Electronic marketplaces aren’t free-for-alls
Posted by Lydia Leong on November 17, 2008
Much has been made of the theoretically democratizing effect of electronic marketplaces, like the iPhone store. But it’s worth noting that such marketplaces can be, like the iPhone store, gated communities, not free-for-alls where anyone can hawk their wares.
On Friday, Google was set to launch a voice recognition app on the iPhone. Now we’re being told it will probably be available today. The reason for the delay: Apple hasn’t approved the app for the store, for reasons that currently remain mysterious. Google, obviously, wasn’t expecting it, since they had a blizzard of publicity surrounding the Friday launch in what was apparently every anticipation that it’d be available then. Now, Google is well-known for the chaos of its internal organization, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to believe that their PR people have it pretty well together, which leaves one wondering what Apple was thinking.
There have been regular App Store approval issues, of course, but the Google app is particularly high-profile.
Vendor-controlled open marketplaces are only as open as the vendor wants to make them. That’s true of the marketplaces evolving around cloud services, too. Don’t lose sight of the fact that vendor-controlled ultimately means that the vendor has the power to do anything that the market will tolerate them doing, which at the moment can be quite considerable.