Don’t Be Fooled, It Isn’t a Walled Garden Its a Prison

by James R. Stoup Sep 29, 2008

Ok, here it is: Apple shuts the door on the sale of unauthorized iPhone applications. This story bothered me quite a bit when I first read it and the more I think about it, the more it bothers me. The gist of Apple's argument for regulating the App Store has always been that they have high standards and if you want to buy something from their store then you have to meet their criteria. Now, that criteria might be written in invisible ink on the side of a unicorn and thus subject to change at any moment, however that was the stated reason. Whether or not you like it or believe it, well, that isn't up for debate at the moment. The point is that if you want to download or purchase something from Apple's store of officially approved software, then it has to meet certain criteria.

This was a great argument as long as they only controlled that one sales channel. However now they are making a new argument that basically says they control ALL sales channels. This I have a problem with.

A big problem.

Because this isn't really any different than if Apple banned the Dixie Chicks from their store and then prevented you from loading their music even if you bought their tracks from Amazon or ripped them from a CD. Apple said "no" thus you can't load them on your iPhone. I imagine people might be upset by a move like this.

However if Apple moves to block all 3rd party applications from being loaded and suddenly they are doing it all for your benefit and thus it should be perfectly legal? I refuse to give up my freedom to choose what applications I want, based on what Apple thinks is best for me.

Would downloading a 3rd party application outside of the App Store be dangerous? Potentially yes, it could. But that is a risk I'm willing to take. Or rather, that should be a risk that I should be allowed to take. If Apple thinks it is a bad idea they are welcome to not sell that applicaiton on their store. But once I pay for my iPhone I damn well better be able to put whatever I want on their, regardless of wether or not Apple approves.

Last time I checked, Honda hasn't tried to prevent me from putting large rims on my Civic because it might mess up the suspension. I haven't yet had anyone from the Gap accost me because the shirt I bought from them doesn't match my pants. Apple's right to dictate what Apps get loaded on my phone ends once I take it out of the packaging.

So unless things change, I anticipate buying a phone that runs Andriod in the coming year. Maybe I'm crazy, but I find more and more that I value freedom over convience. But maybe its me.


  • It is not about convenience, I guess it’s more about responsibility for the products you make and sell.

    y3k had this to say on Oct 01, 2008 Posts: 7
  • “On the other hand, I guess we don’t want the iPhones to turn into another version of slow and inefficient Windows Mobile where nothing really works well and phone calls drop?”

    If that were the reason they were doing it, that would be one thing.  But it isn’t.  They’re rejecting apps that compete with or even enhance the shortcomings of the iPhone.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Oct 02, 2008 Posts: 2220
  • I agree and disagree.  I do wish there was an alternate distribution channel but at the same time should apple service your phone if you place unauthorized software on it that “breaks” it?  I don’t think they should have too. 

    I think we also have to take into consideration that Apple may be under certain requirements by At&t;to NOT allow certain apps.  It is their network.  I don’t agree with Apple blocking apps that resemble or compete with their own apps.

    fearcake had this to say on Jan 02, 2009 Posts: 2
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