Apple does it again

Oct 6, 2008 by

This week, Google released its Android cellphone platform. Android competes with iPhone OS. However, there are two key differences.

1. Android is being licensed to any interested hardware vendor. Apple’s iPhone OS is only sold with Apple hardware.

2. Apple’s application store is regulated by Apple, who performs quality control. Google’s application store is unregulated.

Recall that Google’s CEO sits on Apple’s board and that Google was involved with iPhone OS. Does this seem familiar?

I fear that Apple is pursuing the same flawed strategy in mobile computing that it did in desktop computing. Apple has refused to license Mac OS to other hardware makers (except for a few years in the ’90s),resulting in it perpetually having a low marketshare. Likewise, Apple’s stranglehold on Mac software development resulted in the release of fewer applications. Partnering with Microsoft at the beginning likely did little to help. It looks like history may be repeating.

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