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back to article Amazon is best hope of a viable alternative to iPad

Apple's iPad 2 went on sale last Friday, with few doubting that it would be a strong seller, since it has very few competitors. But, while there are the usual near-hysterical unit forecasts from bullish Apple fans, there are serious questions for the broader market. In the glut that is likely to appear as scores of vendors chase …

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Grenade

Title

So.... your answer to Apple's 30% cut is to have another company implement.... a different 30% cut. Brilliant!

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Anonymous Coward

Leave people the 30% and they will spend it anyway

I thought the 30% suggestion was pretty silly. The big advantage Amazon have is that they have plenty of stuff to sell already that you don't need specific hardware to buy and use. So enforcing a mafia style cut of other people's business is less of a priority. They could just completely block their direct competitors from the device (perhaps using automatically updated blocklists?) If you were getting the thing at cost price you could hardly complain about that. Natural human laziness would do the rest and funnel business to Amazon.

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The joys of a free market

@Buck: when there's two products with comparable features on the market, the need to compete tends to drive pricing down. Or at least that's the capitalist theory...

Anyhow: I wouldn't have thought it'd be that difficult for Amazon to bring out a tablet at a lower cost point than the iPad. To pick up the story from a previous Reg discussion: I recently picked up a ZX 180 v2 from Ebay. 10" screen, 512 mb ram, 4gb internal storage, 10" screen. £130, off Ebay, from a UK seller.

It's far from a perfect solution; it has a resistive touchscreen, the build quality is definitely towards the cheap end of the scale and it appears to have no power saving features built in: if you don't physically switch it off after use, the battery'll drain flat in about two hours, even with wifi and the screen turned off. And while it's generally responsive, the virtual keyboard is quite sluggish (though to be fair, having tested the Advent Vega in Dixon's, that suffers from a similar issue, so I suspect it's Android's keyboard sub-system rather than the tablet's hardware)

But. It works well enough, and it's a lot more flexible than an iPad. Out of the box, it plays video in a variety of formats (all the way up to 1080p) without any issues - and it's got a HDMI output. It's hooked up to the Android market. I can plug a USB thumbdrive or keyboard into it - and I can throw an extra 32gb of micro-SD goodness into it for around £25 (Ebay, UK sellers), unlike the iPad, where the only way to upgrade is to sell your old unit and buy a new one. It even has a 3G modem built into it - though admittedly, it's designed for use with a Chinese network, so is of no use in the UK,

All told, it seems feasible for Amazon (armed with their economies of scale and a healthy R&D budget) to punt something similar out at around £199, with the extra money going towards better build quality, a capacitive screen and a longer battery life...

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Thumb Up

Cool

You're really selling it to me there Juice. And there I was thinking the attraction of a post-PC device was all about the perfection of the user experience.

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Stop

Amazon best hope for consumers too

Amazon (and Google) are the targets for Apple's illegal subscription policy.

Yes, it is illegal to control both the wholesale and retail price in just about any channel for any product. Simply put it eliminates competition. And that is bad for all consuumers.

Apple can charge a 30% markup if it wants to. But, attempting to restrict access to the Apple customers or permit Apple to control the retail price for products or services available through other sources is illegal.

And there is no doubt that Amazon (among others) will bring this illegal practice to a halt.

If Apple insists upon a 30% cut it will have significant price competition from Amazon and Google among others. And that is why it has to try to illegally control the retail price for products and services elsewhere.

Apple must deceive its own customers into thinking that they can get the best price from Apple. And that is only the case when Apple engages in illegal practices.

There is not a retailer anywhere in the world that would not like to control the retail price for products and services offered by its competitors. But, it is illegal to do so.

Attempting to block access to Apple customers in order to get that illegal control is very harmful to Apple customers too. Either they do not get convenient access to key products and services or they pay a much higher price. And the higher price applies to all customers not just those who are foolish enough to buy from Apple. Apples insists upon rasing the pricefor all customers.

Apple is the consumer's worse nightmare.

Apple knows it can not clear that 30% cut unless it engages in illegal conduct. Apple lawyers know that as well. Apple customers are not smart enough to know it. At least not yet.

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Jobs Halo

ok.....................................

Whilst I agree with the basics of your post I must point out that Apple are not controlling the price at all.

They are in fact saying they want 30% of "whatever" you charge.

Its up to the ap creator to set the price themselves.

They are now saying that any ap the sells content must have that content available only through the ap store. That is where I agree its wrong. But again they are not saying what the price is but that it must be the same as on the content providers site, to me this is a way to ensure Apple customers are not ripped off paying more for the use of it on their idDevice.

They should instead insist that any ap that sells content must be sold for a fixed minimum and that they get 30% of that.

After all content providers have a choice of staying or not......

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Apple doesn't control retail price

If it's illegal then it'll be stopped, won't it, so there's nothing to worry about. But I don't think it is. Apple just want to prevent balkanisation of their user experience.

You can sell for whatever price you like through Apple, right down to zero. Apple charges 30% for their distribution, and that's that. Anyone who doesn't like it can deliver content and apps via the browser or via the PC/itunes (audio/video/books) and keep Apple out of it entirely. But if you want to use the proprietary app format, proprietary store, and, you have to offer not only the app but all additional proprietary content to the customer on the same terms as elsewhere. It has to be this way, because otherwise the customer experience will crumble away into the ghastly mess we see everywhere else.

Apple is not (yet) the consumer's worst nightmare. On the contrary, they have made themselves intermediaries between the individual and the greed and power of big business and thereby improved the consumer experience enormously. Yes, they have milked fantastic profits out of it, but that just shows that big business isn't offering what the consumer wants. Especially the mobile carriers.

There is no such species as "Apple customers". Every purchase of an Apple product is voluntary, and Apple products have very strong resale values, so it's easy to switch away.

So far, Apple has been consistent in supporting open standards, plus a proprietary platform. What they are doing is necessary to avoid a re-run of the Wintel era. What's missing is a viable competitor.

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Badgers

You keep using that word, 'illegal'...

Most favored nation clauses are quite common in contracts these days. I hear even Amazon resorts to this form of 'illegal' price control. You'd think that somebody, somewhere would have challenged one of these illegal contracts.

Illegal.

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong

I miss the Usenet days when you could have a killfile to ignore posters you didn't even want to see. Lewis Mettier would be first one there. "Blah blah blah Apple bad, blah blah blah Apple customers stupid". Your posts are always the same.

From Amazon's Kindle Digital Publishing agreement:

http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com/kdpforums/entry.jspa?externalID=393

"you must set and adjust from time-to-time as necessary the Digital Book’s List Price so that the List Price is no higher than any of the following:

• the list price for any digital edition of the Digital Book in any sales channel;

• if you sell a digital edition of the Digital Book directly to end users, the price at which you sell that digital edition to end users;"

Essentially Amazon is doing exactly the same as Apple. So all you're saying is nonsense.

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Apple dictate any price.

"But again they are not saying what the price is but that it must be the same as on the content providers site, to me this is a way to ensure Apple customers are not ripped off paying more for the use of it on their idDevice."

But that means that non-iDevice people need ripping off. If companyA needs to sell its thing at £7 to make profit, they would have to sell it for £10 on iStore. But could afford to sell it for £7 on their own website. Now they have to charge evreyone £10.

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distribution

My only problem is that it gives companies no control over distribution costs.

30% is not a trivial amount, if it is essentially free to sell on my own website but 30% in iStore, I am forced to overprice my items on my own website, just so they are not cheaper.

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WTF?

Eh?

"What they are doing is necessary to avoid a re-run of the Wintel era."

Eh?

That's a crap analogy.

The Windows bit.

Windows pretty much allowed anyone to write software for it and took no cut. Granted you could choose to use MS products to make it easier, but not compulsory.

Intel bit.

Oh you mean the bit where AMD and VIA made proccesors that could work and Man + dog could make a board, memory or any other add on work with it.

Nope struggling to see how a fully closed platform including aftersales is the same.

Ahh got it, all used shit loads of marketing bullshit to pretend theirs is the best product.

Oh BTW

AppleTel should be the new one, after all when was the last Apple (legally) running AMD processor on a gigbyte mainboard?

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Big Brother

@Jon52: You forgot one key component

"30% is not a trivial amount, if it is essentially free to sell on my own website but 30% in iStore, I am forced to overprice my items on my own website, just so they are not cheaper."

Don't forget that most of these subscription services are direct competitors to iTunes, The Daily, and iBooks. Therefore, your now-increased price is easily matched or undercut by Apple. You'll have to inherently have a weaker business (be it in less margin, or decreased sales) just to "compete," and likely losing out to Apple in the long run.

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Go

blame the messenger?

It is very likely that the Amazon agreement is illegal as well if it attempts to control the retail price for the same product or service available through other channels.

However, most likely the "most favorite nation" agreements normally deal only with the wholesale cost to the distributor, not the retail price.

If Amazon attempts to control the retail price, it too is most likely illegal.

What if one retailer insists upon a 30% cut and other a 40% cut? What is the price then?

If someone comes along and demands a 40% markup then Amazon may have to increase its retail price, right?

The consumer is being screwed here. And that is why these kinds of controls are illegal.

And, by the way, you misspelled my name. It is Lewis Mettler. Not Mettier.

And by the way, the posts are the same because Apple customers are slow learners. Apparently. They do not understand that they are the target for the illegal policies.

Blocking out a cheaper source for a product is always against the interest of the consumer.

And, as Apple customes should now, price is not the only factor. Service counts too. Inventory counts for many products. As well as availability.

If you think both Amazon and Apple are engaged in illegal practices, I can buy that. I do not doubt that they are. But, all consumers benefit directly as illegal practices are exposed and eliminated.

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Stop

Apple is dictating the price

It may be true that the supplier can set the absolute price for a subscription or product, but Apple is demanding the right to force that supplier to not sell the same services for less anywhere else. And that controls the retail price elsewhere.

Do you think a retailer like Walmart would not love to have some power and control over suppliers?

You bet. Every single retailer would want that control. They then know that no one can compete with them on price and they can quantee their markup at the same time. Retailers would all love that. And they would all try to implement it.

If it were legal that is.

But, it is not legal.

Not even a supplier like SONY can control the retail price offered by retailers. Why do you think their is such a thing as the MSRP? Manufactor's Suggested Retail Price? Because it is illegal for a supplier to control the retail price for a product. ILLEGAL. And if the supplier can not do so neither can some idiots at the retail level do so for themselves and for every other channel.

Allowing the actual price to be set by the supplier is meaningless. Forcing all suppliers to cover Apple's 30% and force everyone else to also charge the same high price is clearly illegal.

And it absolutely is against the better interest of all consumers. Apple customers. And everyone else.

Everyone is being harmed by the illegal Apple policy. All of them.

Any product that sells through Apple that way will cost more for all consumers even if they deal with the supplier direcly. So not only are Apple customes pay a higher price, but everyone else does as well regardless of where they buy or subscribe.

The Apple idiots do not want to have price competition. So stupidly they just force vendors to avoid price competition or be excluded from Apple customers. All consumers are being screwed here by Apple.

Direcly by Apple if you buy through them. And by those suppliers that deal with Apple even if you buy directly from them.

Apple can insist upon a 30% markup if it wants. Walmart sets it retail price as it desires. So does Amazon. So does every other retailer. But, they can not legally control the price of the same product sold through other channels. And that protects ALL CONSUMERS.

Does not Walmart compete with Tower? Does not Macy's compete with Walmart?

What if Macy's or some other high priced outlet controls the retail price you have to pay?

I am sure Macy's is not the most expensive out there. What if the most expensive mandates that the retail price everywhere else must not be lower? They ALL CONSUMERS pay the excessive price, right? You bet.

And that is precisely what Apple is demanding to do. It wants to raise the price for everyone just so that it does not look to be too expensive. Apple wants to preclude all price competition or in the alternative block acces to the stupid Apple customers it controls.

Apple customers should be the ones complaining here. They were duped into buying an Apple device. And now they either do not get access to quality media or they pay a very high price (jacked up by Apple by some 42%).

Apple custoemers are ready stupid for not objecting to this policy. It is dead against their financial interests.

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Stop

absolutely

And being forced to sell for the same high price as Apple can cut you out of the market completely.

Suppliers need to be able to use all channels of distribution and not be restricted by being overpriced.

It is fair it set a fixed wholesale price that applies to all distributors. It is even fair to offer some volume discounts. But, fixing the markup at 30% and mandating the retail price everywhere else is eomething that no supplier should be able to control. With or without an agreement with a retailer or distributor.

Apple and a supplier coming to such an agreement is price fixing. Amazon and a supplier coming to an agreement is also price fixing.

Even the Apple agreement does not say that the same service an cost more elsewhere. It only mandates it can not cost less. But, what if you have two distributors with the same agreement and one insists upon a higher markup? Say 40% cut instead of 30%? How can any supplier comply with those terms? The answer is that it must sell cheaper at wholesale to one verdor than the other. And that is illegal. And it harms consumers.

What if some company comes along and begins to sell music tracks. And they want a 50% cut? What if they require the suppliers of the media to sign a deal similar to that of Apple?

Does that mean that Apple must raise the price of tunes on iTunes? Maybe so. Do you think Apple might compain? Then Apple is required to sell its tracks at higher prices too?

What if someone wants a 60% cut? Then what? How much are consumers going to pay then? When they buy at iTunes? When they buy at the other stores? Everybody has to pay the highest price charged by any channel. And who is going to set the highest price? Why, it is the supplier that demands the highest cut.

And who would that be? Not the one that comes onto the market the following week and wants even more profit and does not want to see any price competition.

If the markup is reasonable it almost works. If Amazon has a low markup they can do business without causing all price to go up. But, Apple demands 30% off the top. And many in the business have already gone on record as saying they can not do business at those costs. They can not be competitive at those costs. And I will bet you that Apple would say the same if it had to cover a 30% cut off the top for their tunes, right?

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I do not understand

Why any developers would take the chance of trying to make an iPhone app

All that development work, and then a nail biting wait until Apple approves it for the store? too chancy for me.

And then there has to be a different version for other mobile devices, this market is too fragmented at the moment.

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Anonymous Coward

Which is probably why you are not a developer.

What about that nail-biting wait after making anything - if the customer doesn't approve of it.

You have a very blinkered view, and too chancy will never get you anywhere.

Some developers of iPhone apps are making fortunes. There are plenty of stories out there of developers earning thousands and thousands of dollars/pounds off apps for the iPhone.

There is a chap in London who has an iphone and rides the tube a lot. He thought it would be a good idea if there was an app that could help him be in the right carriage to be close to the exit when arriving at a particular station. He didn't have any dev experiance so he went to find someone who had. Paid that person to create the app and then put it up to the app store.

That app has repaid his investment over and over again. He's just one who had the foresight to say 'that's not too chancy', and there are many more like him.

think about it - you spend £1000 developing the app, you sell it for £5.99. Apple takes their 30%, you are left with £4.00. It only takes 250 downloads and your investment is repaid.

If you follow the guidelines and don't try to pull a fast one, there's no reason why your app should be rejected by Apple.

If you price your app at £0.59 how many sales do you need to recoup your £1,000? Well you're smart, you can do the maths.

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Re: I do not understand

Why bother? HUGE market (there's a ton of iOS devices out there), relatively mature and stable SDK, luxurious developer support, and a your delivery and payment mechanisms part of the package. And, given that you're developing something that's actually fairly novel and doesn't offend too many people, the chance of Apple taking a long hard look at your application are pretty slim.

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Title

Isn't market fragmentation precisely a reason to choose to develop an iPhone App? There are few other models that are sold in greater numbers. If you develop for android, you have to be ready to debug for the many handsets, which are way more varied than the iPhone models.

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Silver badge

It's because all business has risks

The simple unequivocal existence of a risk doesn't in itself justify withdrawing from a market. Decisions are made by looking at the expected gain, which includes allowances for all the risks.

So: it's a straightforward decision for someone like Amazon; probable gain is great and they've the clout to minimise the risk of rejections. It's also quite simple for amateur games writers, since the risk of rejection is tiny and the potential gain is great, even if extremely unlikely.

In practise, the probability of being rejected adds only very slightly to the probability of your work making no income. It's just that "Apple rejects perfectly reasonable app; aren't they a bit controlling?" is much more interesting than "App is released; nobody uses it".

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It's simple:

Developers make IOS Apps for the same reason robbers rob banks. It's where the money is.

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This is why

It's because, in reality, if you glance at the guidelines and make a reasonable effort not to blatantly violate them (which is straightforward enough; the guidelines are mostly common sense and not really onerous), you have a 99.9% chance of having your app approved with no issues. Despite what you hear from a few high-profile complainers, Apple is actually pretty easy to work with. This is not to say that everything is perfect, but the process has been noticeably streamlined since the early days, and usually they end up doing the right thing (like with the whole "must use Objective-C" kerfuffle, which they backed down on).

I know, it's more fun to throw a fit and behave completely irrationally where Apple is concerned. Being reasonable is less interesting, but more profitable....

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Anonymous Coward

Easy

Because if you just follow the guidelines (and they're quite simple) there's no nail biting moments, you app will be approved.

Also given the rampant level of piracy on the Android platform it's also far more likely that you'll make money on your iPhone app. Unless you plan to give away the app and depend on ad revenue of course, but that doesn't work for all apps.

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Re: I do not understand

The payoff is easy to understand: iOS is where the money is at. There are 160 million users with credit cards on hand, proven to be willing to use them--even on fart apps and such. That's a *very* compelling market. And keep in mind that you not only get the iPhone users, but iPad, iPad 2, and iPod Touch users.

Keep in mind also that most apps do get approved (there's hundreds of thousands of them in the store!), so it's not such a "chancy" proposition.

The market may be fragmented, but it is with a bias towards Apple's devices. That is, they command a very large percentage of mobile users willing to spend money.

-dZ.

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Linux

Apple reality distortion field.

> What about that nail-biting wait

> after making anything - if the

> customer doesn't approve of it.

>

> You have a very blinkered view,

> and too chancy will never get you

> anywhere.

...Apple fanboys are so funny.

Apple Corp IS NOT THE CUSTOMER. You are. Apple Corp is nothing but a bridge troll taking a cut and possibly preventing you from SELLING YOUR PRODUCT AT ALL.

With the old WinDOS model, no one prevents you from selling your product. You can sell it at Amazon or Best Buy or from your own custom web store and you don't have to ask anyone else's permission. Microsoft doesn't get to say a word about the situation.

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Anonymous Coward

Like many others

@JEDIDIAH

You mean like the locked down unrooted Android phones, Windows Phones 7, the Kindles, PS3s, Xboxes, Wiis, l and other devices. It's just a different market, not "WinDOS" anymore get it?

What I don't understand is why hatebois care so much.

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Anonymous Coward

Hi Jedidiah

Thanks for your insighful and well reasoned response.

Who said anything about fanboys? - Oh sorry you did. Just like you usually do when making your comments.

Where in my piece does it say that apple Corp is the customer?

For your information (as you show a distinct lack of knowledge) Apple Corp is the company owned by The Beatles.

Apart from that, keep posting you hate. It's entertaining at least.

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Grenade

That IS the problem

@Jedediah - and how many rubbish apps did that result in - ones that crashed, froze, locked up your box, wrecked your files, or just did nothing? That's a rhetorical question but I'd guess somewhere in the tens of thousands. Not to mention all the malware, crapware, trojans, etc etc etc.

Give me the distorted reality of an app that doesn't raid your contacts, cripple your device, run it as a spambot etc blah blah any day, thanks.

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A lazy developer?

350,000 apps say that its very good business for a LOT of developers.

Fragmented? Rubbish - Apple own it because they have the best software. Its all about the software, not a list of specs...

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During the meanwhile, the cognizant in the audience ...

... are ignoring the fad.

Nice to see the sheeple paying for R&D, though :-)

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Not so much ignoring the fad...

...as waiting for the right moment. In my case, I'd like to see a color e-ink display that saves battery life and reads well outdoors. That may be a little while yet. Otherwise, I'll stick to my Android phone and my Sony Reader.

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Freetard

Naw. I'm not buying one coz they are too expensive. Plus, I take the view that I pay once for the hardware, and then just pay for an Internet pipe, just as with my ISP for my home broadband connection.

I will not pay subscription fees for content, especially as there is so much free info online. Now maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not looking for 'an app' that gives me some info or service. I use a thing called a web browser for that. The great thing about this thing called HTTP is that I can find what I need on line and then view it for free -- weather forecasts for example.

So the future (for me) is an Internet pipe, a web browser, and a hardware platform to run it on. I will agree to a one-time payment for the hardware, a subscription to the pipe for bandwidth only, and everything else I will get for free. If you want me to pay for it I will simply go elsewhere. The Internet is great for that, with so much choice I can always find what I want for free.

Long live the freetard!!

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@Charles 9

Ooh, snap! They're good, aren't they? :)

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Pint

Very wise...

....however sometimes scanning half a dozen websites is not always the most productive use of someones time. You buy and app that tells you the general population of sheep per hectare in Derbyshire ( should you need that! ) you have it available, rather than scanning lots of stats websites.

Weather apps, 2-a-penny in the Apple app-store, a lot of them you don't need to pay for and without adverts. Without the MetOffice app I need to go to the MO website or the BBC, scan for the links for my area and play the flash movie to find out it's going to be pisssing down all week. The MO app saves my location, one click and I get an instant view of the weather, close it and carry on listening to my music.

Time is precious and I'd rather be outside in the fresh air than stuck indoors staring at a browser to find the useful bits of info I need to get on with my life.

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Happy

I would be utterly amazed if Amazon was not.........

......exploring precisely that option. Their tactic in selling the Kindle at what looks something like cost has paid off big time and whilst a repeat success with a full song with choruses Honeycomb tablet is not guaranteed by any manner of means, it would be fairly astonishing if they were not at least tempted by the prospect. Decently built and specced tablet(s) populating the price-segments between £300 to £500 with perhaps the next Honeycomb build on board combined with their well established retail content operation (music, films, books and soon apps) would stand a very good chance of cleaning up. Indeed, if I were in charge at Cupertino I would be watching Amazon very closely, in fact I might even be looking at something fairly dramatic with regard to the acquisition of a major content provider - Apple have after all a fairly substantial "war chest" available them.

PS We may end up having to ask for an Amazon icon, with or without horns!

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We may end up having to ask for an Amazon icon

Can it be one of those scantily clad Amazons that I've heard so much about?

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@Arctic fox

There's one angle that the story misses. Amazon, being mostly a seller of content, has traditionally depended on its high margins for such content. It has, however, being forced to lower its margins in order to compete with Apple on some fronts.

Amazon's standard share for (non-negotiated) publication was 70% until they lowered it to 30% in order to compete with iBooks and iTunes. This is a big drop in margin for a company not making money on the hardware.

Giving away their hardware to compete strictly on the price of their content with a hardware company with as much economies of scale and distribution clout is dangerous.

If the expectation is that Amazon will take a play from Microsoft and undercut Apple until it is forced out of the market completely, then this is also risky and foolish. Apple has too much money, and is playing much too aggressively. Amazon would be better off carving its own segment and not competing as directly with Apple.

-dZ.

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@DZ-Jay

Actually I neither think it will be necessary or indeed wise for Amazon to start a "war" with Apple, why would they want to? The tablet market IMO is in its infancy and still far smaller than its potential. Android/Honeycomb tablets are going to be raining from the skies in the next few months at that is just a beginning. Amazon is aiming at what it believes will be a much expanded market for Android apps on both phones and tabs. If (and it is still an *IF*) Amazon elects to sell an own-brand tablet it will be as part of their strategy to compete for a share of the *Android* content market which they clearly believe has a very large potential. It is becoming increasingly likely that the table market is going to be several times the size it is today and it is likely that a hefty slice of that will be Android. That is where Amazon are aiming. Unless one believes that Apple has some kind of permanent lien on the tab market it is obvious that with the coming likely explosive growth in that market that Apple's market share will fall although their share will still be a large one of a MUCH larger market (which implies that Apple will be making even more money on tabs than they do now). This gives plenty of room for a major like Amazon to do a lot of good business. As to any expectation that Amazon would try and force Apple out of the market I can assure you that I do not share any such expectation. For such a thing to happen one would have to posit that the iPad will shortly become a big flop with Android taking over completely - clearly a total fantasy that I do not share. The tablet market is likely to be huge, there is plenty of room out there.

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Worst of both worlds

Since Amazon have specialised in fucking Publishers and Content owners over for years before the App Store was a twinkle in Apples eye the prospect of an Amopple duopoly should fill no-one with joy.

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It's clear

from your analysis that you're proposing a cartel, every one taking 30%. Fantastic from a bizniz point of view, not so fantastic from the end users view point. How about some positive input. Amazon has a fantastic oportunity to put it up Apple and compete for once. What about the idea of only taking 10% or less and forcing Apple to reshape it's business model. Yes I know it's about making money, but a cartel only fucks everyone, competition creates innovation, and ultimately everyone benefits. Is that not what progress is about?.

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Anonymous Coward

The Real Alternative Is ...

... not everyone wants a desktop and a laptop and a netbook and a smartphone and a tablet.

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Jobs Horns

Not until june, now!

"when it introduces new rules on in-app purchasing at the end of June".

I have an "external subscription app". All my updates (new features, bug fixes) are being knocked back by Apple because of this rule. "Must use in-app".

And if you have an app with multiple levels of subscriptions, like mine, you can't let people up or downgrade their subscription with the Apple API.

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Silver badge

Motorola not controlling the platform?

"But bugs in the Motorola tablet highlight the downside of not having full control of one's platform, since most of them appear to come from crashes and other faults in the new tablet release of Android, Honeycomb – not from the hardware. "

I think this has missed the point. Motorola can control the platform, they just haven't put in the developer time. They could fork the code, they could contribute xoom-specific bugfixes - as long as they comply with the license they could do this. Apple obviously does all their own bug-hunting with their OS. Motorola just hasn't done it properly - and that attitude is likely to lead to failure.

To succeed they need to at least: have decent hardware, decent software and have an app store where the code is verified as non-nasty.

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FAIL

Thats an unrealistic statement.

Moto went to Android specifically to avoid the scenario you described. Forking and maintaining a diverging codebase is a zero sum game. They may as well have started with their own OS.

Im willing to bet even modified UI Android punters like HTC, Samsung and SE rarely if ever touch the core code.

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Anonymous Coward

Zero sum game

is when you don't actually read the comment your complaining about. What part of submitting back the fixes to the main tree did you miss?

But I do think the problem here is the bugs are in the closed bits of the Android tree (yes such a thing exists!), for example most of the NVIDIA Tegra stuff is all in binary blobs. Apple probably gets a lot more access to source code for their stuff.

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Re: Zero sum game

You don't get it, do you? His point was that Motorola and the rest picked Android *precisely* because it was supposed to be a well-rounded system and they didn't have to spend any development time with it. Spending *any* resources in fixing what's broken negates the one advantage that attracted them to begin with.

It's like buying a house with the expectation that it is in very good condition, and discovering that the foundation is faulty and the wiring needs work. Sure, you could get it fixed (at perhaps considerably less cost than building a brand new house from scratch), but you were not in the market for a "fixer-upper." Now, all that money you thought you saved, cannot be invested in your other interests and has to be spent in repairs.

-dZ.

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Alert

Apple policy

I love Apple produits and OS but I sincerily think there publisher policy is seriously flaw and hope it crash and Burns. Its like apple only has one field to store percentage, everything doesn't have to be 30%. And it's obvious reseller of content like amazon, Netflix, hulu, zinio can't pay the same cut to apple has a publisher who sell is content directly in the app store.

I particular hate the rule that force to sell at the same price they offer on there websites, that got to be illegal...

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Stop

clearly an attempt to eliminate price competition

Apple is trying to control the retail price of products and services available through other channels.

And interestingly if you are very price competitive yourself, you can almost get away with that. Even Apple does not care if you sell for more elsewhere.

But, when you force a 30% cut off the top (42.8% markup to consumers), then Apple forces higher prices everywhere else. And that can prevent you from being competitive to others that do not use the Apple marketplace.

Maybe there are some subscriptions that are so controlled and of high enough quality to not compete on price anyway. The New York Times might be an example. But, many offering subscriptions do not have that luxury. Or, they sell primarily to customers that have more money than intelligence?

And, of course, Apple wants to force any direct competitors to raise their prices so that they can not compete on price against any Apple tunes or services.

Again, none of this benefits any consumer even if they have an Apple device.

It is amazing how so-claimed "Apple customers" defend this policy. It is not in their interest at all.

Consumers want links directly to the source. Consumers want a choice of supplier. Consumers wants a choice of retailer too. And they clearly do not benefit if everyone pays the same high price caused by a money grabbing 30% cut off the top.

Apple customes are being attacked here directly by Apple. Prices will be higher or the service will be blocked by Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

... all the people

I've heard of vapourware, but this must surely count as imagineware.

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