Spoilt Children are not to be trusted

As far as I can tell, Apple’s new developer terms on the gathering of analytics inside Applications on the iOS no more prevents AdMob or anyone else from gathering Analytics from Websites browsed on iOS based devices as it does someone using a browser on an iMac or a Windows based Computer. See this Mashable Post on the topic for a good review of the situation.

So where do the stories about supposed Anti-trust investigations come from? I don’t see evidence anywhere that Apple are forming Cartels to prevent competition, even in the online Music business which they dominate. In fact, I’m pretty sure most of the leeches who provide them the ‘content’ would love to avoid using Apple if they could. They probably dream nightly of ways to go back to the control of the delivery and pocket all the cash, like the used to.

I also don’t see where they are stopping people from purchasing or interacting with alternative services or products within the market. Whether that is Music, Mobile, Applications or anything else where they are currently successful. They create experiences customers keep coming back for, no less. In doing so, they are ensuring the eco-system isn’t being corrupted or threatened. Naturally, that delivers them more revenue and it creates more customer lock in.

Many will say because I’m a “fanboy”, my Apple-tinted glasses are preventing me from seeing the restrictive market Apple are creating. But, as I wrote in my article on trust, their users trust Apple to provide them with good services. Otherwise why would those users, existing and new, pre-order 600,000 iPhone’s in one day in the USA this week? And why, as I read this week, are more apps being developed for the iOS than before despite the so-called anti-competitive behaviour being touted in the media for the past week?

As a product manager, and someone who has been involved in developing software and services for about 15 years, the creation of that customer ‘stickiness’ is one of the key reasons why you seek to surround your core offerings with added value. It’s cheaper to retain customers than to try and win them back. I can’t believe anyone would disagree a good User Experience isn’t a key feature of this creation of customer satisfaction and retention.

When the Author of this article uses terms like ‘Spoilt child’ to describe Apple I only see hypocrisy. Because, the spoilt child behaviour is in fact the authors and others like him who keep hammering on about this topic with no logic and little reason.

Those who constantly criticise businesses who prevent them from doing what they want, when they want it where they want it. NOW! remind me of small children. Spoilt, small children. As a father of two small children, believe me I’ve seen that type of behaviour attempted by my own and be the default behaviour of some of their friends.

A good example of a spolit child like rant I read after the iOS developer agreement changes were announced came from the previous owner of AdMob. I previously suggested he must have some short term performance outcomes in order to get the full purchase price from Google – the new owners of AdMob. According to AdMob more than 40% of their current business is made up of ad delivery to Applications on iPhone (65% in the UK). So you’d think any short term performance outcomes would be in some serious danger by these changes in terms.  Otherwise, I can’t see any reason for such a confusing response.

Just because a developer can’t use your solution, Omar, doesn’t mean there aren’t others which they can use. And if you had stayed Independent, there wouldn’t have been an issue. Which isn’t to say it isn’t a petulant move by Apple.

But I believe Apple is correct in preventing developers from sharing some analytics on what users are doing within the applications Apple host on their platform. Especially when those analytics are being shared to third-parties who are competitive to Apple in the mobile space. Rather than set out the arguments in detail here, I refer you to David Barnards’s excellent article on why this is true.

While Google appears to be the single target of the change to these terms, so far they’ve been quiet on this supposed Apple Anti-Trust ‘issue’. This, despite some Media erroneously reporting AdMobs spoilt child post as ‘Google lashing out’. Perhaps they think if they made noise about it, they might attract unwarranted attention to them?

If you accept that Android is Google’s model to preserve advertising revenue as punters move to Mobile devices, this naturally includes on device applications. Android, already does or will soon carry ads in application on those devices. Google must be confident that AdMob will still deliver them good value for that in-App Advertising model on Android. I’d be surprised if they were relying, long term on the iOS revenue from AdMob to support the $750M they allegedly spent on the deal.

If Google decided to restrict access to Advertising delivery in-App to AdMob or indeed, to Google delivered Advertising, would those criticisers of Apple then also accuse Google of behaving like a spolit child?

Perhaps that will never need to be asked, because the situation will never arise. But if it does, I doubt if the rancour would become so rancid as it has become over anything Apple does which doesn’t support my spoilt child analogy.

It appears to be often forgotten – though it is mentioned in the article I quote above – that any time Apple have had regulator requests for change, they appear to respond quickly and positively. Perhaps companies should do it ‘right’ in the first place. But if ‘doing it right’ isn’t exactly clear or even defined – or if commercial arrangements you have entered into force you down a route which later draws the ire of regulators,  then what is an organisation to do? I believe Apple, Google or anyone else for that matter, is entirely within their rights to build products and services which deliver a great experience for the Customers and epic returns for their shareholders.

Are Apple including restrictions to their services in a manner which should have Anti-Trust concerns? To help you answer, here’s a definition I found, which I think is a good one. It says;

Used to describe laws and regulatory mechanisms that keep markets competitive, for example by preventing the formation of cartels (trusts).

After reading that definition, and your answer is yes, I think you must be wearing tunnel-visioned glasses guided by your obvious prejudice against the company.

I think you should enjoy your opinion, stop whinging and go buy something which works for you.


5 thoughts on “Spoilt Children are not to be trusted

  1. Pingback: Short Stories For 10 Year Olds

  2. There’s not enough anti trust talk when it comes to Apple.

    Apple have become a sacred cow, but I don’t think it’s good for the consumer when any company has such a strangle hold on the market.

    • Catherine, While I disagree with your first two points, I wholeheartedly agree with your last.
      However, isn’t it up to someone else to come up with a better product and service? When they do, the customer will move there.

  3. Pingback: A Sense of Entitlement « Making Hay

  4. Pingback: Breach of Trust « Making Hay

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