If you’re up on Steve Jobs Keynote speeches then you’ve undoubtedly heard the news about Apple ‘unlocking’ the iPhone and providing developers with an Software Development Kit (SDK) and a platform to sell their new product, the App Store.
I was, and am still, really excited by the prospect of developing apps for the iPhone and iPod, but I am of two minds about the announcement.
Sure, charging $99 to use their service to deploy would be fair if there was some competition. But since the iPhone warranty voids when users install software through any method other than Apple. The scare tactic is starting to sound like a monopoly. Add the 30 percent profit that Apples skims off the top of your product for the use of their store and it’s starting to sound like a bit of a scam. I understand that Apple is concerned with the quality assurance of the software that third parties are developing but there has got to be a less greedy democratic way of going about this.
Willing developers would be helping Apple by creating software for the iPhone and increasing the device’s functionality and market value. Nokia and the open source Symbian community seems to have a better handle on appreciating their developers.
Apple is beginning to come across as greedy, ruthlessly working to monopolize the emerging convergence device industry in ways that even Microsoft never dared.
As long as Apple pulls this “use agreement/Warranty” line with threats of “bricking” your iPhone for noncompliance they are manipulating the market. Would Toyota disable your car if you had your oil changed at Jiffy Lube for half the dealer’s price?
I wonder if this could end up in court, especially in the EU where anti-competitive behaviour is frowned on, ask Microsoft. I like Apple, I’ve been using their products for two decades, but this form of business practice is anti-competitive behavior at its worst.