Apple Stabbing eBook Competitors?

Well, what else can be made of this?

App Store rejections tied to third party rights infringements

[A] developer who built an e-book reader received a recent rejection along the same lines. The application might be used to read copyright infringing books, so Apple will not let it in App Store.

Emphasis added by me.

Hey, the Safari browser built-into the iPhone can be used to read infringing material. Does Apple plan to ban that?

This latest lunacy from Apple makes me believe in ulterior motives, not plain stupidity.

First Apple banned all apps that can use Google Voice.

Some wag on Twitter said that wasn’t due to the phone portion, it was because Apple planned to create a search engine.

However, given the Voice Command app now included in the latest version of the iPhone OS, it does make me wonder if Apple harbors its own VOIP ambitions. Dave Winer complained early on (and I berated him about it — shortsightedly, I now see!) about the lack of VOIP in the iPhone.

But we have rumors of a new iPod Touch on the way, and it makes me wonder if it will debut with some sort of built-in VOIP capability.

In addition, someone on Twitter today noted the ongoing conflict between Skype and eBay:

@mikecane Considering the Skype boys are threatening license nonrenewal on eBay, an Apple VOIP isn’t all that farfetched.

So, what better way for Apple to ensure its VOIP plans go through than by locking out competition?

Which leads me back to eBooks.

Apple is already rumored to be entering the digital book field in a roundabout way.

Given that Steve Jobs has a very refined aesthetic, he can’t help but to have utter contempt for all current eBook reading software. So what better way to discourage its further development than to deny it access to the App Store?

Could Stanza, the Kindle Reader, and other such apps — and even standalone eBooks — also be in jeopardy?

We’ll have to see.

A warning note to all, however: Apple is at the top of its game. Many things that Steve Jobs considers Ugly or Wrong are now ripe for his taking. I wouldn’t put it past Apple to create a Google competitor. It’d be done in a back-handed fashion first: as an adjunct to the Mobile Me service.


More details about the eBook reader rejection:

The most ridiculous App Store reject I’ve ever seen
iPhone ebook reader rejected for… being an ebook reader?

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