Home > Android, Industry Talk, iPad, iPhone, Steve Jobs > Steve Jobs…You can’t be serious!

Steve Jobs…You can’t be serious!

It is my distinct displeasure to share with you this week’s recipient of the  “You Can’t Be Serious Award”… iPad gatekeeper, Mr. Steven Jobs.

Last year, under the guise of offering us freedom (freedom from porn, flash, etc), Mr. Jobs became the iPad/iPhone dictator, decreeing what was appropriate for iPad/iPhone users and what was not.  I was rather surprised by his holier-than-thou declaration, “We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone.” but didn’t pay it a lot mind back then.

But now Apple’s CEO has gone too far.  Apple is now rejecting newspaper applications it used to approve because Mr. Jobs wants a cut of every publisher’s business, citing “Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.”

This story in TownNews.com states pretty well what’s going on…

The nut of the matter is that newspapers or magazines will have to play by Apple’s strict rules – including a 30 percent revenue share – if they want to distribute newspapers via the Apple App Store. Apple also has strict rules about sharing with publishers, information about customers who download newsstand applications.

Apple has made it clear that it won’t approve any apps that try to by-pass Apple’s revenue cut. Newspapers and magazines won’t be able to have any kind of “pay wall” that doesn’t include 30 percent for Apple. Passwords, registrations and other sign-on devices will be barred by the App Store unless Apple gets its cut.

Mr. Jobs sure didn’t have any problem “using” newspapers to sell the iPad at launch time last year. Now he’s doing his best to destroy their business and double-charge their subscribers.

So, what does that mean to you the readers?

It means that you can’t get your newspaper on the iPad without paying Mr. Jobs directly.   Apple will only accept apps that use a 100% “in app purchase model” (i.e. Jobs will control all the money and all the users).  No longer will your publisher be able to offer you a great deal – like bundled print/digital subscriptions. If you’ve purchased your newspaper online (i.e. can read it in Safari on the iPad), you have to pay again for the right to read it as an App on the iPad.  Paying twice for the same content – how ridiculous is that!

What does that mean to publishers?

It means that you cannot run your business the way you want.  Mr. Jobs will charge you 30% for the pleasure of hosting all your valuable content on his servers.  You won’t even know who all your readers are – Mr. Jobs will own your customers and declare “freedom from data piracy” as the justification for stealing what should be rightfully yours.   No other device manufacturer out there tries to control user data.  What gives Apple the right?

It’s really very scary; Mr. Freedom Fighter is showing his megalomaniac stripes.  I guess it should come as no surprise after Apple announced it wanted to do its own newspaper app.  We should have seen it coming that Jobs would find a way to hold publishers hostage – it’s his way or the highway!

European publishers are already getting ready for a legal battle and I expect North America won’t be far behind.  Meanwhile, all we users can do is fight this injustice with our “Freedom of Choice”.  The iPad is a cool device, but the “cost” of “freedom” is too high.

Android is  looking better every day!


  1. Sal
    January 25, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Very easy solution, screw Steve Jobs and screw Apple. It’s there lose.
    Love Jobs, love Apple but I can see they are going to be just like Standard Oil a century ago that has the government break them up because they are monsters and dominate too much of the industry. As much as we all love the App Store its an evil empire because one company runs it and dictates who can get in and who can’t.
    Steve Jobs says that he builds machines for the masses, how about giving business a break and only taking 10% for App store stuff. They are building the greatest technology that nobody will buy because Apple is turning into the “pimps” of computer and software needs and if we get to use to it could be held hostage by Jobs and Apple.
    Again it’s only a matter of time before anti-trust laws are observed with Apple and that will really drive it’s stock, down to the $15 level it was in 2005.

    • January 25, 2011 at 1:15 am

      Hi Sal! Thanks for your comment. It really is quite amazing what they are doing.
      I hate to hurt all the share holders, but it’s gone too far and I agree, the anti-trust laws will have to come into play here.


  2. Andy
    January 25, 2011 at 2:35 am

    I have been using the pressreader apps on both my android and iphone/ipad for a while now. There is no question that the ipad is the best experience for press reader. But the reality is that I have been using my android phone more and more anyway. So this will not be so bad for me. I just wish the resolution were better on my Evo. I am guessing that the lack of focusing that I get on my android phone is due to hardware of the evo rather than the app? The iphone/ipad really were crisper. But you know what? I was thinking about ditching the iphone anyway. Being able to have pressreader is more important to than having an iphone. I look forward to the android app being developed in future versions 🙂

    If enough people start to leave apple, maybe they will learn some respect for their customers. Of course, it does seem future apple issues may not be decided be Jobs given his apparent health issues. He has stepped down again. Maybe new management will re-consider some of his mistakes…

    • January 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Andy.

      The Android devices coming to the market are going to change the playing field big time I think. And don’t forget about the BB Playbook.

      The Galaxy Tab was just the first, but in 2011, I think a lot of people will adopt an Android tablet over the iPad because of the real freedom that gives them.

      Thanks so much for your support!!!


  3. Laurence
    January 25, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Does this mean there will be changes in PressReader for the iPad?

    I love my iPad, I bought it on day 1 and have used it every day since. It’s my favorite piece of technology since my first computer in the mid-90’s. But if Apple destroys its existing marketplace of newspapers, magazines, and books, I’ll put it on eBay.

    • January 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Laurence,

      Thanks so much for your comment.

      We expect Apple will reject PressReader at some point because we allow users to authorize their account through PressDisplay. However, we are working very hard internally to find a solution to this problem, so…don’t panic yet. 😉


  4. Rod
    January 25, 2011 at 5:58 am

    I’ve seen this coming for quite awhile and decided to stay away from Apple products for exactly this reason. Happy to have your Android app, finally, and have been using Windows version for quite awhile – terrific apps. Keep up the good fight, and it’s a good idea to let people know what’s going on, as you’ve done here. We need some good Android/Windows tablets and good apps like yours to keep Apple greed from spoiling innovation.

    • January 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks Rod! Really appreciate the kind words. The battles are beginning for sure with Apple. I hope consumers are the ones would will help publishers win this war. Spread the word!


  5. Sam
    January 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    If I buy something on Amazon using my iPad or a PC, I don’t expect to pay Apple 30%. Why should I have to do so for newspapers?

    What next? Perhaps Samsung, who makes the iPad’s A4 processor, wants 30%. Maybe LG, the screen manufacturer, wants a cut too.

    I bought my iPad on the basis that I could use my PressDisplay subscription and now this suddenly won’t be possible. It’s highly dishonest; Apple is living in loopy land.

    • January 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Sam.

      Totally agree with you – totally unrealistic expectations on the part of Mr. Jobs.

      But I don’t think you’ll see the same behavior from other device manufacturers. I think this is just an Apple issue and frankly I think they will live to regret it. Watch what happens when less expensive Android devices hit the market. And never underestimate the power of RIM either. The playbook is certainly going to appeal to a lot of people.
      Thanks so much for your comment.


  6. Holger Winkler
    January 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    As a matter of fact this is undermining the efforts of commercial companies who have struggled for free trade in last century. NAFTA and CAFTA have agreed upon to have governmental interferences to be unacceptable. The governments accepted this but an apple is an APPLE- the bible and the paradise – an apple too


  7. Sam
    February 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    It seems that Apple isn’t being as strict as first thought (?)


    Apple is still being unreasonable, but it looks like subscriptions paid for on the PressDisplay website will still be permitted. My understanding is that as long as PressReader offers in-app purchases along side purchases through PressDisplay, which it already does, it will be approved. Who knows in a year’s time, though. What’s the latest from your side, Gayle? I hope you continue to support iOS, for my sake. 😉

    • February 1, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      Hi Sam,
      I just read that article and this article as well. http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/01/apple-nothing-has-changed-except-for-this-one-thing/

      It’s still not certain if Apple will accept apps that offer both options (in app purchase and browser). I’m hoping we’ll know more tomorrow. But we’re not giving up at all. We’ll have a solution for our iPad/iPhone fans 🙂 But if Apple doesn’t behave nicely, it may not be as simple as it is today.


  8. Everett
    February 6, 2011 at 7:28 am

    If Apple makes the mistake of making it difficult for great apps like PressReader, I will certainly do my part to ensure it is well published on Facebook and Twitter.

    • February 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Everett!
      Thank so much for your support! It is still a very uncertain situation with Apple. They are being less than transparent and have sent conflicting messages to different publishers about their apps.

      But rest assured that our R&D team is already madly working on a solution so that our subscribers will be able to get all their favorite titles on the iPad or any device they choose to use.


  9. Laurence
    February 15, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Well, Apple dropped the bomb today with a press release, and it looks like all the subscription details are just what you said they would be. I hope your R&D folks can come up with a way around it. Otherwise, that new Samsung Galaxy 10 inch tablet and the Xoom are looking pretty interesting.

  1. January 25, 2011 at 1:28 am

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