Last month, Apple took to the courts to begin enforcing its trademark on the name “app store” in hopes of keeping it out of competitors’ hands. They slapped a suit on Amazon’s app store as soon as it opened and are still tangled in a suit with Microsoft that resembles a circus more than a serious intellectual property case, what with all the linguists running about and the endless quibbling about font sizes.
Feeling impotent, no doubt, Apple has since gone after MiKandi, the first-ever adult app store for Android devices. In an effort to avoid costly, interminable lawsuits, the small Seattle-based operation has changed its tagline from “the world’s first adult app store” to “the world’s first adult app market.” We like boutique better, but market does the trick, since Apple’s trademark only applies to this exact combination of otherwise completely generic words.
MiKandi co-founders Jesse Adams and Jen McEwen are on the sidelines watching the Apple vs. Microsoft fight, but there is something to be said for their collected attitude about the whole thing. Unlike Apple, MiKandi knows that a store is more than its name. It’s what it offers. Their philosophy colored a recent interview with GeekWire, providing a breath of fresh air in an otherwise restrictive and oppressive marketplace.
“Companies need to learn to treat customers as adults, and not restrict them out of fear of upsetting another group,” McEwen told GeekWire. “That’s the approach we like to take with customers. We want to treat you as adults.”
Invariably, this lead to the discussion of an open operating system versus a closed one.
“The great thing about Android is that even if Amazon doesn’t want to sell adult content, the Android Marketplace doesn’t want to sell it, at least the platform allows third-party stores to sell more adult experiences,” Adams added. “That’s the big difference. Your phone is very personal. It’s going to be the way most adults connect to the world, over any other device very soon. Even if the other app stores start to offer it, developers really choose app stores as partners, not just as an app store operator. There’s other things they’re looking for more than just being able to sell adult content — partners that will promote and market the apps, and not just treat it as a back alleyway store like adult novelty shops were for a very long time.”
It’s MiKandi’s philosophy and commitment to users and developers that make it worth supporting, even if you don’t have an Android or desire adult apps.