10 posts • joined Wednesday 14th October 2009 15:13 GMT
Because selling non-app software has been really successful lately?
Other than games, operating systems, and a handful of the top "essential" applications (microsoft office), what consumers were really paying a lot of money for applications *before* the app store? Wasn't that what the whole SaaS thing was about? Consumers don't pay for software, and its too easy to pirate, so charge for the service and have a free basic plan to bring them in and get them hooked.
Apple did their job getting people to actually pay for software again. And in the beginning, yeah, you had some get rich quick fart apps. That's not the case anymore. Competition is stiff, and you have to be smart about your options. You have to be realistic about the costs and the uptake. There is successful software selling for $100 in niche areas, and there is plenty of software that cost $10 that I gladly purchase because it is worth it to me, and it isn't riddled with ads or in-app purchases. Finally, there is always the fallback SaaS style model. The app is free, but the account might cost money. There are a lot of options - you can't just pretend like Apple is handing out free money. Let's look at the history and remember what happened in the original gold rush.
Apple needs to use its giant wad to buy its own factories
Its naive to think you can just move the factories west. Not only because the US has shown itself fairly incompetent when it comes to manufacturing (US auto anyone?), but also because there's a whole pipeline in China/Asia that makes it worthwhile to manufacture there. Moving one part west would cost far far more than just making better work conditions.
To your point, it is possible to get out of the 19th century, but you're right its hard. I own a small business and work with (very small) humane manufacturing in China, but they own the factory and make the rules. Apple is in a unique position to do the same on a much larger scale. Besides, wouldn't owning the factories be a very Apple thing to do?
The big problem is the "can't be cheaper elsewhere" clause
I think the 30% model makes *a lot* of sense for all of the new forms of electronic media, whether its software, books, or movies. You can argue it should be less, but I think the model itself makes sense. It really makes them more of a distribution platform than a retailer. This opens the doors for self publishing the same way it has paved the way for independent game developers.
With the addition of "can't be cheaper somewhere else" though, it becomes a stickier problem, and makes the price fixing suit seem more plausible. If the books can't be sold cheaper, and publishers are setting the price, it sounds like price fixing to me.
They don't fear better, they fear "good enough"
Merits of the respective OSes completely aside, I think its a valid point that new smartphone users are less likely to switch after they make a choice than they would be if they were not tied down. In today's smartphone market, there is quite a bit of incentive to stay with one platform. You can't bring your apps with you if you switch, and all of the data you have - contacts, calendar, etc. are more difficult to get set up on a different platform than to just upgrade.
I think the lawsuit is bullshit, and Apple isn't doing themselves any favors, but I don't think its because they fear a superior user experience with Android, they just fear momentum.
webOS vs B2G
Obviously webOS is much more mature, but anyone willing to devote serious time into keeping webOS alive would probably prefer participating in Boot2Gecko. I mean, that's about as open source / open web as you're going to get if that's your reason for liking webOS.
Say it with me
You are not the consumer they are targeting.
Strong move for microsoft
Skype already has a lot of users - approaching that of facebook even, but if they effectively turn facebook friends into skype contacts, I think it could see a lot of growth in use beyond cheap international calls/etc. that it is really useful for now. The trick is the free one-click calling you'll be able to do once user connection/discovery becomes so much easier.
If it follows the pattern of music
Then DRM seems like a necessary step to get publishers into the game. The first step is that ebooks have to take off. That won't happen unless the content is there. Content won't get there without DRM. After ebooks get as popular as music, the DRM issue will become more obvous - the same way it happened with music. The backlash will open opportunities for more non-DRM formats. At least that's one way of looking at it.
I agree with AC about OS hypocrisy
While I don't like that MySQL is potentially getting acquired by Oracle in this deal, I think that open source advocates should stand by their convictions. People who are not open source advocates may have a legitimate problem here, but the OS community should take this as an opportunity to prove their case for OS. What about rallying around postgresql? They're under BSD license so the whole commercial problem is solved. What about taking aim at the "no-sql future". You really want to compete with Oracle 10 years from now, try supporting hbase or hypertable or something.
If MySQL gets killed off without a successful fork it will be a loss to the open source community, but not without its lessons learned.
Needs a killer app
Opera has consistently been first to do a lot of things in the browser world that have been mimicked by other browser later: http://www.geektechnica.com/2009/06/8-browser-innovations-started-by-opera/
Could Unite be another one of these features? Hard to tell. I think it has potential, but so far I'm not impressed. The one thing people fail to mention is that this isn't JUST a webserver running on your box. It does handle a couple of things that would be difficult for some people to do themselves such as the problem sitting behind a router and obviously the difficulty setting it up themselves. And lets not forget, most people aren't going to be writing their own Unite app, and this provides a much simpler mechanism for installing than setting up a php app or something.
I think what is really needed is a killer app. The examples they have right now aren't exactly groundbreaking. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see, but kudos for trying.