An article published on BusinessInsider.com after the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference reinforces the idea that Apple wants to dominate the personal technology market. Apple is intentionally ignoring the business world because they know adoption will come naturally through end users. This continued aggressive approach by Apple to release new products and software that are proprietary started to peak my paranoid mind. Is Apple trying to take over the technology world? Apple’s famous 1984 commercial introducing the Macintosh computer while making IBM out to be ‘Big Brother’ was genius. But the reality is Steve Jobs always wanted world domination. His open letter back in 2010 about Adobe proprietary products and the fact that Apple wasn’t going to support Flash on their iOS platform was comical.
The reality is Apple has always been proprietary. How many manufacturers build Apple products? Zero! Apple owns the entire process on all their platforms. That’s why it is twice as expensive to buy an Apple laptop or desktop – they own the market. If you want an Apple you have to buy from them.
My biggest concerns with Apple are my iTunes collection and the future of the App Store. If you read the BusinessInsider article, you will see they have plans to kill a few popular applications that have been very successful on the App Store. One of them is EverNote. I love Evernote. I have a version on my desktop (I’m using it right now to write this blog post). I also have it on my iPhone and my iPad. With the latest release of Apple’s Note product, they are trying to squash further adoption of EverNote. EverNote has a clear edge on the Apple product but what’s going to stop Apple from making it harder for EverNote to compete. In the summer of 2009, Apple blocked Google’s Voice app from the App store. At that time there appeared to be pressure on Apple to ban any product using Google Voice from their cellphone partner, AT&T, since they owned the cell side of the iPhone. AT&T wanted to make sure they weren’t missing out on revenue for text messaging and voice calls.
What about your iTunes collection? I have thousands of songs and even a few movies that I have purchased through iTunes. What’s going to stop Apple from overcharging? It’s very hard and almost impossible to move your iTunes library to another product. I am not even aware of any competitors that can compete with iTunes. The real competitors to iTunes are Pandora and Spotify which aren’t really direct competitors but more of an alternative solution to listen to music.
Every company goes through a world domination phase and tends to spread themselves too thin and start overspending on R&D, eventually losing their competitive edge in the products that made them successful. Think IBM, Microsoft, Google, etc. Google has spent the past 3 years cutting back on applications that aren’t profitable and don’t fit their core business model. They are still trying to innovate but in a more controlled and systematic approach. Look at Yahoo!, they owned the search market before Google but spread themselves too thin and became obsolete. I fear Apple will do the same thing. They are cool, hip and the darling of the tech market right now. How long will that last? How long for people to start distrusting Apple and their attempts to own every aspect of the media/personal technology market. I am not saying we are there at this time but it definitely appears to be their strategy.