Thursday, December 9, 2010

Is Apple Anti-Charity?

From the New York Times

Donations Ban on iPhone Apps Irritates Nonprofits

The nonprofit world is stewing over the ban Apple has put on making donations on the iPhone via charity apps.
No one, including Apple, has data on how many nonprofits have created apps for the iPhone. Organizations like the Monterey Bay Aquarium and American Cancer Society have them, but none can be used to make gifts. Prospective donors instead are directed out of a nonprofit’s app and to its Web site, which the organizations say makes the process of contributing more cumbersome.
“When you’re popped out of an app, you then have to go through a whole bunch of clicks to make a donation,” said Beth Kanter, co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit” and chief executive of Zoetica, a consulting firm. “It’s cumbersome and it doesn’t have to be.”
In protest, Ms. Kanter said she planned to replace her iPhone with a phone that used Google’s Android operating system, announcing her decision on Twitter, where she has more than 366,000 followers.
She also has started an online petition invoking the Grinch and seeking to draw the issue to the attention of Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had attracted more than 1,600 signatures.
An Apple spokeswoman, Trudy Muller, declined to explain the rationale for banning charitable solicitations via apps, saying only, “We are proud to have many applications on our App Store which accept charitable donations via their Web sites.”  -see the full article HERE
Is this because Jobs wants to take his 30% cut but doesn't want to look bad for taking away from charity? Wait, when has he cared about looking bad? And he also doesn't care about making things easy either. 


  1. You also want to add that apple is behaving like a communist entity, you can buy only from the governmental store. You have no freedom to buy where you want. of course all of that so that they can track every single one of your purchase to profile you.

  2. @Anonomous: Or they could just want to insure that it is easy to install software and provide some level of quality control. Some people see this is an advantage of Apple's iOS devices, not a flaw.

    The problem with allowing charitable donation apps is that, in addition to bearing the transaction costs, it puts Apple in the position of qualifying each of the charities. Apple stands to lose both ways. You just know Apple would be sued for discrimination by charities that are excluded, and conversely by users if a charity app they accept turns out to be a scam.

    There are plenty of other ways for charities to solicit donations. Apple is right to stay out of it.

  3. You say "The nonprofit world is stewing over the ban Apple has put on making donations on the iPhone via charity apps."

    Can you point to evidence of this?

  4. I did not say that. If you read the top of the post you'd see that this is an article from The New York Times. You can go ask them.

  5. Dave doesn't particularly care about the validity of the articles he blogs about as long as they cast Apple in a bad light. That's the whole point of this site-- to aggregate negative Apple press. But even lacking evidence, common sense would suggest that charities would naturally be upset at being excluded from the Apple store.

    Admittedly, I'm an Apple fan who has witnessed a lot of distorted negative reporting about Apple. That being said, Apple is far from perfect, and occasionally there are also some valid criticisms. I just don't think this charity issue is one of them as I have explained in my earlier comment.