The popularity of Google's Android platform may pose as a huge risk for Apple, in particularly, Apple's iTunes stores, which is the only official way apps, books, music and movies are distributed on Apple's devices.

Apple's strict restrictions on what gets published on iTunes is causing companies to rethink their distribution strategy, and even mega-corporations like Sony are re-thinking their commitment to Apple.

Sony has even threatened to completely withdraw support for iTunes, after Apple recently blocked Sony's attempt to submit an e-book application for the iPhone, which would have allowed users to bypass Apple's iTunes for e-book sales. Sony has also stated they're unlikely to offer support via iTunes for their upcoming plan to allow mobile users to have access to original PlayStation games.

Apple frequently prevents apps that allows for sales and subscriptions outside of Apple's iTunes system from being published, this week warning newspaper publishers that all subscriptions and payment acceptance should be done via the iTunes framework, or the app won't get approved.

Apple receives 30% of all transaction via iTunes.

Netgear's CEO, Patrick Lo, recently came out and attacked Apple for their stance. "Steve Jobs wants to suffocate the distribution so even though he doesn't own the content he could basically demand a ransom," Mr Lo said.

With these restrictions, many publishers have no choice but to skip support for the popular iOS range of devices, and instead shift their focus onto Google's Android operating system. Google Android overtook Nokia's Symbian as the most popular phone operating system, in the last quarter of 2010.

But not all publishers agree with these criticisms. Australian developer Glasshouse Apps was supportive of the Apple and the opportunities that Apple has offered developers, big and small, thanks to Apple's successful design and marketing of iDevices and the whole app store model. "The opportunity would just never have been there without the App Store ... they handle so much of the process so all that developers have to do is create a great app and put it on the App Store and Apple handles the rest, " said Graham Clarke, Glasshouse App's chief executive.

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