This is an open letter, in response to Engadget’s article titled Apple’s new subscription policy ‘smacks of greed’, something that has irritated me, looking at hatred pointed at Apple, unjustly. Call me a fanboy or whatever, but let’s look at the facts.
Apple has created an ecosystem of it’s own, granted it’s not open like others, but controlling its own ecosystem allows it to take ownership and responsibility for, which is their right, just like a parent is allowed to teach his or her kids in his or her way. Google on the other hand have allowed their os to roam free, and policies that are not really controlled or monitored, and it’s their right to do.
Asking Apple to invite oneself to Apple’s lucrative market, and then tell Apple they are greedy for taking a 30% cut, when the developer can in fact get greater exposure is ludicrous. It’s like you, as a shop owner, seeing a huge chain of shopping malls open, and decide that your business needs to be in the new mall to get the greater exposure from a convenient centralised shopping location. You set up shop there and don’t accept the mall’s policy of taking 30% cut. Not only that but you want to tell the mall, I’d like to advertise for another mall whilst I am in your mall.
And 30% isn’t that great, considering how much publishers rip off authors and stores rip off publishers. In Australia alone, there is a huge markup in tax on books because the country want’s to protect it’s own publishers.
So what it comes down to is this. Apple makes its rules, it has a good product and we live in a market-based society. If Google provide a better solution, their market place is valued much higher than Apple’s (which contrary to cyber-perception, is not the case. Higher number of Android devices does not equate to higher revenue from apps) then the market competition will dictate Apple reduce it’s cut, or restrictions. People have options, and its hypocritical to call Apple greedy. After all, when Google say they are offering a subscription model that they take a 10% cut from, they get revenue from harvesting people’s data and selling them to companies, something Apple can’t and won’t do.
In fact people have not cried out when Google does sell people’s private information, without a way of opting out, when Apple insist that publishers do not have access to user’s public information.
So the world isn’t as black and white, it’s complicated but taking pot shots at one company does not make the other company a saint.