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After iPhone Live: Is AppleTaking Down iPhone’s Walled Garden — Or Just Building A New Fence?

Now that the dust has settled from yesterday’s Apple’s (NSDQ: AAPL) iPhone event, here’s the big question: is Apple actually tearing down the garden wall or building a new fence? Unfortunately, it will be hard to answer until we see exactly how Apple starts to throw its weight around. For starters, they’ve confirmed that they will block some apps, even if they don’t fall into obvious buckets of malicious or porn. But it’s unclear exactly what will be fair game. They said yesterday that VoIP apps will be allowed only on WiFi, not on the cellular network — and, as Engadget points out, that SIM unlocking remains prohibited, too — but what about more ambiguous issues, such as building an app to purchase MP3s from an iTunes competitor such as Amazon? Where will it stop?

One thing is exceedingly clear: Apple’s control. CEO Steve Jobs said the only way to sell an app is to go through Apple — on the App store or on iTunes: “If the developer doesn

One Response to “After iPhone Live: Is AppleTaking Down iPhone’s Walled Garden — Or Just Building A New Fence?”

  1. More importantly than whether Apple will want a cut of advertising fees on a free app is whether Apple will want a cut of SERVICE fees on a free app.

    For example, would Mobimate have to pay Apple a chunk of their Worldmate Pro service fees (the app is free, the service costs).

    If not, this is a real loophole providing Apple's service is really worthwhile (which I think it is). If so, this is a real pain in the neck, because services cost money to run (unlike license revenues, which are money earned on investment already made). Reducing the proportion of service revenues with no concomitant benefit is a real pain.