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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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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


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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