Thursday, June 17, 2010

Apple Faces Developer's Collective Action in Korea

Apple's closed approach to the approval and marketing of apps for its iPhone, in contrast to the open approach adopted by the Google-backed Android platform, is raising some hackles in South Korea.  As reported in The Korea Times, Korean internet companies are voicing increasing anger at what they say has been Apple's slowness and inconsistency in approving applications for iPhones. Controversy erupted last month when Apple discarded a number of applications from Korean music streaming sites including ``Bugs Music,'' ``Soribada'' and ``Mnet'' from its App Store content platform.  The Korea Internet Corporations Association, an industry lobby that represents 150 internet firms including NHN, Daum and Google Korea said its member companies are considering collective action against the U.S. technology giant's "unfair" business policies.  Apple has offered no explanation of why the previously-approved applications were pulled, although industry watchers suggest it may be part of the company's changing business strategy for music in the Korea market.
Until recently, Korean iPhone users had been able to access only a fraction of the vast iTunes content pool, but Apple now appears to be opening up the pipeline.  This would mean iTunes would have to compete directly with services like Bugs music.   The outcome of these developments will be worth watching closely, especially with a raft of Android-based phones hitting the market in the last half of this year!

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