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Editorial: What Palm Should Have Done
on Fri 24th Jul 2009 22:52 UTC
Every few years we geeks have our own kind of popcorn show to watch: tech companies showing teeth to one another. This time around, it's Palm vs Apple. In all seriousness though, how ethical is the battle around iTunes?
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on Sun 26th Jul 2009 14:18 UTC in reply to "
The author of the article misunderstands what monopoly means. He conflates monopoly with being a major success.
If that major success creates a substantial barrier to entry for other potential players, as iTunes arguably does, then it is a monopoly. And using that monopoly to leverage another of their products is quite clearly a fundamental violation of anti-trust laws.
Somehow, some people seem to operate under the misconception that to be a monopoly you've got to have 100% of the market, and own all the pipes that deliver the gas, or all the wires that deliver the electricity. It's all about barriers to entry, no matter what form those barriers might take. "
You seem to be making things up as you go along. Apple does a few things. It makes the world's best smartphones and mp3 players. It is the most successful by a country mile. People do not buy iPods and iPhones because they need something they can use with iTunes. That is a very tenuous argument. Yes, iTunes did, and probably still does enhance the appeal of iPods and iPhones. But if Apple is being anti-competitive, it's because their products are far and away better than the opposition. And they have spent a lot of money creating the ecosystem to make their products successful. What now, force them to sell competitorss products in their stores?
Secondly, Apple provides DRM free music, and, as has been pointed out, provides an xml file which third parties can use to find out what is in Apple's iTunes database. If Palm wasn't so lazy, they would have spent some of the money they used in developing the Pre to develop a nice way to sync music and anything else with their phone. These half measures are why every iPod killer fails, and it's not because Apple is being anti-competitive. It's because they actually think everything through.
Not all barriers to entry are bad. I think laziness is a legitimate barrier to entry.
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