What better time to write about a revolution than the Independence Day holiday weekend. That’s exactly what Jason Perlow did. The rebellion is upon us. Apple is about to be de-throned in another revolutionary technology war.
Well, the premise is short on facts on long on inspiration from the American revolution a few centuries ago, but it makes for an interesting read on a very slow news day. According to Perlow, the natives are restless and that means rebellion cannot be far behind. Or, ahead.
One If By Land
The headline is a clever play on the holiday weekend. “Independence Day: How Developer And Customer Revolt Will De-Throne Apple.” Good, right? Apple’s customer base, already topping one-billion, is revolting. Or, they will revolt soon. Or, maybe. Or, it’s possible, but Perlow presents absolutely zero evidence of such a revolt taking place or will take place.
Today self-determination and democracy seems like it is a given in America, even during these tumultuous times. But if you’re a developer on Apple’s iOS App Store, it’s a completely different ballgame.
Taxation without representation! Oh, did I fail to mention taxes?
And boy, oh the taxes. It’s one thing to charge a 30 percent cut on apps, but a 30 percent tax imposed on everything you sell, including subscriptions and any ongoing revenue is preposterous.
Of course, Apple has changed that 70-30 rule this year, but 85-15 doesn’t carry the same weighty preposterousness, does it?
It’s practically North Korean in its ham-fistedness. Kim Jong-Il would congratulate Apple on its mastery of authoritarianism.
Uh huh. Sure. Apple’s Tim Cook operates exactly like Kim Jong-Il. The App Stores have been compared to Disneyland because the well-organized ecosystem Apple creates a wonderful shopping experience, and easily distributes billions of apps to hundreds of millions of eager customers and tens of billions in shared revenue with app developers.
How is that like anything in North Korea?
Alright, what really started this silly screed?
We heard the rumblings of revolution from Spotify, the popular streaming service that runs on iOS, Android, Mac and Windows. Specifically, they are protesting the fact that Apple is imposing oppressive restrictions on them that is making it very difficult for them to do business.
Aha! That’s it. Taxation without representation. Spotify– Apple Music’s main competitor, and the one being hurt by Apple’s rapid growth– is bitching and moaning about policies that have been in place for years, and have become more lenient and developer oriented anyway.
Apple to Spotify:
We find it troubling that you are asking for exemptions to the rules we apply to all developers and are publicly resorting to rumors and half-truths about our service… Our guidelines apply equally to all app developers, whether they are game developers, e-book sellers, video-streaming services or digital music distributors; and regardless of whether or not they compete against Apple. We did not alter our behavior or our rules when we introduced our own music streaming service or when Spotify became a competitor. Ironically, it is now Spotify that wants things to be different by asking for preferential treatment from Apple.
You see, Apple was selling music on iTunes long before Spotify hit the market. Oh, and Apple claims Spotify’s new app remains in violation of Apple’s app guidelines.
So, this silly, holiday-themed argument that Apple’s natives are restless, and app developers and customers are ready to rebel against King Tim Cook and Apple is limited to, 1) Spotify, and 2) no customers.
Where is the revolt that will de-throne Apple?
It may be coming, but it won’t be Spotify.
Perhaps it’s time for a new 3rd-party, truly independent app store — one not tied to an existing player — so that developers and end-users can determine their own fates?
The basic rule for such headlines and sub-headlines is this. If it ends in a question mark, the answer is no. That works in the case of the App Store because competition and independence exists in spades. Can you say Cydia? The problem here is that carnival competition does not provide a better experience than Apple’s Disney-esque environment; not for developers, not for customers.
There is no revolution.