Apple channeling Microsoft?
Here again we have a vendor (Apple), with an operating system platform (iOS), with a piece of extremely valuable functionality (the App Store) built in by the vendor, who are now strong-arming others writing applications for the platform into always offering access through their functionality. That all reminds me of Microsoft.
While it might now be difficult to think of the iPhone without the App Store, the iPhone existed for 18 months before the App Store came along: the iPhone was released in January 2007, the App Store in July 2008. Windows and MSIE also started life as independent entities; it was about 2 years before they were fused and optimistically declared inseparable.
The two cases are obviously not the same in detail, but I find the similarities striking and thought-provoking.
Just for fun, imagine a court case aimed at forcing Apple to make their App Store separable from their operating system platform. To allow others to build their own app stores. To give the user the choice to install/uninstall whatever app stores they liked. Imagine Apple claiming that such a separation is technically impossible and that the App Store is fundamental to the iPhone experience.
Couldn’t possibly happen, right?