Sunday, March 21, 2010

Silly Wabbit, Overpriced Apps Are For Win9-Mobile joins a tradition of bad-mouthing Apple without a lot of serious justification by publishing an article with the highly suggestive title "Apple Bans Game, Days After Developer Publicly Trashes App Store." The Jaded Consumer calls this title "suggestive" because it tends to present to the reader the conclusion the article's author wants readers to draw: Apple banned a product to punish a developer for criticizing Apple. As disclosed in the article itself, however, the truth is much closer to that disclosed in the also-suggestively-titled article here at the Jaded Consumer, bearing the title "Apple Erases Booby Trap App."

You see, the developer described in the Kotaku article – Tommy Refenes, author of the zit-popping game "Zits and Giggles", which Kotaku describes as being developed as a "lark" – did in fact rant against the App Store about a week before his application was delisted. The rant included claims that, as a non-developer, the Jaded Consumer is at a disadvantage to evaluate – such as likening the App Store to the "Tiger handheld game of this generation[.]" (Googling the Tiger handleld shows it to be a piece of hardware supporting a number of third-party games.)

However, the author also steadily raised the price of his product into the hundreds of dollars, where (a) its description as a "dermatological simulator" could have mislead customers into believing it had features or realism it in fact did not, and (b) its price could be mistaken for a price a couple of orders of magnitude lower, causing anger in the face of the you-click-it-you-buy-it terms of the App Store. To prevent angry customers who feel cheated from hammering the blogosphere with vitriol against Apple, Apple rationally cut the useless and confusing product that wasn't helping anyone with anything anyway – so that, at worst, it suffered the vitriol of one prima donna developer and his small clique of sycophants.

The place to complain about Apple is not where it protects customers from unhappy surprises, but where it prevents customers from experiencing competition. Application non-approval on the ground Apple already ships competing functionality is just not cool. So not cool.

Let's see if Opera is allowed to compete.

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