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Old February 16th, 2011, 03:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Apple positioning anti-trust over subscriptions in their App Store?

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Just as all of the big content providers were starting to get chummy with Apple and its media savior - the mighty iPad - olí Steve Jobs went and pulled a fast one on his new publisher buddies.
He changed the rules of the game and hit them with a new revenue-sharing structure that essentially forces publishers who charge subscriptions outside of the app to either cough up a 30 percent tax on subscriptions purchased from inside the app or do business elsewhere.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 04:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The part that really troubles me is

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Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app.
Apple is basically telling publishers that all other ways of paying for the digital subscription must not be cheaper than paying through Apple. Apple takes a 30% cut. If some other system or company provides a channel for users to subscribe and only takes a 20% cut, publishers cannot make that method 10% cheaper for the customers. Isn't that anti-competitive?
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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The part that really troubles me is



Apple is basically telling publishers that all other ways of paying for the digital subscription must not be cheaper than paying through Apple. Apple takes a 30% cut. If some other system or company provides a channel for users to subscribe and only takes a 20% cut, publishers cannot make that method 10% cheaper for the customers. Isn't that anti-competitive?
Yeah there are rumors of anti-trust suits because of these new 'policies'.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Apple wants their cut. I can't blame them for trying to get their cut. Whether people stand for it or not is another thing. How much business does Amazon lose if they pull their app from the app store vs how much business do they lose if they start selling in app?
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Old February 17th, 2011, 09:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What would REALLY be interesting, is if there was a backlash and everybody took their business to Android... I don't see it happening, but it would be VERY interesting.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Rhapsody won't bow to Apple's subscription policy, issues statement -- Engadget

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Yeah there are rumors of anti-trust suits because of these new 'policies'.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704409004576146613997208194.html
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Old February 17th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The Kindle store in the Android app is in-app because users requested it. I would imagine the only reason Amazon hasn't made their iOS app support in store purchases is because they don't want to pay the 30% to Apple and I can't blame them. Apple is their competitor in the e-book business.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Apple sucks, almost as bad as Microsoft. Open-source is truly the way of the future...Apple will eventually feel the impact of their decisions. The reason they do this is because they have such a small market of brainwashed zombies that pay for Apple's outrageous pricing that they have to wreck anyone that wants to use their technology to pay the bills (their computers are crap...for the kind of money that a macbook costs I could build a linux machine that is 8 to 10 times more powerful).
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Old February 17th, 2011, 11:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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^I'm leaving that post up as an example of what not to do in this thread.

If this thread turns into another set of posts from Linux users using any excuse whatsoever to hijack yet another thread because the word Apple is mentioned, then I'll take action.

It's especially frustrating as comparing Linux (an operating system) to Apple (a hardware company) is somehow fine around here - but let anyone compare the iPhone (a piece of hardware) to Android (an operating system) and everyone screams murder.

This thread is about actions taken at the Apple App Store concerning subscriptions.

That's important - it could lead to anti-trust issues - it could impact moves Google will take with their upcoming offerings.

This is a not a thread where you read the title, pay zero attention and post how great Linux is.



And while the Linux fans are stewing - try reading up on Darwin, WebKit and a few other things.

Edit - and to remove further temptation, I'm changing the thread title.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think this makes it clear that android and iphone aren't really the same at all. While they are both capable devices they don't both target the same customers and in fact we are comparing apples to ...well, robots.
Apple has already demonstrated they have a very competent legal team. I think this will stick. One the flip side, if apple upsets enough of their developers....well the outcome will be predictable.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I think this makes it clear that android and iphone aren't really the same at all. While they are both capable devices they don't both target the same customers and in fact we are comparing apples to ...well, robots.
Apple has already demonstrated they have a very competent legal team. I think this will stick. One the flip side, if apple upsets enough of their developers....well the outcome will be predictable.
It will be interesting to see Apple downplay it's roll in the market as that's it's main defense against anti-trust suits. Even if said suits don't go through it will be very interesting to see if services like Pandora, Rhapsody, Amazon, BN, etc.... cave to Apple or just pull their apps. That would be a blow to Apple I would think. The article about Rhapsody is linked above. Pandora is in the same type of boat Rhapsody is in. 45-50% of their revenue is gone in licensing. I don't see how they can afford to potentially give away another 30% to Apple.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It will also be interesting how the EU anti-trust authorities are going to react to that. They usually act against preditory practices.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 12:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Come on, how greedy can one be? 30 % and then they want more if purchase is made else where. What I don't understand is why companies do business with then. Hopefully they will migrate to Android.
 
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think we can all agree that it is definitely up there on the evil-ometer regardless of your opinion on Apple.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 04:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The right thing would be for all the developers to pull their apps from apples market. What will likely happen is the service will cost more on all platforms to make up the revenue that is going to apple.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't think that can happen realistically. If a service like Rhapsody, Pandora or Amazon raises their prices 30% across the board it really cuts into their profit margins pretty severely.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 05:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The right thing would be for all the developers to pull their apps from apples market. What will likely happen is the service will cost more on all platforms to make up the revenue that is going to apple.
Maybe not. With Android's rise, and now market share leader, iOS doesn't have control over the market like they used to. Furthermore, with the rush of Android tablets, iOS is going to get beaten down even further more into the shadows.

IMO Apple is digging themselves a grave with this and other policies.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 06:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Maybe not. With Android's rise, and now market share leader, iOS doesn't have control over the market like they used to. Furthermore, with the rush of Android tablets, iOS is going to get beaten down even further more into the shadows.

IMO Apple is digging themselves a grave with this and other policies.
I don't necessarily agree. While Android may be the leader in market share for devices, they're certainly not close to being the leader in distributing mobile content. If someone like Amazon did pull out of the App Store, they would definitely lose a significant portion of their business. I'm too lazy to look up what portion it would be.

I need to browse some mac forums to see how the fanboys are defending this.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't necessarily agree. While Android may be the leader in market share for devices, they're certainly not close to being the leader in distributing mobile content. If someone like Amazon did pull out of the App Store, they would definitely lose a significant portion of their business. I'm too lazy to look up what portion it would be.

I need to browse some mac forums to see how the fanboys are defending this.
Ah but here's the catch 22. Would amazon lose more money with Apple's 30% share getting take out, or just by withdrawing to other, more popular platforms.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 06:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Apple fanboy take on this - the 30% is worth it because you are paying for the "privilege" of being on iOS.

Wow. Just wow.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 06:41 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Apple fanboy take on this - the 30% is worth it because you are paying for the "privilege" of being on iOS.

Wow. Just wow.
Yeah, this amazing indeed. Just like people pay double price for a Mac laptop. I never understood that. I think a lot has to do with hype.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 06:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yeah, all those fanboys paying that 30% increase that hasn't happened yet is amazing.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 07:14 PM   #23 (permalink)
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It's very interesting as some people are suggesting people like Amazon simply turn their apps into just readers and not sell any content or link to any content in them. I don't know if that violates the TOS or not. The other thing is that Apple gets the customer info on all in app purchases. Does a company like Amazon want to give Apple it's customer information? Somehow I think not.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 07:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Apple fanboy take on this - the 30% is worth it because you are paying for the "privilege" of being on iOS.

Wow. Just wow.
This is why I don't like apple...not because they don't have a capable device.
But your right....WOW.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 07:22 PM   #25 (permalink)
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This is why I don't like apple...not because they don't have a capable device.
But your right....WOW.
I'm in the same boat. They make quality devices, but the fanboys are just rabid and insane. Granted you have Android fanboys who are the same, but there don't seem to be as many of them.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 07:33 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I'm in the same boat. They make quality devices, but the fanboys are just rabid and insane. Granted you have Android fanboys who are the same, but there don't seem to be as many of them.
Quality devices don't drop calls when you hold them the wrong way.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 08:21 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Android would need a salesman like Steve Jobs. If you listen to the Google CEO, you fall asleep. Just watch how he pronounces "Exciting News" - like a sleeping pill. After all, this was the biggest event in the life of Android.

BTW: The rest of the video is quite interesting - if you have the time to watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfJuigJebRg&feature=player_embedded
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Old February 17th, 2011, 08:50 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I don't see those companies pulling out of Apple and migrating to Android any time soon. You can slam Apple up, down and sideways all you want. The cold, hard truth is that Apple is more valuable to those businesses than Android for one very specific reason, and everyone here knows what that reason is...

Because iPhone owners pay for those kinds of things.

Hey I've often wondered myself why anyone would chose an iPhone over Android when most things are free on Android. And I'll continue to wonder that while millions of people continue to use and pay for things on their iPhones that they could get either cheaper or for free on Android.

But no matter how much I love Android, if I'm a business owner trying to turn a profit on the goods or services I'm peddling, guess which platform I'll be looking to break out on first! I'd be a fool not to be on the iPhone, cuz those folks LOVE to pay for things on their phones. They damn near take pride in it. So tell me again why I would pull my product off of the iPhone and put it on Android where most people are looking to get their stuff for free?

Now that Android devices are equal to or better than the iPhone we may see a larger buying population switch over. And the bigger the Android market share grows, the more businesses will look to them to carry their products and services. But for now Apple still owns the buyers crown by a large margin.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 08:56 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Outlaw, you are so very right - money rules.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 10:21 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I'd be a fool not to be on the iPhone, cuz those folks LOVE to pay for things on their phones. They damn near take pride in it.
So what you're saying is that the world truly is upside down and paying more for the same thing is the cool thing?
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Old February 17th, 2011, 11:07 PM   #31 (permalink)
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So what you're saying is that the world truly is upside down and paying more for the same thing is the cool thing?
It's been that way for years - it's called conspicuous consumption.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:56 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Regulators Eye Apple Anew
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Old February 18th, 2011, 03:30 AM   #33 (permalink)
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What would REALLY be interesting, is if there was a backlash and everybody took their business to Android... I don't see it happening, but it would be VERY interesting.
So perhaps what will happen is shareholder complaints and a drop in market share; as you say, a move to Android, perhaps. Developers upset and going elsewhere; there is an elsewhere as far as Apple and their market is concerned and much easier to access than it was a year or so ago.

It will be interesting to watch unfold.

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Old February 18th, 2011, 09:22 AM   #34 (permalink)
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So perhaps what will happen is shareholder complaints and a drop in market share; as you say, a move to Android, perhaps. Developers upset and going elsewhere; there is an elsewhere as far as Apple and their market is concerned and much easier to access than it was a year or so ago.

It will be interesting to watch unfold.

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If Rhapsody, Amazon, and other big name app developers pulled off of Apple, can you imagine the nightmare for Apple's PR team?
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Old February 18th, 2011, 11:49 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Here are the latest news on the subject:

Quote:
Apple's app subscription plan gets Feds interested: Time to retreat ?
Quote:


The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are reportedly eyeing Apple’s new App Store subscription plan.
According to the Wall Street Journal, regulators are looking into Apple’s new subscription plan, which aims to keep customers in iTunes and taking a 30 percent cut of the revenue.

More...
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Old February 18th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #36 (permalink)
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^post 32, above.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 12:01 PM   #37 (permalink)
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So what you're saying is that the world truly is upside down and paying more for the same thing is the cool thing?

Oh abso-freakin-lotely. This has always been the trait of the upper middle class. They are of the mindset that you get what you pay for. And many stores are in tune with this. Take Abercrombie for instance, people who buy Abercrombie jeans do so not because they have been proven to last longer than a pair of Levi's. They buy them because they cost three times as much as a pair if Levi's. They equate the higher price with being a better product, even if there is absolutely no proof that it is.

Take any entry level college marketing class and they'll talk about this very thing. Many companies purposely raise their prices over that of the competition for no other reason than to appeal to that class of consumer who will then view their product as superior to the competition simply because it costs more.

It has absolutely nothing to do with comon sense in the least.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:00 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Oh abso-freakin-lotely. This has always been the trait of the upper middle class. They are of the mindset that you get what you pay for. And many stores are in tune with this. Take Abercrombie for instance, people who buy Abercrombie jeans do so not because they have been proven to last longer than a pair of Levi's. They buy them because they cost three times as much as a pair if Levi's. They equate the higher price with being a better product, even if there is absolutely no proof that it is.
Actually my wife bought her a pair on our honeymoon (don't have them around here). They fit her better than any pair of jeans she's ever owned. She wasn't familiar with the company before we went into the store, and she hasn't really been familiar with them since... she just really felt good in that pair of jeans... wore them til they basically fell apart...

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It has absolutely nothing to do with comon sense in the least.
While I think Apple actually plans their finances around their customers NOT having common sense, I don't think this is one of those marketing tactics that are going to work very well on the majority of consumers.

Android is selling 3 to 1 in the US over iOS. Android has passed the iPhone in US subscriber market share. There is real pressure to bring these services to Android. As Android becomes more and more of a viable alternative for content providers, they are going to look at Apple more and more warily and start providing more and more content where they can make the most money.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:33 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Honestly, this isn't really bad for the consumers if Apple can force the big boys to bend over for them. Consumers can buy content for the same price right in the app using their iTunes account. Great for consumers. It basically rapes developers and content providers though.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:37 PM   #40 (permalink)
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^The Wal-Mart model.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 02:24 PM   #41 (permalink)
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^The Wal-Mart model.
The Wal-Mart model, except there is a nearly identical store down the street selling the same stuff, but without raping the developers...

We shall see which one prospers.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 03:50 PM   #42 (permalink)
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^post 32, above.
Sorry, I missed that one. It was so little - LOL.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 04:02 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Sorry, I missed that one. It was so little - LOL.

Phone posts in a hurry, no time to edit.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #44 (permalink)
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^The Wal-Mart model.
Little different from Wal-mart I think. Wal-marts model is to crush little guys by offering lower prices. Let's be honest, if you make widgets, you want Wal-mart to sell your widgets regardless of whatever cut they take. They buy in such big bulk that you get your money regardless. Apple is not only trying to take a cut of these companies profits (and a significant one at that), but it gets their customer list as well (which is more valuable in some ways) and they also prevent companies from competing with them outside the app store.

Look at someone like Amazon. If this sticks and they fold, then they are giving Apple (who competes with them in the ebook market) 30% of their gross right off the top. So you're giving your competitor a huge chunk of money right there. Then you're giving your competitor your client list. Anyone who has shopped with Amazon knows that if you buy a mystery book for example, Amazon will email you and recommend other mysteries it thinks you might like. This is extremely valuable for marketing purposes. Now Apple knows that customer A likes mysteries and it can now market stuff to him right from the iBooks store. Not only do you give Apple a share of your profits, but you give them an inroad to your customer as well. To make it worse, Apple blocks you from competing with them by offering lower prices elsewhere.

The best analogy I could think of is if Wal-mart went to a major vendor like Coca-Cola and demanded that Coca-cola not offer it's products at a lower price anywhere else. Yes, you could go to the local grocery chain and buy Coke, but it would have to priced the same or higher than Wal-mart. No store would be allowed to put Coke on sale unless Wal-mart did as well. It would be blatantly anti-competitive.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 04:32 PM   #45 (permalink)
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The best analogy I could think of is if Wal-mart went to a major vendor like Coca-Cola and demanded that Coca-cola not offer it's products at a lower price anywhere else. Yes, you could go to the local grocery chain and buy Coke, but it would have to priced the same or higher than Wal-mart. No store would be allowed to put Coke on sale unless Wal-mart did as well. It would be blatantly anti-competitive.
Huh. You speak of that in the hypothetical.

I'm the only one remembering history? Remember the WalMart / RubberMaid story?

USATODAY.com - Wal-Mart's influence grows

Pacific Views: WalMart's Deal With the Devil

Wal-Mart Is Not a Business, It's an Economic Disease

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mkCUK3kcKs

Because all that talk about RubberMaid and WalMart certainly sounded exactly like your statement, to me:

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Honestly, this isn't really bad for the consumers if Apple can force the big boys to bend over for them. Consumers can buy content for the same price right in the app using their iTunes account. Great for consumers. It basically rapes developers and content providers though.
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The Wal-Mart model, except there is a nearly identical store down the street selling the same stuff, but without raping the developers...

We shall see which one prospers.
Indeed.

I'm hoping the Google model works - Angry Birds started making over $1million/month in advertising on Android, whereas it's a paid app on an iPhone.

It certainly puts me in a quandry.

On the one hand, how can I not want good prices for us consumers?

On the other, how can I know what actions I'll be taking that bites the hand that feeds me?

Not easy to see, not for me, anyway.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 05:38 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Any business model - good or bad, can only work with the cooperation of the consumer. If everybody runs to Walmart, the other guys will suffer.

In Germany, where the consumers are usually very alert, Walmart tried their luck for 7 years. They lost $350 Million each year and finally folded tent. If the consumer does not play, the best (or worst) model ain't working.

In the US the situation is a bit different. Consumers are more in "lemming" mode. One runs, everybody runs. That is also why the Apple hype works.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Any business model - good or bad, can only work with the cooperation of the consumer. If everybody runs to Walmart, the other guys will suffer.

In Germany, where the consumers are usually very alert, Walmart tried their luck for 7 years. They lost $350 Million each year and finally folded tent. If the consumer does not play, the best (or worst) model ain't working.

In the US the situation is a bit different. Consumers are more in "lemming" mode. One runs, everybody runs. That is also why the Apple hype works.
Which is really odd, because the iphone is a status symbol over there and Android is basically nonexistent.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 02:18 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Any business model - good or bad, can only work with the cooperation of the consumer. If everybody runs to Walmart, the other guys will suffer.

In Germany, where the consumers are usually very alert, Walmart tried their luck for 7 years. They lost $350 Million each year and finally folded tent. If the consumer does not play, the best (or worst) model ain't working.

In the US the situation is a bit different. Consumers are more in "lemming" mode. One runs, everybody runs. That is also why the Apple hype works.
I'm boycotting Wal-Mart. Just sayin'
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Old February 19th, 2011, 09:57 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Which is really odd, because the iphone is a status symbol over there and Android is basically nonexistent.
I can't speak for Germany but Android is doing great in the UK.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 11:23 AM   #50 (permalink)
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It's hard to imagine with Androids global dominance in sales that they don't have much of a presence in Europe? That would indicate that Androids lead in the US is overwhelming, which isn't the case. I'd be interested in seeing the data that suggests Andoid is way behind Apple over there.
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