Thursday Midday Links: I Worry About Apple’s Propensity for Censorship, Do You?
One of the most attractive things about the iPhone/iTouch and soon to be iPad is the robust App community that offers everything from the ridiculous (fart apps) to the sublime (Stanza). But Apple rules the App store like Tomas de Torquemada (Inquisitor-General of the Spanish Inquisition). It’s a reign of terror and uncertainty for app developers. This isn’t hyperbole.
It costs, at a minimum, about $10,000 to get a mildly functional app developed. Whether your App is approved is totally up to an unknown cadre of app approvers. Further, content based rejections are common even if the content isn’t built in such as when Eucalyptus was rejected because the Kama Sutra could be downloaded using the book app.
This is the basis for app rejection:
"Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users."
The fact is that Apple has and will ban content in ways far worse than the episode of #amazonfail. Despite Apple’s concern about the end user and its current quest to seek out and destroy sexually explicit content based apps, Playboy is still a pay option.
For now, though, it appears Apple is ready to let the dirty into their bookstore. Forbes says that there is an “Erotica” category under general fiction and for romance in the iBookstore. These categories may change, however, before launch:
These categories may shift again before the iPad hits stores April 3. Since announcing the device in late January, Apple has changed its classification system several times, says Kastelein. In late February the company listed about 35 top-level e-book categories. It later whittled them down to the current 20.
If you don’t want to contribute to Apple’s desire to control all your media content but you love the tablet idea, be with cheer. Several other companies like HP, Toshiba, and Asus are going to have slate tablets at the end of the year. Here’s a video of the HP one which looks just as lust worthy as the iPhone one. Even better, if it plays iTunes, you can have a lot of the functionality of movies and music, without giving into the Jobsian world rule.
The HP Slate interests me because I am a hulu.com addict and hulu is flashbased. The iPad won’t run flash but the Slate would.
At Slashdot, a commenter brought up the fact that Amazon’s 1 click patent has been reexamined and will not expire until September 2017. The one click patent has prevented online retailers from providing one click buys with shopping cart model unless a licensing fee is paid to Amazon. Apple is one company that licenses the one click application.
Hachette has had a good year despite Meyer sales slipping out the stratosphere to hover somewhere just below it and well above mere mortals. (Like she is no longer Zeus, just a slightly lesser god). In fact, when Hachette did suffer a decline in sales it was directly attributable to drop offs of Meyer book sales. Meyer doesn’t have anything in the publication shoot and it’s questionable how many tweens and moms haven’t already purchased this book. eBook sales comprised 3% of over all sales and $5 million in December.
For those playing publisher Bingo at home, 2009 was a good year for Harlequin, Penguin, Hachette, and not so bad for HarperCollins. Still to be heard from are Simon & Schuster and Random House.