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Old Dec 13, 2012, 06:29 PM   #351
Liquorpuki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
But 30% with no other options (other than not developing for that platform) isn't exactly lightyears from extortion, IMO. Similar logic is what lead to anti-trust laws in the first place. It just seems these days our most definitely not-corrupt and no-for-sale government () doesn't seem to give a crap about consumers anymore. Too bad Roosevelt isn't still around....
iOS only has something like 20% marketshare of the mobile market so it's nowhere close to being considered a monopoly. And devs that don't want to pay Apple 30% are free to develop for other mobile platforms, including Android which owns over 70% of the mobile market.

I agree the single storefront model sucks, but for a different reason, which is because it encourages a flood of crap software.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:30 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by sinsin07 View Post
So what. At the end of the day research is to generate profits.
Or to build a better foundation for long-term growth. A good example of *that* is Amazon, they plow nearly all their profit back into their business right now, building out facilities and spending on research. So far it's paid off for them, but if the only metric you measure by is net *profit* year-to-year you'd think they were about to go down the tubes. Another good example would be costco, who spends far more on employees, keeps leaner margins, and plows more money into location and sorting research than their competitors. The end result has been a more stable business, a more stable workforce, and better customer loyalty - at the "expense" I suppose of the magic net-profit number you're worshipping.

My point before was that your graph was highly misleading and that sheer net profits are not the end-all be-all metric of company. You're seizing on the one metric Apple wins on and touting it, and looking at your post history I suspect were it a different metric you'd seize on that. I love Apple hardware but I'm not a fanatic, and there's plenty to criticize in Apple.

In short: Apple's not God, MS is not the Devil, both companies have merits, and both have problems. Net profits aren't the only indicator of corporate health, and you need to read a lot more about how large corps usually operate
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 10:20 AM   #353
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Just jack the price up by the ~30% and let's get on with it dear MS
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 10:22 PM   #354
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquorpuki View Post
iOS only has something like 20% marketshare of the mobile market so it's nowhere close to being considered a monopoly.
I think I said "virtual" monopoly for a reason (as in a SOFTWARE monopoly for the iOS hardware platforms which Apple controls virtually 100% of; yes you can jailbreak, but that's ridiculous to have to do so just to install software that isn't sold by Apple with a 30% extra tax on it to the developer. The point is there should be a law against manipulating consumer markets so they're cornered like that. Yes, you can buy a different computer PLATFORM, but there's more to picking a platform than just the available apps for it (like hardware and OS features, for example).

And it's not just Apple blocking people who don't want to give them 30% of their revenue take. It's also anyone that "competes" with ANYTHING Apple decides to do themselves (yeah, that's not "anti-competition" at all ). Worse yet, they get to play moral police and decide you don't get this or that software because it's too adult or it's too whatever or the sky isn't the right shade of blue that day. Worse yet, they don't tell you that you're rejected until AFTER you waste your time and resources developing the app. Yeah, nothing like spending two years working on a killer game app for the iPhone only to have Apple say it's too violent and refuse to carry it. That's just wrong. Who died and made them god?

Europe seems a bit more progressive so I'd count on them eventually doing something about this kind of crap in the future than the U.S. The rights of the individual have to be limited at some point for society to function and the good of the many should always outweigh the good of the few...or the one. Otherwise, you eventually end up with a massive imbalance where 1-2% control 90% of everything (kind of like we're heading now), leaving a stale, stagnant world that is ripe for revolution (as history has shown time and time and time again). Greed simply knows no end and people never learn, unfortunately. Do things fairly and things go smoothly. Keep trying to change the laws to favor a small group and screw everyone else and it's just repeating the past.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 09:57 AM   #355
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iPad support strategic necessity for MS

Most consumers may not need PowerPoint, Excel or Word but corporate users do - and a strong bring-your-own-device trend creates a considerable and growing overlap between "corporate" and "consumer". MS has been successful to maintain its position in the corporate market leveraging the interdependencies between Windows Desktop/Server, SharePoint and Office to become entrenched in all enterprises and government. Dislodging MS is difficult even using tax payer money (google the German states and municipalities that have tried).

If however the BYOD trend of bringing the iPad to the office does not find support in MS Office and MS SharePoint then their status as ubiquitous will be weakened. This could eventually cause the whole MS market position to unravel like a house of cards. At the same time, being able to make real productive use of the iPad - although not replacing the laptop - will sell more iPads.

Office365 is the natural way to go, and would support BYOD excellently if MS are smart about it, as reports suggest them to be.

There is a win-win for both Apple and MS. Hope they can get the money bit sorted out - and add proper SharePoint support for completeness instead of MS messing around with their own pretty bleak “alternative”, the Surface.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:49 PM   #356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
I think I said "virtual" monopoly for a reason (as in a SOFTWARE monopoly for the iOS hardware platforms which Apple controls virtually 100% of; yes you can jailbreak, but that's ridiculous to have to do so just to install software that isn't sold by Apple with a 30% extra tax on it to the developer. The point is there should be a law against manipulating consumer markets so they're cornered like that. Yes, you can buy a different computer PLATFORM, but there's more to picking a platform than just the available apps for it (like hardware and OS features, for example).
You seem to be unclear about what a market is. The app store is a storefront/distribution channel. It's not a market. Mobile is the market. Apple is free to control what apps are distributed through its store, just like Bev Mo is free to control what type of Liquor goes in its stores and Best Buy is free to control what types of electronics it sells.

Apple's also free to charge for distribution, of which 30% is pretty reasonable. At brick and mortars you have markups as high as 50%.

With 30% distribution cuts from long-term subs like 365, this is something new that never came up before. Apple really has no choice but to maintain a 30% cut otherwise devs will flock en mass to subscriptions to dodge the 30%. They dug their own hole so if you want to criticize Apple, criticize them for creating such a crowded ecosystem with low profit margins that devs are willing to jump from one-time pricing to IAP to subs to make a few more pennies so they can break even. None of this has anything to do with monopolies. It's just poor planning on part of Apple, who never really thought about the implications of creating an ecosystem where $1 software is too expensive

Even if you think Apple is evil and are pro-open source, a walled garden is not a monopoly
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:32 PM   #357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquorpuki View Post
You seem to be unclear about what a market is.
No, I think you're the one that is unclear. iOS is now a general platform computer and it is 100% incompatible with all the other "mobile" computer hardware out there. Thus, pointing out that there is an Android store and THAT competes with Apple's App store is utterly ABSURD. The two are NOT competing with each other PERIOD and that is because you cannot get an app on the Android store for an iPhone and vice-versa. So exactly how are they the "same market" ??? Apple's HARDWARE (i.e. a phone or tablet versus another phone or tablet) DOES compete with Android hardware and with Rim hardware, etc. etc. because they ARE in the same market. You have a choice of operating hardware. But once you pick your hardware, you have NO CHOICE for where to get your software from on Apple hardware. THUS, Apple has a virtual market on SOFTWARE for the iOS hardware platform. You CANNOT buy software ANYWHERE ELSE but Apple's App store. Hence the terms virtual monopoly. That is the difference between SOFTWARE and HARDWARE. You imply they are the same thing. They most definitely are NOT.

Quote:
The app store is a storefront/distribution channel. It's not a market.
It's not the app store itself; it's Apple's fascist control policies that no other store fronts are allowed to exist for the iOS computer market. If you are the ONLY brand store in the entire country that will service a GM car and you will not allow anyone else to service that care when they want to set up a store, you have a virtual monopoly on SERVICE for that car. You don't have a monopoly on the car, but servicing the car. They are separate markets. Meineke does not sell cars. They sell service for cars. Microsoft does not sell computers. They sell operating systems for computers. Apple sells computers and operating systems and does their best to make sure both are TIED together so you cannot put their software on any computer hardware but their own. Thus, even Apple's regular computer hardware doesn't even compete on an even playing field since you cannot but a Dell and put OSX on it without violating Apple's license agreement. Apple is about as anti-competitive as they come. Some of the things they are doing or may be planning to do makes Microsoft look tame by comparison.

But it goes even further. Apple is also (due to their mono-storefront status) a gatekeeper for software. In short, they decide what you can and cannot put on your iPad. If they don't want an adult game on their computer, they can simply not approve it. Worse yet, they don't even tell app makers IF they'll approve a given app ahead of time so companies like Google had to decide whether to potentially waste man-hours making an app like an update to Google maps without knowing whether Apple would approve it given their own app appeared (which typically falls under the "not allowed to compete with Apple" clause). But you don't find this anti-competitive?

Gone are the days when the excuse of Apple being a small fry would fly. Apple has become bigger than Microsoft. They should have to play by the same rules as Microsoft. Not only does Apple package their own browser with iOS, but they will not even allow another browser on their platform since it competes with it. If that is not anti-competitive I don't know what is. Even Microsoft didn't stop people from installing Netscape on a computer running Windows. They simply packaged Internet Explorer with the operating system. In the days of dial-up this discouraged anyone from bothering, but it wasn't a monopoly on the browser market on their operating system. But notice how it does not matter what came with OSX because Microsoft had no control over OSX. Similarlly, it doesn't matter that Android exists because it's a different platform entirely just like Mac OSX was a different platform from Windows. The problem is what the company is doing to discourage or ban competition on their own platform. Microsoft discouraged people from using Netscape (minor IMO compared to this) while Apple won't even allow Firefox as a full blown browser since it would be competing with Safari.

Quote:
Mobile is the market. Apple is free to control what apps are distributed through its store, just like Bev Mo is free to control what type of Liquor goes in its stores and Best Buy is free to control what types of electronics it sells.
That would be true if Apple weren't preventing any other App store fronts from opening up for iOS devices. Apple can decide what goes on the iTunes store because they are not the only store for music distribution on the planet and thus that would be an apt comparison if we were talking about music. But we're talking about ALL SOFTWARE FOR iOS and Apple is the ONLY game ALLOWED in town. Software for iOS *IS* a market and Apple has total control of it. If they only allowed their own apps, you might still have an argument since hardware/software are tied and are mutually exclusive. But they allow 3rd party software on their platform so it is not mutually exclusive. They've created a 3rd party software market for their iOS computer platform, but are denying developers the right to distribute their software by any other store.

It would be like if Sony owned their own car company and made a stereo on which only music from Columbia records could play and furthermore they integrated the car's ECU into the stereo so that replacing the stereo without going to fairly extreme measures would render the car undriveable. You could distribute your music to be playable on that car, but only if you gave 30% to Sony and they in turn altered it to the encrypted format that would play on their stereos. They are purposely preventing you from being able to get your music into their cars in order to collect 30% of your revenue. You can argue they're a storefront and that's a standard fee, but the problem is that you cannot get your music to play in their cars without paying them almost 1/3 of your revenue. If they simply distributed music for their car, but didn't prevent other stores' digital music from playing on their car stereo, then there would be no issue.

THAT is what Apple is doing. They are purposely not allowing software distribution for iOS computers (and they are computers now, not just smart phones as the iPad is most definitely a computer) except through their store and at their discretion. This is closer to Nintendo only allowing games on their platform by paid developers. You can argue it's the same thing, but a gaming system is a bit different from a general purpose computer. Never before has anyone limited software distribution on a general purpose computer. Worse yet, OSX may eventually do the same thing (Gatekeeper is already in place and it would only take a small change to make 3rd party software sold outside the App store a thing of the past except for hacks/jailbreaking).

Maybe that's the world you want to live in where companies like Apple decide what you can and cannot do on your computer, but to me it's even worse than Big Brother because it's not even the government doing it; it's a freaking company designed only to make profit. What gives them the right in a free society to decide whether you can watch one movie, but not another or to use one browser, but not another? You might as well just move to China while you're at it.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 06:49 PM   #358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
No, I think you're the one that is unclear. iOS is now a general platform computer and it is 100% incompatible with all the other "mobile" computer hardware out there. Thus, pointing out that there is an Android store and THAT competes with Apple's App store is utterly ABSURD. The two are NOT competing with each other PERIOD and that is because you cannot get an app on the Android store for an iPhone and vice-versa. So exactly how are they the "same market" ??? Apple's HARDWARE (i.e. a phone or tablet versus another phone or tablet) DOES compete with Android hardware and with Rim hardware, etc. etc. because they ARE in the same market. You have a choice of operating hardware. But once you pick your hardware, you have NO CHOICE for where to get your software from on Apple hardware. THUS, Apple has a virtual market on SOFTWARE for the iOS hardware platform. You CANNOT buy software ANYWHERE ELSE but Apple's App store. Hence the terms virtual monopoly. That is the difference between SOFTWARE and HARDWARE. You imply they are the same thing. They most definitely are NOT.

It's not the app store itself; it's Apple's fascist control policies that no other store fronts are allowed to exist for the iOS computer market. If you are the ONLY brand store in the entire country that will service a GM car and you will not allow anyone else to service that care when they want to set up a store, you have a virtual monopoly on SERVICE for that car. You don't have a monopoly on the car, but servicing the car. They are separate markets. Meineke does not sell cars. They sell service for cars. Microsoft does not sell computers. They sell operating systems for computers. Apple sells computers and operating systems and does their best to make sure both are TIED together so you cannot put their software on any computer hardware but their own. Thus, even Apple's regular computer hardware doesn't even compete on an even playing field since you cannot but a Dell and put OSX on it without violating Apple's license agreement. Apple is about as anti-competitive as they come. Some of the things they are doing or may be planning to do makes Microsoft look tame by comparison.

But it goes even further. Apple is also (due to their mono-storefront status) a gatekeeper for software. In short, they decide what you can and cannot put on your iPad. If they don't want an adult game on their computer, they can simply not approve it. Worse yet, they don't even tell app makers IF they'll approve a given app ahead of time so companies like Google had to decide whether to potentially waste man-hours making an app like an update to Google maps without knowing whether Apple would approve it given their own app appeared (which typically falls under the "not allowed to compete with Apple" clause). But you don't find this anti-competitive?

Gone are the days when the excuse of Apple being a small fry would fly. Apple has become bigger than Microsoft. They should have to play by the same rules as Microsoft. Not only does Apple package their own browser with iOS, but they will not even allow another browser on their platform since it competes with it. If that is not anti-competitive I don't know what is. Even Microsoft didn't stop people from installing Netscape on a computer running Windows. They simply packaged Internet Explorer with the operating system. In the days of dial-up this discouraged anyone from bothering, but it wasn't a monopoly on the browser market on their operating system. But notice how it does not matter what came with OSX because Microsoft had no control over OSX. Similarlly, it doesn't matter that Android exists because it's a different platform entirely just like Mac OSX was a different platform from Windows. The problem is what the company is doing to discourage or ban competition on their own platform. Microsoft discouraged people from using Netscape (minor IMO compared to this) while Apple won't even allow Firefox as a full blown browser since it would be competing with Safari.


That would be true if Apple weren't preventing any other App store fronts from opening up for iOS devices. Apple can decide what goes on the iTunes store because they are not the only store for music distribution on the planet and thus that would be an apt comparison if we were talking about music. But we're talking about ALL SOFTWARE FOR iOS and Apple is the ONLY game ALLOWED in town. Software for iOS *IS* a market and Apple has total control of it. If they only allowed their own apps, you might still have an argument since hardware/software are tied and are mutually exclusive. But they allow 3rd party software on their platform so it is not mutually exclusive. They've created a 3rd party software market for their iOS computer platform, but are denying developers the right to distribute their software by any other store.

It would be like if Sony owned their own car company and made a stereo on which only music from Columbia records could play and furthermore they integrated the car's ECU into the stereo so that replacing the stereo without going to fairly extreme measures would render the car undriveable. You could distribute your music to be playable on that car, but only if you gave 30% to Sony and they in turn altered it to the encrypted format that would play on their stereos. They are purposely preventing you from being able to get your music into their cars in order to collect 30% of your revenue. You can argue they're a storefront and that's a standard fee, but the problem is that you cannot get your music to play in their cars without paying them almost 1/3 of your revenue. If they simply distributed music for their car, but didn't prevent other stores' digital music from playing on their car stereo, then there would be no issue.

THAT is what Apple is doing. They are purposely not allowing software distribution for iOS computers (and they are computers now, not just smart phones as the iPad is most definitely a computer) except through their store and at their discretion. This is closer to Nintendo only allowing games on their platform by paid developers. You can argue it's the same thing, but a gaming system is a bit different from a general purpose computer. Never before has anyone limited software distribution on a general purpose computer. Worse yet, OSX may eventually do the same thing (Gatekeeper is already in place and it would only take a small change to make 3rd party software sold outside the App store a thing of the past except for hacks/jailbreaking).

Maybe that's the world you want to live in where companies like Apple decide what you can and cannot do on your computer, but to me it's even worse than Big Brother because it's not even the government doing it; it's a freaking company designed only to make profit. What gives them the right in a free society to decide whether you can watch one movie, but not another or to use one browser, but not another? You might as well just move to China while you're at it.
I read through that long rant trying to decipher your point, which I think is that you hate the single storefront model. You confuse Apple "monopolizing" their own environment with Apple monopolizing an actual market. Only the latter has to do with anti-competitive practices. The former is what any company that uses a walled garden approach in conjunction w/ content distribution does

If you're gonna say Apple is fascist for "monopolizing" app distribution on their own environment, you might as well accuse them of being fascist because they don't allow any other OS other than iOS to be installed on iPads. Then you can accuse them of having a virtual monopoly on iPad operating systems, as ridiculous as that would sound
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