Linked by fran on Tue 8th Feb 2011 18:08 UTC
Apple "A new report suggests that Apple may be planning to eliminate retail boxed software from its Apple Stores, instead focusing on promoting the Mac App Store for software sales. This is indeed a trend that Apple has been pushing for a while, but not all the software that Apple sells would necessarily be a great fit for pure digital distribution."
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RE[7]: Expected move
by atsureki on Wed 9th Feb 2011 04:10 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Expected move"
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It sets a bad precedent if the goal is to keep a balance between the OS company, developers and users.

And that's nice, but quite simply not Apple's goal, though neither is any of the evil spin you put on their actions. Their goal is to sell a great tech experience at a great profit. If customers by and large didn't think they were delivering on the first part, the second part would dry up.

I'm fully receptive to arguments that their approach is bad in a philosophical sense, or bad for outside developers, for example. There are good points to be made there. But the argument I keep seeing is that they're locking down and controlling users utterly, and there's just nothing to that, because they have competitors who do things differently, and I believe they always will. They've never reached for controlling market share, and they'll never get there by accident as long as someone can undersell them with a comparable alternative. Their influence on the industry as a whole is sustained by their profitability and cultural impact, which is sustained in turn by their continuous introduction of desirable products.

They have no de facto popularity or monopoly. They're popular just because people like what they make. It's healthy capitalism at its best. If they overstep their bounds, they'll lose a leg. Remember Sony and the ATRAC fiasco that killed the Walkman's decade-long dominance? That's anti-user behavior, and it got what was coming to it.

You're missing the point which is that locking you into an app store prevents you from buying software direct from developers where there is no filer or cut for the OS company.

And only the portable platforms take that approach. I honestly don't think effectively retiring OS X is plausible, especially given how dependent iOS devices are on a desktop machine to feed them content and initial settings, but we're speculating a long way out.

Apple is known for cutting the cord with the old ways, but in all cases, there's got to be a very good reason for it. USB did the job better and more efficiently than the myriad predecessor serial ports. Floppy disks were worthless liabilities, and optical drives are noisy, energy inefficient, and fragile, because they're full of moving parts.

The only argument they can make for curating the desktop software market - which would be an incredible commitment of resources - is the same one they make for mobile: that it renders crashing and viruses essentially unheard-of. But they already have a huge lead with safety and stability in the desktop space, and if they stripped out all flexibility, they'd be unceremoniously exiting a market where they're currently making good money. The move just doesn't make sense, which is what Apple-loving analysts like Gruber and Dilger are actually looking for when they "change their minds" about Apple's new policies.

"And, last I checked, there are even (unsupported and for jail broken phones only) alternative app stores for iOS devices.

That doesn't foster a healthy external market, it only encourages piracy.

I'm with you here. I don't think it's fair to talk about jailbreaking as if it were an iPhone feature - unless someone is trying to sell rooting as an Android feature. In that case, it's fair game.

But way to cheer on Apple as they cut into small ISVs profit and add to their already existing giant pile of cash. Hooray!

If Jobs was in charge of computing there would be no, no video games and all mice would have one button. You would probably have to pay by the hour to access applications and yet people like you would defend it all in the name of convenience. People like you would still wear Apple logo t-shirts and have Apple logo stickers which all say the same thing: I'm a corporate tool.

At last report, the app store breaks even. The income goes to server and testing costs. It's a constant ordeal to keep broken software out of your store.

Meanwhile, they use their giant pile of cash to set up supplier deals so they can price high-end devices competitively. They're a very smart company, and some people just get paranoid about that sort of thing, but they're doing well because they're doing it right.

And of course, if your doomsday scenario came true, Apple products simply wouldn't be a feasible choice, so it's a good thing they are a choice. I always thought .Mac/MobileMe was a rip-off at $100 a year because it offers approximately what Gmail and Dropbox are giving away, but some people relish its other features and are glad to pay. Everything is a tradeoff. Apple's not going to do very well charging exactly two users millions of dollars each, nor could they get away with charging by the minute unless they were offering the iPhone in a world where the best anyone else has to offer is carrier pigeons. Someone will always do it cheaper than Apple, so they have no choice but to do it very well at a reasonable price if they want to compete in the real world.

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