Apple Inc. (AAPL): Why is the App Store So Secular?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been a very public company for decades, and is one of the most notable and noteworthy brandsin all the world. With that power and influence comes great responsibility. And it seems that sometimes the company takes on mroe responsibility than perhaps it should because of the reputation developed and the control that the company has over its own ecosystem and those developers that try to work within that ecosystem.

At the same time, freedom of expression sometimes finds itself being compromised for the sake of Apple Inc.’s reputation for being a company that does not look to offend or upset large groups of people  you know. potential customers. And reputation can be very important in the courtrooms as well, based on how a company fights its patent battles – is it relentless and aggressive, or is it willing to negotiate a sensible resolution?

Here are a couple items about Apple Inc. and its rep.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

No religiosity

one of the ways that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been known to protect its reputation is with its App Store and its guidelines fr approving or rejecting apps that are sold in the iPhone or iPad marketplace. Apple Inc. does provide guidelines to app developers, asking them to stay away from content that “in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone users.” This mentions content that is pornographic, obscene, etc. But anything having to do with religion is not specifically mentioned. However, a blogger covering religious freedom issues this week posted what he called the top five relion-based apps to be rejected or removed from the App store.

The common reasoning behind these apps being removed, according to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was that they were “offensive to a large group of people.” A couple of the apps were removed after a couple of petitions gathered more than 100,000 signatures each. The apps referenced included “Me So Hoy,” which simply allowed people to paste their heads in a photo over the face of a nun, priest or even Jesus. Another one, “Jew or Not Jew?” simply gave users an opportunity to put in the name of a celebrity or public figure to determine whether that person was Jewish.

Three other rejected or removed apps that were religion-based were those created by the Manhattan Declaration and now-defunct Christian group Exodus International, along with one titled “iSlam Muhammad,” which cited “violent and hateful” passes in the Quran, the Muslim holy book.

Heading to divorce court

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have had a very contentious rivalry in the smartphone wars in recent years, what with the two companies not only battling for market share, but also fighting each other in courtrooms around the world for the last two years regarding infringement of a variety of tech patents. At the same time, the two companies had a strong business partnership behind the scenes as Samsung was a pivotal manufacturer of certain components of Iphones and iPads.

But as the smartphone battled heated up, Apple Inc. ha been working to divest itself of Samung’s manufacturing expertise by signing on with other vendors, which has affected Samsung’s bottom line in recent quarters. Now, in the wake of Apple Inc.’s $900 million U.S. patent award and under threat of an import ban of all Samsung devices in the U.S., the two companies have agreed to enter into mediation talks to work out their intellectual-property differences.

We think Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has always been known to relentlessly defend and protect its patents, so we are a little skeptical that mediation will actually work out in the est interests of both parties. We’re convinced that based on past history, that Apple Inc. will enter the proess with very hard demands and will not budge much, simply because it has the leverage of the recent U.S. court victory behind it.

Any real movement in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock will have to wait until after any agreement is reached  and that will be dicey, since it is pretty certain from here that Apple Inc. will not come to an agreement in mediation without getting at least 90 percent of what it wants. And that will likely cripple Samsung and by extension, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its Android platform. After all, this is a proxy “thermonuclear war” with Google Inc that late Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs promised.



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