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Monday, February 21, 2011

Apple's Policies Downright Orwellian

More on Apple's subscription policy for publishers.

There is another slant to Apple's bad subscription policy for publishers; one I hadn't contemplated until I read yet another piece on this head-knocker issue by Larry Magid in MercuryNews.com.

Simply put, Steve Jobs, by the level of control he wants to exert, wants to tell the rest of us what we can and can't download on his devices. He is acting like the supremo censor king!...And it will hurt his business in the future.

In my opinion, Mr. Jobs should get back to the business of improving and facilitating the internet with top quality products and remove all roadblocks to designers to create apps that will further enhance his core products...Good for his business...Good for sharpening his competitive edge...Good for all of us.

Excerpt from Magid's article: "That level of control has allowed Apple to censor apps for a variety of reasons, ranging from duplication of existing apps to its efforts to keep porn and malware from being used on its products. While that latter motivation may seem noble, it's also presumptuous. Steve Jobs has a perfect right to keep legal adult content away from his own devices and those of his minor children, but I don't see why he has a right to decide for the rest of us."

The key word here is 'presumptuous' and Mr. Jobs has to escape this kind of arrogance.

From MercuryNews by Larry Magid:

Apple, Google offer publishers competing online payment systems

Google and Apple last week announced competing online payment systems to allow publishers to charge for content on digital devices. Apple's system is designed to work with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, while Google announced its will work with "tablets, smartphones and websites." Presumably most of the tablets and phones will be running Google's Android operating system but it's possible that its system will also work on other mobile platforms.

One difference between the Apple and Google platforms is that Apple will charge publishers 30 percent of the subscription revenue while Google plans to keep only 10 percent. But perhaps more important distinction is the way the two companies plan to handle customer data.

On its website, Apple said that "customers purchasing a subscription through the App Store will be given the option of providing the publisher with their name, email address and zip code when they subscribe." The key word is option. By default, only Apple will have that information. Google, which in general takes a more open approach to developers, will reportedly pass that information on to publishers.

The issue of access to customer information is important to the publishing industry, according to Nina Link, CEO of MPA -- The Association of Magazine Media. In an interview, she said that "publishers have historically had relationships directly with the consumer and have access to data as they renew them year after year and as they offer them additional products that are targeted to their interests."

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