Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

Summary: In the weeks before a major Apple event, such as the annual Worldwide Developers Conference or shareholders meeting, someone tries to rally the developer community with an "open letter" to the Apple or Steve Jobs. Please, please, give it a rest, this tactic won't sway anyone's opinion, least of all Apple executives.

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TOPICS: Browser, Apple, Hardware
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In the weeks before a major Apple event, such as the annual Worldwide Developers Conference or shareholders meeting, someone tries to rally the developer community with an "open letter" to the Apple or Steve Jobs. Please, please, give it a rest. This tactic won't sway anyone's opinion, least of all Apple executives.

What these letters are good at is creating a hubbub in the blogs and news sites. But it's all an exercise in futility. And stupidity.

The latest open letter is from Richard Ziade, the founding partner of Arc90 and author of Readability. IT targets Apple's recent App Store subscription policy. In his blog, Ziade said Apple's rule — taking 30 percent of App Store subscriptions — "smacks of greed."

You’ve achieved much of your success in hardware sales by cultivating an incredibly impressive app ecosystem. Every iPad or iPhone TV ad puts the apps developed by companies like ours front and center. It was a healthy and mutually beneficial dynamic: apps like ours get exposure and you get to show the world how these apps make your hardware shine. That’s why we’re a bit baffled here.

It appears that iOS developers didn't expect Apple to ask them to share a bit of the hefty development and maintenance costs required to create its new digital platform. Ziade mentioned the old PC app and content platform model that we've lived with for decades, that "hardware shine" business.

In the old model, Apple makes the hardware, and the IDE, and the OS, and the online store, and markets the platform as well as provides for the maintenance of the platform. Developers get to ride on the platform. This is the way it's been forever, but maybe not in exactly the same way for the new mobile platforms, or at least not for the Apple platform.

Ziade says that small developers won't be able to invest in the Apple platform. And that may be true. Of course, that decision must be made when writing for any new platform, weighing costs, the market size and development costs.

To be clear, we believe you have every right to push forward such a policy. In our view, it’s your hardware and your channel and you can put forth any policy you like. But to impose this course on any web service or web application that delivers any value outside of iOS will only discourage smaller ventures like ours to invest in iOS apps for our services. As far as Readability is concerned, our response is fairly straight-forward: go the other way… towards the web.

Here's one thing I'm sure of:  reaction down in Cupertino was "whatever," or maybe, "we will see you later."

Apple has told bigger guys than Richard Ziade to stuff it. And bigger industry players have tried the open letter ploy with similar sucess. A year ago, it was John Warnock and Chuck Geschke, the founders of Adobe, trying to persuade the community that Apple was wrong, wrong, wrong, about Flash on iOS.

We believe that consumers should be able to freely access their favorite content and applications, regardless of what computer they have, what browser they like, or what device suits their needs. No company — no matter how big or how creative — should dictate what you can create, how you create it, or what you can experience on the web.

The outrage expressed at the time appears to have cooled with the continuing failure to get Flash Player to run on mobile devices in an acceptable manner. The player software is "expected" in the spring for the Xoom. Motorola on Monday said it will be available after the launch.

So, please, enough with the open letters.

On the other hand, here's what we do know on the Apple App Store subscription model: the policy and fees will be refined over the coming months. Some of this clarification is happening daily it appears. Jobs reportedly said on Tuesday that the In-App subscriptions rules don't apply to software as a service.

Meanwhile, some have questioned the whether certain subscription rules cover file-sharing services such as Dropbox.

This conundrum of rule violations could affect other similar services, such as Dropbox. The file-sharing service currently offer users a free app that lets users access files saved to their online Dropbox storage. Users get 2GB of space for free, but can "buy" more space by paying monthly or yearly fees. That could be construed as offering additional extra functionality for a "limited time."

My guess is that this will be settled in favor of the service. And so on ...

Topics: Browser, Apple, Hardware

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73 comments
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  • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

    open season fanboysm is threatening the integrity of journalism.
    tatiGmail
    • "Fanboism" is irrelevant since David is fair; open letters are pointless

      @tatiGmail: ... most of the time.
      DDERSSS
    • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

      @tatiGmail <br>What integrity of journalism ? there has not been any in years. Look how the press and mass media treate the war and the pols. They worship the left and demionise the right. Even when both sides are doing the same thing. Case in point. the 2010 elections. MSNBC had 5 punts all fair left wing.
      Fox had comentor and 2 dems and 2 rebs. Now which is airing both sides of the talk ?
      rparker009
      • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

        @rparker009

        Bullhockey! If anything, the media is squarely in the middle, unless you are talking about Fox News, which leans squarely to the right and falls over doing ti.
        Lerianis10
      • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

        @rparker009 Well, for one thing, they usually spell better than you do, and most of them probably don't live in your trailer park. I suggest you put some effort into something more productive for you, like cooking another batch of meth up. Sounds like you need to get to work, boy.
        thetwonkey
      • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

        @Lerianis10 The main stream media squarely in the middle, that's got to be one of the funniest things I have read in a while.

        @thetwonkey You are obviously a liberal. How can I tell you ask? It's very simple, rparker009 made an observation which a majority of the country, myself included, agrees with. He did not target anybody in particular just pointed out the slant in the media. Your response is to attack him. No facts or observations of your own to dispute what he said, just attacks. That's all liberals seem to have anymore.
        non-biased
    • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

      @tatiGmail ... I think we're way past the "threat" stage. I think journalists have willingly become precisely what is quoted in this article: "good at is creating a hubbub in the blogs and news sites". That's all 90% of the content here amounts to. Very little news, tons of troll bate.
      Trep Ford
    • To even mention integrity of journalism and ZDNet...

      @tatiGmail
      ... together is just plain silly.

      Remember technology journalists are the absolute bottom of the barrel, as they are mostly second-rate losers who are not thinkers, creators, or makers but have managed to squeak by on using their writing skills to proliferate the often mediocre ideas of others. I know this from having come into personal contact with so many over the last 20 years.

      You may now proceed with the spankfest, let's see some self-indulgent indiginity from these parrots who call themselves journalists.
      schmandel@...
  • It's all futile!

    Dictators will never step down. Stop the revolution!
    General C#
    • Dictators don't step down. They must be overthrown.

      The lesson learned here is that Mubarak is not the monster the White House told you he was. He stepped down rather than open fire on his citizens. Quadaffi IS the monster the White House is telling you he isn't.
      fr_gough
      • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

        @frgough@... And the Muslin Brotherhood is an al-Qaeda group. Altough the whitehouse and its leftest media flunkys keep saying how they are wonder and light.
        rparker009
      • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

        @frgough@...

        Wasn't it Condi Rice who invited him back into the fold?
        Michael Kelly
  • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

    Speak to Apple the way I do; spend your money on anything other than Apple products. If enough people do this the message will get through...
    lgwhitlock@...
    • Yeah

      @lgwhitlock@... I'm sure you don't buy apple because of "message". If the "message" was received you'd ge all over their products.
      sportmac
    • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

      @lgwhitlock@... Speak to all manufacturers and carriers with the language of purchase power. They all present one option each ... we're left with many others. Buy what works best for you. The rest is wasted hot air.
      Trep Ford
    • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

      @lgwhitlock@... What a retarded mentality. Cut your nose of to spite your face.
      GAGYRO
    • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

      @lgwhitlock@... yes. exactly what I did. Sans Apple desktop, sans iPhone 3G and hello Windows 7, Android 2.2, Samsung Galaxy S and a wide choice of possible Manufacturers. Only use Apple now if a client needs it. So yeah. You can wean yourself off of Apple. Google and Android looking really, really sweet!
      michaelmarian2
  • Last year iOS took 82.7% of Paid Apps revenue, Android 4.7%

    developers can moan groan and threaten to go to android but stats show that droid owners don't buy apps or spend money. It also shows that Apple has much more well oiled retail space.<br><br>As the article says the market well work itself out, Apple and developers will work out rates etc., Apple knows it needs developers and vice versa but Apple is well aware of it's retail space advantages (and the costs to keep it running smoothly) and they won't be easily cowed by threats.
    Davewrite
    • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

      @Davewrite

      iOS has competition on the way because already some apps are generating more revenue in WP7 than Android so developers fleeing the asinine clutches of Apple would be better off heading to WP7.
      Mythos7
      • RE: Enough with the cry-baby 'open letters' to Apple

        @Mythos7 - didn't you read the article? Android has barely any revenue share - so WP7 with some apps earning a tiny bit more than "barely any" is a non starter. With the freeze on interest this year because of the Nokia deal don't expect anything much from WP7 until the re-launch in the fall.
        rbgaynor