Hello there. I want to throw a question to all Mac fans and those who are not so much. "Is Apple building a monopoly?" It is the question I've been asking myself lately with all the new cool stuff that I've seen from them. First off, I'd like to say that I'm a huge fan. I recently bought my first Mac ever and I really love it. But still, I want to know the opinion of other people on this subject. Let's look at some facts. The Macintosh community around the world has grown up dramatically over the last few years. The marketshare has risen from a couple of percentual points to over 7 right now. The most popular MP3 player in the world is the iPod, and the iPhone is on its way to become the most popular smartphone. And basically you could take a look at every single product made by Apple and it falls into one of these two: either it is already the most popular of its type, or it's going there really quickly. The good thing is, they're not pulling this off by incorporating bad practices such as fooling their customers, but by releasing innovative products that people identify themselves with and simply love. So far, so good. I only see a problem here. Their products are completely closed to be used with other Apple products. Of couse, there are some exceptions, in which they were obligated to do it or they wouldn't survive (e.g. the ipod wouldn't be what it is today if Apple hadn't released a Windows version of iTunes). DRM-free music is the only point were they have done things in an admirable manner. But basically, if you want to use an Apple product you have to use it with other Apple products. The most dramatic example that I find is the fact that Mac OS (any version) can only be installed on a Mac. It is not legal to install it on a Dell, for example, nor easy. So if you really like Apple's operating system, you're stuck with Apple's hardware. Then, if you want to get Mac OS, you can only get it with a very reduced (and kind of expensive) number of computer models. Perhaps the most popular example of my point is the iPhone. When it was released, the iPhone was closed to third-party development. The pressure was so big, that they had to back down and create an SDK (which is not fully open to do everything with all of the iPhone's features). I believe that if things keep following the same path, one day Apple will be leading the market, not only of the products they currently have, but also the one of products to come. If Apple doesn't become much more open, they will have an amazing monopoly. For example, the iPhone is the best smartphone in the world, and it is rapidly becoming the most popular one. Since a lot of the good features that it offers us are patented (which I'm not against to), one day maybe it will be like the only option. The problem is that it only comes in ONE flavor. There is no more than one version of it. And, of course, there's no way to install its operating system on another device. And buying another brand doesn't give you the features that it has. It'll probably happen the same way than with the iPod. It is today's most sold MP3 Player. It has practically no competition. And if you want to own those features that make it unique, you're stuck with the few models they make. Other expamples are easy to notice. For example, if you own an iPod, you need iTunes. Same with the iPhone. Basically, Apple is wanting to focus on every single aspect they can. They don't like leaving any room for competition. They have to do it sometimes, but they don't like doing it. On the other hand, Microsoft has been criticized for implementing monopoly practices. It certainly has, I won't deny it. But it has permitted, in some areas, the possibility for many companies to grow. They focus on developing some things, while delegating others to other organizations. For example, they create Windows, but not the computers that host it, allowing companies like Dell, HP, Sony, etc., to innovate in that field, but more importantly, to compete, resulting in better and cheaper computers everytime. Of course, Microsoft has other issues, but here, no complaints. I think Apple should start doing this, unless one day we want to be stuck with only one brand and no options. I'm not saying they should stop building the hardware, but they should allow you to buy a Dell (which is cheaper) and install Mac OS on it. They should allow you to use your iPhone with any carrier. One day, they sould allow you to install the iPhone software on another phone. Basically, they should start making products that are more universal, unless they don't mind becoming as (or even more) hated as Microsoft is by a lot of people for implementing monopoly practices that don't allow competition and, therefore, better and cheaper stuff. And again, I really love their products, they're awsome, but I like having options when I buy something. Please, tell me what you think. I believe it is time someone points this out, and Apple listens to the customer's point of view. Regards, Juan Carlos PS. Excuse me if I made any spelling or grammar mistakes. I'm not a native English speaker.