Questioning iPhone SIM unlocking on the App Store: is the obvious unimportant?
Funny thing, I’ve been getting some small bit of, um, commentary today for asking Steve Jobs a question we all well know the answer to: would Apple allow its developer community to disseminate SIM unlock software on the App Store? I guess the criticism is that it’s a wasted question and a lapse of journalistic judgment to even bother asking — after all, of course it won’t be allowed, jeez. Clearly.
But even knowing the answer would be a resounding no, asking whether SIM unlock software would be allowed can be construed as a statement — as well as and an opportunity for Apple to address the millions of potential customers who’d like to be able to use an iPhone on a non-prescribed carrier. Is Apple going to facilitate the process of breaking its carrier exclusivity agreements by helping distribute that software? Of course not. But it’s important to recognize that these also constitute decisions Apple has made which ultimately limit consumer choice — so why shouldn’t they have an opportunity to account for those decisions?
Not that I would ever compare this kind of trivial stuff to the gravitas of political journalists covering the goings-on of the government, but should White House reporters stop asking Bush when we’ll withdraw from Iraq just because they know the answer will be the same every time they ask? No — and they keep on asking, year after year.
Obvious question with an obvious answer? Totally. Fruitless to ask? I don’t think so.