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.