I just laugh at, n-gga wishing it was this hot
Guess they mad at me huh, really pissed off
Better that than pissed on
I’m the Jetsons you the Flintstones
- T.I., That’s All She Wrote
I’m following the live Apple WWDC event, which is packed with new announcements and I am really excited to start using the new OSX Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud. However, what strikes me the most isn’t all the shiny new features Apple have developed, but rather how Apple are announcing features and products that have already been developed by iOS App developers.
Now I am an Apple fan boy through and through. I am also a capitalist by nature. I love to see companies compete. However, I also do believe in some kind of moral fairness. Others might call me a little naive, but I really don’t agree with Apple starting to compete with its very own eco-system of developers. The same people who developed innovative Apps that went on to improve the utility of the iPhone and iPad. The same people who evangelised the iPhone and iPad. By developing and launching these new features and products natively, Apple has effectively damaged the ability of many developers and start-ups to compete.
While I understand there are mass benefits to iPhone and iPad users by having these new features built-in natively, I think Apple could have gone about it in a better way. We have seen many start-ups build their businesses around the App Store, and why shouldn’t they? The App Store market is big enough. I guess I would have liked to see Apple spread some love and at least acquire some talent, creating incentive for innovating around Apple’s eco-system, instead of just giving developers the middle finger. I think many developers will now question whether they can trust Apple going forward. How can their innovations be protected from Apple simply cloning them and launching them as a native feature?
I guess this is just a rant. I doubt we will see any meaningful backlash arising from this? Perhaps a few more start-ups will end up in the deadpool. On a positive note, we might even see more innovation due to Apple solving these problems natively and introducing new constraints. Apple has the reach and the distribution channels locked down, so how can developers not support the App Store? Even if there is a risk Apple might clone their ideas. I think the ultimate strategy is to just focus on cross-platform. It’s definitely going to save the likes of WhatsApp and Kik from being crushed by iMessage.
In many ways this reminds me of the dominance network operators used to have when it came to mobile application distribution, one would essentially have to dance to their tune. Apple’s App Store (and Android Marketplace) liberated application developers from that pain. However, do we need to dance to the tune of the manufacturer now? I hope this won’t be the case going forward.