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Netgear Chairman and CEO Patrick Lo.  (Source: Flickr.com/Jeremy Toeman)
Says Apple will eventually lose out to the more open Android

Netgear Chairman and CEO Patrick Lo has never been a shy guy, as evidenced most recently by his "scathing attack" on Apple CEO Steve Jobs in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.

"Steve Jobs wants to suffocate the distribution so even though he doesn't own the content he could basically demand a ransom," Lo told The Herald, referring to the closed delivery model of iTunes.

This was just one specific criticism from a broad discussion of closed and proprietary products vs. open ecosystems like Google's Android. Lo said that Apple has succeeded so far because they "own the market" of many of their products, like the iPod with MP3 players. However, Lo predicted that, like Betamax vs. VHS and Mac vs. Windows, the open platform -- again referring to Android -- would win in the long run.

"Once Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away, then Apple will have to make a strategic decision on whether to open up the platform," Lo told The Herald. "Ultimately a closed system just can't go that far ... If they continue to close it and let Android continue to creep up then it's pretty difficult as I see it."

Lo predicted that Android would eventually become the standard for a range of consumer electronic devices, pointing to its recent overtaking of Apple in global market share as evidence.

He also attributed Jobs' trashing of Adobe Flash as nothing more than an issue of ego.

As for Windows Phone 7, Lo said that Microsoft had fallen behind its competitors and would continue to languish there. "Microsoft is over - game over - from my point of view," he told The Herald.


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Hmm
By Ranari on 1/31/2011 8:03:23 AM , Rating: 3
A few things here:

1) For all of Apple's faults, they actually make a very stylish, quality product. Fact is though, most people just don't care that much about open vs closed source. If it's cool, and it plays your music, they'll buy it. That's Apple's intent.

2) If Apple actually allowed iOS to be used on more than a single platform, it would be the #1 used phone operating system on the market. Android is a great OS (I use it!), and I love the fact that it is open source, but let's make no illusions to the fact that part of the reason it's #1 is because it's the only quality alternative outside of the iPhone.

3) Microsoft has a good thing going with WP7, and I rarely believe nay-sayers who think something doesn't have a chance. Everyone thought that about the iPhone when it was first introduced, and look where it is now? If they play their cards right, Microsoft can create a product here with a sizable amount of marketshare. It will take time, but they do have one thing going for them, and that's the Bing search engine (Why do you think Microsoft even got into the phone OS market to begin with?).

But we'll see. A phone is a phone at the end of the day, right? :P




RE: Hmm
By Da W on 1/31/2011 9:03:20 AM , Rating: 3
The guy thinks all about consumers but forget about one key aspect: developpers, developpers, developpers.

Microsoft dominated with windows mainly because of its support for developpers wrinting code for their ecosystem. And then once the software was done, they would not port it to other platforms, so windows had a monopoly. It was not that much "open".

Problem with android is that Google almost doesn't make a dime out of it. It uses only open stuff, and look where Linux is today. I don't see google investing heavily to support developpers in the long run, and everything coded for android can be ported easily to other devices. Sooner or latter stock holder are gonna demand returns, not just android activation numbers.

Then comes the issue of pricing. With apple raking a 30% cut of every apps sold in the app store, developpers are gonna be begging for competition. Easy-to-code-for competition, open marketplace with modest fees competition, secure platform and free-from-piracy competition.

Seems to me WP7 has a pretty good shot.


RE: Hmm
By Flunk on 1/31/2011 9:22:03 AM , Rating: 3
Windows Phone already has the best developer tools in the industry. Take it from me, I've written apps for Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Having to pay $120/year to sell your apps does somewhat suck but at least the app store is nice enough.


RE: Hmm
By Pirks on 1/31/2011 10:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Take it from me, I've written apps for Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone
Did you write any iOS apps?


RE: Hmm
By Zaranthos on 1/31/2011 9:51:00 AM , Rating: 2
Without even looking into it I already know of two projects where Google supports open source developers (those projects support many other random projects). Google Summer of Code and Google Code-In. I follow the progress of Haiku-OS (http://www.haiku-os.org) and for years they have been getting support from Google for their project. Since Google doesn't specifically support that project but any number of projects that apply and are accepted I'm sure they're supporting a lot of various development.


RE: Hmm
By VitalyTheUnknown on 1/31/2011 10:05:13 AM , Rating: 5
"Problem with android is that Google almost doesn't make a dime out of it. It uses only open stuff, and look where Linux is today."

Google's business model is selling Ad space to advertisers, google/android does not need to sell anything directly to consumers to have a lucrative and successful platform for developers, advertisers and consumers. Last time I checked their model makes a sh!t ton of money and android, chrome, Gmail etc. is a big part of it.


RE: Hmm
By Da W on 1/31/2011 11:07:37 AM , Rating: 3
Last time i checked google stock price hasn't come close to its 2007 peaks while Apple made 300% return. Their search brings in cash and grows about 20% a year but they spend and spend on many new things that doesn't give them a penny.

Also it is not impossible that google won't be the dominant search engine for all eternity.
And if it does, opponent could have a case of illigal bundling of products by making google the default search engine on their android devices. Microsoft in particular could argue such a case since they where precluded to bundle internet explorer by default with windows in Europe.

On an other note, Microsoft basicaly lost a decade (2000-2010) but is getting back up. Nobody gave them a chance with their Xbox going after dominant Sony and even nintendo, yet here they are. So i take any comment about microsoft is dead with a grain of salt.


RE: Hmm
By mcnabney on 1/31/2011 11:23:14 AM , Rating: 4
One of the core reasons that Apple stock is so high is because they have a ludicrously large pile of cash that is just sitting there. The investors want that cash to be paid out to shareholders as a dividend since Apple seems unlikely to spend it - probably because they would have to buy both GM and Ford to actually spend it all. Microsoft did a one-time dividend of their cash hoard back in the early 2000's.

That is the main reason that their P/E is so high. It is probably trading at about 30-40% over where it should actually be, based upon performance and earnings trends.


RE: Hmm
By rs2 on 2/1/2011 3:07:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Problem with android is that Google almost doesn't make a dime out of it. It uses only open stuff, and look where Linux is today. I don't see google investing heavily to support developpers in the long run, and everything coded for android can be ported easily to other devices.


Wow. Where to even begin? Using "open stuff" doesn't relegate a product to sitting in the esoteric-corner with Linux. You don't see a lot of commercial Linux development because there's no market for it and because every single flavor of Linux is slightly different from the next, oftentimes necessitating a source-based distribution (commercial developers don't want everyone to have their source code...makes it kind of tough to sell when that happens). Neither factor applies with Android (in case you didn't notice, Android has an app-store too).

As for "everything can be ported easily to other devices", that's laughably absurd. You try porting an objective-c program (iPhone) to Java (Android) and see just how "easy" it is. Especially when the API, SDK and development tools are incompatible with each other. Porting an app from one platform to the other can be done, but trivially easy it is not.

And at least some people seem to feel that the Android SDK is more developer-friendly than the iPhone SDK: http://codethink.no-ip.org/wordpress/archives/188


RE: Hmm
By Kiffberet on 1/31/2011 9:13:29 AM , Rating: 4
This guy forgets that most of the population don't care if the source is open or closed. Woman, in general, really couldn't care less about being able to personalise every aspect of the phone or delevop apps. As long as they can change the wallpaper to a picture of their cat, and use the phone easily they're more than happy. With most men it's the same. It's only the geeks who actually want to dig into the innards of the operating system that don't like Apple and the closed system. Thats about 10% of people at most!

Android may eventually win the race, but only because they have to give the platform away. And it's on 100 different phones, each time tweaked by the phone manufacturer and then half the apps don't work properly. People would rather have closed and working than open and crap.
Also, I read a report that no ones buying Andriod apps, so developers are starting to invest a lot less time and effort on the platform and prefer to go with Apple (where it pays!).

We'll see what this guy has to say in a few years time when Apple buy his company with their spare change.


RE: Hmm
By joedon3 on 1/31/2011 9:29:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
1) For all of Apple's faults, they actually make a very stylish, quality product. Fact is though, most people just don't care that much about open vs closed source. If it's cool, and it plays your music, they'll buy it. That's Apple's intent.


I think he's referring to the market here, not functionality. As Android expands, interoperability will be key between android devices. iOS functionality will be choked because it won't be widespread. you won't be able to integrate your TV, PC, phone, etc with iOS as you will be able to with Android because of market penetration.


RE: Hmm
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/31/2011 9:33:50 AM , Rating: 2
Last time I checked, most consumer electronics devices interface directly with iOS (hell my two year old Panasonic HDTV has an iPod/iPhone dock)... and on the automotive front, it isn't even close. Apple dominates.

Even if Android becomes the dominant force, Apple has enough clout that they aren't gonna just disappear (famous last words).


RE: Hmm
By AlphaVirus on 1/31/2011 9:54:05 AM , Rating: 1
You are correct about the consumer electronics including the Apple direct connect, which becomes annoying because I wish they would use USB instead...or have both?

quote:
and on the automotive front, it isn't even close. Apple dominates.

You may want to rephrase this or add a little more details because last time I checked there were USB ports in cars and not Apple's proprietary pin connection. Seeing how Apple is one of the few trying to fight USB support, why would auto makers include anything other than USB ports.

Again, I may be interpreting your statement incorrectly because there isn't much detail.


RE: Hmm
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/31/2011 10:18:43 AM , Rating: 3
Re: iPhone/iPod in cars

For the longest time, most auto manufacturers have had iPhone/iPod specific integration into their infotainment systems. It wasn't until recently that more broad support for other platforms has been integrated.

My '11 model year car has specific iPhone/iPod integration and allows complete control over all music functions/playlists/etc. It even came with a proprietary iPhone/iPod cable which plugs into the center console (it has a standard USB port and an additional data port that the cable plugs into).


RE: Hmm
By cknobman on 1/31/2011 10:20:51 AM , Rating: 1
I agree 100% on the automotive front.

There is absolutely no Apple proprietary connectivity in either of my automobiles or anyone I know.

BUT all of my vehicles have either usb ports or 12v lighter usb converters which just so happen to work perfectly with a universal mini usb cable that all android phones use.

My Sync system works like a charm with all my android phones. I can use it like a drive or a mp3 player without a hitch.


RE: Hmm
By joedon3 on 1/31/2011 10:48:41 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with that. But this isn't a sprint, this is a long race. in the next 5 years NFC chips and bluetooth, or even something new will be connecting phones wirelessly. there won't be a need for hardware docks.

stereo interfaces running a version of android are going to have much more functionality when paired with android devices than if paired with an iOS device.

Apple dominates... right now. 5 years from now? who knows...


RE: Hmm
By amanojaku on 1/31/2011 10:27:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
1) For all of Apple's faults, they actually make a very stylish, quality product. Fact is though, most people just don't care that much about open vs closed source. If it's cool, and it plays your music, they'll buy it. That's Apple's intent.
That's a matter of opinion. I generally like Apple's minimalist design, but I think all incarnations of the iPhone are ugly. I just can't get into them, even the revamped 4.
quote:
2) If Apple actually allowed iOS to be used on more than a single platform, it would be the #1 used phone operating system on the market. Android is a great OS (I use it!), and I love the fact that it is open source, but let's make no illusions to the fact that part of the reason it's #1 is because it's the only quality alternative outside of the iPhone.
That may be true, but only because it was first to market and there was a lot of hype behind it. Additionally, no one pushed the iOS, they pushed the iPhone. Big difference. When Android came out people (meaning the consumer market, not techs) were pushing the G1. We will never get to see a true comparison of the iOS on another platform, and Android legally on the iPhone, unfortunately.
quote:
Microsoft has a good thing going with WP7, and I rarely believe nay-sayers who think something doesn't have a chance. Everyone thought that about the iPhone when it was first introduced, and look where it is now? If they play their cards right, Microsoft can create a product here with a sizable amount of marketshare. It will take time, but they do have one thing going for them, and that's the Bing search engine (Why do you think Microsoft even got into the phone OS market to begin with?).
Agreed, but you have to admit MS has been screwing around lately. The perception is the product isn't fully-featured or stable, which may or may not be the truth, but that's damaging enough. Personally, my money is on Windows Phone 8; 7 is just too new to be fully optimized. I think MS should have just tested the water with 7, but now that it's reputation is this bad it has to be more committed to 7's success.
quote:
But we'll see. A phone is a phone at the end of the day, right? :P
I sleep with it. I eat with it. It sits next to me in the car. At work. On the train. In front of the TV. I use it in the bathroom. I touch it more than I touch my girlfriend. It stores everything I've ever seen, read, heard, or known. We have a special relationship that no mere phone can hope to achieve.

=D


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