Apple, the iPhone App Store, and Corporate Self-harm

Seems that Apple are doing an Amazon and shooting themselves in both feet in the most public way possible.

Clearly with the App store they’ve got themselves a potential minefield as they act as Judge, Jury, and Executioner when deciding what iPhone Applications to list. That’s unavoidable given they want to act in a “Quality Guardian” but to some extent manageable if there’s transparency and predictability.

However, Apple are running things in a manner which is anything but transparent and predictable. Which gets people upset, and then they start talking to each other, and then at some point the dissatisfaction will get more widespread, Grandma will get Mad and then you’ve trashed a brand image that took years to develop.

Sadly Apple have never been all that good at treating Developers well – but with the iPhone, there are more of them, and they are more connected. Which spells trouble.

Someone in Apple must have set this conversation up. I wonder if they considered the fact that it would become public, and what kind of reaction would be forthcoming.

Fortunately the FCC want to know what’s going on, I suspect the European Commission will find it interesting to.

Such a pity – this is corporate self-harm, so easily avoidable – makes you wonder what the communication paths are inside Apple/AT&T/Google, and what the various players are pushing for.