Ben Thompson, Stratechary,
Even so, to see that power exercised is pretty stunning. On Tuesday Facebook employees and Facebook the company thought they owned their iPhones: on Wednesday Apple made clear that the ultimate owner — at least if ownership means control — was Apple itself. And so a $400+ billion enterprise was thrown into chaos and made unable to work on their most important product, simply because a different company said so.
In fact, I expect Apple to restore Facebook’s Enterprise Developer Certificate in short order, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the long run, the company comes to regret this move: the longer Facebook is disabled by Apple’s actions, the more time there is to ponder just how much power Apple has; the next time Apple’s total control of the App Store is questioned, the more concrete the example of just how damaging that control will be.
Talking or reading about Facebook and Apple isn’t my favorite thing, but Thompson points out what many are missing in this whole “Facebook Research” app fiasco. My reaction was the same as most, “Damn that Facebook! Good for Apple for shutting that bullshit down!” I still feel that way, but the control Apple wields is concerning. Many of us trust Apple, for now, but control is power and perhaps they have too much of it.