Registering as a Apple Developer

Discussion in 'App Store Business, Legal and Marketing' started by PSB136, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. PSB136 macrumors member

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    #1
    Thanks, Shane.

    Further to this: my father owns a Mac. Can I finalize my build on that, to submit to the App Store?

    Also, registering as a Apple Developer: is that meant to be free? I registered a week or so ago but there was no cost involved. I thought it was $99/year or something? I definitely wasn't charged or asked for CC details or anything.
     
  2. SolarShane macrumors 6502

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    #2
    It's free to register, but it actually costs $99/year to have access to the App Store.

    https://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/


    Also, B4i has finally been released! I'd recommend the highest tier, which is $125, which includes one year of the Mac Builder service. I seriously recommend using the builder service that way you don't have to screw with DNS settings, etc.

    Plus, with the builder service, you aren't chained to a Mac until the final steps of actually submitting an app to the App Store. When that time comes, you can use any Mac you have available to you as long as it has Xcode 6 installed.
     
  3. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #3
    I don't know if there is a service out there where you can submit thru a proxy, but that would be an excellent idea.

    In other words, most apps don't break even. If we have the ability to use a "mac in the cloud" why can't they also have an account where you submit to them and they submit to Apple?

    So someone would setup an account, have a base contract where they get say 10% or a yearly fee of say $10... then have apps from different people under the one account. They'd get a fee for managing things, you'd get to publish your app, and _IF_ the app goes viral, you can switch over to a regular account.

    This could also (maybe) allow people to test on a live device without paying.

    Consider: you get to run you app on a PC, but not on an iPhone... Why? Why do we have to pay to run our app on our phone?

    This would also address the issue of a quick app that someone wants to run for themselves without having to pay yearly fees.

    Back in the old days, I could write a program and run it forever on my PC without paying a dime to anyone. Now Apple has it's hands in everything.
     
  4. PSB136 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Corporate greed. Simple as that. The PC does it right.

    Even in my old days when I coded apps for the Psion palmtop, Psion didn't make me cough up a single cent.

    I miss the old days. Everything's about money now.
     
  5. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #5
    I'd be very interested in finding if Apple has the right to control what goes on their devices. I don't think they do. I think the courts have ruled that we can jailbreak so the only advantage Apple has is iOS.

    In other words, if people have a right to the device once they buy it, do they have a right to the OS?

    Just like Windows OS on a PC... you have rights to it even when it's preloaded. The courts already ruled on this and many went back to MS to demand a refund on preloaded Windows.

    So if we own the device and the OS that's preloaded, we should have the same rights we do with PCs, in that we can load whatever software we want.

    So what is the legal basis for Apple telling us we can't have what we want on our devices?

    The only thing I can think of is that Apple controls the AppStore and they make up whatever rules they want for their store.

    Why can't we have our own version of an appstore?

    I guess Cydia is that, but I don't know if it's legal.

    One issue I see come up all the time is about things being allowed or not. Apple removes apps all the time, I wonder if anyone has ever challenged this.

    Isn't the AppStore a monopoly?

    Microsoft was challenged with NetScape over access, they killed off WordPerfect and the courts dug into Microsoft's business model and almost broke them up.

    I could see the basis for a lawsuit against Apple just as with Microsoft back in the old days.
     
  6. TheWatchfulOne macrumors 6502

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    #6
    A significant portion of our devices connect to somebody else's cellular network. Perhaps the carriers don't want just anybody doing just anything on their network. I thought I remembered Steve mentioning this in a keynote.

    Macs and PCs don't have cellular connectivity built in that I'm aware of. And I believe you can build and use your own app using Xcode on your Mac without paying the $99 Mac developer fee. And I'm talking about actual Mac apps and not just iPhone apps running in the simulator.

    If ten different people open their own app store, now you have ten stores to search through to find what you want. Any developer that wants to sell lots of apps will have their app in all ten app stores. Now you have ten stores that have pretty much the same content. Seems redundant. And now each developer has ten different accounts they have to manage. And ten different sets of app submission guidelines they have to keep track of. Sounds like a lot of extra work for users and developers for no extra benefit. Did I say ten? I was being conservative. I'm sure there are way more than ten people out there that would have the interest and opportunity to open an app store. I like the one-stop-shop model Apple has implemented.

    It's their store. They can choose what to sell and what not to sell at their discretion. If you were operating a store you might want to be able to reserve the right to refuse to sell products you don't want to be associated with.

    A monopoly on what? I'm not sure about that. It's one of a few avenues for users to get apps onto their devices. And it's an avenue for developers to make their apps available to users. And it's not even expensive to get into. The biggest expense is getting a Mac. After that, the developer tools are free to download. And $99 per year and a working app gets you into the store. All reports indicate Steve had to be talked into even allowing 3rd party developers to create apps for iPhone.
     
  7. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #7
    I'm looking at this from the standpoint of the device being more universal, like the PC that can load stuff from many different vendors. Dell doesn't tell people what browser they can or can't use.

    There could be 10 appstores but after a while, it would be more like web browsers. We only have a few to chose from, IE, Chrome, Safari, FireFox,...
    Over time, the 10 appstores would compete on service, price, etc... just like other companies have to do. ... in the end, the customer is the winner.

    Apple having control over the discovery of apps is much the same as Google having control over website search. Google has faced many challenges and is as close to the same place Microsoft was when it was sued by the government, it's just a different platform.

    This same problem is true with Google and FB, both have such a lock on a market that they kill the free market competition.

    The government was very close to breaking up Microsoft because what they had was not legal.

    Microsoft wanted people to use IE, so they did some questionable things and a lawsuit was filed.

    Just like Microsoft wanted or had control over things under Windows, so does Apple under iOS.

    How is it legal for Apple to do the same thing as Microsoft did? Microsoft was forced to open their API (IIRC).

    It being Apple's appstore and they can do as they please is exactly the point, they killed off the flashlight market and made it built in... How is this legally different than Microsoft using closed API to kill off NetScape?

    The law is supposed to be good for one and good for all.
     
  8. PSB136 thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Not redundant, because each store could set their own price for the apps therein. Just like in real life where people can choose to buy milk at store A instead of B because A is cheaper.
     
  9. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #9
    Not just that, but you could have "dollar stores" and high end stores. Some stores could carry only business apps while others focus on games.

    Just like buying sporting goods at Walmart vs Big5 or shoes at a shoe store vs Walmart.

    The apps can be distinguished better in a special store vs all in one.

    How many here have gone through all 1.5 million apps in the app store?

    If Walmart had 1.5 million products, would you really fell like you got the best product for your needs or would you get tired after seeing the 43,812 TV's and just grab one?

    Like the web at the start, the AppStore doesn't scale, people look at the top lists and featured apps and that's it. The rest are just along for the ride, a ride they pay for and never earn their money back.
     
  10. TheWatchfulOne macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Apple doesn't set the price of the apps; the developers do. I imagine the same is true for for Google and Amazon but I could be wrong.

    That could also be accomplished by having one store with different sections which is kinda what we have now. I'm not sure how you would make it scale. 1.5 million apps is a lot to go through, especailly on a screen ranging from 4" to 10". They do let you choose keywords for your app in the store and you get to pick two categories that your app might fit into. I wish you could choose a few more. At least I think I wish that.


    Computer makers were selling computers that they themselves did not offer software (the OS) for. Hence there is a need (market) for operating-systems-that-run-on-computers-that-otherwise-wouldn't-come-with-an-operating-system. And that's great. You can buy a PC ready made and it will most likely come with Windows. Or you can build it yourself and run, Windows, Linux, Unix, DOS or anything and everything you wish. Nothing illegal there.

    Microsoft got into a position where they could force other players out of the market. Legal or not I don't know, but very uncool regardless.

    Apple doesn't sell components. They sell a finished product that happens to consist of a hardware component and a software component. But they don't offer software seperately from the harware neither do they offer hardware seperately from the software. Hence there is not a market for phones-that-run-iOS nor is there a market for operating-systems-that-run-on-iPhones. I see nothing illegal about that.

    Yes, I know you can build a Hackentosh and that's cool for people that like to tinker but it's not officially supported.

    And I rejoiced because now I can simply use Control Center to turn the light on and off and I don't have to swipe through a bunch of pages looking for where I put that thing. And since I deleted the no-longer-necessary app it freed up one more icon slot that could now be used by something else. :D

    Legally different I don't know, but technically I just see it as Apple saying "OK we have lots of this type of app so lets not accept them anymore, lets have more of some of the other kinds of apps."

    And I think it is in a very general way but I think sometimes the letter of the law and the intent of the law are at odds with one another. And there will always be somebody looking for loopholes to exploit.

    And just make sure I'm not too far off topic... I actually have played around with VB6. But that was long ago in my MS Access database developer days.
     
  11. firewood macrumors 604

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    #11
    The fact that you have to pay to run your apps benefits most iOS device buyers.

    The unintended consequence of open app installation would be less OS security, which usually leads to a ton more malware, thus lower consumer and business confidence in the mobile ecosystem, and thus lower app revenue for professional and enterprise app developers.

    The fact that you and every other dev has to pay also significantly decreases the amount of cr*p apps that consumers encounter. There is at least twice as much cruft in the Android market compared to the iOS App store.

    Also, you don't have to pay if you do web apps.

    And, thus, well over 100 million of these PCs are remotely controlled by malware developers from dozens of different countries. The last thing we need is a big fraction of billion iPhones that are also bot-infested.
     
  12. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #12
    I was thinking more about the 30% part as well as the rules over IAP vs paid content access. I understand that Apple wants subscription services to go through IAP so that Apple can take a 30% cut.


    Excellent point! Right now we have patent trolls that produce NOTHING and just go around and sue people!

    The purpose of the patent laws was supposed to be to help people make money from their inventions. This would lead to more people inventing more great things, the people and the inventors would both win.

    Instead, some use the law to lock others out of something that is not being built or used. They wait for someone to make money then file a suit against them. The legal system is so expensive and is really a crap-shoot, that it becomes a business decision... the people lose, the lawyers and trolls win.

    The intent of the laws was to reward hard work and stop a business from locking people out.

    Back in the day, DiskDoubler and Xtree were popular products, they got cut out as the tech was made "standard equipment" on every OS.

    This becomes a gray area, as you can say the same for flashlight apps, but flashlight apps were of marginal-at-best value. Xtree, DiskDoubler, and NetScape were all designed to be excellent products and are all dead now.

    You could say that without flashlight apps, Apple might have never made it built in, so from that standpoint, the people win.

    The important thing is that in the end, the people win.

    The laws always get mis-used, usually because of excess greed and lazy people that don't build anything.

    One point that I'm trying to make is that Apple has as much or more control that Microsoft had back then. The government came in a slapped Microsoft around over how it did business, yet I don't see Apple as much different. I don't mind Apple having control over their product, I mind that people don't have choice. It doesn't seem very viable to have a business jailbreak their Apple product in order for you to sell them an app that breaks Apple's rule.

    One of the biggest issues with businesses is security, and Apple seems to have a lock on the security problem, whereas Android can't seem to get the clue.

    This could be a game changer: BB is working on security for other platforms and BB is known for security. http://www.cnet.com/news/blackberry-offers-new-security-and-collaboration-tools-with-bes-12/
     
  13. PSB136, Nov 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2014

    PSB136 thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    I know that. My idea is that multiple stores sell it at whatever price they want; and the developer then gets a store-set percentage from each sale.

    The App Store (Apple) currently markets the app as $1 and sells 100 copies at 30% royalty to the developer, who earns $30.

    However, an alternative store, which reviews every single app they sell with dedicated videos and tutorials, markets the app as $2 and sells 100 copies at 40% royalty to the developer, who earns a bigger $80 instead.

    Customers are free to choose from which store to buy. Some are happy to go the cheap Apple route; others will pay more after seeing the dedicated reviews and videos at the more expensive store, because they are more sure of what they're buying.
     
  14. iizmoo macrumors 6502

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    #14
    First off, apple keep 30%, so the developers make 70%, not the way you're saying. Which from a business standpoint is actually very appropriate considering there's a lot of micro-transactions here. You have to remember that every credit card authorization run about $.10-$.15 just for the authorization, and a few % discount on the gross amount as well. Then on top of that there's not bandwidth charges for your app distribution unlike on Amazon ebook (which charge by the MB).

    A long time ago I once bought a games collection app for $.99 and the download size was around 350MB. Counting in repeated updates, and the perpetuity (ok, like 3 years) of the existent of the app, just the provision cost of bandwidth alone isn't cheap. You also have to level that income they generate against all the other free apps (especially games) that have a large file sizes.

    The real world doesn't work like your multi-stores scenario though. See the eBooks stores. The major stores have price matching clauses in their contract, if you sell something on Amazon for $2.99, you can't charge lower than that on the iBooks or Nook (or whatever store). And I believe iBooks Store has a similar type of policy. In a multi distributors relationship, it really only take 1 distributor with a price match condition to make all the distributor channels level out.

    It's also actually somewhat of a grey area legally when you charge 2 different prices to 2 different customers within the same territory without offering all customers an equal chance to access the discount.
     
  15. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #15
    I'm not sure about the price matching on digital content, I do know that most other things have different prices from different companies. If you price a SSD, you'll see different prices from different sellers.

    I can understand that ebooks and apps would be different and the purpose of having a choice of stores wouldn't be just for a cheaper percentage compared to Apple's 30%, but there's also the issue of the function of the appstore.

    Apple's appstore fails most of the apps. I understand that most of the apps fail themselves as they are knockoff junk or spam, but there are good apps that don't get discovered.

    Apple's appstore didn't scale. It's fine for a small number of apps but worthless for large numbers. They've patched it over with changes in how apps come up in searches, but the fact remains that the biggest problem with apps right now is discovery.

    They charge 30% for both original sale and IAP and as I understand it content (this I think was reversed for some large vendors). Yet Apple is NOT like the software stores of the past where you got shelf space. In a sea of 1,500,000 apps, it's hard to stand out and Apple's appstore doesn't address that.

    The fact of the matter is that Apple doesn't have to... They have something that is working for them, they don't have to address innovation or discovery.

    Consider: in one study that I talked about before, 65% of the app users downloaded ZERO apps in a month.

    The business model is upside down. The "mobile experience" is currently more about the device than the content. As this changes to where the device is more of an appliance, the important issue will be the content on the device.

    Do people care more about who provides access to the internet or more that they have fast access to it? If company X came out and said access to the internet can be had at highspeed for $20/month, would you care who company X is, or would you only care about if it works well.

    Who cares what PC you have? We only care that it works well, the chip could be AMD or Intel or anything else that works well.

    The point is that the business model isn't scaling for app developers and Apple doesn't have a reason to change that. They can keep doing exactly what they are doing now even if we have 10 million apps.

    Google and others see this problem and have been working on if for a while, what's different is that Google will likely change things to scale just as they did with making searching the internet scale.

    The best things Apple has going for it is lack of malware, fast OS, and native code apps. BB is working on mobile device security which will be a HUGE boost for Android and Apple will continue to go sideways with an over priced, late to the game not-so-different product.
     
  16. PSB136, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2014

    PSB136 thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    Yeah, I stuffed that up; I meant to say Apple keeps 30%, not 30% royalty to devs.
     
  17. firewood macrumors 604

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    #17
    This usually leads to price wars and a race towards the bottom, which leads to no stores making much money, which leads to less promotion and marketing for any stores, which leads to less money for developers, which leads to less high quality apps for customers.

    That's why high-end products (Ferrari's, P.Patek watches, Mac Pros, etc.) are only distributed to high-end shops.
     
  18. 1458279 Suspended

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    #18
    This can lead to a race to the bottom, but they can also stop a price war and wait for the other side to stop or die.

    I worked for a company that used this to kill other companies and take their customers and continued until they merged with American Express. The president of the company told me how he's done this for years.

    He said: "they can sell at a loss for a while, but in the end, I'll win because they can't maintain quality at those prices" -- he was right and it paid off.

    Ford, Toyota, GM, and honda have been fighting for decades... last I check, they've limited the "race to the bottom"

    Just as much as this can be a race to the bottom, it can be used for price-fixing... What if all 10 companies decide to raise prices?

    Suggesting that they will go one direction to the point of failure is false. House prices rose because people paid more, people paid more because prices where higher ... until it stopped.

    This is the basics of a free or near free market. In the US, it's pretty much the law.

    If what you said where even legal, the Standard Oil and AT&T wouldn't have been broken up by the US Government.

    What I'm saying is that the law should be applied to all. Market forces will correct, just like house prices did in 2009 and tech stocks in 2000.
     
  19. firewood macrumors 604

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    #19
    SO and ATT were near monopolies. But Apple's App Store isn't even the biggest mobile App Store.
     
  20. 1458279 Suspended

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    #20
    This is true. One of the downfalls of both SO and ATT were that they became huge, just like Microsoft did. At least one of the issues was access and control of a market.

    There are other examples: Car makers control access to vital information so that independent repair shops have trouble keeping up with dealerships. Dealerships have 1st cut to the information they need and can charge higher prices. Same with aftermarket car products, they (car makers) would invalidate warranties is someone used a non-approved product, the courts ruled against the car makers.

    The size of any market, sadly, will dictate the amount of attention something gets.

    In the case of Apple, I don't think it's the size of their appstore, but more the lack of access to the device. Apple has had a history of being a closed system.

    My old iPod video had a very weak battery, I called the local Apple store and they wanted to test it to determine the problem then IF they determined it needed a new battery, they would charge me some $80 (IIRC) to replace it.

    I bought an eBay kit for something like $10 that has been working for years. The amount of money that Apple wanted to inspect and fix the problem was more than the iPod was worth. It would have be cheaper to throw it away and buy a newer used one.

    The same thing happened with PC vs Mac in the old days.

    I don't think anyone sued Apple over access to the iPod or Mac as there are other products that do the same kinda thing.

    However, these things have a life cycle to them. There's a difference between something that becomes an appliance and something that doesn't. Most people don't care what brand fridge they have, they care more that it works properly.

    What brand name pipes carry the water to your house, most people don't know or care, they just care that it functions properly.

    Would anyone care if their movie came thru fiber optics from 3M or GE or Google, or would they care that it's fast?

    Do you care that someone bought an iPhone at Walmart or an Apple store? Do the iPhones from Walmart work better?

    The legal aspects of this are not very clear, because people don't have to buy Apple products, but what is clear is that the appstore didn't scale at all.

    The industry will change, if it hasn't started to already. Some will care that their appliance is made by Apple, but the lines will become blurred. China already has knock-offs of the iPhone/iPad for about 1/3 the price...

    If BlackBerry makes a universal OS that runs on different platforms, they could change everything. They already announced a security product for all platforms. Apple's run is being challenged on several fronts, there focus has been on the product and they've been slammed more than once for not being able to make real gains there.

    Consider the iPad sales, they are flat and Apple claims they are still learning the upgrade cycle. People hold on to tablets longer than phones and the phones are getting so good, they'll soon see there is little reason to upgrade.

    At that point, the cycle changes, Apple (and others) will soon see that they are selling appliances not content.

    Consider: which is more important to you, buying a new fridge when your old fridge still works, of buying more food when your fridge is empty?

    This is why tablet sales are flat and why at some point, phones will flatten out as well. Notice how all the tech companies are looking at Asia for growth?

    The whole industry will change, just like the PC vs software industry changed years ago.
     
  21. firewood macrumors 604

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    #21
    IANAL, but I think it has something to do with trade secret law. See: http://www.wipo.int/sme/en/ip_business/trade_secrets/trade_secrets.htm

    Apple can sell you a device, but can keep secret the private keys and hardware details required to allow the hardware to run any hacked OSes or apps. You can do almost anything you want with the device, but can't compel Apple to turn over any copyrights or trade secrets (app install certificate private keys) to do what you want. You'll have to figure out away around this by yourself, like the jailbreakers.

    It may also have something to do with FCC regulations. An iPhone is a licensed radio transmitter, and FCC licensed radios come with lots of Federally regulated restrictions on what you can do with them, such as change the radio firmware so that it could interfere with emergency communications, etc. Such regulations may even require the iOS device bootloader to be locked down.
     
  22. 1458279 Suspended

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    #22
    That could be a game changer if the FCC is involved as I don't think this was an issue with Microsoft's lawsuit (but I don't know for sure).

    After a while, this whole thing could be a non-issue.

    IMO, Apple's past success and failures have been related at least in part, to being a closed system. The IBM Clone (PC) has been a hit for some 30 years now and remains in various forms a usable tool. Apple has always been more expensive and that's hard to do on a short product life cycle.

    I think it's pretty clear that Apple won't change its view on being open, it never has before.

    Microsoft just announced cross-platform support using Docker. I don't know if Docker is just a run-time wrapper or something native or what.

    Oracle many years ago predicted the Cloud, and they were right.

    Just like the web itself, the browser is nothing more than how you get to the content, the web is all about content.

    Given that, the future of apps isn't in the device or the OS, it's in the content and that includes services.

    Look at social media itself, that Apps are just ways to get to the content. HTML5 fails because it makes poor 'apps' ... The future is more about content than devices that access that content.

    Apple's problem is that other products are quickly becoming just as good or better. Brand name only goes so far once the quality is the same a price is lower.
     
  23. iizmoo macrumors 6502

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    #23
    A key here is that past monopolistic entities, even the modern ones like Microsoft had significant and overbearing impact on the market. At the time MS was taken to task for Explorer, Windows were on something like over 90% of the desktops in the world, MS Office was the same, and MSIE was in the mid 80% if I remember correctly. Then once you remove professional IT folks, for the consumers, it was effectively all MS or nothing.

    The difference here Apple does not have even a simple majority control of the Smart Phones market in the U.S. much less places like China. They're a market leader, but they still can't exert market level controls and restriction of competitors on comparable devices. In every territory, you can go to Best Buy or Walmart and get a similar Android, or Windows Mobile device that does comparably similar and comparable things.

    I think Apple (at least with Steve) learned from the Microsoft issue and focused on a more niched but high end market. That way there's more margins, they can do all the restrictions, and because they're not even a simple majority of the market, they'll never face the threat of anti-trust laws.
     
  24. 1458279 Suspended

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    #24
    I think you're right on that, Apple's OS and control is not on other devices, it's just on their own and that's a huge difference.

    MS didn't build computers back then and had strong controlling contracts with OEM for their product.

    That's actually where many say MS is failing today. The only reason that MS made the money they did was by being pre-installed on so many computers. Now with PC going flat, MS has to find a new business model.
     
  25. firewood macrumors 604

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    #25
    Corporate greed is nearly impossible in this market. Apple sells consumer products, and consumers have far too many other choices (hundreds of Android models, Microsoft Phone, even old Psion and PalmOS units on eBay). If Apple sets their prices too high, consumers can buy something else.

    Apple does it right, in that they can exert far more quality control than the whole of the PC market (there are enough people who will pay for Apple's interpretation of "quality"). And yet Apple still offers plenty of freedom by not trying to sell anywhere near the majority of all smartphones. Apple has licensed many of their patents to several Microsoft and Android device makers.

    The only thing to note about the complainers is that they failed the buyer beware caveat emptor reading test by not checking that the real price for their phone was really $99/annum higher if they wanted to code native apps on it, and they mistakenly paid for the cheap system instead.
     

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