When Apple Stifles Innovation

John Gruber recently talked about how he deals with email on the iPhone, where Apple’s Mail tool lacks the ability to do something even as simple as flag a message in the inbox. He has go through a convoluted process of moving email to a specially-named folder, and then running a bit of AppleScript on his desktop that will take all the mail from the special folder, flag them, and move them back to the desktop. Good grief.

Why again does John need to go through this long, redirection process? Why not just use a different email client on the iPhone? Because Apple is anti-competitive, and third party apps can’t run in the background, straight from John Gruber himself.

Isn’t this a bit absurd? Why do people let Apple stifle competition like this? Am I the only one that thinks this situation is far worse than anything presented in the huge anti-trust cases against Microsoft in the past decade? Apple is specifically denying competition on the iPhone, and all the groupies think that it’s perfectly acceptable, even good for the consumer! But shame on Microsoft for bundling Internet Exploder and a Media Player; how dare they allow anyone to choose a different browser even!

People ask me why I purchased my Neo Freerunner instead of an iPhone. Even disregarding that I’d lose my choice of carrier, I don’t see why people are rushing to a company that depends on anti-competitive practices to maintain the ‘best’ apps on the phone. If Apple’s browser, mail reader, etc, don’t suit the customers’ needs (as is apparent from Gruber’s post), why are they trying to stop them choosing a better option? It’s not like Apple’s revenues depend on users choosing Safari or Mail.app; hell, wouldn’t they get even more revenues from the App Store if people could buy a superior browser for even $1 a pop?

Sounds to me like Apple cares more about maintaining control than providing their users with the best experience….