Apple on Wednesday removed the last of its Bitcoin wallet apps from its store, citing its removal “due to an unresolved issue”, without getting into specifics. Prior to this, the Coinbase app was removed in November, and Gliph was forced to remove payment functionality in order to stay in the app store.
The Bitcoin community, and Blockchain in particular, have been understandably livid about the removals. In their blog, Blockchain wrote: “These actions by Apple once again demonstrate the anti-competitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies that are clearly focused on preserving Apple’s monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users.”
Particularly shocking to the community is the fact this app has already been downloaded 120,000 times. Bitcoin Foundation is even trying to make a case against Apple for anti-trust, anti-competitive behavior, although it seems highly unlikely that this will succeed.
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The 9to5 Mac website has naturally taken a more pro-Apple approach, saying: “The reality is likely to be rather more mundane: with governments and financial authorities unsure of how to respond to the unregulated artificial currency, Apple has most probably decided to play it safe until the legal position is clearer.”
Other iOS apps, such as Bitcoin market tickers that cannot transmit payments, are still available in the apps store.
Overall, Apple’s attitude toward the crypto has been markedly different from Google’s, who poses no restrictions on Bitcoin wallet apps for its Android operating system. Indeed, passionate users are expected to switch from Apple to Android, with online blogs recommending how to get out of a contract and avoid termination fees.
Last month, the Bitcoin community welcomed Google’s warm response to requests for integrating Bitcoin. Google has been mulling integration with its Google Wallet, and even set up an online survey for the best ideas on how to join forces with Bitcoin.