From the looks of it, Apple’s iPhone is not going to stop making news for quite a while to come. After having been in the limelight over its rejection of Google Voice and the Federal Competitions Commission’s formal enquiry into the issue, there are other applications that may well be rejected while developers still aren’t on the know of what to make of an application for it to be into the iPhone.
The iPhone has won fans hands down over other smart phones from Nokia, Research in Motion and Palm. The iStore has over 65,000 applications for download and there have been a billion downloads. Still, when Google Voice was rejected, heads turned as the apparently obvious reason for rejection was taken to be AT&T’s indirect say over what could end up being its rival and eat into its business. Apple said it was still looking into the Google Voice application and that it was by no means rejected as yet.
With that part done, Apple now has Rhapsody from Real Player to deal with – Rhapsody works on letting users download music for a pay. Predictably, Rhapsody could be seen as being in direct competition with Apple’s own iTunes. However, while Apple may well be within its rights to reject applications that may act against the phone’s user experience or functionality, would it reject an application because it may be in direct competition with its own iTunes? This aspect would be in focus especially when Apple’s rejection of applications has been rendered a high profile affair after the Google Voice episode.
Apple would be hard pressed to spell in clear terms, the guidelines for developers to get their applications in. It is also suggested that the approval process be advanced to pre-development stage, where developers put in months of efforts to get their applications up and then find that Apple has rejected their application.
One tends to get reminded of the way Microsoft faced allegations of unfair trade practices as it allegedly tried to exploit its monopoly position in Operating Systems to keep applications that competed with its own, out of its system. Apple wouldn’t want to end up in such a predicament, spending time and resources on legalities. The best way for Apple forward is to come clear regarding its rules of approval. A company that has gone so far in creating a mass global sensation can walk a little bit further for its reputation’s sake.