Charlie Hebdo, Apple & Hypocrisy

Philip Elmer-Dewitt, Fortune:

Charlie Hebdo was approached in 2010 by developers interested in putting the satirical weekly on the iPad. According to publisher Stephane (“Charb”) Charbonnier — one of eight staff members killed last week — he heard them out and sent them packing.

In short, Apple's App Store rules flew directly in the face of many things that Stéphane Charbonnier probably held dear, meaning he would never be able to get the satirical weekly on the App Store without making some sacrafices. Apple would not make an exception.

Many might accuse Apple of being moral police here but that doesn't really bother me. After all, Apple supports two platforms on iOS: the App Store which is curated and has rules attached to it, and the web through HTML 5: which is completely open with little to no rules. Just because Apple didn't want them on the App Store that doesn't equal a complete ban from iOS devices.

Here's what irks me though: after the terrorist attack in France, Apple placed a 'Je Suis Charlie' banner on the French version of Apple.com.

While I don't doubt Apple had the best of intentions here, at the same time nobody was exactly expecting Apple to make a tribute, and given the circumstances it seems a little bad in taste. This may have been meant as a show of solidarity but it smacks of hypocrisy, Apple would have done better to just leave well alone.