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Apple shouldn't censor the App Store
When Apple announced that the review process would be part of getting on the iPhone application store on iTunes, many people welcomed this process. The word of "gatekeeper" was bandied about. When the first applications started showing up on the store, and along with the great and the average, there were some that were, politely said, trivial, people started calling for the gatekeeper, and demanded that Apple take these applications out.
The legal situation here is clear: Apple has created and is running a store, and they can choose what products to include. They have been doing the very same with their brick-and-mortar stores. And they are well within their right to do so. After all, if you were running a shop,would you want to be forced to include software that you think is bad quality, gaudy, or simply not the kind of software you'd want to sell?
The problem here is that everyone has a different idea of what it means when a piece of software is "bad quality", or "gaudy", because all of these terms have fuzzy edges. That would not be a problem, if this was just one of many stores, but the iTunes app store is the only way to get stuff on the iPhone.
Now consider you just created an app of your own, and Apple suddenly decided they didn't want you. You'd have invested all that work in developing a product that could never be used. Worse, the time (and thus money) invested in that app would be lost.
So, I'm happy about every stupid flash-light app that just brings up a white window, every I am Rich app I see on the iTunes app store. It means Apple are leaving the decision whether an app is good to the buyer, to the market. Getting on the app store costs $99 for one year of iPhone developer membership. If nobody buys your app, you'll quickly reconsider whether it's worth paying to lose money.
On the other hand, while I might not be interested in wasting $1000, I've seen people pay that amount for a single comic book, which cost $2.50 on the newsstand (some even only $0.65). If you wanted the story, you did like me and just bought the reprint. I own a facsimile edition of X-Men #1 that I bought fresh from the presses for less than 3 bucks. It even contains the original advertisements. A quick google shows that I'd be paying $19 000 for the original.
It isn't worth it for me, and I can only shake my head at why someone would buy it, but if it's being sold at that price, it must be worth that to someone, be it as an investment or sentimental value. It's the same with the iPhone: I've seen a documentary about the new rich in Russia and how they gold-plate nearly everything, I know there are factories that take $20 Nokias and put them in gold and gems that cost the price of my dad's dream car. If someone thinks that is desirable, that's OK for me.
Heck, there are moments where I have similar opinions: I once was on the train to a good friend's birthday party, and my iPod fell out of my pocket while I was changing trains. It fell somewhere where I couldn't see it. I had the choice between stopping here and searching for an expensive device I didn't have the money to replace at that time and miss my train (having to wait a couple hours for the next one), or getting on that train and not missing a good friend's birthday party.
I went for the train.
Sometimes, it's just about the priorities. I value my friends more than money. Someone who earns $500 per hour, may spend $500 more on a Mac if that means he won't have to work an hour to set it up. I wouldn't want anyone, not Apple, not Microsoft, not my government decide for me where my priorities should lie.
What about you?
PS - Yeah, some kind soul whose name I was never told found my iPod in Ismaning and brought it to the Lost and Found. It' safe and sound and still in working order. Thank you, mysterious stranger!
Update: Of course, Chuqi put it much more eloquently than I could, and he even has a joke.
Update 2: Also, Nadyne offers a nice view about it.
Created: 2008-08-07 @728 Last change: 2014-11-24 @373 | Home | Admin | Edit|
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