[LINK] Apple is turning into the evil empire

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Thu Mar 10 02:51:22 AEDT 2011

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Brendan
> Sent: Wednesday, 9 March 2011 9:38 PM
> To: link at mailman.anu.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [LINK] Apple is turning into the evil empire
> It would not be such an issue if regulators felt they ought 
> to use their competition powers, but they are happy for new 
> operators to be completely unfettered by any competition 
> policy considerations (egs: a.  practically the only thing an 
> e-corporation can be done for is misuse of market power not 
> the other stuff in the (old) Part IV; and b.  regulators all 
> seem to be smoking some strong Corporatist weed which makes 
> them believe monopolies are necessary to provide services 
> because they give critical mass.)

Until last year, I  was  a confirmed open systems man and against
monopolistic policies.
However, I am becoming enamoured of the Apple business model which would
appear to be based on functional form, design, operation, co-operation
and useable functionality [with the exception of the i4 antenna
resistance problem].

And one other factor that most open systems persons omit from the

The Apple closed system "AAC" was the clincher that enabled the iTunes
Shop (digital delivery of content), which in turn became the APP shop
which created a global interest in smart phones and a whole new ICT
development cycle.
I'll repeat that. 
- Without the Apple "closed eco-system" it is doubtful that we would now
have as successful a digital delivery content distribution system.
- It is doubtful that phone apps would be as popular
- User numbers globally would be much lower
- Thousands more ICT persons would be unemployed rather than now engaged
in hopeful start-ups (or low cost Phone App creation and publication).

Economically, the regulators would unfortunately, be right.
IT appears to need a closed eco-system to encourage development [if only
to assure the investors that they have a chance of return independent of
the stock market results, if any].

The problem would appear to be the disagreement over the length of time
such "protection" is granted an innovator.
Without quoting reams of economists and studies, I would mention:

Xerox Parc - Graphic operating system 1973, 
Apple Lisa - 1983
X Windows - 1984
Microsoft Windows 1986
X 11 -   1987
GEM -  1988
NEXT - 1988

Therefore commercial research leads  to commercial knockoffs that lead
to open source knockoffs that lead to more commercial knockoffs that
lead to fat profits.

> That said, I'm more sanguine on the issue of Apple b/c I'm 
> not convinced Android won't cause Apple to change its iTune 
> (so to speak). 

My above comments notwithstanding, I think you may be right Brendan.
When corps like Nokia join forces with Microsoft to weather the phone OS
wars together, one has to sit up and take notice.
After all, there is no operating system as stable as Symbian. For Nokia,
the threat from Android (specifically I believe because of the Chinese
take-up) is obviously very real.

So yes, I think Android will create a stir, but economic pressure will
be brought to bear via proprietary closed vendor versions of Android,
which after all is the only successfully proven long term strategy to
build real value for a Corp [and maintain a higher consumer engagement
pricing index].

The winner of course will be the organisation that can deliver a closed
hardware solution, an unlockable software solution and of course, the
unit that can access the most apps sold at the lowest prices...

Then again, Apple stuff is just sooo stylish and functional...

Qualifying Disclaimer:  I own only one Apple product. It is a 2004
vintage Mini IPod. It has resided in a draw for the last two years,
unused. I used to own a next cube and I inherited a G4 (now retired).

My portable music library now resides in 320 kbps MP3 format on a 32 Gb
USB stick... (Much cheaper and far more ubiquitous [and open] than any
Apple product]).


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