Apple just released changes to their pricing structures, and are receiving a heavy backlash from larger publishers and from some smaller app creators who are crying “not fair”.
In essence this change restricts publishers from selling access to any portions of their app outside of the app store, and ensures that 30% of the sale price goes to Apple.
In the US there are rumblings of an anti-trust investigation, which I think I’m right in saying would be the first time that Apple have received this sort of attention.
I’m sure Apple are going to take this in their stride, and that publishers of all sizes will eventually just quieten down/roll over and accept the might of Apple, but there’s another long-term scenario that I imagine could be starting to play out here…
If you squeeze your eyes tightly closed, you could picture an Apple without Steve Jobs at all, and someone else at the helm who is not quite so controlling, and possibly still believes in Apple as the challenger brand, the benefactor, the champion of User Experience and friend of the niche markets. This new boss could start to be swayed by the weight of press and popular opinion and start to cave on some of these less popular issues. Maybe losing Jobs will have less impact on the inspiring products, but more impact on the business models that Apple chooses to put in place, resulting in a less powerful, more altruistic Apple over time.