> There is no reason for the channel to be Apple's
If you had the option of buying apps through another channel, this wouldn't be a problem. Most people don't have much of a problem with any of the Android Market's policies, since you can install other apps or even other markets on your own phone if you so choose.
Why don't you just remove Apple's software and install your own?
You are correct that consumer EULAs haven't really been tested in court, but that is irrelevant to this discussion. This isn't about the EULA. Apple is not stopping you from putting a third party app store on the device. They are stopping you from putting a third party app store on the stock iOS. If you jailbreak, then you can put Cydia on it.
And who is this larger segment that benefits from this decision (besides Apple employees and shareholders)? Is there a group of people who hate to have the chance to use Readability?
The only viable channel at this point is Apple's. If there were a way to access non-Apple blessed applications without rooting your device, then people might not complain so much. Savvy consumers don't appreciate monopolies.
That said, Readability's claim that this "smacks of greed" is totally right. Apple is not acting in its users' best interest, because more than other moves, this actually affects their developers' business models, and it's going to drive high quality, innovative apps away from the App Store.
There are two viable moves Apple can make:
1) Allow subscriptions outside the app without requiring one in the app
2) Lowering the 30% fee for in-app subscriptions
Both of these options keep value in the App Store while providing Apple with some benefit. If they don't adopt one of these, the long term viability of the App Store is in jeopardy.
Comparing the iOS with a magazine is slightly disingenuous because the scale is much so larger.
I think all markets should involve a certain amount of freedom - and Apple's decision making process actively inhibits market freedom.
EDIT: iOS/App Store
The "global marketplace" is the one in which you can purchase a piece of hardware, install software of your choice on that hardware (albeit sometimes with a great deal of effort), possibly licensed from a third party (again, albeit sometimes with a great deal of effort).
Apple sells a service - they make it easier to install certain software on the hardware you purchased (from them, although that's irrelevant), to the extent of pre-installing iOS and various applications, and they facilitate discovery of individuals willing to license software to the owner of the hardware and transactions between said individuals and the owner of the hardware.
They are free to provide or not provide this service as they see fit.
If you really believe that Apple should provide this services gratis to developers as some kind of latter-day addition to the Bill of Rights, perhaps you should lobby the government to purchase the App Store infrastructure and oversee it instead?
All of his points map exactly onto TV stations. Is that large enough scale for you?
It's a bit naive to state that people have choice - because if you have a iOS based device, you (effectively) only have one place to make purchases. Jail-breaking and third-party software sources are beyond the reach of most consumers.
For all intents, if you have an iOS based device, the AppStore is your marketplace - and it is a marketplace which trades globally.
"All of his points map exactly onto TV stations. Is that large enough scale for you?"
A TV station purchases or licenses content on behalf of their customers. Apple doesn't operate in this way.
I honestly believe the most useful analogy is a 'marketplace' - however, if this is accepted, perhaps Apple's policies seem more disagreeable than they do if 'tv station' or 'magazine' is used as a comparison. Maybe this is why Apple's supporters seem unkeen to make the comparison?
"If you really believe that Apple should provide this services gratis to developers as some kind of latter-day addition to the Bill of Rights, perhaps you should lobby the government to purchase the App Store infrastructure and oversee it instead?"
I think Apple should be forced to allow third party App Stores.
If you think that's something most consumers would desire and are incapable of achieving, then go into business jailbreaking iPhones. You can install an app store while you're at it.
Again, they can't stop you. Open up a brick-and-mortar store where you jailbreak iPhones and put your own app store on the iPhone. Sell kits online.
I honestly believe the most useful analogy is a 'marketplace'
What does 'marketplace' even mean? If you're selling stock on the NYSE, someone's collecting vig. If you're selling consumer goods at a mall, someone's collecting rent. If you're selling something on Amazon, they're collecting vig. How does calling it a 'marketplace' support your argument when just about every privately owned 'marketplace' involves someone collecting vig?
- however, if this is accepted, perhaps Apple's policies seem more disagreeable than they do if 'tv station' or 'magazine' is used as a comparison. Maybe this is why Apple's supporters seem unkeen to make the comparison?
Apple supporter? I am an Android phone owner who is keen to know why you don't buy an Android device, and write apps for it.
What this all boils down to is that consumers are perfectly capable of escaping lock-in and installing whatever software for which they can get a license. However, they both trust Apple's imprimatur enough and value individual apps lowly enough that they don't. Consumers don't want <app> enough to venture outside of Apple's convenient payment and discovery service. You are attempting to disguise this reality by saying that Apple restricts the consumer's choice, but this is a canard. <App> is simply not compelling enough for most consumers to jailbreak their phones, or buy Android, to get it.
Users own the iPhones bought. Therefore Apple should either let users subscribe to third-party channels, or release their channel in the hands of users (i.e. let them approve or ban apps).
Otherwise, if there will ever come a day when Apple will have a monopoly on his hands, a big lawsuit will also happen.
And really, I can see why Apple wants to control their channel, but why should I be restricted to their channel only? Why should I jailbreak my phone, which is dependent on kernel / various other exploits and risk bricking my device and losing the warranty if I want to be freed from Apple's channel?
It's just another service, separate from the phone, you're free to use it, or not use it.
The answer to your why's is probably "because they can".
iOS is a platform for third-party apps. That's how it's now sold (right on their website: "The world’s largest collection of mobile apps").
That's a lock-in mechanism. Switching between phones with no third-party apps is a lot cheaper that switching between the iPhone and a Blackberry.
They could do this if they wouldn't have allowed any third-party apps at all; if the popularity of the platform for third-party apps wouldn't be one of the reasons iPhones are selling like crazy.
And I also don't get this apologetic behavior from people in regards to Apple's actions. Do you miss the 90s when all you could use and target was Microsoft's OS? Do you miss the whims of Microsoft and the iron grip they had on the industry?
What, do you feel too much freedom of choice now? You think it's unhealthy or something?