That being said, in the Pebble case, I think it makes the user experience worst for the user. I.e. if I have a pebble watch and am looking for an iphone app that play well with it, I'd want to see the name in the description/meta-data.
I think it's different than saying "Also on Android" because this is a totally different device. I.e. saying it's on another smartphone doesn't add value to the description, but saying it supports some hardware device does.
It seems like Apple is doing that as a way to kill competition and promote their own watch, which is fair from a business standpoint. But as a user, I don't like that approach of forcing everything into the Apple ecosystem. I got tired of that 2 years ago and switched to android, haven't looked back since.
It's nowhere near fair. It's extremely anticompetitive. This is the kind of behavior that gets a company in trouble with the FTC.
Indeed but Apple is aware that the FTC isn't likely to punish them enough that the behavior will be a net negative.
If only the Federal Government would be as serious about "Sending a message" on antitrust as they are about low-mid level drug dealers, this kind of thing would be a lot more rare.
My recommendation to any one developing for apple devices is be ready to be blocked or kicked out of the app store if you are too successful. As apple will enter the market and if they do they will start applying rules they were ignoring earlier as those were selling devices for them but now they don't need you as you are a competitor so out you go.
That makes it correct game theory, Apple has to do it because every other company does it. So it's necessary, but that doesn't make it fair.
So apparently the FTC won't punish them enough for it to be a net negative. Oh well, I guess that's it then. No one else has responsibility, right?
We have responsibility. The good news is, you don't have to work hard at it. If you want to punish apple for this, just stop buying their shit. It's actually easier than not doing it!
If your company has 10% of the market, and the rest has 1% each, you can still be slapped for antitrust if you start using that position as leverage in a different market.
And then you have Google, which has been taking quite a bit of flak from Europe lately.
An antitrust case can still be levied for conspiring to become a monopoly (as Microsoft did with its strongarming of OEMs combined and its bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows). Apple has even run afoul of that at various times (like when it got dinged for its monopolistic behavior regarding e-books; it certainly didn't have an actual monopoly, but that still fell under antitrust regulations).
"Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issued his findings of fact on November 5, 1999, which stated that Microsoft's dominance of the x86-based personal computer operating systems market constituted a monopoly" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft_Corp...
A company does not have to be the sole supplier in a market to be considered a monopoly in the eyes of the law.
> Apple has even run afoul of that at various times (like when it got dinged for its monopolistic behavior regarding e-books; it certainly didn't have an actual monopoly, but that still fell under antitrust regulations).
But that case didn't just involve Apple. It also involved the oligopoly of book publishers, who worked with Apple to engage in price fixing against Amazon.
With that said...
> Microsoft's dominance of the x86-based personal computer operating systems market constituted a monopoly
If you read further in the paragraph you quoted, you'll find that Microsoft was specifically engaging in monopolization (i.e. the process of becoming a monopoly), which was the specific reason why it got dinged. It also states the and in there - that they had taken measures to disrupt attempts to counter their monopolization.
This analysis is consistent with the Sherman Antitrust Act (the law under which Microsoft was cited), specifically Section 2: Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony [. . . ]". It's also consisted with the Sherman Antitrust Act's intent, as specified by its authors (George Hoar: "... [a person] who merely by superior skill and intelligence...got the whole business because nobody could do it as well as he could was not a monopolist..(but was if) it involved something like the use of means which made it impossible for other persons to engage in fair competition.").
This isn't even mentioning the failure of the court to recognize that there were viable altneratives to Windows that, in their words, "a significant percentage of consumers world-wide could substitute for Intel-compatible PC operating systems without incurring substantial costs". GNU/Linux (which was designed for "Intel-compatible PC"s to begin with), three of the four mainstream BSDs (NetBSD, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD), OS/2, and a variety of other operating systems existed at the time of that ruling. The only way the ruling's rationale would hold true is if they interpreted "Intel-compatible" to mean "Windows-compatible", in which case the ruling is directly applicable to Apple's behavior now (since Apple - like Microsoft then - is attempting to monopolize the application ecosystem of iOS; if Microsoft can get dinged for monopolizing a specific market segment, then so can/should Apple). In this case, Apple is "attempt[ing] to monopolize" smart watches within the the iOS application market (just like how Microsoft "attempt[ed] to monopolize" browsers within the Windows application market). The difference is that Apple's attempts are much more obvious.
> That still leaves us with Google, which (as far as I know) is not considered a "monopoly" by any measure of the term.
I don't know how you've come to this conclusion. It is very reasonable to argue that Google has a monopoly on internet search. Whether they are engaging in antitrust is more unclear, but they wield an amount of power in the search market that no other company even gets close to.
For example, Microsoft got in trouble for pre-installing IE on Windows because they had monopoly in the OS market. If they didn't have that monopoly, they would not have been penalized.
These are all anti-competitive behavior that will get one smacked by Federal regulators without being a monopoly.
> Doing an anti competitive practice is legal if you don't have a monopoly?
A practice being anti-competitive (in a legal sense) depends on the act being done by a company that is a monopoly, or part of an oligopoly.
For example, a company giving their product away for free is not illegal per se. Say, as part of a promotion, in order to get their product in consumer's hands instead of a competitor's product. In a healthy market, this is a valid way to do business.
But, if the company that decides to give their product away for free is a monopoly, and the result of that act is squashing what little competition might exist or is entering the market, then this same act (giving the product away for free) is illegal.
If we believe in what we write, then we should punish them.
This behavior may get them in trouble with the FTC, but it's also not likely to be very popular in the market. I get if they want a "premium" experience with the Apple Watch, but they shouldn't block other devices. The Apple Watch should be able to win on its own merits; the wearables space is still small enough that IMO any competition should be welcomed as it drives the whole market forward.
Abusing a stranglehold or monopoly will eventually draw the ire of regulators. Just ask Microsoft or the EU.
What is and isn't OK is something that will probably be decided in court. I hope this kind of anti-competitive measures do get some kind of regulation in the app-stores/ecosystems space that large mobile players have crafted over the past few years, because they could easily stiffle competition from their current dominant positions.
> Abusing a stranglehold or monopoly
Apple has a "stranglehold" on what exactly? I think you're just using hyperbolic words.
> I hope this kind of anti-competitive measures do get some kind of regulation
How about a little patience instead? How about not buying Apple products? Let's get the pitchforks out and demand the government punish these companies because they're inconveniencing us, or give it enough time and let consumers sort it out. Look what happened with Internet Explorer. Does it dominate the market anymore?
I am not convinced that this practice is worthy of concern. I don't think that a short-term predatory pricing loss incurred by a dumper can ever be recovered. This opinion is based mostly on the personal belief that the substitution effect is far greater than most economists care to admit, particularly when the potential substitution is to not buy anything at all.
You can't dump alfalfa to bankrupt existing hay growers and then make a killing by raising alfalfa prices once you dominate the market. Why? Farmers will feed their livestock gummy bears. And then they will plant their own damned hay crops at the very next available opportunity. The net result is that you go bankrupt, too, because you took a huge loss right before killing your own market.
This sort of thing is business as usual at Apple.
I disagree even with that. If an app runs on other platforms, that means you can use it yourself on other devices you may have lying around, or recommend it to others, which allows you to collaborate in using it socially (actual social features or just discussing how to use it, and so on). Few household and friend groups will be entirely on one platform or another. It also gives you the option of moving to that platform in future. That is useful to many customers. It's obvious that the reason those kind of notices are prevented is to stifle competition.
Google are currently being taken to the cleaners by the EU for something wholly analogous to this.
I can imagine the chaps in Brussels rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of getting their hands on all the dodgy offshore cash that Apple have got piled up in Dublin.
You can't exploit a monopoly if you don't have one to begin with.
If they had dominant share, and this behavior and massive profit?
Yeah, that's borked up for sure and people are being over exploited.
But they don't have that dominant share, meaning their path is a clear choice, and it's clearly competing with others who operate differently.
The thing is, Apple sells a managed experience. Apple also adds a lot of value, and they ask for that in their pricing, and the managed experience means they can command high margins for the whole solution.
As much as people don't like that, it's a perfectly viable market offering.
That it's not getting dominant share means the other ways of doing things are competing nicely.
As for who makes money and who does not, that's a business problem.
The general purpose market offerings tend to race to the bottom quickly. Margins are thin, share high.
Apple doesn't want to do that, instead offering a different vision, and it's high margins are worth it.
Nobody is trapped with Apple. They have lots of alternatives to choose from.
That means people like Apple, and will pay for the value Apple adds too.
Capitalizing the company like that means they have funded not only the current products, but the development and means for future ones. And Apple makes good products that target some very specific niches.
Other players can and should add value and start asking for it like Apple has for a very long time now.
Heck, they started that with the Apple ][ computer. Given it's overall capability, it was priced pretty high relative to others, but it was also a very high value package. That machine ran from what? late 70's to mid 90's?
Apple has made a business doing niche, high value, high margin products. They get to do that.
They are not a monopoly, and that's why they get to do that.
I don't get the reasoning here. It seems to go something like this:
- "monopoly" is bad
- Apple is bad
- Therefore, whatever Apple is doing, we should call that a monopoly. They're both bad, and all bad things are the same thing.
We have monopoly-suppressive legislation because we're afraid that monopolies will do certain things. If you want to extend the sense of "monopoly", as used in monopoly-suppressive legislation, you need to show (or, heck, at least claim) that your new "monopolies" pose the same risks as the old monopolies. If it's just that you don't like the new things, and you want to see them suppressed in the same way that monopolies are suppressed, say that instead. We can send people to jail for rape, and we can send people to jail for vandalism, but in order to jail people for vandalism we don't need to say that vandalism is actually a type of rape.
Microsoft took on the bulk of the financial and research hurdles in bringing Pebble support to Windows Phone, but the Pebble CEO said more or less "fuck you, I hate Microsoft because reasons" and shuttered the deal: http://www.windowscentral.com/pebble-microsoft-and-what-coul...
Without having done any kind of structured data gathering and analysis, my intuitive impression is that it is not all that unlikely that a finding of market power for Apple in the smartphone market could be supported, and that therefore anticompetitive leveraging of its position in that market to build a stronger market position in the smart watch market could be an antitrust violation.
One of the other comments here argues for it being "the market for iOS apps", which is far narrower, and seems way too narrow to me. If Apple built the device, and the OS, and the marketplace, of course they're going to have a monopoly there. Just like Walmart has a monopoly on things sold at Walmart.
A definition of the market that seems sensible to me would be the "mobile device apps" market. There, Apple is one of two players with any significant market share. It's not a monopoly, but it's probably enough "market power", in the antitrust sense, to draw scrutiny from regulators.
I'm not sure that this is as innocent as it might sound. Walmart exercises plenty of market power, unethically if not illegally, to make sure that it has a monopoly on some of the things it sells. (By way of comparison, would you expect that, say, Target of course has a monopoly on things sold there? Maybe you would, and I've misunderstood your language.)
If you have set yourself up as the sole gatekeeper for selling apps in your walled garden, you accept legal responsibility in that role to maintain a level playing field. If you don't like it, don't put up the walls and compete at being the best flower in open parkland.
No, not just like it. Walmart does not exclusively sell goods that require a Walmart product to use. That distinction makes the comparison not very similar at all.
I'm not a lawyer, but isn't that roughly compatible to the Microsoft/Netscape situation?
...and in an hypothetical lawsuit this will just turn in favor of Apple.
Cross-platform is the exact value-prop for a great number of apps.
Apple doesn't like this because it exposes one of their own apps' weaknesses.
Except for all the cross-platform IM apps out there where it does add value. People want to know whether their friends could also use a certain app so they can talk to each other.
Being less restrictive on the users future smartphone choices if they want to keep using the app is, for osme users, a valuable fact about a product.
Can Apple do this? Not if it was deemed a monopoly. The numbers don't show it as such. Should it act this way? This one non-Apple user hacker that doesn't feel the devices fit me personally and doesn't like the actions of the company for the past 35 years, says no. Consumers seem to say yes by their desire to support and purchase their devices.
This means more manufacturers and designers won't necessarily want to make them for iOS possibly. I don't think this would concern Apple. It is also hard to not follow the money that is available in the iOS world. So further straining in the developer with Apple relationships continue.
I would much rather go to a web site that specialized in covering Pebble apps. The rankings, reviews and comments would be more relevant to my interests. Even simply doing a web search can provide this type of information. Why does the AppStore need to be cluttered with it?
5 years ago the AppStore was like a Walmart or Target -- big store with lots of items for sale but not so big that you can't walk around and find what you want. Today the AppStore is more like a big mega mall. If you know what type of item you want it's a waste of time to just randomly walk around browsing hoping to stumble on to it.
I really hope those were typos, because if this is a deliberate attempt by Apple to silence competition in the marketplace it manages, then this is almost certainly unethical from a business standpoint.
It would be equivalent to Amazon banning Roku or Apple TV or Chromecast sales right after announcing the Fire TV.
And you just made my decision easier.
My experience with both has me missing Android overall, the only reasons I am on an iPhone currently is for mobile development and because I am on a legacy family plan on Verizon combined with Verizon Android phones being polluted with garbage software & being more locked down than their counterparts on other providers.
Some prefer Apple's curation of the experience though. Some don't like configuring their devices to their liking and want an out of the box ready experience, even if it means sacrificing on some UX.
You never tried the swipe from the edge for back ?
My Nexus 4 died and I used iPhone 5 for a month. Couldn't stand it, and bought a Nexus 5. To each his own.
Of course, that's just, like, my opinion, man, but having used both, the marginal (if any) advantages of the iOS ecosystem come nowhere near balancing out the massive downsides, for me at least.
To each his/her own.
I think consumers need more choice!
So you rather switched to a system where there's a Google Services component that sends your location every 60 seconds (unless device is set to "GPS only") and gets updated without your control ?
Apple's anti competitive behavior puts Microsoft of the 90s to shame.
That's the underlying problem here. Unlike with their desktop products, Apple's mobile products have only one possible source of software (unless you break the phone's security and install Cydia); as long as that continues to be the case, the sort of shafting like what this topic is about will continue to happen without government intervention.
You're right, Apple is significantly worse.
Microsoft went out of it's way to make sure that competitors applications didn't work (DOS isn't done until Lotus 123 won't run). This sparked a development arms race wasting hundreds of hours of development time working around intentional compatibility bugs.
On the other hand, Apple sometimes just doesn't let your software run at all. No matter what. Because fuck you, that's why. Your company plays by Apple's rules and tithes to Apple or it dies on iOS. Oh, and Apple reserves the right to kill your compay's sales on iOS for any time, any reason, including stealing all your ideas and competing with you.
It might sound like double standard to you, but denying your awesome new airbnb for dogs app is not quite the same as denying Java.
Guys, do you dream of unicorns and fart rainbows all day? WTF?
There's not some kind of, "the impact has to be as large as when company X did it" rule.
Apple now has enough market share, especially in mobile, that the global impact is troubling.
Not really. Depending on the country, the iPhone has between 10 and 20% market share and they are shrinking month after month. Android is on its way to becoming a monopoly, for sure.
These are separate markets. Customers that want to buy software for their Apple-branded general purpose computers cannot buy Android apps, so there is no overlap between the markets. Software developers may choose to participate in both, but that means the have to create two separate products.
What matters is is if the customer can switch their business, and not the size of the respective markets which is what those iPhone market share numbers indicate.
When has Apple hindered a break-through technology?
PS: I'm a massive fan of Microsoft marketing and strategy and have owned a grand total of 1 Apple products in my life - an iphone 4. Just fyi.
Contemporary example: it's impossible (as in, disallowed by Apple's policies) to install a web browser with a rendering engine written in a memory-safe language on your iDevice.
Furthermore, there are inherent security risks; so it's easier to just lock it down until there is actually a problem.
Such a rendering engine does exist (Servo), and one can build a browser around it (and that will in fact happen). Just not on iDevices.
> The bigger problem is that you can't implement a JIT on iOS
You're not allowed to implement an interpreter either, if the code that you're interpreting is downloaded from the internet.
I didn't know the second point, but it's clearly there for the same reason; it's an easy way to stop apps from including new functionality and bypassing the review process.
And I wasn't talking specifically about their "no browser" or "no interpreter" guideline, just the sum total of requirements they have for iOS apps. The actual details of which exact requirement block useful things are not that important for purposes of addressing blumkvist's original question, which was how Apple's policies are more restrictive than those of Microsoft 20 years ago in ways that block objectively useful things.
I'm genuinely interested. I'm not a developer and don't know what that means. It sounds bad, but how does it stifle competition? Is Safari gaining an advantage? I used Chrome on my iphone4 and was pretty happy with it.
Apple benefits partially in terms of disallowing possibly-unsafe code (JS interpreters, for example) that they themselves did not author. But also from locking out competing browsers so their hardware is harder to commoditize...
In terms of stifling competition, it means there isn't meaningful competition on iOS in terms of features browsers expose to web pages. Browsers on iOS can have different user interfaces, but they all look more or less identical as far as web pages are concerned. (I say more or less because browsers can implement a custom network stack; just not a custom CSS parser or JS engine.)
So for example, if you want a browser on iOS that supports the "transform" CSS property without the "-webkit" prefix, you're out of luck. Apple's policies don't allow such a browser. This is not "break-through technology", of course. But a browser engine in a memory-safe language, with the resulting smaller attack surface, is. And it's disallowed by Apple.
Basically, the only browsers allowed on iOS are reskins of Safari. Technical competition is stifled that way.
> are you sure you're a developer? because this has been part of iOS submission guidelines for 4 years. (developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/#metadata)
I mean I really wouldn't put it past Apple to start enforcing this more aggressively because of the iWatch, but a forum post by some dev is hardly proof that Apple is intentionally rejecting Pebble-supporting apps. After all, let's look at another comment:
> By that logic, Apple should also reject Pebble's app.
Which they haven't done yet.
The only thing they are consistent about when reviewing iOS apps is being completely inconsistent. You cannot point to the acceptance of one app as evidence that some rule isn't being applied to another app.
Apple constantly rejects apps for claimed rule violations while allowing other apps through with identical violations. Apple frequently rejects app updates because of features which were in previous, accepted versions while claiming that the rule in question is not new. Apple frequently rejects apps for rules that aren't written down anywhere, which they insist are ironclad, and which disappear the moment you bring public attention to the situation.
It's like, Dr. Frankenstein is up in his castle doing some weird shit. Should we grab our pitchforks and torches, or should we see exactly what he's doing first? What if Dr. Frankenstein has been unleashing weird undead horrors upon the town at an average rate of once a week for the past seven years? At some point it becomes reasonable to just assume that he's up to the same stuff as usual.
> You cannot point to the acceptance of one app as evidence that some rule isn't being applied to another app.
This is something they won't even discuss if you question how other apps can have some feature they may not like. You could have the same exact feature, and you'll get rejected.
This is not a case of somebody breaking the rules and trying to say that the rules do not apply. This is a case of the rules suddenly being reinterpreted to mean something completely different from what they used to mean.
Imagine if you stepped on a worm and then got arrested for murder. Would it not be a reasonable thing to say, "uh, there's another guy stepping on worms right over there and you're not arresting him, so what gives?"
No, it isn't. The other guy is irrelevant; the fact of the matter is, YOU broke the rules.
While it is another example of a bad review, it's not necessarily an example of a ridiculous new practice by Apple. Maybe it is maybe it isn't, but 1 app is far from proof.
Yes, this is far from proof. But Apple has done stuff like this constantly since the iPhone SDK was first released. At some point, it becomes reasonable to stop giving them the benefit of the doubt, and assume that there's a good chance something bad is going on, just like the last thousand times.
If they roll it back, great! I imagine being called to task for a stupid decision will help make that happen.
I've never been involved with iOS, but from the various articles I've read, it sounds like there is a large team involved with approvals, their process is largely manual, their internal documentation is lacking, and they're probably missing simple things like checklists.
Just like every other rule/law in the world.
What matters is that some dev made a wild claim that Apple is actively denying Pebble apps for being Pebble apps, when in fact they just failed to follow the rules. That's all there is to this. That this story is as popular as it is is ridiculous. The headline is clickbaity as hell and just outright false.
They can and do say "All apps that do X are forbidden" while not taking down some apps that clearly do X.
None of this really matters though because the title/claim are still bogus.
Apple does not move quickly, or consistently, or sanely. The continued presence of the official Pebble app on the store is completely consistent with a new Apple policy of prohibiting apps that talk about Pebble. Apple often starts by simply rejecting updates, and the Pebble app hasn't been updated since February. When Apple does start going after existing app versions, it often takes weeks or months. For example, there were several stories from the past fall about apps that came up with novel uses for the new Today screen in iOS 8, submitted, got accepted, were in the store for a month or two, then were suddenly given the choice of removing the feature or being yanked because it turns out that they were going against the arbitrary rules about what you're allowed to do in a Today widget.
The guidelines state "3.1 - Apps or metadata that mentions [sic] the name of any other mobile platform will be rejected."
The poster states the app was approved previously just fine: "SeaNav US has previously been approved by Apple with no problem, we have had Pebble support in SeaNav for nearly 2 years" The poster gives no reason to believe the metadata has changed recently to mention Pebble.
Granted this is based on one example, but it seems unfair to say this was already the policy.
Here's a second example, the official Fitbit app, which does repeatedly mention the Fitbit device in the metadata. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fitbit/id462638897?mt=8
Many of them seem to be there as justification to choose from if they see something they don't like.
But regardless of whether it's evenly applied or not, I don't like their policy.
Their description is extremely vague.
Apple is a vile anti-competitive monstrosity. These jerks needed to be slammed with a lawsuit long before this one single example of their flamboyant and abundant anti-competitive behavior.
While Apple are being increasingly huge dicks with their ecosystem I think you'd be hard-pressed with an antitrust case because Apple does not have a monopoly (or even a majority marketshare) on mobile devices.
> [Merriam-Webster] of, relating to, or being legislation against or opposition to trusts or combinations; specifically: consisting of laws to protect trade and commerce from unlawful restraints and monopolies or unfair business practices.
It doesn't only apply to monopolies but it is a very good tool for dealing with them.
(yes, Twitter does just that, and yes, it's anti-competitive in my book).
Simply not being able to mention "Android" or "Android Wear" or now "Pebble Watch" is ridiculous. If I chose to buy an Android Wear or Pebble Watch, it's because I felt it was a better match for me... I still would have bought an iPhone (since I'm looking for iPhone Apps).
This is exactly what they've done.
I realize that. If you look at the parent, they were making the argument that it's not the same.
Don't they have long history of doing exactly that?
I think you want to say "anti-competetive", not "antitrust". Antitrust legislation is what is used against anti-competitive companies. But yes, otherwise you are absolutely right: Apple's behaviour is monopolistic and unfair and "vile" is not unjustified.
Microsoft was in a position of arguably less control in the late 90's and got a huge antitrust case brought against them. Apple is somehow getting away with wildly anticompetitive behavior (more broad than just this case) and for some crazy reason we are all supporting it because "that's the way it is!"
When Microsoft was the dominant OS, imagine Windows having a blacklist of applications you can't install because they advertised compatibility with Linux or Mac apps. People would riot. But we accept exactly the same behavior from Apple like it's totally fine.
Apple has nowhere near the market share that Microsoft has back in the 90's and if you don't like this decision you can take your money elsewhere. In the 90's you literally could not. It is a totally different situation.
You actually still could. There were plenty of non-Windows OEMs back then (SGI, Apple, and Sun are examples; all of them built desktops/workstations without Windows installed (instead using IRIX / Mac OS / SunOS/Solaris, respectively)).
In 1995, if you walked into a shop and said "I need a computer" you were shown a range of machines, all running Windows. It was hard to buy a bare machine without Windows unless you built it yourself. Various PC OEMs made noises about offering other OSes (or even creating their own) but Microsoft shut them down with licensing clauses.
The court cases eventually had the desired effect and now OEMs are free to offer Linux and ChromeOS machines as well as Windows. Took a long time though.
Historically this hasn't been a hurdle for litigation. However, the floral language I used isn't only a result of the App Store - it arises from the many instances of this type of behavior. Take the interaction between iTunes and iDevices as another example. Want to use Winamp to manage your music? Tough. Want to get apps from another store? Tough. Want to browse your phone files with your OS native file manager? Tough. Want to develop apps for the device on anything but a Mac? Tough.
Other companies were litigated for merely pre-installing software on their OS (even though alternatives could be installed at a later date). In many cases with Apple alternatives aren't a possibility whatsoever (unless you violate DMCA).
In order to be regulated under Anti-trust, Apple would need to have a monopoly on some market that isn't simply described as "their customers". The closest they came was iPod, but it looks like that hovered around 75%
So, would probably not fall under anti-trust.
I'm going to wait a little before passing judgement on this. Could just be a bad review/er.
I do feel sorry for these devs though, running to 'the press' is something Apple passive-aggressively warns you not to do. Their future app-approval life could be quite unpleasant after this.
Edit: I do not endorse the app store guidelines.
And Pebble works even when you don't have your phone with you, so it's more of a mobile platform than Apple Watch.
Can you elaborate on this? What language do they use?
“If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps.”
This obviously meant we had to drop support for Apple products and even for a small product like ours this has lost Apple hundreds of device sales from customers of ours purchasing other devices because of this.
While Apple won't give a crap about those few sales, at some stage, their provincialism will come back to bite them.
Just look at how far Apple has come since the original Apple I, directly aimed at the DIY market. These days, Apple locks down everything, tightly controlling what developers (and users) can and cannot do.
"Golden handcuffs" does not even begin to describe the level of restriction Apple exerts on the tech market.
CN = *.vanillaforums.com
If you use HTTPS Everywhere, you'll want to uncheck this specific site, remove the HTTPS part of the URL and reload.
PS - I love HTTPS Everywhere but it always surprises me just how many sites have broken HTTPS implementations.
If you expect http->https redirection to be the only valid path to a https site, then a MITM attacker would obviously disable that redirection because it's still done on the unsecure channel. This is the whole reason extensions like https everywhere exists.
They are advertising it. They have a web-server running on 443 open to the public, they aren't required to, but they choose to. They're also erroneously returning status code 200 (instead of 404 or 301).
> So, if you use an extension that randomly directs you to connect using a method the site operator never told you to use, expect problems.
Nothing "random" about it.
The site advertises that it has HTTP running on 80 and HTTPS on 443. So I have an extension which opts for 443 when status code 200 is returned as a first priority and then 80 as a backup. Google and Bing's search results do exactly the same thing.
If they don't want people to use HTTPS/443 then simply shut it down, problem solved. If you have to have 443 running for another site then return status code 404 (or 301).
The HTTPS port could just as easily be serving up an admin page for the forums, rather than the forums themselves.
> not a failure on their part, it's a failure of assumptions you or some software you utilize
No, it is a failure on their part. They're returning the wrong status code. The software I utilize checks that, they got it wrong. Return 404 instead.
A webserver listening on a specific IP on port 80 and serving HTTP traffic, but using name based virtual hosting (reading the Host: header) to determine what site to deliver. We'll say it's configured for emample1.com and example2.com.
The same webserver (or a different one, it doesn't matter) listening on that same IP, but port 443, and serving HTTPS traffic. Without use of some newer SSL/TLS/HTTPS protocol features (which aren't universally supported), the certificate needs to be served before any regular HTTP traffic is sent across the encrypted tunnel. Which cert do you serve?
You can argue that it's probably good practice to not have named based virtual sites on the same IP as SSL sites, or that if you access the SSL site with the wrong hostname it should respond in error, and I think you would be correct.
But agreeing on best practices doesn't mean the site is set up wrong, just that it could be set up in a more robust way. It my be set up in a perfectly valid configuration.
It's wrong to assume when you can access a site on port 80 that if that same IP address responds to port 443 that it should serve the same site.
> The software I utilize checks that, they got it wrong. Return 404 instead.
The software you use should be checking that the cert served matches the site requested, and not try to upgrade the connection to HTTPS if it doesn't.
Why are you making a request if they don't serve a certificate you accept? You're making the wrong request.
The world's switching to HTTPS-only setups anyway (particularly when deploying JSON APIs, which are all the rage nowadays). Might as well be ahead of the curve.
You really can't expect everything to work right when you aren't even offering the service that is being requested, can you?
So, yes, it is Apple being anti-competitive now that they have entered the same space as Pebble. Apple are attempting to kill off Pebble support within the iOS ecosystem. It appears Apple will only allow mentions of Apple Watch within the App Store and in screenshots, no other smart watches going forward.
Apple's review process is completely opaque to me. One time an app was rejected because the user signed in with a unique code instead of an email/password.. literally had to change the name of the textfield to "username" from "code" and added a password field that did nothing and it passed. Kafkaesque.
Under the same logic, pebble is just an laternative platform compatible with the system (IOS + SeaNav).
But either way that is a behavior that is characteristic of Apple and doesn't surprise me at all.
The anti-trust cases against Microsoft ultimately allowed Firefox, Opera, Chrome to flourish and eventually lead to the demise of IE's monopoly position.
I'd argue that Firefox, Chrome, and Opera did not flourish because of a court ruling, they did so because they were better in every sense than IE. Microsoft has never stopped anyone from downloading whatever browser they choose.
I don't know about you, but I've bought hundreds of ebooks from the largest ebook retailer on Earth - and it's not Apple.
There is way more nuance to it all than "do they have a monopoly or not" and there are a range of anti-competitive practices. There are also different laws in different jurisdictions of the US and abroad. The EU has a much stricter definition.
No it doesn't. That can attract an antitrust case, but it's not the only means of doing so.
> which Apple doesn't have (but Microsoft did have)
Microsoft didn't actually have a monopoly. They had a very significant market share, but there were still plenty of viable competitors.
Should Disney have control over what stores are on Disney Main St.?
iPhones are not the only choice, so if you don't like how they work, you can choose not to buy them (because they have significant competition).
The reason there are laws that limit monopoly behavior is because you wouldn't have that choice and it is considered a free-market failure that we want regulated.
Now maybe in some cases WalMart does demand exclusive right to sell something. But imagine they did it for EVERY. FUCKING. PRODUCT. I think people would get pretty pissed off. And rightfully so.
Apple can set rules for apps in their app store, just like Walmart can control the stock on their shelves. Walmart doesn't carry what you want? Go to Target. Apple doesn't allow an app you want? Go to Android.
But does that hold true even when the costs of switching is enormously high?
With Target/WalMart you don't have to re-buy a $650 phone to switch. You don't need to (maybe) switch carriers depending on needs or offers with all the hassle and fees that might entail.
You might have to re-learn an entirely new OS. How much time does that cost someone in lost productivity or just time in life?
Amazon.com and the App Store both seek to be places where you can find "everything" (in the context of their respective domains, of course). The difference, however, is that Apple's trying to redefine "everything" to mean "everything that doesn't compete with Apple", whereas Amazon has no problem selling things which compete against itself.
(not trying to troll you -- but I think you'd agree that they do, so it's not the freedom of the Internet. I do agree that there is a difference -- but I am having a hard time justifying it for myself)
If you must buy appliances from the KB Home App Store, is it ok to prohibit mentioning that an oven fits great in a Toll Brothers home as well?
Maybe it's because people relate better to the developers who are losing money, than the company who is controlling it. My bet is someone with a basic understanding of business and marketing would side with Apple, and everyone else would side with the little guy, even if the little guy isn't in the right.
Antitrust "monopolies" aren't monopolies in the sense of no other players, they are monopolies in the sense of practical lack of competitive pressure displayed through market power (also known as pricing power) which is the ability, within some -- potentially narrow -- range to raise prices without losing sales to competitors (hence "pricing power", but market power could perhaps also be demonstrated by being able to make other adverse changes without driving sales from the party with market power to competitors.)
In a sense, this does match the "no competition" definition, in that having market power indicates that while there may be other players -- or even bigger players -- in a named market, they aren't in a practical sesne actually acting as competitors in the sense of economic theory, because the goods are revealed by market behavior not to be substitutes.
Whether it's actually illegal is a question for a lawyer though.
I agree that they're unlikely to be spanked under antitrust rules--unless they end up dominating the smart watch market, in which case they'll be very vulnerable, but they're not there yet. But even if they don't fall under those rules, they're definitely under scrutiny.
Plus, Apple is definitely heading where Microsoft was: perceived as big enough to be the public's favorite piñata. That may ultimately be a bigger problem for them than any business realities.
> Specifically, -> your app <- and app description declare support for thePebble Smartwatch.
Are you really saying you would allow it to run just so that you can 'help the consumer'?
Businesses are in competition... that's how the market works.
Here's a better analogy:
Amazon sells set-top boxes. Apple TVs, Rokus, the works. They also sell HDMI sticks, like Chromecasts.
All of a sudden, they come out with a product called the "Fire TV". It integrates with Prime, and in comes in either stick or box form, depending on your preference.
All is well in the world.
But then, all of a sudden, Apple and Netflix and Google find that their Amazon product pages for Apple TV and Roku and Chromecast (respectively) aren't published anymore. When they ask Amazon about it, Amazon stubbornly replies with some rule in their ToS about mentioning competing products.
Is Amazon's behavior in this scenario ethical? Is it worthy of brushing off as "that's how the market works"?
This differs from your analogy by the order of events. In your analogy, your movie theater existed before the attempt to buy an ad for a competitor.
In the case of my analogy (and, indeed, in the case of what Apple's doing now), it would instead be akin to you running a TV station that runs ads for a theater, you opening up a theater of your own, and you then banning the ads of the other theater while running your own ads on the TV station you own.
Also, a theater buying a TV/Radio station and not allowing competing theaters to run ads is perfectly acceptable and realistic.
Overall, I'm failing to see your point. Not to be a broken record, but these are competing businesses. It doesn't really matter if you s/Apple/Amazon|Google/g and s/Pebble/Netflix|Roku/g, all you're really arguing is that a company doesn't have a right to control a marketplace that they OWN.
I get that choice is great for the consumer, and I totally agree. It's absolutely best to have the ability to choose the devices you want, have them interconnect, and to be able to run the software that you want on them. I also think there should be no war or crime, and that the 1%'s money should be spread out evenly over the population. I (shockingly) think that no one should treat ANYONE unfairly. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world.
As long as we allow competition between businesses, they are going to, well, compete. Just because one gets very large and popular doesn't suddenly mean the rules have to change for it.
A better analogy would be if Amazon suddenly refused to stock new Apple TVs and Rokus and Chromecasts in its warehouses and only stocked Fire TV devices, if we want to get all semantic about it.
> This whole uproar is about a single developer who had his app denied
There are multiple apps affected per the linked discussion.
> by a specific reviewer at Apple
No, by multiple reviewers on multiple occasions. Even appealing the decision results in the same response ("don't reference Pebble in your metadata").
> for a basic breach of their terms and conditions for putting Apps on the App Store
That's only being enforced for Pebble-related apps now that the Apple Watch has been released.
> The general consensus seems to be that a simple rewording (maybe not even having to remove the word 'Pebble') is all that he needs.
Apple's response (when SeaNav tried to appeal) was specifically to remove the word "Pebble". It's not a wording issue; it's an issue with that specific word existing in the metadata.
> Also, a theater buying a TV/Radio station and not allowing competing theaters to run ads is perfectly acceptable and realistic.
That's not what the more accurate scenario describes; you're still getting this backwards. It's the TV/Radio station buying/building a competing theater and preventing new ads from existing theaters that the corrected scenario describes.
> Just because one gets very large and popular doesn't suddenly mean the rules have to change for it.
Yes they do, per U.S. and European (at the very least; probably others are included) antitrust laws. Using one's market position to conspire to monopolize runs afoul of them.
And even if it weren't strictly illegal per se, it sure as hell doesn't mean that we should just lay back and let Apple do what it wants. What's the harm in calling them out on their dickery? A free market relies on an informed consumer base; such call-outs - at the very least - might put market forces in the consumers' favor for once.
I'm sorry, but I have to *sigh at that one. They don't have a monopoly on anything but THEIR OWN marketplace.
Anyway, have fun with your opinions man. I'm sure you're a bit hit at parties.
Apple has obviously gone to great lengths to make their walled garden a reliable and safe place for consumers who have chosen to buy their products. If you talked to Tim Cook or Jony Ive, I bet they would make a case that the best thing for consumers is to be entirely invested in the Apple ecosystem. After all, it DOES give you the most consistent experience.
So if you look at it from that perspective, who's right is it to go into a company and say, "No, that's not what's best for the consumer!" Obviously people like what they are getting, otherwise they would be defecting to Android in droves. Contrary to what some people are saying here, they DO have a choice.
Thinking through it logically, I just can't see any scenario where a company, no matter how large, should be forced to push a competitor's products.
The myriad of comments about how Apple "isn't really a monopoly" assume that horizontal monopolies are the only "real" monopolies, but vertical ones are just as dangerous and just as harmful in just as many situations.
may result in antitrust action against a monopoly.
> Lock-in costs which create barriers to market entry may result in antitrust action against a monopoly.
It's anticompetitive behaviour that suddenly becomes relevant if you're a monopoly.
Why not? They are influencing one market because of their control of another unrelated market.
Can you point where it is stated or the related point in the policy? Thanks