"Apple’s mobile version of Safari broke with common web practice, and as a result, it broke Google’s normal approach to engaging with consumers. Was Google’s “normal approach” wrong? Well, I suppose that’s a debate worth having[. ...] [But] the mobile version of Safari has “default” (ie not user activated) settings that prevent Google and others (like ad giant WPP) to track user behavior the way they do on the “normal” Web. [...] Why do you think Apple has made it impossible for advertising-driven companies like Google to execute what are industry standard practices on the open web (dropping cookies and tracking behavior so as to provide relevant services and advertising)? Do you think it’s because Apple cares deeply about your privacy?"
Battelle goes on to make the point that, in trying to control as many aspects of the user experience as possible, Apple makes decisions on behalf of users that sometimes result in bad experiences for both users and those organizations with which they're trying to interact.
Apple does indeed portray many of their technology decisions as simply being in the best interests of the user. Even when it denies the user an experience they've specifically requested. And if those decisions innure to the business benefit of Apple... so much the better. Thus, Battelle's message is clear: as today's major players battle for control of customers' eyeballs, there are few innocent parties and fewer agendaless decisions.