iPhone App Store Puts Apple in Jeopardy

Apple’s App Store is a running success. Few months back, It announced the numbers. A total of Billion downloads were downloaded in less than a year. Undoubtedly, Apple had set a world record for fastest growing popularity of applciations on Mobile platform.

App Store is a big Boon to the industry, It has encouraged several other mobile competitiors to finally wake-up and standardize distribution of applications. companies like RIM, Nokia, Palm, google have been inspired.

Beyond the current state of AppStore, In future we could observe changes in the way things are working with Appstore. Controversial applications may force the company into decisions that run counter to the free market spirit that makes the App Store so popular.

Since the debut of the App Store in July 2008, iPhone and iPod touch owners have been able to access a rapidly increasing number of applications, ranging from free apps like Skype to low-priced mobile games and all number of programs. The App Store’s rise to prominence has not been without controversy, however. The latest minor uproar concerned an application that allowed users to access sexually explicit content.

Ever thought why Adobe Flash was never bought to the iPhone?

yesterday I wrote that HTC Hero features Flash and that makes it a killer gadget. The actual reason remains buried despite the excuses from apple. The reason being, if they allow Flash to run, it will get out of Apple’s control what applications will be running on iPhone. Since Flash is a versatile platform for Gaming, applications, multimedia; Apple will no longer have control over it via AppStore. The applications will be sold directly to the user or available free of cost and Apple is not ready for it.

This is not just the case. Strange things have happened with the approved applications too. The application, “Hottest Girls” disappeared from the App Store on Thursday, though the development team behind the app, Allen the Geek, wrote on its Web site the application had “sold out” and pulled the app to prevent their servers from crashing. “Those who already have the app will still be able to use our app,” posted the ATG development team. “To answer the question on everyone’s mind: Yes, the…images will still be there when it is sold again.”

But the story doesn’t end there. As similar applications began to appear on the App Store, Apple told CNN that, despite a rating system informing consumers about the content of applications (Hottest Girls received a 17+ rating for, in Apple’s words, “frequent/intense sexual content or nudity), the company would not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography.

“The developer of this application added inappropriate content directly from their server after the application had been approved and distributed, and after the developer had subsequently been asked to remove some offensive content,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told CNN. “This was a direct violation of the terms of the iPhone Developer Program. The application is no longer available on the App Store.”

Apple found itself in the media spotlight earlier in the year for similarly controversial, if less sexually explicit, applications, including the infamous “Baby Shaker” app and a “Me So Holy” application that allowed users to take photos of themselves or friends and paste their head onto the body of Jesus. Days after the Baby Shaker controversy broke, Apple announced the billionth application had been downloaded from the store.

By hosting its own application portal, Apple puts itself between the developers and the consumer market. “Apple has obviously developed the App Store with a revenue stream in mind, but they have put themselves in a position where they’re between the software developer and customer, so they can be a gate, even if they’re not saying it,” Oh says. “There’s going to be increasing pressure on them to restrict applications. It is a free market and it’s part of capitalism and making software that people want.”

One of the Apple’s Senior executive quotes in relation to Steve Jobs and AppStore:

“This is potentially one of those places where Apple needs to make an announcement, and maybe Jobs has to stay the software market needs to be open, In looking at Apple’s history, it’s always easier for that type of announcement to come from a person. That’s the reason that Apple is so loved as a company.”

“In term of the App Store, it’s always delivered, what I’ve asked it for.”

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