backtop


Print 30 comment(s) - last by corduroygt.. on May 15 at 6:11 PM


AT&T exclusivity, Steve Jobs' personal war against Flash, and app rejections played a big role in Apple dropping behind Android in the smart phone market.  (Source: AP)
I have a bit of advice for Apple on how to avoid slipping further...

Oh iPhone, you are:
Open yet closed, weak yet strong
If but you were free.

-A haiku on the iPhone's bump to third place

No one wants to be second place in most races, but in the smartphone war, that's precisely what Android has aimed for over the last couple quarters.

RIM rests atop smartphone sales charts thanks to the fact that the smartphone population initially consisted almost exclusively of business users -- a group that still makes up a large portion of the total smartphone market.  

Apple's iPhone changed the market by delivering the first smartphone truly accessible for the masses.  True, others (Windows Mobile phones, Palm designs) could argue ownership of such a title.  But Apple's App Store, advertising blitz, and slick hardware won over the masses like never before.  And they earned it a solid spot at number two -- a very desirable place to be.

Then came Android.  Google's OS didn't start off beautifully.  From the start many questioned the patchwork alliance, the at times unclear objectives of the project, and lacking first generation hardware such as the first Android handset, the G1 phone.

But slowly, Google began to catch up and pick up steam.  It picked up multi-touch.  Its hardware partners, particularly HTC, flooded hot new designs onto every major U.S. carrier.  These designs like the HTC Incredible and Motorola Droid (Milestone) matched the iPhone in hardware or came awful close.

Apple still had one key advantage -- the App Store.  Google's app count will soon hit 50k, but that pales in comparison to the 150,000 apps that the App Store has.  But Apple made some critical missteps.  First, it banned Flash from the iPhone.  Then it even banned Flash ports to native code, further alienating both developers and customers.  Second, it practiced inconsistent policing the App Store.  Sometimes it rejected apps only to later approve them, other times it approved them only to reject them.  Google, too did a bit of this, but Apple did it far more often.

In the end it's easy to see why Apple lost the coveted second place position to the army of Android handsets.  How could its one handset on one (U.S.) carrier hope to keep up with a plethora of high end handsets backed by a multitude of carriers and a more open app marketplace?

If Apple feels bad, we can only wonder where that leaves Palm (recently acquired) and Microsoft's Windows Mobile division who have been bumped further down the ladder as well.  At least Apple still is solidly holding on to its third place position.

I've developed apps for the iPhone, and while I admit I am now eyeing the Android phones, I still have a soft spot for the old iPhone.  I bear it no ill will.

Thus it is out of best wishes that I give Apple the following advice:
1.  Adopt multiple carriers in the U.S.  Lucrative exclusive contracts are not worth cornering yourself into obscurity.
2.  Release multiple phones.  You already did this with the iPod -- imagine how hot an iPhone Nano would be!
3.  Most important -- drop the rhetoric on Flash and shore up the app approval process.  If you want to be the world's premiere mobile applications provider, there's little room for such poor behavior as you have shown.

If Apple can follow such advice, perhaps it can once again become competitive in the race.  Otherwise, with other hungry competitors (Palm, Microsoft) and hot new Android handsets (Samsung Galaxy, HTC EVO) it seems destined to sink down the sales charts, much like Palm before it. 



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Apple prohibitive? DUH..
By alaskan on 5/10/2010 2:38:28 PM , Rating: 2
I am still amazed to this day that people are surprised by apples moves to control and prohibit features and functionality.. How many of you people that "Report" on apple, actually research this company and its history? From the blogs and reports out there I would say hardly anyone. Otherwise you would know that what Steve Jobs and Apple are doing is nothing new. They have always been a controlling company and controled every aspect of Apple product.
I find it funny when people complain about microsoft as being controlling because compared to Apple, microsoft is opensource! Microsoft writes OS and Office software.. They do not restrict anyone from installing their software (as long as you purchased it) on any piece of hardware you want.
Apple on the other hand prohibts you from purchasing or installing their OS on anything but an apple sold piece of hardware.. Of course some will say this ensures the stuff works but that is a load of B.S. and if you subsribe to that camp you are a mindnumbed fanboy/girl..
Steve Jobs is a very very smart salesman and business CEO.. But he is not an engineer and he is not about getting the best tech out there.. He's about getting his tech out there and making the most money off it.. (there is nothing wrong with that either.) I just wish you bloggers and apple fans would be honest with yourselves about it.




"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

















botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki