U.S. vs. Apple: Who would win?

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“A report in Monday’s New York Post that two government agencies — the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice — are each considering launching an antitrust investigation against Apple,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

MacDailyNews Note: Please see: Apple faces U.S. antitrust investigation over iPhone OS programming tool requirements? – May 03, 2010

Elmer-DeWitt reports, “As the Post sees it, the new policy ‘kills competition by forcing programmers to choose between developing apps that can run only on Apple gizmos or come up with apps that are platform neutral, and can be used on a variety of operating systems, such as those from rivals Google, Microsoft and Research In Motion.'”

MacDailyNews Take: The operative words above? “As the Post sees it.” The NY Post. On their next page they probably see flying saucers helmed by Pamela Anderson fembots mooring atop the Empire State Building.

Elmer-DeWitt writes, “To win a Sherman Antitrust case against Apple, the government would have to prove both that Apple’s market share constitutes a monopoly — itself not illegal — and that it has abused that monopoly power in ways that damage its competition. While it is true that Apple controls what apps can run on its mobile devices and even what tools developers can use to write those apps, it’s going to be harder to show that it has a monopoly of the smartphone market or that its competitors have been harmed…”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Much ado about nothing.

43 Comments

  1. @MDN:

    <i>The NY Post. On their next page they probably see flying saucers helmed by Pamela Anderson fembots mooring atop the Empire State Building.<i>

    What has happened to the Post? The fembot story should have been on the front page!

  2. This is silly.

    Nothing is stopping developers from using Flash. They just can’t use Flash to develop apps for Apple devices.

    They are free to do so on other devices…

    …if there were other devices even CAPABLE of running Flash.

  3. There are NO platform neutral apps, whether you’re talking about desktop systems, mobile systems, or otherwise. All have their own distinct, separate GUIs, core technologies, etc.

    I can’t take a head gasket for a Chevy and bolt it onto my BMW. That doesn’t stop anyone from making replacement parts for either, they just have to use different dies and tools to make the part.

    Apple isn’t barring anyone from developing for the iPhone OS, it’s just requiring the use of certain tools so that the product fits the OS.

    1. Apple doesn’t allow apps that run on its devices to sell products through it without taking a piece of the profits. example Kindle app can’t sell book for you ipad directly in the app without giving a piece of the profits to apple.

      That is not marketing that is abuse of a monopoly.
      For Microsoft you can sell software for windows without giving Microsoft any money. I can only sell iOS apps through apples Istore and they get some of the profit

  4. I agree that this is stupid. If I want to develop a game for XBox, Playstation, or the Wii, I have to use their tools. Worse, I have to spend thousands of dollars to acquire those tools. At $99, Apples’ cost of entry is ridiculously low.

    If I want to develop apps for iPhone, I can write HTML 5 code that looks like an app…

  5. if apple has to open up the iPad to Flash development than BMW has to open their onboard computers to Javascript development. I want to cross compile apps for the BMW onboard computer – who cares if I crash the car.

  6. Apple currently has a run rate of around 35 million iPhones each year which constitutes around 10% of the global market for phones and it’s difficult to imagine that growing much beyond 60 million units per year which is still less than a monopoly/market dominance position.

    I don’t know if they put anything in the water in NewsCorp’s building on Avenue of the Americas, but – between Fox News and the New York Post- I’m beginning to suspect there’s more than a few people on a bad trip.

  7. This is about the nation’s largest ‘now competing’ monopoly fearful of the most successful companies. It is about forcing highly successful companies to mediocracy and not hurting anyone’s feelings. I.e., bail out losers & tear down winners.

  8. The broader market is not smart phones, it’s all cell phones, this is what the court has to (according to the Sherman Act) use to measure market share. Apple’s cell phone market share is small.

  9. @ Gabriel

    The DirectX comparison is the first sensible analogy I’ve seen today. I’m so tired of people comparing computers to cars.

    NEWS FLASH – the iPad is not just another car. It’s a hovercraft. The problem is that Adobe still wants to put tires on it.

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