Apple criticizes TransMedia CEO for saying users are platform-agnostic

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We all know the great lengths Apple will go to nurture and preserve its developer ecosystem and user experience on its platform.

One developer, however, has tested Apple’s patience by issuing an iPhone app press release that suggests users don’t really care which mobile platform they happen to be using.

That drew an interesting response from a representative from Apple Worldwide Developer Relations, who cautioned the comment is at odds not just with Apple’s primary marketing messaging, “but the entire reason Apple exists”

When TransMedia CEO Donald Leka crafted a press release to promote his company’s new iPhone app called Glide, he wasn’t expecting to be chastised by an Apple representative over the suggestion that “consumers really don’t care that much what platform they are on,” but that’s exactly what has transpired.

TransMedia’s Glide is a cloud-based file sharing service that works on a variety of mobile platforms and devices.

Here’s the key passage from the press release which irked Apple:

Consumers really don’t care that much what platform they are on, where their files are stored, or what the file types and file formats are. They simply want to be able to easily access and share a family photo, a letter to a friend, a favorite song or show.

Apple’s response, in its entirety, via TechOpinions:

We believe the best press releases for a product launch concentrate on that product. Your release is ostensibly for the launch of your iPhone app, but the copy actually references other apps on other platforms more often than it mentions the one being launched. We think the customers, bloggers, and media who follow app launches are usually quite parochial — quite focused on specific platforms — so we counsel developers to craft press releases tailored to each individual platform.

And that brings me to my final point: the tone of your release and your product positioning is at odds with not just our primary marketing messaging, but the entire reason Apple exists. To wit, you are quoted in the press release as saying “Consumers really don’t care that much what platform they are on…”

Our drive, our passion, our singular focus on creating the best products we can make is rooted in the fundamental belief that customers really do care about the products in which they invest their time, money, and energy. We strive to make the best products we can because we believe the right product will change a customer’s life. And customers do indeed care about things that change their lives.

Our experience is that customers are interested in apps that help them get more from their iPhone, that give their cherished, chosen device exciting new functionality that fits their mobile lifestyle. I’d encourage you to recast your messaging in this positive, affirmative way.

I’m not sure that I agree with Apple’s move.

From where I’m standing, Apple could have served its interests better if it contacted the developer privately.

Maybe Apple wanted to publicize its thinking to give other devs a future reference of sorts, but the official written response will only add up to bad press.

On the other hand, Apple’s thinking has its merits.

Even though people don’t care what device/OS they use to the extent of having their data readily available anywhere, anytime and on any device, a bunch of people actually do care a lot about the mobile operating system when purchasing a mobile device.

People buy a certain smartphone or tablet brand primarily because it runs iOS, Android, Windows or whatever software that powers the device. Along with price, the enabling software platform is arguably the key factor in making informed purchasing decisions.

From yur standpoint, are Apple’s arguments sound?

And would you agree that users are quite “parochial,” as Apple put it?