Steve Jobs' Email Shows Apple Changed In-App Purchasing Rules Specifically To Retaliate Against Amazon

from the oops dept

In the ongoing legal fight between Apple and the DOJ over how Apple will be punished for violating antitrust law concerning ebooks, the DOJ has presented one interesting bit of new evidence: an email from Steve Jobs, in which he flat out tells Phil Schiller to change how in-app purchases work solely to punish Amazon for daring to suggest that it's easy to switch from an iPhone to Android, since your Kindle books show up in both places.
In case you can't read that, it involves Schiller complaining to Jobs and other top Apple execs about a Kindle TV ad that shows someone buying an ebook via an iPhone and having it appear on an Android phone as well. He then notes:
While the primary message is that there are Kindle apps on lots of mobile devices, the secondary message that can't be missed is that it is easy to switch from iPhone to Android.

Not fun to watch
Less than an hour later, Jobs replies with a suggestion:
The first step might be to say that they must use our payment system for everything, including books (triggered by the newspapers and magazines). If they want to compare us to Android, let's force them to use our far superior payment system. Thoughts?
That's pretty damning, as it shows the decision had little to do with reasonable choices for consumers, and a lot to do with punishing a competitor.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    sehlat, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    Well, what did anybody expect?

    It's been pretty plain for a long time that, in Mr. Jobs' mind, it was HIS world and the rest of us were born to rent it from him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    blaktron (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    I think this is a big part of 'entrepreneurial spirit' that we all look so fondly on. The willingness to do ANYTHING to protect your 'baby'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    Figures...

    .

    It is exactly this kind of "Prick" behavior that keeps me from -ever- having an iTunes account, even though I own several Apple IOS based devices.


    I deeply resent walled gardens.


    .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 3:01pm

    Wait..

    Wouldn't that flood the e-book market if Apple's purchasing system was fully interchangeable with Amazon's?

    I ask this because doing that was one of the the main cause of the North American Video Game Crash of 1983. The Colecovision could play Atari 2600 software natively and all you needed was a hardware adapter to for the differing pinouts. Oh sure it's good for the consumer, but that also needs balance with making a profit off of licensing.

    I really cannot justify the words shown though. Personally though, at that time, the Kindle Fire was a terrible product unless you decided to root it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    apauld (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 3:12pm

    I really

    can't remember the last time I've read an article that made me want to buy any apple products. Even positive reviews always seem to have some catch that puts me off. And I loved my apple IIc with it's 1200 baud modem back in the day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 3:12pm

    Say one thing, imply another

    'let's force them to use our far superior payment system.'

    Yeah, if a system is really superior, you don't have to 'force' your customers to use it as opposed to what your competition is offering, they'll chose to do so on their own.

    Now if it's worse on the other hand...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    Type of attitude...

    Historically speaking, that's the same type of crap that got Steve Jobs ousted from Apple in the first place.

    He was initially booted from the Lisa project (named for his daughter) and so to get revenge he poached both former Xerox STAR and current Apple staff...some of the latter were working on the Lisa. It's when his obsession with a quiet appliance got the better of him with the Apple III that got him fired.

    Other things about Steve Jobs people really didn't like is that if he didn't like your idea, he would totally ignore you. That attitude sparked the development of the Macintosh II series after his ouster.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    I dont see how using one payment system over another would prevent a book from showing up on a different system.

    It would still be registered on your amazon account that you purchased a book.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    Re:

    This isn't 'entreprenurial spirit." This is acting as if you own your customers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Alana (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Well, what did anybody expect?

    Anything to stop competition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 3:21pm

    Re: I really

    My family's first computer was a Mac Plus. My dad being a teacher, the bitmapped typeface GUI made it 100 times easier to make tests. Our first CD-ROM attached to to via SCSI and my old man had to basically install 4MB of RAM to support the CD-ROM drive and the game that was bundled with it...Cosmic Osmo.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Say one thing, imply another

    The purchasing system for both Anazon and iBooks were as good as each other. Amazon itself had fairly cruddy hardware to read e-books on.

    Keep in mind that by this time, Steve Jobs was having his first treatments chemo therapy done and they gave him steroids so his body wouldn't shut down. This makes a person crotchety and downright squirrelly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    That Crazy Freetard (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Say one thing, imply another

    Steve Jobs' words there. What would that say if he didn't fully believe(even falsely so) that it was completely superior in every way?

    Let alone the fact that Jobs was an arrogant douche.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 4:59pm

    Oooh. lets stop living in the past and play blaming games concerning who said what and why what they did to each other.

    Let's just rejoice and be glad that bastard is dead.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 5:35pm

    And people wonder why I never got an iphone or ipad.

    That i stood for Steve Jobs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 5:53pm

    Re:

    In spite of his attitude, it was his vision to get an easy to use home computing appliance into the home computer market. My avatar resembles the 512K Mac...which is the predecessor to the original. The original Macintosh did raise the bar in affordable home computing. It only had 128KB of RAM and had yet it had a fully bitmapped GUI which is something to be said.

    So while I don't blame you or judge you for not buying an iPhone or iPad, I will condemn anyone who might judge him as selfish without looking how the original Macintosh affected the world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 5:54pm

    Spying on Email

    Is that not a bit too much NSA for you Masnick ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re:

    *...which is the successor of the original.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 6:04pm

    Re:

    Jobs had his good and bad moments just like every other person the tech business (well save Steve Wozniak...who...well let's face it, he's his own freaking category of awesome that separates him from everyone else). That "bastard" (as you put it) was a major influence in the technology world when he and Woz founded Apple Computer. Apple's Apple I was the first computer that didn't require some sort of RGB monitor or a converter for display output.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 6:36pm

    I definitely don't hate steve jobs, but yeah, these kinds of laws hinder creativity and progress, not enhance them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re:

    uh, ya he was, vindictive too, among many other things

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2013 @ 12:23am

    Response to: blaktron on Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    Which was the point made in 'Risky Buisiness': you have to do whatever it takes however illegal or immoral to succeed in business. Its only when Tom Cruise offers the Harvard Professor a bribe to be accepted into Harvard Business School does the professor deem Cruise evel enough to be a modern business man. Its an idea that really spread fom the 80s.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2013 @ 2:56am

    Re:

    If you force somebody to pay you and only you it doesn't matter what they do after the fact does it?

    That is what he meant by "forcing to use our superior payment system", it doesn't matter in what hardware you conduct the sale Apple would get a cut, further if the other side is forced to use that and can't use another they also get boxed in and have to listen to the demands of the payment system dude meaning the payment system master also gets vetting powers.

    Get it now?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    blaktron (profile), Aug 24th, 2013 @ 6:41am

    Re: Wait..

    Hey, I've read a few of your post now, and I have a general comment to you. There's nothing wrong with liking apple, they are a cool company, but you are making arguments that are based on a misunderstanding of history and some bent timelines. For example: the kindle fire didn't exist in 2010, and the iPad was only a year old with precious few competitors. Apple's payment system was considerably better than Googles at the time, a fact fixed in 2011.

    Your history below is also fairly inaccurate and seems a bit based on bio movies, and all this ties together to give you a bit of a fanboyish zeal and makes your arguments easily dismissed. Which is too bad because even if I disagree they are well articulated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 24th, 2013 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Wait..

    I never said anything about Google. The letter in the article pertained to Amazon's Kindle Fire payment system. I never said I disliked Apple..I grew up on the Macintosh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Shon Gale, Aug 24th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Oh Noooooooooo! Competition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    someguy70 (profile), Aug 24th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    what's more fun is that we now have some Apple exec's email addresses. EECB!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2013 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re:

    That's a complete lie. Amazon has a choice, either use Apple's IAP for eBooks, or not offer any eBooks for sale through their app. They chose the latter. It just means you have to purchase your books using Safari instead of the app. Ideal? No, but why should Amazon get a special dispensation that no other app maker gets? Because they had a monopoly on eBooks at the time?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 24th, 2013 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Say one thing, imply another

    This makes a person crotchety and downright squirrelly.


    Yes, but Jobs has been crotchety, squirrelly, and a general asshole for at least his entire adult life, according to pretty much everyone who spent time with him. You can't blame it on the steroids.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 24th, 2013 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re:

    That neither makes him less of a bastard, nor justifies his bastardness.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 24th, 2013 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re:

    I will condemn anyone who might judge him as selfish without looking how the original Macintosh affected the world.


    I'm confused as to why these concepts should be related to each other? Did the Mac have a huge affect? Undoubtedly (not for the better, in my opinion, but that's a different discussion).

    Does that mean he wasn't selfish? No, it doesn't speak to that one way or the other.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    Re:

    Won't do you any good as Phillip Schiller was ousted after iOS6 release and Steve Jobs is dead.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    DinDaddy (profile), Aug 25th, 2013 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re:

    Forstall was ousted. Schiller is still there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    jobtardis1, Oct 30th, 2013 @ 11:47pm

    hi friend..
    first of all ,thanks for posting this useful blog.its informative .I had gain some new information from your blog....
    Job Openings in Amazon

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This