Amazon Outsmarts Apple
Does anyone remember 2007? It was a long time ago, admittedly, but not that long.
In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone. It was magical. It was science fiction. It did things no other device its size had ever done before. In fact, it did things that still haven't been duplicated by other devices. So naturally, people complained. No cut and paste. No USB port. AT&T sucks. No applications.
Use web apps, Apple said. We'll work on the rest of it.
In unison the people cried, "Web apps suck. We want native apps that we can install on our phones."
Apple capitulated and created the App Store, but there were caveats and rules. Apple's store, Apple's rules. Apple gets to approve every application before it becomes available on the App Store. And since Apple owns the store, it may apply the rules in whatever arbitrary and capricious manner it chooses. For instance, Apple may use a random three-digit-number generator to determine exactly when there are enough fart apps on the shelves of their store.
Because it's Apple's store, they can choose not to include porn, pro- and anti-gay apps, hate apps, apps that promote the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or apps that duplicate Apple apps. They can choose not to include apps that use parts of the system Apple wants left alone. Actually, since it's their store they can make up whatever rules they want.
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Apple may also make rules about setting up a kiosk in their store – what we call in-app purchases. For instance if you set up a table selling the same books in Apple's store as you sell in your own store, you're not allowed to undercut Apple's price for those books. You may, if you'd like, send people to your store for a lower price. But you can't sit in Apple's own store and undercut their prices or decide not to pay for the privilege of using Apple's space.