Apple Adjusts

Apple has loosened restrictions on developers writing code for IOS.  This is entirely to be expected.  Apple is a smart company.  They can feel themselves losing their grip on the mobile marketplace.  They need all the hands on deck to offshoot this winter’s Android tablet invasion.  If this year is any indication, Android will dominate the mobile phone market even quicker than I could have expected.  I predicted 3 years earlier this year, but, honestly, with 800,000 of one brand of Android phones selling out in a week and no vendor capable of stocking any high end Android phones, the tea leaves are clear.   Apple knows that their last and best has to be the Ipad.  If the Ipad doesn’t remain the dominate computing platform for media delivery then all those media houses and Apple are in trouble.  But, how could the Ipad be that device.  First off, its not the best tablet.  Its just Apple’s first successful tablet.  That is saying something, but, Apple will not be able to hold off the Android tablet phenomenon.  There are going to be at least 10 to 12 tablets with more features and lower prices than the Ipad this christmas.  Once the media houses realize that they have to do Android apps as well then Apple is sunk in the tablet market.  I have to admit that Apple is going to lose this battle not because their product is second best.  In fact, if the Ipad was the most amazing tablet pc ever, it would still be a disaster.  No one can compete with multiple competitors offering even the same product for lower prices.  This fantasy that somehow Apple has an intuitive understanding of consumers will be proven for the bunk it is.  The most brilliant product apple has ever created was Apple OS X.  Unfortunately there are literally dozens of oses available (most for free) that offer the same or better features than OSX.  That Microsoft Windows is dominant is a reflection of the market saturation of Microsoft rather than any inferiority of the Apple products.

Apple is smart enough to accept that they will lose the mobile phone market.  They can accept that as long as they can still charge a premium for their phone device (which is why they will never leave AT&T).  What they cannot accept is that ubiquitous computing will leave them behind.  Apple is not going to be defeated by an Android sword.  Instead it is going to be defeated by a million Android paper cuts.  Its a familiar feeling for Apple and it can’t feel good about it.  Even I wish it would happen to a worse company. 

Speaking of a worse company what the hell is Nokia thinking.  Symbian 3’s opportunity was back in 2008 before Android hit the street.  The moment the G1 came out the opportunity for a new mobile phone stack to make it pretty much disappeared.  Android is literally the best we can do right now for a phone stack.  I know it sucks to accept this, but, honestly we should have been able to have something like Android with J2ME and I don’t even know how long ago that disaster was.  Android’s greatest innovation is that it is an open source mobile device platform.  Sure you can make a better platform.  But, if you aren’t willing to give it away you can’t beat Android.  I suspect that Nokia is going to undergo a painful market readjustment once the failure of Symbian 3 is accepted.  Once they and Blackberry start selling Android devices I will invest in them.  Otherwise, they are on the wrong side of history.