stories filed under: "gatekeepers"
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jun 13th 2011 3:28am
We've talked in the past about Apple's quite arbitrary approval process for apps via its walled garden, noting at times that Apple just likes to keep out competitive apps. At least one company is questioning whether or not this is legal. Via Hypebot, we learn that Simfy (often called the Spotify of Germany) has complained to German regulators that Apple has not yet approved its iPad app, despite having submitted it months ago. The company pointed out that Apple has already approved an iPhone app from the company, and it seems strange that it's been stalling so long on the iPad app. Of course, given the timing of the announcement of Apple's new iCloud music service, Simfy certainly seems to feel that this move was anti-competitive. Of course, on the flip side, that's what you get for relying on a mostly closed platform. Time for Simfy to see if it can figure out a way to make an HTML5 web app instead.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jan 25th 2011 11:18am
from the screw-you dept
One of the interesting questions we've been looking at for years is whether or not a business is an enabler or a gatekeeper. Being in the gatekeeper business can work for a period of time, but it's often difficult to sustain. Apple is an interesting company in that it certainly has elements of both, enabling in some areas, but being a very strict gatekeeper in other areas. As if to reinforce this point, Apple is apparently changing the screws on iPhones to make them much harder to open. Apparently, it's come up with a "pentalobe" design:
Not only that, but if you bring in your iPhone for repairs, Apple will replace the old screws with these new pentalobe screws to keep you from... well... screwing around. The whole thing seems really incredibly pointless. First of all, those who really want to open the phones will figure out ways to do so. I would guess that it won't take long for tools that work on such screws to hit the market. All this really does is frustrate iPhone owners by making life difficult for them. What possible good does it serve to have a non-standard screw system?