for the comparison of the iPhone to iPod marketplace, I disagree with you there, too. When Apple jumped into the mp3 player business, it was a tiny niche. Apple MADE it bigger. In contrast, the mobile space is already huge, and Apple is throwing its hat into the ring of a mature market.

    You have to look at the full breadth and scope of the mobile market, and Apple’s place in it. For example, in the past year HTC alone (only one WM manufacturer) sold 12 million WM phones, and WM as an OS lags behind Blackberry OS, and both pale in comparison to Symbian worldwide, which by the way, is in the process of becoming open source, with Nokias announcement earlier this year. Apple’s place in there is pretty small from a numbers point of view, and I doubt the press on it’s App Store decisions is convincing other makers to think “let’s screw up a model that’s worked for us for a decade, and copy this highly unpopular one”. Great idea. I’d say the odds of that are somewhere between the odds of surviving a night outside on Hoth (sans tauntaun), and those of us all being sucked into a black hole created by the LHC by the end of October.

    Even IF this turns out to be the evil universe where everyone has a goatee, and MS et al do adopt Apple’s top down control model, there’ll be the choice of two robust open source options, in the form of Symbian and Google’s Android – another OS that HTC is manufacturing phones for.

    This isn’t meant to contradict your basic ethical stance against control of mediascapes, because I agree with you. It’s meant more as a salve against you breaking out in a cold sweat when you see the 1984 Apple commercial and start twitching at the irony of it all. :D

  • http://www.ryanfox.ca RebelScum

    …I just wanted to be #30.

    w007!!

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    Doug, I don’t really understand your argument here and I think it really has gone off the rails. So … the fact that I pointed out that your statements about consoles basically forgave everybody but Apple, using Microsoft as an example, means I ‘see everything through an Apple/Microsoft lens’ — why? When you make a categorical statement (that consoles are freer), and I provide a counterexample (in this case Microsoft) that falsifies the statement, that doesn’t mean that I am ‘seeing everything through the lens of the counterexample’. You only need one counterexample to disprove the rule. Basic logic.

    Apple’s chunk of the market is remarkably big for how long they’ve been in it, as everybody knows, so I also don’t get yours and drsquid’s reliance on this market share as evidence of anything. It’s as if you’re interested in arguments of opportunity and you don’t actually care about the truth value. The iPhone simply hasn’t been around long enough for any conclusions to be made about its ultimate market share — period. I’ll tell you this — the growth curve should be worrying to you.

    I’m hoping I’m never going to have to quote you on the ‘odds comparable to the LHC armageddon’ thing.

    As for retreating to Symbian and Android — more sand-head-thrusting-behaviour. You don’t think they’ll be affected by the market distortion created by any major success from Apple in this space? Complacency, complacency. It really does not have a lot to recommend it.

    BTW I appreciate that you agree with the basic stance for the freedom of new media, I’m just trying to get you to include *your* sacred cows so that people don’t get the impression that, ‘Oh, it’s only one bad seed company. The laws don’t need to be changed.’ When it clearly isn’t, and they clearly do.

    And the 1984 commercial has been deeply ironic since the day the Apple II was unceremoniously executed. It’s quaint and amusing the way some non-Apple users always assume that any unhappy Mac user is only now having his *debut problem* with Apple. I know people who say this to me *every time* I complain to them about Apple. Isn’t it no longer operative after the *first* time? It’s as if some people just can’t form new memories about Mac users, because they press some sort of reset button on their assumptions after every conversation.

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    Oh right, I haven’t said anything about product categories. This is really important. Who decided that the phone would become the major ‘computing platform in your pocket’ and not the console? There are plenty of ‘pocket consoles’ that could be developed in exactly the same way that they’ve developed phones. The reason they don’t is not because there is something about the phone that makes it more technologically a ‘computer’. They are both computers. The bigwigs just decided to open this computer over here that people also talk on, but not that computer over there that people also game on. It’s utterly *arbitrary*.
    So yeah — sorry. Those product categories are completely an invention of the corporate world.

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    Hmmm… .

    My statements about consoles are only about consoles and neither damn nor praise Apple because Apple doesn’t make a console. Sorry that I see consoles and phones AS different. If you can’t handle me making distinctions between video game consoles and phones, I’ll lend you my Xbox with a really long extension cord and an LCD head mount so you can use it to IM. Seriously. :D

    You mention my ‘sacred cows’. When it comes to freedom to develop and distribute IN THE MOBILE SPACE, there IS only one ‘bad seed’ company.

    That is a matter of fact, not speculation. I don’t support what said company is doing, and think that EVERYBODY using said product should speak up. They should also vote with their dollar, because THAT would be more effective than any number of online petitions. Of course, the sad reality based on the links a few posts up suggest some people are more than happy to live with it.

    I also HIGHLY doubt that their top-down control is going to trickle down to every other mobile OS company, especially given every trend OTHER than the iPhone over the past couple of years. In short, I think you’re projecting too much into Apple’s power in the mobile space. Mentioning other OS options isn’t ‘burying my head in the sand’. It’s part of pointing out the larger world outside Apple’s walled garden, and the trends in that larger world, though if you went by the news, you’d think Apple was king of the hill.

    That larger world: Market share DOES play a part in it, and looking at only the iPhone’s growth curve is somewhat shortsighted, IMHO. As I posted before, other smart phone makers are seeing increases as well (HTC -only one of many WM OS makers, is up over 33% from 2007 – a year when they moved almost 12 million phones – as of August). Blackberry has seen an increase as well, and number two in the space, and I’m not even mentioning global leader Symbian. In other words, they’re moving a lot more phones than the iPhone, and the devices aimed squarely at the iPhone haven’t even hit the market yet, nor has the highly anticipated Android OR WM 7. I’d mention Palm Nova here too, but unless it’s revolutionary for a Palm device, it’s going be pretty niche.

    * as a side note it’s interesting that in HTC’s 2007 sales, which were announced reported in Jan 2008, often had headlines like “HTC Touch sold half those of Apple iPhone”, which totally misses the larger picture.

    —-

    “The bigwigs just decided to open this computer over here that people also talk on, but not that computer over there that people also game on. It’s utterly *arbitrary*.
    So yeah — sorry. Those product categories are completely an invention of the corporate world.”

    So now you’re arguing for a homogeneous hardware platform that users configure on their own? Or are you demanding that Nintendo add a cellular phone to the DS, and that Apple add ABYX buttons and a d-pad to the iPhone?

    If so, check out http://www.buglabs.net/ :D

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    There is a big difference between saying ‘The current product categories are bogus’ and saying ‘There should be no product categories’. There obviously are going to be differentiated products and that’s unavoidable. However, it’s important to realise that there is no *fundamental* difference between these platforms, because then you will realise that there is no fundamental reason to treat them differently.

    I believe that I’ve already stipulated that Apple is the only bad seed in this regard in the particular smartphone space — I’m just saying that this isn’t really relevant to the point. Especially since the ‘space divisions’ are in fact *not real*. Why didn’t pocket gamepads become the mobile computing platform of choice, and phones just stay phones? Because somebody up the chain decided it *would* be so — probably because the smartphone space was unexplored territory that *needed* hobbyists to support it, whereas the console market had already been established as a ‘non free speech zone’ and the guys in charge didn’t want to jeopardise that. It won’t be that way forever. When the smartphone makers no longer need the hobbyists to stay afloat, they’re going to be looking at business model’s like that of the iPhone (provided it continues on its success trajectory), and that of manufacturers in other spaces, and they will covet, Doug. Oh — they will covet.

    How can looking at the iPhone’s growth curve be ‘shortsighted’? What else could there possibly be to extrapolate from? Basically, anything else *but* looking at the growth curve is shortsighted, at least as a way of predicting market share.

    Not going to argue with you that HTC and Blackberry, etc., have increased their market share, because I don’t believe I ever argued otherwise. Interesting info though, and I agree that headlines, particularly about the iPhone, regularly miss the larger picture.

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    The reason I say it’s shortsighted is because looking at only the iPhone’s growth rate only tells you one thing: the rate of growth for the iPhone. In other words, I’d think your point would be more valid if HTC, RIM, et al were seeing dropping sales, but the opposite is true.

    ” When the smartphone makers no longer need the hobbyists to stay afloat, they’re going to be looking at business model’s like that of the iPhone…”

    Do you really think the smart phone makers still need hobbyists to stay afloat? I don’t really think so. I’d suggest that the smart phone space hasn’t NEEDED hobbyists for a good 3+ years, since the heyday of the Treo 650 and its contemporaries. It was really enterprise users that made them take off.

    I fundamentally disagree with your analysis of WHAT the smart phone space was and currently is, and that is why I disagree with your LEVEL of fear regarding the influence of the App Store on everyone else going forward.

  • http://laroquodexperiment.com Laroquod

    That makes a lot of sense (your characterisation of our disagreement, I mean — I’m not saying you convinced me).

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