This not very exciting story caught my attention this morning, as it occurred to me that this sort of behaviour is a pretty good barometer of Apple’s post-Jobs health.
If you can’t be bothered to follow the link, it’s basically about the fact that negotiations between Apple and the Japanese mobile phone carrier have stalled because Apple have a long-standing policy of not allowing carriers to pre-install software on the phone.
This kind of junk-ware (often characterised as helpful, but typically just a vehicle for marketing and cross-promotion), is endemic on many other phones and on Windows PCs, and it really, really sucks.
I don’t worry too much about things like product innovation at Apple continuing after Steve. I worry a lot more about Apple losing the independence of spirit and strength of character that allows them to overturn the business orthodoxy and do things in the right way for the optimum user experience.
If Apple ever start allowing carriers to pre-install software on the iPhone, or partners to put stickers on the box, it will be a sign that the end is nigh.