I remember past visions of malled-off e-commerce

I remember when companies like CompuServe and GEnie and Prodigy and AOL had visions of e-coommerce that used metaphors like virtual malls in which they would let companies sell things in exchange for a cut of the revenues.

I remember when the web browser came along and blew up that vision.

I remember when cell-phone carriers had visions of mobile e-commerce in which they would allow companies to sell things to their subscribers in exchange for a  cut of every transaction.

I remember when the iPhone came along and its web browser blew up the cell-phone carriers’ vision of mobile e-commerce.

One day, I will remember when Apple had a vision of e-commerce that would give it a cut of all e-commerce transactions by placing a ban on any hyperlinks to e-commerce options outside of an app running on its mobile operating system.

One day, I will remember when smart people figured out how to use the browser to blow up Apple’s vision of e-commerce, as long as that vision included a ban on in-app hyperlinks to the browser.

[Note: I have no problem with Apple charging publishers 30% commission on in-app subscriptions for magazine apps (I have no knowledge or opinion of other types of businesses, like music, for example). Indeed, I can see a compelling argument why publishers would find such revenue-split compelling. The focus of my outrage is Apple’s ban on in-app links to browser-based options to purchase the same items, i.e., eBooks. Banning links is an assault on the user.]

  • The banning of the in-app hyperlink, isn’t a ban on in-app hyperlinking. It’s a ban on an Application developer placing a “free” application in the store, and making pure profit from the redirection to their web based online store. Apple is saying simply that all applications should behave the same.nnNow, I think they should have a small split, but overall I don’t have any issues with the entire situation.