back to article Feds break Apple's code of App Store silence

Oh, Apple Computer. What sorts of antics are you into this month? Since the iPhone was released two years ago, watching Apple keep its obsessive vise grip on the device while trying to promote third party application development has been one solid I-didn't-know-you-could-do-that after another. Battle the recording industry …


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  1. Anton Ivanov

    Apple and DRM

    Two years ago, when I kept saying that the DRM infrastructure _WILL_ be used by apple to control applications I was flamed into a crisp by Apple fanboys every time. Well... Time will tell. Actually it already did...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple's right to say FU

    Where does the US gov't have the right to determine what app a corporation should allow. The gov't doesn't make Wal-mart or Sears carry a certain item. This is pure BS and part of some larger agenda.

    If people want the app and the iphone doesn't have go to another device. There are plenty of other smart phones. If enough people stop buying iphones then apple would probably reconsider. This is how a free market operates.

    I would tell the government to fuck off too, if they tried to force me to sell something.

  3. Michael 31
    Thumb Down

    Why is Ted Dziuba so upset?

    There are many choices available in this market and Ted is free to choose from anything on offer.

    As an outsider it seems to me that the iPhone is a general purpose computing device and as such can be broken really easily by poorly designed software. Also, the phone is not the only component being purchased - the network access is also 'purchased' and much of the value of the phone comes from this access and one way or another it must be paid for . Apple have just crossed the border between a computer company and a consumer electronics manufacturer and they are seeking to make sure that 'product' the provide 'just works' and continues to 'just work'. There are all kinds of things which can impact on that.

    For example a VOIP app for iPhone in which the amount paid to the network operator falls below expectations means that - one way or another - the network is overused/underpaid.

    There are loads of companies that don't take the care that apple do and -generalising - their products are poorer for it.

    I think Ted Dziuba is the failure here - he just wants to rant about something and hint that he could be violent or use rude words. Pathetic.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ''I would tell the government to fuck off too, if they tried to force me to sell something''

    Assuming your referring to the US Gov, I'd guess that actually if push came to shove, most'd shout "yessir, how-much-for-sir".

  5. Allan Rutland

    You said it right there....

    Apple continues: "The iPhone user’s entire Contacts database is transferred to Google’s servers, and we have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways."

    You mean like upgrade the user to an Android phone? *rings Apple alarm bells* that sums it up, Apple would of lost control of its captive market, and with it the normal Apple method of screwing every last drop of cash from them.

    Some may call it protectionism, meanwhile to Apple its just a user experience :P

  6. Anonymous Coward

    @Ac 7.13 (Apples right to say FU)

    ah but the difference is that you can't go and buy the app from somewhere else to put on your Iphone (without hacing it).

    If you bought a pair of trousers from Walmart - you can use any belt you want without - Walmart can't stop you from buying and using someone elses belt even if they don't sell it (and you don't have to sew in new belt thingys)..

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Apple's success

    Indenture for a new generation.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    But what if?

    I have a device from ABc and software from ABc.

    I also have an app that runs on the device from EFg.

    The trouble is that my personal information as required in software supplied by ABc is being accessed and purloined by software from EFg.

    I've then found out that EFg has been doing something naughty with my data.

    Who do I sue?

  9. Dave Fox
    Jobs Horns

    @AC 07:13GMT

    I think you rather missed the point here. The FCC asked *why* Google Voice was rejected - it was not a demand for Apple to carry it.

    Apple operate a near-monopoly in the smartphone application space now, and it is right that such questions be asked if this position is being abused. Already we heard of applications being passed by Apple, and then subsequently revoked, forcing developers into refunding customers who may have been perfectly happy with their purchase. Indeed, there was some concern that the store terms meant that developers would have to refund 100% of the purchase price themselves with Apple keeping their 30% cut, though I do not know if this ever came to pass.

    I like Apple products - I have an iMac sitting on my desk here and a Macbook in the room next door, but I am really beginning to question how this company operates because I'm not sure it is in the consumers best interests.



  10. Michael


    So Apple control what installs in an Apple device? Amazing. I never thought that would happen.

    They have always done this. Why the surprise with the iPhone?

    I have to agree with the AC. If people what to be able to do something and the iPhone doesn't do it get a different phone. There are plenty to choose from. It is an apple device, you agree by buying it that you don't mind getting to choose what Apple wants you to choose to run on your device. You agree with your service provider to certain conditions as to what your device is allowed to do, be that data limits or free call minutes. If your phone doesn't do what you want get a different one.

    There are plenty of Android based devices available now and more out in the coming months. You can install what you want on that platform. Or write your own apps.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Great, great

    Congratulations!! this is the kind of article that makes me come back to "The Register" every day.

    Of course I agree. The bottom line is that the iPhone's market share already reached "monopoly"-concerning dimensions. The usual practices of niche market player cannot be accepted anymore. It is time the US. government & EU commission re-start their great traditions of suing for anti-trust violations.

    Apple: I'm afraid with success come obligations and restrictions... and there is no workaround that!

    PS: Apple, of course, if you send me a new IPhone 3Gs I will stop making this kind of posts... ( you don't know how far people has to go to get one these days)

  12. Ilya

    That's right!

    Of course the government shouldn't tell companies what to do!

    Who needs antimonopoly laws when it is absolutely clear the government should only pay bailouts and STFU!

    I think that Anonymous Coward is absolutely right. It is a conspiracy and I can smell it in the air.

    Clearly, the Obama administration has decided to avenge Jobb's donation to the democratic cause by picking on the saint Apple corporation, which did nothing wrong because all it does is right.

  13. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    And then there were at least three telling Government to Blow Harder.....

    "Once a developer has access to a piece of data, he can copy it and do with it anything inside the realm of Turing completeness, but this is the type of control that the RIAA drools over." ..... with some more adept and enabled that others who would be droolers and wannabes, Ted.

    And don't whatever you do, mess with things you don't or yet can't understand for they will always Wwwwhelm you, whether IT be Topside with Really Everything ZerodDaily up in the AIR, or Underground with Everything Virtually on the Dark Side and in Black Operations.

    Rules and Regulations? Oh please, do me a favour and stop with that Silly Nonsense and Get Real. Enough is Enough Already .......

    Time for the Boys and Girls to Grow Up and Create a Brave NeuReal World with Better Beta Order, MeThinks, ....... which is what Renegade promised Renaissance, n'est ce pas, or was he just Spinning a False Trail and Tall Tale ....... and Stinking Yarn?

    All your Information does not belong to US until IT is handsomely Purchased is Fair and Equitable.

    And the Jolly Roger because of Shafting in the Realm which is Endemic and Systemic.

  14. Daniel 4

    @AC 07:13

    In general, you're right there. However, there are certain conditions in which the U.S. government can and historically has interfered in commerce, with that interference ranging from mild regulation to draconian control. Examples include medicine and drugs, abusive monopolies, and natural monopolies - i.e., utilities, including telecommunications.

    From the very moment that Apple started selling the iPhone they risked government interference. You may disagree whether or not the U.S. gov should have the right, or whether this falls under the remit in question, but still, the danger was there from the beginning. What's more, Apple had to know this.


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Apple's right to say FU

    "Where does the US gov't have the right to determine what app a corporation should allow. The gov't doesn't make Wal-mart or Sears carry a certain item. This is pure BS and part of some larger agenda."

    So you'd be happy for Microsoft to block Firefox from running on Windows? Or Apple to block it from running on OS X?

    The reason that they can determine what a corporation should allow is for innovation. Someone could write a browser for iPhone that is a million times better than Safari but Apple will block it because it duplicates functionality. Flash on the iPhone could allow iPhone-specific websites to be even richer than they currently are, but Apple blocks it because it runs an interpreted language. Java could allow the same app to be distributed to lots of different phones, but Apple blocks it for the same reason it blocks Flash.

    This wouldn't be an issue if Apple allowed you to install arbitrary applications on your phone - then they really could do whatever the hell they wanted to do with their App Store. But since the App Store is the only legitimate way to get applications for the iPhone, Apple has a duty to be fully frank about their conditions, and as open as possible with regards to the applications they allow.

  16. Mike Kamermans

    @"apple's right to say FU"

    The moment it looks like kartel practices have been used to deny a competing company a right that would otherwise be extended anyone else, or when business practices are not documented and can only be backed up by subjective, rather than objectively verifiable arguments.

    It's called running a company. You don't retain the right to say fuck you, you suddenly have the obligation to show that you're treating everyone the way your company policies say they should be treated, and that those policies are not in violation of local, federal, and international law.

    You would tell the government to fuck off, because you're just a person. Apple can't tell it to fuck off, because apple is a participant of the US domestic economy, which means they have to obey the law, and have to answer any and all questions asked in regards to possible violation of trade laws. There's a price to getting to play in the big kid's playground. If you don't want to play, stay a person. If you do want to play, read the rulebook and then make sure you don't slip up by making it too obvious you're not following the rules. Apple slipped up, the FCC asked questions.

    As a general educator, the "free market" is about how producers and consumers reach an agreement on pricing for products and services. A supplier is free to charge what they like, and a consumer is free to find a different supplier if the pricing is unacceptable. It's a term used to indicate market-driving pricing. This scheme means that the government cannot step in and say "you know, this iphone app is too expensive, lower the price". However, the free market is not a legal no man's land: free market operates WITHIN the domestic and international laws, so the government *can* step in and say "you know, it's interesting how you're allowing people to make these applications, but you reject the one made by a competitor, even though there's nothing in your policies that say competitors aren't allowed to make applications. care to explain that, because that sounds very much like illegal business practices."

  17. David 9
    Thumb Up

    Ted - I love you.

    You make me look forward to every 2nd Monday morning.

  18. Svein Skogen

    'tis about time

    Maybe, if FCC told Apple that "hey, you're not to tell us how to do things!" then wen off and said "sorry, your electronic devices have failed our testing, please remove any FCC approved stamps on any gear made by apple", that would be a tad worse than a fine, wouldn't it?

    And it's about bloody time that someone gave crapple a little lesson in "playing by the rules".

  19. Urs Keller

    What is this guy talking about?

    Can't make head and tail out of it. Maybe it's him that has "spike his Oolong tea with LSD" a bit too much ...

  20. Scott Lamb

    anti-competitive behaviour

    @Anonymous Coward:

    Under normal circumstances, sure, but there are laws governing anti-competition behaviour, which are there to keep various markets healthy. Ultimately, this is to the benefit of the consumer / public, who can wind up with a particularly bad deal if one company is allowed to sew up a whole market.

  21. Not That Andrew

    @ AC 07:13 GMT

    > Where does the US gov't have the right to determine what app a corporation should allow.

    The Sherman Antitrust Act you Rantard iTard.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Anonymous Coward

    I really don't understand the problem(s) here...

    Apple, who own the iPhone, don't want to approve an application from a supplier. So?

    Apple, who own the iPhone, approve applications to run on their iPhone (not your iPhone, you're just a licensee...) and if they want to give preference, or not, to a supplier that is their right? Obviously competition laws apply and the iPhone is not a monopoly product so......?

    Those who set the rules run the game. Don't like the rules, don't play the game.

    What will be interesting is the back story when a voice application similar to that prepared by AT&T is finally released for the iPhone. Then there will be a feeding frenzy!

  24. Douglas Lowe


    So we've two voice call apps: Google Talk and Skype.

    Skype is allowed by Apple, and can use your address book, but doesn't upload it onto their servers (but you can still use the contacts you've added to your servers already).

    Google Talk would apparently want to upload all your contacts onto their servers, and so far hasn't been approved as an app by Apple.

    There has already been huge (well, huge within the iPhone community...) uproar over apps uploading all your contact data from your address book (i.e. Aurora Feint when it was first released). So it seems very likely to me that Apple are actually delaying approving the Google app because of data privacy issues. Apples approach to apps certainly isn't consistent - but in this case they may well have a valid reason.

  25. SoupDragon

    All animals are not quite equal

    No prizes for guessing what whould happen if Microsoft tried to set up a panel to decide which software (browsers) would or would not run on windows...

    If it is an operating system then how do they have the right under non-competition law to dictate this?

  26. karakalWitchOfTheWest


    Where that philosophy has brought the US and the rest of the World can be studied in the recent BCotUSA = Banking Crisis of the United Stated of America.

    The government has to enforce policies on the industry, and if anyone doesn't like that, he should f**k off and drop his gadgets into a garbage can.

  27. Adam T

    8500 per week?

    So 20 teams of two people have to go through 1214 apps each day?

    60 apps per team?

    7 apps per hour? (assume an 8 hour day)

    Do they get bathroom breaks?

    And is this why a previously approved app will fail the next time an update with a minor fix is submitted? Because someone needs to go to the toilet?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Microsoft ... decide which software runs on MS OS

    "No prizes for guessing what whould happen if Microsoft tried to set up a panel to decide which software (browsers) would or would not run on windows..."

    No need to guess what would happen. We're living it and the world is watching it, live on Network 23, twenty minutes into the future.

    Just go read about "Windows isn't done till {Lotus|Netscape|Wordperfect|etc} doesn't run" (you may have to adjust the words slightly).

  29. Dave 142


    "Of course I agree. The bottom line is that the iPhone's market share already reached "monopoly"-concerning dimensions."

    Maybe you should tell Nokia that because they still sell a hell of a lot more phones than Apple. If the iPhone were close to monopoly share levels I think Steve Jobs would be jumping around like a Ballmer

  30. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Wild West v2.0 ? The Windows Alamo and Modus Operandi?

    Who else see a Parallel in the Past which had Foreign Cowardly Cowboys stealing Apache Lands now morphed into a Total Information Awareness Assault on Private and Powerful Intellectual Properties/VPNInterNetworking Applifications?

  31. Lu
    Thumb Up



    Finally a Fail and You thats both informative and genuinely funny.

    And to all those people saying the government shouldn't tell Apple what they can do with "their" App Store - consider that if that logic had been applied to Microsoft, the only way you'd be able to view this website would be with IE4, cos no other browsers would run on Windows, and with no competition, MS wouldn't bother to upgrade a free piece of software.

  32. Anonymous Coward


    So, Ted. Do you find yourself glassing 'douchebags' when you're out on the piss on a regular basis ? Nice.

  33. Bill B

    When did apple become a monopoly?

    A number of posts have based their responses on apple's iPhone having a 'monopoly' or 'near monopoly'. I must have missed something somewhere, but the last figures I saw (which admittedly were in May) gave Apple about 11% compared with RM 20% and Nokia's 41%. Yup .. apple has an app store, but 45% of smartphone users still prefer Nokia's offering, with or without an app store.

  34. Michael C

    FUD stomping

    @Allen Ruthland: Since the iPhone syncs with a number of contact databases already, theres NOTHING preventing an iPhone users from easily and quickly moving theit contacts to another platform. The problem with Google's app doing it from the phone directly is that the user has no CONTROL over the process of moving the data, and knows not what google does with it, as to be honest, it;s not required to upload that sata to make the app work (GV adds numbers automatically as you call/are called by them).

    @Dave Fox. Apple may be a "majority" in the smartphone market, and even a greater majority in the application market for such devices, but they are by no means a "near monopoly" and consumers clearly have choice. The govenmernt may "question" Apple's tactics, but to be honest, the bulk of the governments power in this case is simply the ability tyo make their findings public, and let consumers decide. To become regulated, the government would have to determine that Apple had complete control of a market without the posibility (or through actions defeats the poissibility) of a viable competition. If they can't prove that against Microsoft, they have a looooong way to go before Apple meets that condition. Yes, on their OWN DEVICE, they have this power, but their device is not the MARKET SPACE, and that's how government regulates... Besides, the device can be easily (and LEGALLY) unlocked, removing Apple's control.

    At the numerous ACs: 1) grow some balls and log in before you post. 2) The government can NOT regulate what products you do and do not carry in your store, so long as there is another store that can reasonably compete. A monopoly means you are the ONLY one devoid of ANY competition. Having a "near" monopoly does NOT give the gov't any power, it has to be a true and complete monopoly. Next, The iPhone is one of MANY smartphones in the market. The government can not look at a single product as a marketplace, regardless of how its locked in. I want my new car to come with an aftermarket radio, but do you think Ford, or Toyota is going to allow the dealer to have one pre-installed when i buy it without voiding my brand new car warranty? no. If I want an F150 with a kicking stereo (btw, i most decidedly do not), is not Ford preventing me from having choice? No, I have the choice to legally void my waranty and modify my car, or i have the choice to buy an alternate car... Just becasue Ford lets me only use ford approved parts, ford approved services, and only offers options from incumbant pre-approved vbendors (and they have CONTRACTS in place barring additional vendors), does not mean Ford is a monopoily on the F150... The iPhone is a phone, a smartphone that runs applications. There is a THRIVING market providing choices to consumers. The only thing the government can investigate is if AT&T was involved in stopping the application from being released. If there was multicompany collusion, against a COMPETITOR (google), then Monopoly or not, they violated FTC regulations, THAT is what the gov't is interested in...

    @Soupdragon: Microsoft does not have a complete monopoly on PC operating systems, however, it has a very near monopoly on enterprise software solutions including that OS. Apple has for yearss denied competing in the enterprise marketplace, and Novel is bankrupt, Sun is backing out, and IBM only sells in the mainframe spaces now. Linux is a competitor on the desktop, and in web services, but not in the enterprise space. In that market, microsoft's attempts to stifle competition by refusing to allow 3rd party apps would be a violation of multiple laws. This is for a few reasons: 1) there is existing competition, and doing so would be a direct act to stifle active competitors. but 2) more importantly, you BOUGHT the OS... In Apple;'s case, you have not, it remains theirs under license to you on the device. In micrsoft's case, doctrine makes it YOUR software, Microsoft's EULA can only restrict you from using certain versaions for certain purposes, forcing you into certain licence fees/purchase prices. Once you own it, you can do as you will with it (short of decompiling and selling the code, or using it to break laws) Apple is not subject to this. Should they at some point become a true monopoly, and eliminate all viable competition naturally, even then, so long as there remains a way to unlock the device, seperating it from their OS and wardware waranty, they still can't be acused of being a monopoly, not unless they start approving one competitors app and denying another for reasons that can not be made clear (and in every case, even when it's seemed unclear, Apple has in fact had a specific, documentable reason, they just do NOt by policy (and in the NDA and in the developer contract this is made clear), disclose the reasons for declining one app over another...

    My own 2 cents: The FCC and FTC are not asking the RIGHT questions. They asked about Apple's review process, and asked about AT&T's pressures. I think it;s actually Verizon and t-Mobile, and potentially even international companies, who are trying to ensure this app does not make it onto the phone. There's also a KEY difference between Google Voice and Skype: Skype ONLY uses WiFi. Though Google can't make CALLS across 3G, because of it's unique central dispatch system, it would be possible on many plans from many providers to make unlimited calls 24/7 over 3G while only paying for the lowest available calling tier, and further redirect all TXT and MMS messages through a free service. Apple IS under strict contract provisions to not provide any application that permits bypassing billable services for the provider. All 3 parties are being VERY careful not to reveal this, as doing so by Google would get their app banned not only on the iPhone, but on all phones, including their OWN, and a provider mentioning this might let too many in the public catch on to the idea and cost them billions, and Apple will have a hard time getting NEW providers (like Verizon, who's "My 5" plan is by far the easist to exploit using Google's app), to sell the device. Of course, wether the app is on the device or not hasd no impact on using google voice to bypass toll charges, this can still easily be done, but having the app allows 2 thing not having it doesn't: A) get caller ID via the app instead of via the traditional caller ID service (getting free calls requires turning off caller ID forwarding from google voice), and B) wifi calling when cell signals are weak/not available.

  35. Joe M

    Rotten to the core

    Many years ago I made a lot of money and had lots of fun with a trusty Apple II writing, believe it or not, medical and pathology equipment control applications.

    When the Mac finally arrived (after the Apple III and Lisa got their just deserts) I planned to transfer my software to the new and exciting platform. Without going into the gory details, I was at every stage hindered, frustrated and ripped off by an organisation filled from top to bottom with smug, arrogant, fuckwits who knew nothing about customer relations and who thought that I should be grateful that they were even talking to me let alone deigning to sell me one of their new Marvellous Machines.

    Needless to say I told Apple to get stuffed and since then, after buying well over a hundred computers of all kinds for my businesses and family, I never again touched an Apple PC.

    From the above article it looks like nothing's changed over at cloud Cupertino cuckoo land!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Apple core

    Nasty products, nasty business practices, better avoided.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    @Not That Andrew

    The The Sherman Antitrust Act (obviously only applicable in the US) *would* apply here if Apple had a significant share in the mobile handset market place. They don't. Not even close. There is no grounds for an accusation of anti-trust. As someone else pointed out, don't like iPhone? Buy something else, The Pre is out soon, and the next generation HTC Android handsets look good too, as does the Samsung one, if the ever manage to release it. As for the name calling, you just look stupid cause you got it wrong.

  38. B 9

    I'm a Mac lover, but . . .

    Sorry, but Apple is wrong to interfere with any apps approval unless it is a security/malware threat, based on fraud or violates a terms of service agreement with the wireless carrier (I don't like the terms either, but you signed the contract and agreed to those terms.) Other than that they need to stop being a gatekeeper of duplicate functionality or morality. Let the customers decide those with their wallets.

    I love Apple products and agree that Apple's unconventional approach of having some control of hardware and software does have merit, but Apple has crossed the line with some of its app store behavior.

  39. Martin 6 Silver badge

    @I really don't understand the problem(s) here...

    Mainly because apple called it a phone - which mean the FCC get to play. The FCC like interoperability, that's what makes a phone so useful - the ability to call other people without them having to have the same model of phone.

    It's not an anti-monopoly investigation, it's not the FCC approving apps - it's the FCC asking Apple if ATT are blocking certain other telecom providers.

  40. Eddy Ito

    RE: Apple's right to say FU

    "Where does the US gov't have the right to determine what app a corporation should allow"

    From that FDR guy, you remember, the President who bitch slapped the Supremes into being his personal arse lickers. In case you forgot, they can and will tell you exactly what to do and when to do it. If you would like to look it up kindly see Wickard v. Filburn and Gonzales v. Raich. Oddly enough, so many people are fooled into loving a guy who prolonged the depression far longer than necessary and robbed them of so many basic rights. But hey, he gave us So-So Security. I guess a switch in time does save nine but fucks the rest of us.

  41. ElReg!comments!Pierre
    Jobs Horns

    Re: "Apple, who own the iPhone"

    Missing "s" appart, I kinda thought that once they had taken my hard-earned, the precioussss was mine, all mine? Or are they just licencing the darn thing?

    Actually the whole "Apple store-only" policy is already very much on the borderline to illegalland, they got off the hook by saying "it's only to ensure maximum smoothness and shininess" -which was bollocks from the start, they should have said, like "installing any non-approved app will void the warranty" or sumfin, instead-, but then they started rejecting apps for entirely different reasons (such as "we don't approve of boobs or anything distantly related to sex". They do seem to like farts very much though. Apparently the Turtle-Necked One is asexual, but does have an arsehole). So they should darn well be spanked. Imagine what would happen if the Big Bad MS prevented people from running OpenOffice or FF/Opera/whatever on windows? MS didn't do that, they just used bundling, and even then they are being spanked (and rightfully so). Now time for Jobs and co to learn that their pixie-juice-powered business is not entirely above the law, either.

  42. fluffy

    Mismatched percentages

    I think the whole 95% approval/20% rejection thing is a simple case of vague wording. I took it to mean that of the 80% of apps which are approved, that approval comes within 14 days for 95% of them.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    It's Apple

    who gives a fuck???!!

  44. E_Nigma

    Re: Apple's right to say FU

    "This is how a free market operates." No, telling people (who are not your employees) what they can and cannot not produce, or else they may take their business elsewhere, was how guilds used to operate in the dark ages before there was a free market.

    Also: "This is pure BS and part of some larger agenda."? I didn't know Apple fanboys had a tinfoil-hat division?

  45. Steen Hive


    "(not your iPhone, you're just a licensee...)"

    Fucking hell. You have a serious cognitive disorder. Please seek treatment.

  46. Not That Andrew

    Addendum to monopoly comment

    Of course it's always amusing when one monopolist complains about another monopolists behaviour (viz. every recent whine by Google).

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple is as Apple does

    Apple have been control-freaks for decades; this is more of the same. Just don't buy their shit - there's plenty of better choices at lower prices for every single Apple product currently in production.

  48. David Cuthbert

    I don't like Apple, either, but...

    Geez, this is more than a bit over the top, even for a rant. From this, I can only guess that Steve ran over Ted's dog, got his daughter preggers, or pissed in his Wheaties. And then rejected his app. :-)

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: When did apple become a monopoly?

    I hate people using this as a mitigating factor. If it's wrong for a monopoly to use some kind of business practice then surely it's wrong for any other business to use the exact same practice? The only difference is that, until you're a monopoly, the government doesn't usually care.

    The real problem with Apple's practice is that the App Store is a monopoly in terms of legitimate app stores for the iPhone, so if you want your phone's warranty to remain valid (and to avoid any litigation Apple may decide to bring against you) you have to put up with Apple's practices. And there are apps on the App Store that you can't get for any other platform, so if you want a particular app then you have to buy an iPhone to get it.

    The iPhone isn't a monopoly in the smartphone market, but the App Store is a monopoly in the iPhone ecosystem.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Why is this Apple's call?!?!?!?

    As long as the consumer is aware Google is scraping the contacts, who the carp is Apple to say "no, we cannot allow that".

    Those are MY fleeking contacts, and if I want Google to have them the Apple can just go f-off.

    Come up with a better reason for denying the app; the Government is nanny enough, I don't need Cupertino changing my diapers too.

  51. windywoo

    Drag them over the coals

    Apple always have this smug, superior attitude and waste no opportunity to badmouth Microsoft. Their own practices are almost always as controlling or restrictive but receive less attention since their marketshare is small. Let them squirm.

  52. Lyle Dietz
    Jobs Horns

    Standards of policy, not quality

    Nokia may be the majority player in the smart-phone market, but at lease you can install whatever you want on their devices.

    Application approval should only mean meeting standards of quality, not standards of policy beyond not being allowed to peddle malware.

  53. Pete 8

    Yer wot about

    the poor guy who wrote the Chernobyl virus, his software got blocked too!

  54. Jeffrey Nonken


    Are you off your meds? I almost understood that.


  55. Paw Bokenfohr

    Yes, and no.

    No, I don't want applications to be uploading all my contacts details to their servers; I operate on the assumption that although my friends and family are happy for me to have their addresses, phone numbers, email addresses etc etc that they (like me) probably wouldn't be happy if I just started sending that on to random companies, who may or may not use those email addresses in particular for marketing, and also such complete records do create a security risk for identity theft for those people should that database ever get hacked.

    But yes, I do see parallels here with Microsoft. What if, as has been alluded to here, Microsoft chose to lock Windows 7 before release in such a way as to give them the final say as to whether an application could be bought or could run on Windows. So, they could decide whether you could use OpenOffice, or Microsoft Office. Or perhaps, Skype / MSN / Yahoo / X-Lite?

    Firstly, there would be outrage, and if Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to do it (and they shouldn't) then so shouldn't Apple.

    Secondly, yes, some hackers would find a way round it (jailbreaking Windows in effect) but this isn't something that most would feel comfortable with and shouldn't be needed.

    Yes, I agree to an extent, if you don't like it look elsewhere, and yes I agree that some sort of reviewing system creates stability (but it's not the only way to do that!) and as Apple now have a dominant position in the smartphone arena (at least for now and the foreseeable future) just as Microsoft have a dominant position in the desktop OS arena [opens self up for flaming from fan-bois and penguin-fanciers] so should be subject to the same restrictions and requirements. It's only fair after all.

  56. Dave Fox


    A definition of monopoly:

    "Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service" (from, but there are plenty of others like it)

    You want an iPhone app? Your only source is the Apple AppStore - jailbreaking issues aside, as Apple deem these devices illegal anyway! The commodity/service in this case is iPhone applications, so it *is* a monopoly of sorts.

    Yes, you do have a choice to use a different platform (e.g. Android), but that market is currently very small compared to the AppStore.

    IMHO, even in its very worst excesses, Microsoft didn't leverage the same degree of control over it's platform (Windows) compared to Apple and the iPhone.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    imagine this was microsoft

    Apple fanboys like to condemn Microsoft but Apple brings monopolistic control freakery to unheard of levels.

    MS got billion dollar fines for bundling a browser with its O/S. What penalty for Apple for total stalinesque dictatorship of its platform that technically and legally locks out any attempts to bypass Apple's cashcow itunes store.

    I mean, imagine MS said from now on you can only install 'approved' apps via some MS store, from which it would rake in 30% of all sales revenue.

  58. Giles Jones Gold badge


    People buy and love games consoles, they have the same restrictions and approval process. Why is it a problem when you use a phone? (which is also subsidised).

  59. Dominic Tristram

    Same as consoles

    You all seem to be missing something. Sure, the iPhone is pretty much a general purpose computing device, but so is a games console these days. Can I write applications for an XBox 360 or a PS3 and distribute them without the approval of Microsoft or Sony? Of course not. Worse, I even have to pay them for doing it! How is this any different to the iPhone? In comparison with consoles, it's pretty easy to get an iPhone app out there to the public.

  60. SlabMan

    imagine this was microsoft - I don't have to

    @cap'n - I presume this was meant ironically - 'imagine MS said from now on you can only install 'approved' apps via some MS store, from which it would rake in 30% of all sales revenue'

  61. Anonymous Coward

    amanfromMars 1 - and Stinking Yarn?

    I had to look at that 6 times to tell if you said Yarn or Yam. What's sadder is that I was looking all that closely at all. Yams are nasty things; almost as nasty as iPoops.

    Good one, Ted. Here's one for you!

  62. The Indomitable Gall

    In defence of Apple...

    Defence rests.

  63. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Umm, should I care?

    You know, y'all have way too much time. I looked at the iPhone and other solutions, and I think the iPhone will do just fine for me - with the apps already in the app store.

    I don't really have the time to look at the meta level, +8 years of undemocratic crap have made me desinterested in politics unless it directly concerns me or I can make some honest income off it (a route usually barred by porkbarrel-sharing large consultancies who lump that in with the other, more "creative" work so not worth bothering with either).

    I have only decided to wait with buying an iPhone because I'm curious what the iNewthing is that Apple is supposedly launching next month. If that comes closer to what I need in a smart phone (notes, todo, email, calendar, contacts and some ability to hold reference material) I may go that route instead, a tablet format overcomes some of the limitations of the iPhone re. data entry (but I sure hope they'll put a decent Bluetooth stack in so I can hook up a laser keyboard if required).

    I know which telco I'll go with already, that's not an issue, but I have enough time to wait on this new thing, and even maybe wait for v2 or v3 to come out when all the v1 suckers have debugged the device (think iPhone, iPhone 3G - the 3GS appears to be the best so far when they're not exploding).

    So, in short: I choose devices for what they can do for me. I don't give a rat's rear end about belonging to crowds or being fashionable or less evil or whatever (scratch that surface and all you find is hubris anyway). If it delivers what I want for as long as I want it, fine. If it doesn't I should have done my research and testing better.

    Back to the app: did you really want this app? Fine, give 'em hell. If not, haven't you got anything better to do? (note the implied irony of me writing this comment in that context :-))

    So there.

  64. Jim in Hayward

    Good for Apple! Bad for Google!

    ""The iPhone user’s entire Contacts database is transferred to Google’s servers"

    Hell no! I won't go!

  65. Franklin

    Apple actually doing right?

    Now hang on a minute, here...I think so many folks get so caught up in schadenfreude glee any time Apple is deemed to have done something evil that they sometimes miss Google being evil.

    Is Apple opaque and strong-armed about the apps it approves? Sure. Is Google evil with the data it collects and stores about all its users? You bet.

    In this particular case, if Apple did in fact fail to approve Google's app because Google's app copies the user's contact list without informing the user, hey, I say score one for Apple. I don't know about you guys, but I don't cotton to any app developer copying my data off my phone and onto their servers; especially if I'm not notified and given an option not to let it happen. Who here thinks that's a good idea?

    In all honesty, that sounds like a damn good reason to deny approval for an app to me...

  66. BarryA

    Loved this...

    I loved this article. I read lots of techie websites and they mostly have a mix of fanboi's and non fanboi's but Ted takes the biscuit. and I love it.

    It's true that I don't like apple, all for the reason of taking developer free will away. this is what makes other platforms (unix, windows) great. I have a HTC Hero and I can do what ever I god damn want with it.

    Oh and for the peep who wondered about the LSD part, watch 'pirates of silicon valley' very informative if not completely true.

  67. Gil Grissum


    This article and others like it are the reason I read THE REGISTER. You can't get this kind of perspective any US press. The US press fawns at everything apple does and everything Apple produces like a teenaged girl screaming at the Beatles when they got off the plane at the Airport for the first time in the US.

  68. asdf

    wtf on the political hacks posting

    >From that FDR guy, you remember, the President who bitch slapped the Supremes into being his personal arse lickers

    What is with right and left wing nuts pushing their worldview into everything they do? For every example they bring up about one side you can bring up a perfectly valid on the other (for this poster lets talk about how Teddy had to break up pure capitalist right wing trusts in the first place because the Gettys, Carnegies, etc were raping the American public). The true villians in life want us to pick an arbitrary side and fight so we ignore what they are doing (like the scene in Gangs of NY where they get the gangs to fight so they won't question the civil war draft). This is also why public discourse, in the US at least, has broken down and is an ominous sign for all.

  69. Mr Ian
    Thumb Up

    Jolly good!

    Cheers Ted, 'twas a fun read.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Welcome Back, Ted

    Thought we'd lost you there. You'd gone all pissy nice 'n shit.

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