Readability’s App Rejection

Today we saw the first rejection of a SaaS app and that has lead to a flood of email to me — because I have defended Apple in the past.

Even Readability agrees with me according to their open letter:

To be clear, we believe you have every right to push forward such a policy. In our view, it’s your hardware and your channel and you can put forth any policy you like. But to impose this course on any web service or web application that delivers any value outside of iOS will only discourage smaller ventures like ours to invest in iOS apps for our services. As far as Readability is concerned, our response is fairly straight-forward: go the other way… towards the web.

They are doing exactly what I argued for — either agreeing to Apple’s terms or moving on. They are choosing to move on, given Apple’s policies — who knows what that means for their business, but they made a choice. Everything I have seen posted about this so far is whiny — again — this is no different from a change in the law and as a company you need to figure out how to move past it, not complain about it. Readability is moving past it and kudos to them for that.

MG Siegler writes:

At 30 percent, most of these simply could not afford to stay in business. It’s ridiculous. And Apple needs to either wave the fee or cut it down to some low single digit percentage in circumstances beyond traditional media publishers.

(in Siegler’s defense he does agree that Apple has every right to charge this fee.)

This is the view that most people are taking and rightfully so, but don’t think for one second that I agree with it. Apple needs to do nothing for you. If you want Apple to start listening to users there is only one way to do it: speak with your wallet. If you want Apple to change its App Store policies tell it so by ceasing to buy anything from the App Store.

But Apple isn’t the greediest are they — developers want 100% of this and 90% of that — yet they didn’t create the iPhone, the iPad, or iOS. They aren’t bringing 100 million credit cards to the table. That may seem mean and certainly not all developers feel this way — but if you are going to do business in the U.S. you need to pay Uncle Sam his cut — it sucks but that’s the way it is. If you want to do business in the App Store then you need to pay Apple its cut.


If you want to jump on Tommy’s trampoline then you are going to have to be friends with Tommy and that means going to his stupid birthday parties and playing by his rules — but its a freaking trampoline so its worth it.

Originally posted for members on: February 21, 2011
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