A couple observations on some of the negative press harping on the closed or appearing to be closed Apple App store.
1. There are more forces at play here then just Apple. AT&T also has some influence on what application run on the iPhone while it runs on their network. Take Netshare for example the application that let you use your 3G iPhone to connect to your computer and browse the internet at 3G speeds on AT&T's 3G network. They did not like that so they made Apple remove it.
2. Apple is doing their best to guarentee a solid user experience on their device. This looks outrageous on the outside but one can argue they have a specific type of experience in mind and they want to do what they can to perseve that.
3. I don't hear the masses complaining. The only ones who ever balk about Apple's closed systems whatever it may be are the tech heads. I don't see mainstream consumers complaining that Apple is too closed. Sometimes too much choice leads to draining experiences. Consumers needs are simple and Apple does a great job meeting those needs.
Now all that being said it is absolutely criticial to Apple's future success that they maintain good relations with the developer community. Apple's knows that software both their own and third party are essential for them to continue to be successful. Software is an importnat part of the value chain and always adds value to hardware. I think Apple should be a little more open about why apps make and why ones don't. They can't loose the development community but rather should build a head of steam with the right kind of developers. I am sure their are a great deal of developers who probably won't agree with terms of Apple for applications and I believe Apple would view them as not the right kind of develepers for their platform. We can argue whether this is right or wrong all day but as long as Apple continues to see the kind of growth in the consumer market I dont' see it changing.
For more thoughts on this listen to the latest Podcast interview I did with Ken Ray over at Mac OS Ken. http://macosken.com/