Don’t Burn Down Cupertino!

iphone1.jpgJust my luck. No sooner do I jump on the Apple bandwagon and most everyone already sitting on the wagon goes absolutely bonkers. Apple (or a combination of Apple and AT&T) has rejected the Google Voice app in the iTunes App Store. They’ve also rejected other third-party applications and removed some which were already approved. Now, it seems, people are forming a lynch mob and carrying torches. It also appears that the FCC is leading the charge.

Apparently, the FCC has sent letters to Apple, AT&T, and Google regarding the matter and they are demanding answers. Answers like “Why did Apple reject Google’s App?”, “Did Apple act alone?”, and “Does AT&T have any role in the approval of iPhone applications?”.

Apple issued a statement that they pulled the Google Voice Mobile app “due to it duplicating features that the iPhone comes with“. Now the FCC is stepping in attempting to dictate what Apple can and cannot do with their own product. For those of you who don’t know, if you get an iPhone you have to use AT&T as your carrier (in the U.S.), and you have to get your applications for it from the iTunes App Store. The only way around this is to “jailbreak” your iPhone, which, if you did, makes this entire post irrelevant to you, since you can do what you want with a jailbroken iPhone.

It appears to me that the FCC will attempt to make Apple “open the store” so to speak, which is wrong. Since when do we support the government stepping in and telling an independent business what they are allowed to manufacture and sell in the marketplace?

We do not need government influence, regulation, and interference in the free market. If people don’t like Apple’s policies, then they shouldn’t use Apple’s products.

For example, when I had my first Blackberry, I couldn’t add anything to it. It sucked. Where was the FCC when I needed a good terminal program back then?

When I got my second Blackberry, I could only load certain software on it at the time. Sure, I could get the software from different vendors, but there were some very useful applications that I could not get for the Blackberry. Hello? FCC? Why weren’t you forcing RIM to open their software so I could develop my own terminal program?

The last time I checked, I still couldn’t obtain one-fifth of the apps for the Blackberry that I can for the iPhone.

After I got rid of the Blackberry, I had the T-Mobile Wing which ran Windows Mobile software. It sucked. Sure, there were lots of applications to choose from, but they either ran clunky, or didn’t perform as I expected them too. I liked the Wing, I didn’t like the fact that I felt so limited when trying to use it. Maybe the FCC could have forced HTC to make the Wing less clunky. I hate clunky.

The decision to deny the Google Voice Mobile application was ridiculous, but the fact that people are demanding that the government step in and begin regulating what Apple can and cannot do with their products and store is even more ridiculous.

What’s next?

Are people going to demand that Subway carry smoked turkey, barbecued turkey, and other variations of turkey just because they feel limited by the choice of “turkey” on the menu? What about ham? There should be no less than five types of ham available for the menu choices, right?

While I’m thinking of it, I really should be able to load different software on my camera(s). You know, I should have that choice. Lord knows my Canon Rebel XTi shouldn’t be limited by the choices presented by Canon.

Maybe it’s time we stand behind the government while they force Starbucks to start carrying Dunkin’ Donuts. Not their coffee, because that’s just gross, but their donuts. Why not? Shouldn’t I have that choice while I am waiting for my daily fix? We may as well get everything we want while we’re there. We wouldn’t want to restrict the free market in anyway.

Wait. Now that I pause for a moment to reflect on that last paragraph, I can’t help but wonder, “Why can’t I buy a cup of Starbucks while I’m at Waffle House?”

Hello! Mr. Obama!!! We need to get the ball rolling here.

Shouldn’t McDonald’s offer a dozen different cheeses for their burgers because you know, we shouldn’t feel limited by the choices on the menu when we have our precious government which can step in at any time and alter the free market?

And what about Google? Shouldn’t they change their logo on all holidays and special days, not just the ones they choose to honor? Since we’re going to ask the government to step in and regulate what can be done with a company’s store and products, we might as well cover all our bases while we’re at it, and those logos have been driving me crazy for a long time.

Apple makes the iPhone. Apple runs iTunes. Apple has a right to decide what they will and won’t sell in their own store. If you don’t like it, don’t buy their product, or jailbreak it like thousands of other people around the world.

Application developers are not happy and, as a developer, I can see why. I think Apple needs to be more upfront with developers about their policies regarding application development, and set the rules for what will be accepted and what won’t be accepted. Government intervention, however, is not going to make things better for developers or consumers. When has government intervention ever been good when it comes to the free market and making money?

As a developer you have a choice whether or not to continue developing for the iPhone. As a consumer, you have a choice whether or not to purchase Apple’s product in the first place. Your choices in the marketplace carry more weight than the government ever could.

People are passionate on both sides of this argument, and it will only get hotter over the next few days, but that doesn’t mean we need to run down the street with torches and burn down Cupertino in the process. Now pardon me, while I use my terminal application to check my servers and relax with some games and a movie, on my iPhone.