Via ZDNet articles (here and here), I learned that Apple not only relaxed its restriction on App Store, it also published its review guideline. Before I even saw this article on PCWorld saying Google applauded Apple’s move, which is a more diplomatic way of say ‘we made you open up’, I am already of the view that Andriod is part of the reason why Apple opened up. The other? Recent DMCA exemption for jail-breaking mobile phone.
One thing I learned about Steve Jobs: While I admires his fluent and flamboyant presentation style and how this has promoted better presentation by other companies including Google, never ever trust what he says. Every word coming out from his mouth is business (trash) talk or screened by his PR people. No Antennagate problem? The general consensus is there was and Apple’s demos failed to prove that there isn’t. All these talks of trashing Adobe Flash? More like trying to convince you that you should not use Flash. Saying Android adoption i way below iPhones, implying Apple has nothing to fear and App developers should not bother with Android? [To be truely accurate, he did not say Android out loud, but implied it] Well, selective use of statistics by Jobs (and Andriod proponent) to advanced their case. And by (not) mentioning Android, I know his is at least taking Android seriously.
Note that I am glad that Jobs was forced to open up. That is precisely what the market force is for. Jobs is in the industry long enough to know that it was inevitable.
With Flash and third party apps like AdMob, the other reason Apple opened up is definitely the DMCA exception for jail-breaking mobile phone. We always have jail-breaking for iPhone, but the DMCA exception allows reputable company to jail-break iPhone legally. What this means is all companies will create way to partially jail-break iPhone. That is a problem for Apple. For every iPhone owner it will not look as if they had jail-breaked their iPhone. Apple has to a much bigger job of finding out whether a jail break was performed. A lot more phone would had been jail-break-ed as well. That is bad for Apple. Support cost will go sky-rocket. The best way around this? Relax the restriction.
(Updated later the same day)
Wired reported that FTC may have something to do with it. My take is FTC need not be concerned about it. Apple’s product are expensive, high end and to maintain its exclusivity, will probably remains so for an extremely long time. If Apple wants to built a wall garden, I say good luck to them. For joe consumer it does not matter because there is no monopoly issue. I would be concerned if Google practice what Apple did with Andriod, or Windows with Windows Phone 7 as they both covers a much larger market segment where monopoly can be an issue.