Wikipedia Founder: Apple’s App Store Is a 'Threat to the Openness of the Internet'

Speaking at Bristol University as part of Wikipedia’s tenth birthday celebrations, Jimmy Wales, the founder of the world’s fifth most popular website, expressed his concerns on the biggest problems faced by the internet today.

According to the man, one of those is Apple.

Apple’s tight control over mobile applications is “dangerous” and a “threat to the openness of the internet,” he claims.

Wales elaborated, saying that his biggest concern over the future of the internet was the use of “closed” software stores.

Apple now has two of those, including a Mac App Store which is on track to replicate the success of the original iOS App Store launched for iPhone apps.

“The action is taken place in the development of the apps model which is undergoing an incredible boom because there are some amazing things going on,” he said, according to

“However, the concern is that in order to make software and distribute it for free, you have to get permission from Apple so that chokepoint is very dangerous and something I’m concerned about.”

“When you own a device and you want to give someone that software, you should not have to get permission from someone else and I think that is a very important thing,” the creator of Wikipedia upholds.

“People talk about net neutrality as an issue but the real action is in thinking about whether apps are a threat to the openness of the system,” Wales believes.

The aforementioned news source also includes a statement from Paul Harwood, founder of internet publishing and advertising agency Synapa, who said that “Apps are great, easy to use and fun but the devices they run on do have an odd relationship with consumers.”

Harwood seems to resonate with Jimmy Wales’ thinking, in that buying apps from an app store, is “like spending a lot of money on a new car and the manufacturer dictating who you can and can’t have as a passenger in it.”

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