Friday, February 5, 2010

iPhone delusions

by Richard Vowles

Its sad to see Josh Marinacchi go from Snoracle, especially for what reasons that I think of are simply fallacious.

If you haven't read it already, go read his Sun blog.

The argument I think he is making is that 90% of the people out there are essentially stupid and don't care about the restrictions iPhone/iPodTouch/iPodTouch300% (i.e. iPad) put on them. I don't see that demographic. I see the 10% of people who have iPhones as being that special kind of dementia known as Apple-fanboys/girls (you know who you are) or people who think this screen touchy thing is cool and Apple did a sufficiently better job than . That there are 100,000 Applications out there only helps because 80% of them are crap and all but the last 1% are games. Those same apps done with a decent phone platform (like Android, which may suffer from being too open in its App store) can really be quite awesome - as people with jailbroken iPhones attest.

Those who break their phones do so only because they know there is something better. And I think this is where the average iPhone user (not the fan-boys, we know thats an incurable disease) sits, once they know there is something better (and with the latest update for multi-touch in the US for the Nexus One, we know the hardware is better and the software is now at least as good) they will either (a) move when their term comes up to the new cool thing (and all the predictions show Android will be the Smart phone of choice, after RIM with iPhone a 3rd place with its dedicated... fanboy offering) or (b) Apple will now have to catch up.

Yes, I said catch-up. Apple is now behind, those things that Josh says apparently don't matter - replaceable batteries, better hardware, multi-tasking software are all very much visible to the "stupid" people and they make a difference. Everyone else is behind in "cool" but Apple always does cool better. I'm not sure what the iPad is, I'm sure it will sell but I'm not sure I'll have any respect for anyone who actually buys one.

Apple could change a lot of its restrictions - there is nothing inherint in the platform I believe that would stop it from competing with Android. The one thing that Apple really has under its belt is iTunes - the music library is available to people all over the world, not just the US like Amazon's one is. Get that sorted out Amazon.

I buy Mac OS for one reason - I want a good UI (which Windows 7 has IMHO) and a good underlying UNIX style OS (Windows doesn't have). Don't talk to me about Linux - that will never be a desktop OS for anyone other than the truly marginalized.

So if I can conclude - my essential reason why I believe Josh is wrong is simply that the only open phone platform from the ground up, Android is the only one really causing the iPhone serious dents and causing Steve Jobs to get his knickers in a twist. Apple is now behind in software and hardware innovation and with so many phone vendors getting on board, providing access to so many niche markets to address every different kind of phone user, an open and open source platform simply cannot be defeated. IMHO of course. Apple is just digging itself into a worse and worse hole, and the iPad is just a crowning example of the lack of innovation in the last 12 months.

Its just a pity Josh jumped from one dying company to another. I have enjoyed what you have done for JavaFX, I just hope you can make a difference to Palm.

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