Wednesday, April 27, 2005

MN says Apple pulled Wiley books from store shelves

According to the Tuesday, April 26th edition of the San Jose Mercury News, Apple is going to pull all the books published by John Wiley and Sons from the shelves of all Apple retail outlets in reaction to the publishing by Wiley of the Jeffrey S. Young book, "iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business."
If true, this has got to have a chilling effect on other publishers like O'Reilly and Peachpit Press. The relationship between these publishers and Apple cannot be helped by the sort of heavy handed approach Apple seems to be taking. This is also an example of why the kind of vertical monopoly Apple has on the platform is not always a good thing. Yes, I am typing this on my brand new Macintosh. Yes, I am concerned about some of Apple's business practices. Yes, I bought an Apple despite this.
What about their competition? No matter what you may think of Microsoft, I cannot imagine them doing anything even remotely like this. They have embraced openness and have allowed their own employees, folks like Bob Scoble, to even be openly critical of the company.
Apple, by having a string of retail outlets, and competing with and sometimes replacing the chain of independent retail vendors, is in a unique position to influence and control the Mac platform supply chain. If you consider the market as being the Mac platform, and not personal computers in general, I think you have monopolistic practices occurring here. Pulling all of the Wiley books off the shelves of the Apple outlets is heavy handed, in my opinion.
In my opinion, the consumer public is not served well in such an environment. In my opinion, freedom of the press is also not served well. I applaud Wiley for standing by their authors, I hope the other publishers stand by Wiley and I intend to buy the book. I also intend to use my new Apple PowerBook to order it.

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