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Apple getting too big?

01 Aug

I have created the following poll:

What sparked this question?  Well, a few things, the first being that Apple is pushing to have companies stop doing in-app purchases from their application.

The big players on this are… as an example, Amazon.  I go to the Amazon account, I want to purchase a book (here is a great one for example:  Great Book Here – Version Control) and I purchase it through my Amazon app on the Apple iPhone.  Thus, eliminating Apple’s cut of the book sale, because I go directly to Amazon store with the Amazon app.

For more background on that take a look at the following article:  ZDNet Story on the subject!

Stay with me for a minute – isn’t this sort-of the same thing that “evil” Microsoft was taken to court over for embedded browser technology in to the OS and Microsoft said it would be hard to remove or separate the tech?

Apple is basically claiming that because the iPhone app was purchased through the AppStore that Apple has inherent rights to all purchases through that App?  Meaning if I’m the auto dealer and I create an app to sell cars on the iPhone through an app, then Apple would get a cut of that sale?  Really?  Apple is saying you go through us, we get a cut.

Microsoft said the browser technology was “now” (1995, seems like yesterday) part of the OS, so we as Microsoft have to include it in the OS and since it is part of the OS it is Free to use.  This approach basically stopped other commercial (non-free) browsers.  What is worse?

Two large tech giants crafting the story to fit their bottom line desires.  Apple trying to get something for nothing and diminish the competition like Amazon and Barns & Noble, while Microsoft was trying to kill competition (Netscape at the time) by giving away the technology for Free and kill competition – which by the way, worked.

They both either use/used their power to rewrite the ground-rules of the game midstream.

The interesting side note is that most companies will now create a webapp instead of the native iPhone app and go directly to their site, thus bypassing Apple all together by using the web.  Thus, Apple’s push could lower user-experience because of the 3rd party webapps and drive more people back to the Apple and the Apple AppStore, thus eliminating the 3rd party competition and raising money again for Apple’s bottom-line.

Second Apple news that gives them this power is that a new survey has just been released that states 35% of Americans will purchase the iPhone 5!  <Article is here>

This gives Apple incredible power, more than they have already.  Will we watch the next big tech giant become the hated business villain (defined as the DOJ preparing hearings and cases against the companies)?  It has happened every decade:

  • IBM – 80s’
  • Microsoft – 90s’
  • Google – 00s’
  • Apple – 10′

Vote in the poll and we will see where people stand today.

Mike

More to come…

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3 Comments

Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Opinion, Technology

 

Tags: , , ,

3 responses to “Apple getting too big?

  1. Michael Thuma

    August 2, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Michael,

    The situation is not comparable. MS web-browser vs. Netscape. Netscape’s aim was not more or less ‘honest’ than M$’s, Apples, IBM’s,…aim to simply make money and get on the way with a working business model, but a huge one. Netscape did not want to sell the browser, maybe first, I think they realized soon it would be better to benefit from every secure transaction,maybe payment or whatever. This was my personal impression. Being the first can mean a big business but does not mean imply the intention to grow a monopoly.

    Apple simply wants to have a clean offering for their customers, the moment content has to be provided especially when sound is involved, specially music and video they have to be restrictive.

    Today there is a lot bigger force that limits the moves – open source, especially FOSS. FOSS on one hand allows MS to still take almost 100% of the budgets for desktop computer spent by an IT organization, but on the other there is nothing else to remove in favor of an MS product … IBM in the end suffered from the same – there was nothing else left to remove but the ‘host’ and replace it with SAP in the area of ERP in Mid-Europe. I think for both MS and SAP the bells already toll silent but do … no business lasts forever … These corporates will live long long … from the market dominator’s perspective I am not so sure, they still have power enormous …

    Honestly, you will very likely change the car after a while. I don’t hate Windows or MS but looking into the same ‘pain’ every day is also not funny. What has changed is that money has to be made with devices + content. I agree with you, I am confident too that the Apple World is growing into an influencing ECO system beyond selling devices. Many hardware vendors blow into this horn … the game is a lot bigger one. Linux is the dominating OS in the meanwhile considering all devices.

    Greetings
    Mike

     
    • techmana

      August 2, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Michael,

      First thanks for the comments, but I think I’m going to have to disagree with some of the points you make.

      You stated that Netscape did not want to make money off the Browser, well that was really on the only power they had at the time:

      “One was resources: Netscape began with about 80% market share and a good deal of public goodwill, but as a relatively small company deriving the great bulk of its income from what was essentially a single product (Navigator and its derivatives), it was financially vulnerable. Netscape’s total revenue never exceeded the interest income generated by Microsoft’s cash on hand. Microsoft’s vast resources allowed IE to remain free as the enormous revenues from Windows were used to fund its development and marketing. Netscape was commercial software for businesses but provided for free for home and education users; Internet Explorer was provided as free for Windows users, cutting off a significant revenue stream: As it was told by Jim Barksdale, President and CEO of Netscape Communications: “Very few times in warfare have smaller forces overtaken bigger forces…”[9]” – taken from Wikipedia

      You state that “Apple simply wants to have a clean offering for their customers…”

      While that case could be made, maybe, isn’t more likely that a competitor like Amazon that sells books, movies, music, etc, as does the Apple AppStore… that Apple really wants those transactions going to them. If I have a native i-app on the device that allows me to buy from Amazon as an example, and I, the user, like that well-defined, often implemented approach to buying things on the web (it is hard for me to believe that the purchase process is much different from either Apple, or in the example Amazon, buying things on the web is a fairly normal process) that Amazon would give a terrible user experience and cause Apple to look bad. If an app is bad, regardless of where or who it came from, it is a bad app. If I can’t get the service from that particular “bad” app, I would pick one of the other apps that do the same thing right. So making the argument that it is about customers is IMO very weak, it just does not hold up.

      This move as I stated in my post will most likely cause 3rd parties like Amazon to make webapps that actually “may” give a worse experience in the buying process, which is funny that is what Apple is complaining about with the native apps. So if I’m Apple and I push you to create a webapp that is not near as good as a native experience and only Apple allows a native experience when it comes to purchasing from an AppStore… hmmm makes you wonder if this is about user experience or getting the cut of the purchase.

      While I agree that open source and FOSS has slightly changed the landscape and I mean very slightly in actuality. Microsoft still has 88 – 92% of the desktop share worldwide and keep in mind that the real money maker for Microsoft is not Windows, it is Office, which again still owns a majority for market share (94% as of 2010) and while other “office” products exist and are not bad, Microsoft still owns the market hands down. I can’t speak to SAP, I just don’t know them well enough. One other thing about IBM, they are still doing all the things they did in the 80’s it is just no one really watches them anymore and Microsoft will go back to doing what it was doing once the eyes are off them and the DOJ is looking at someone else. (Google or soon Apple)

      I don’t understand the “the game is a lot bigger one. Linux is the dominating OS in the meanwhile considering all devices.”

      If we are talking Desktop or even the data center, I don’t believe that is truly the case, if you are talking devices, I would not say Linux, I would point to Android as the leader in that area.”

       
  2. Michael Thuma

    August 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Oh, thank you for reply.

    Netscape – they had one of the first ‘secure’ web-servers commercially available … at least afik, but you will very likely know it better. I think Microsoft has understood very soon the potential of the web applications and the change at the business process level, but have no clean solution …

    Android is Linux 2.6. UNIX is open and portable … it was designed with this goal in mind … I think it is not wise today to look at just PC related devices only. ‘This is the bigger game’. The context for solutions implemented today is a lot bigger one than client server or n-tier an a PC and Windows is tied to PC.

    IBM host was just chosen as one example for missing diversity. This has nothing to do with IBM as a company. IBM is still one of the strongest ECO Systems … compared to the few cowboys on Windows in the MS ECO system – forget MS from this perspective – very casual, … this ok for their mid-ranges. I know that they make money with Office – I use LibreOffice. I just have one computer with Windows OS for Excel. PC and Windows will stay, people will use Office and Excel is still good.

    SAP killed almost every competition in Germany these days, they turned around the more tiny ERP vendors into their consultancies, but this only one mosaic stone in SAP winking history … on the other hand they gave hungry business consultants from a deceasing market a good opportunity. Business is hard and every medal has at least two sides.

    On the article … I would simply not build an application that works on a device of a company that runs a competitive store. In practice I think people will simply take a web browser. Apple can claim whatever they like … the idea of someone bought at my store so I want to have money via this indirection … this is ‘highway robbery’. If someone thinks that Mr. Jobs yearly speech was more than about the moment the One dropped down in front of the real update price, should rethink IT sales:). If Mr. Jobs would sell electric blankets then every granny would buy a container full. I have no problem with this … Apple have cool devices and know how to sell and very efficient. My argument was not about customers it was about the content business. I think it would be wise for Apple to separate it, make their store … and that’s it. Amazon Store is different, they solve(d) a logistics problem first for real goods …

    In our simple world, we go to the local book store first or visit the website of the local bookstore. If we don’t find what we need we go to the Amazon.de or Amazon.uk. I don’t need an IPhone to by at Amazon … I think the browser solution will be the alternative.

    Am I right if I assume that you are thinking about something like a ‘meta’ purchase app connected to a fulfillment portal? This is the concept of the Central Security Depository … more or less and the banks are the stores. Something not totally comparable exists, Cloud File Space broker that offer a cloud file space under their ‘name’ and in the background send the files to disk’s at various clouds and optimize the purchase because of one who buys lot’s of cloud space …

     

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