Long the Upstart, Apple Plays New Role: Goliath. Here is a summary of the NYTimes storyline:Takethe5th modestly notes that it has scooped the NYTimes on its Apple Bully Boy story. In today’s NYTimes [June 24th, 2010] the story headlined for the Technology section is:
Apple is now seen by some as an anti-competitive industry bully. As Apple fans line up at stores on Thursday morning for the release of the fourth iteration of the iPhone, the company is riding high.And it’s not just the iPhone. Sales of the iPad tablet are strong too, and Apple has surged past Microsoft to become the most valuable company in the technology industry. But as one success follows another, the company finds itself in a bewildering position. As the tech industry’s perennial underdog, Apple was frequently scorned and dismissed by larger and more successful competitors like Microsoft or Dell. Now, with growing frequency, the company is seen by competitors and other industry players as a bully.
Companies like Google and Adobe have accused Apple of unfairly using its clout to exclude their technologies from the iPhone and iPad. And some application developers are fretting under Apple’s tight control of those devices, even though many of them built their fortunes on the popular gadgets.
But perhaps in the clearest sign that Apple has emerged as an industry superpower, government regulators are beginning to scrutinize its every move.
The NYTimes article then goes on to describe how Apple has worked to create a monopoly engendering ecosystem around its popular iDevices[=> iPod, iPad, iPhone] where Apple control all aspects of their deployment. This includes taking a cut on everything- apps sold, media sold, ads sold and even a payment for whose apps and media gets to be sold on its iDevices. But it also means tight control of whose software gets to run on iDevices or used to develop apps to run based on non-redundant functionality, security plus reliability of the code and performance. But in applying these controls the NYTimes points out that popular software like Google’s Voice, Adobe’s Flash, Sun’s Java and a whole host of code generation tools have been ruled “programma non grata” on Apple’s iDevices in an apparently arbitrary manner.
But Takethe5th readers have already read this basic storyline starting back on Feb 19th and continuing for the past 5 months:
Feb 19th – Apple vs Adobe: Take 5 … Who Cares? – Google! – tells how in unprecedented fashion Apple CEO Steve Jobs bad mouths Adobe Flash software – and unjustifiably so for some of his purported reasons. This is the start of the basic Apple-Adobe feud with Apple clearly being the heavy.
April 13th – Apple Has Mobile Monopoly Momentum – shows how Apple first starter lead in defining the nature of Lite Touch devices has given it momentum towards another IT monopoly.
April 18th – How Steve Jobs Has Scr#wed Himself – summarizes the basic “Apple as Gorilla” story. It describes how Apple has ruled out apps that clash with their own programs or directions. Most notable has has been exclusions of any software that allows iDevice apps to be reproduced in PCs, smartphones or other competitive devices. To add insult to injury, Steve Jobs has badmouthed software such as Java and Flash as not being fast enough. Then when Apple itself turns out to be the source of the performance/speed problems Apple switches to alleged security or reliability defects.
April 24th – Apple versus Adobe Feud – provides a recap of the main arguments in the Apple vs Adobe battle. One interesting angle is that Steve Jobs has been promoting HTML5 but then Apple is slowing down and/or going proprietary on some key HTML5 standards. Also Google rewrote the previously Apple rejected Google Voice app in the very same HTML5 that Apple is saying is one of the key standards for development on iDevices. Apple appears to demur still on approving Google Voice for iDevices.
June 15th – Apple vs Adobe: Take 6, Apple HW is SLOWWWwwwwww – uncovers some very clever and precise benchmarking that shows Apple’s graphics are 30-300% slower than those running on identically the same hardware and software on Windows vs MacOS/X. This is conclusive proof that speed problems with Adobe Flash are really poor graphics performance on MacOS/X.
In sum, for 4 months Takethe5th readers have had the inside on the Apple as Bully Boy story. Now the latest Takethe5th Apple Tidbits is about the end of cheap Chinese manufacturing [all iDevices are produced in China] and the recent prediction of a $45 price for Apple [down from current $270]. Just a little more modest, journalistic self-backpatting.