Archive for December 18, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

Phil Schiller Takes Over the App Stores

John Gruber (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Up until now, the App Stores were in a weird place in terms of the org chart — they were officially under Eddy Cue because the stores are extensions of the iTunes Store, but partly under Schiller with regard to developer relations. The problem wasn’t that there was conflict between Schiller and Cue, but that without one person in charge of the whole thing, some problems inevitably fell through the cracks.

Treating the App Stores as part of developer relations instead of “media content” is clearly the right way to go. The stores are built on the iTunes Server platform (WebObjects, still!), but running an App Store is nothing like distributing movies, TV shows, books, and music. There are far more improvements that need to be made on the developer relations side of things than the technical side of things (although better search would be welcome).

It’s good to have a single person in charge, and Schiller is probably the SVP who knows the most about the Mac and the business side of software. On the other hand, Schiller was already in charge of App Review, which is a disaster in terms of speed, and he has a history of making misleading statements when justifying the haphazard enforcement of the review guidelines. The marketing department is also speculated as a possible reason for Apple’s software quality problem, which Schiller doesn’t seem to think exists.

Update (2015-12-20): See also: Pierre Lebeaupin.

Update (2015-12-21): Jean-Louis Gassée:

While running last-minute errands before our Xmas family trip to Paris, I chanced upon Tim Cook in a Palo Alto clothing store. After a happy salutation, I hopped on my Apple App Store hobbyhorse and mumbled that while the Store is an immensely valuable asset, its aisles are poorly tended and in need of curation… and offered my services as curator.

Cook has heard my mumblings before: I had said pretty much the same thing three years ago during a chance encounter at the crowded check-in line for the All Things Digital conference.