Apple's Potential Antitrust Issues?

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
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Apple's Potential Antitrust Issues?

There was a time when Apple accused Microsoft of being the 800 pound gorilla of software and using its weight as an unfair weapon against the competition. Fast forward a decade or so and Microsoft is seeing competition from all directions and Apple is becoming the 800 pound gorilla of tech. When a company gets so big, there comes a point at which they start to get a reputation of being closed and an evil monster - keeping the competition from surviving.

That point may be this month as more and more companies are being refused from the Apple Application Store which you need to be in to legally have your applications downloaded onto iPhones and iPod Touch devices. Just five weeks ago I wrote about MailWrangler being refused access to the store by Apple and now the latest company to be rejected is Opera - their Mini browser is very good and I have used it successfully many times on my Windows Mobile XV6800 device. Apple's Safari is a great browser and I have nothing bad to say about it except that it does crash from time to time. Allowing users to legally install Opera Mini on the iPhone affords Apple customers the ability to browse sites which currently are not browsable - which is why they bought the device in the first place.

I realize Apple has a loyal following and I know I will get angry emails from Apple shareholders and other loyalists. Still, I really don't care about short term complaints as I can see far enough into the future to know that if Apple continues its dominance, it will eventually be dealing with antitrust lawsuits. Another possibility is that the really good developers will migrate to Windows Mobile, RIM and/or Android.

At this point though the plethora of iPhone applications is just so great that I find it hard to see how other phones can catch up to the breadth of available iPhone software. So I would imagine the antitrust issue could come up sooner than we think. This assumes of course the iPhone continues its breakneck speed of adoption, which it no doubt will.

See Also:

BrightHand
,Gizmodo, NY Times, ZDNet

Update:

This issue may not be so cut and dry. I did some more research and came across this entry which implies that nothing was submitted to Apple and thus nothing was rejected. Moreover, a specific version of the Opera browser may not comply with the Apple SDK. Details from Daring Fireball. Apologies to my readers and Apple on this matter. More details to come as they emerge.


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