Early in the mid-70’s the first Apple computer was nothing more than a motherboard designed by co-founder Steve Wozniak. Hardly a personal computer. Apple was a rising underdog competing against IBM in the personal computing market. How times have changed!
Remembering Apple’s 1984 TV commercial. Apple was always anti-establishment struggling to bring down Big Brother (Big Blue) and spread originality of thought and defy the computing conformity.
How far the apple has fallen from the tree! The roles are now reversed and it’s Google that is the underdog trying to break Apple’s Big Brotheresque dominion over the mobile computing industry.
Steve Jobs’ business tactics are “Machiavellian” in nature. A leaked legal document distributed by the digital freedom crusaders EFF, discovered the legal red tape (pdf link) Apple binds its iPhone developers by. Truly draconian in nature the contractual documentation that Apple uses with developers for its systems allows it to reject any application developed even if the application meets the iPhone’s requirements.
“You may not issue any press releases or make any other public statements regarding this Agreement, its terms and conditions, or the relationship of the parties without Apple’s express prior written approval, which may be withheld at Apple’s discretion.”
Absolutely no reverse engineering for the iPhone’s operating system, nor any reverse engineering for the iPhone software development kit is permitted. Apple can also cease to support your application at anytime from their App Store for no reason whatsoever.
It’s no prophetic revelation that Apple’s upcoming iPad, current iPhone and iPod Touch, are what is referred to as closed systems, in which programming routines are kept secret from third party developers. Apple’s legal contracts with developers proves how closed those systems are. In fact Apple is so petrified of unauthorized code running on its iPhone (referred to as jail-breaking) that it has notified the US copyright office that jail-breaking should be illegal and consequences need be put in to place for it. What an assault on the open source community.
However, this is in stark contrast to Google’s App Marketplace which is supported by cloud computing architecture – a simply amazing idea, where developers are encouraged to create applications for Google’s products and unleash them on the community, a much more democratic process. Allowing the end-user to decide. Developers pay a flat one hundred dollar fee to write an application for the marketplace, in exchange they get 25 % revenue on sales for each application sold, and access to it’s 25 million user-base.
It’s really that simple. Create an application, send it on to the marketplace, once approved buyers can add them to their Google accounts. All these great applications can be triggered and started within your e-mail, like YouTube videos or even payroll software because they are all embedded within your mail, accessible in the cloud’s immense pool of resources. Google is offering developers the chance to set apps to be triggered by certain emails, events, or specific types of content.
While Apple emanates the Roman Empire. Rome started to decline as soon as it refused help from Germanic mercenaries. Which led to the mercenaries revolting and deposing Emperor Augustus. Apple may find that the developers may revolt and stop developing for their products by becoming more Google-centric.
Google may find itself building an Empire from Apple’s ashes. History is full of examples of proud computing companies that fell and are no more, just like IBM’s personal computing division once was mighty but now humbled. But with Apple’s current marketshare and customer loyalty, it’s a far fetched scenario that would make for a dream in Android-land.