It certainly has been a roller coast ride of a month for Apple, and it continued this week with news they had allowed an iTunes competitor, Spotify, to place an app in the App Store surprising many industry pundits who believed they would reject it. Meanwhile, earlier this week Apple showed its petty side by issuing a take-down notice on Tuesday to UK IT publisher, The Register for posting a review of Snow Leopard, the new Apple OS in violation of what Apple lawyers called "confidential trade secrets."
That would have been more than enough for the entire month, but they've dealt with rumors of a possible Tablet, lawsuits, an FCC investigation and oh yes, they released a new version of that Snow Leopard OS this morning (Am I the only one who mixes up versions because they are all feline names?). This month has shown Apple is a complex organization, perhaps more so than we had previously thought.
First, The Good News
PaidContent.org reports that Apple has approved an iPhone App from Spotify. This is significant because Spotify is an online music service that at least has the potential to compete with a core iPhone application, iTunes (which is also a significant revenue source for Apple). This probably has less to do with altruism on Apple's part, so much as fear of an anti-trust or anti-competitive action by the government. As previously reported, Apple is already under investigation by the FCC for allegedly blocking the Google Voice app from the App store. Apple could very well be simply responding to the pressure this investigation has brought to bear on the App Store application approval process.
Then The Bad News
Apple has show it can be quite petty (as I wrote about in Apple Sinks to Blocking Pre Sync) and this side of the company was on full display this week when it issued a take-down notice to UK technology publisher, The Register, which to their credit was not intimidated by the considerable clout of the Apple legal team. The publication rightly pointed out the abject hypocrisy of the move when other publications published their own reviews just a day later. John Lattice wrote in a Register article:
"This morning you may also have noted a rush of first looks at Snow Leopard in other publications, from Wired, MacWorld and the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg. Snow Leopard is out tomorrow, not today, but we suspect that Uncle Walt et al will not be hearing from O'Melveny & Myers LLP, and we have our doubts about whether we'll be hearing from them again either."
Another strange week in month full of bizarre tales from Cupertino. Perhaps the upcoming media event on September 9th will dazzle us anew and make us forget about all the front-page bad news coming Apple in August. New iPods with cool features could do a lot to turn the news around and back in Apple's favor.