Mobile apps: A spat between Apple and a popular French start-up causes a furore

The French have always loved Apple. Its elegant products and nimble operating systems, and its underdog struggles against IBM and Microsoft in the 1980s, are especially appealing in a country that prides itself on being chic, clever and revolutionary. Apple’s two stores in central Paris nestle in locations that are dear to French hearts — under the Louvre and directly opposite the Opéra.But the love affair is fading — in official circles at any rate — as concern grows that the technology giant’s market grip threatens to suffocate a business in which French entrepreneurs have been successful: designing applications for mobile devices. The government has made a fuss over Apple’s eviction from its app store of a popular product developed by a French start-up firm. AppGratis offers its users one free app a day, charging developers for making their products known to a wider audience.

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