Monday, July 20, 2009

Apple hurts Palm and itself in the process

This news came to fruition yesterday, but the crime happen only a week ago. When the Palm Pre was created, Palm engineered the syncing ability for people to download their itunes collection to their phone like the Iphone could. John Naughton had this update on how Apple responded:

So last week Apple released an update to iTunes that closed the loophole and effectively screwed Palm, whose share price immediately declined. How did Apple describe its tactic? Merely by saying that the upgrade "addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices", which upon translation reads "Yay dudes! You're stuffed."

Damn, that was a jerky move by Apple for several reasons. It also signaled my refusal to ever buy a Mac product ever again, thats right, my dream to have a Mac Whitebook is now appearing silly and the ipod in my pocket seems generic.

It is very easy to see I am no fanboy of PC since I wanted to own a certain apple product and own yet another one. But as a man who understands business, there is no reason for Apple to waste money on doing such a thing. It also causes backlash on them, also hurting their business on itunes.

There is essentially no wrong in Palm's Pre being able to sync itunes music within it, in fact Apple should be humbled that Palm respects their music software instead of people buying it elsewhere so they can sync their music. But by engineering a block so that a crucial feature of the Palm Pre doesn't work, Apple faces some SERIOUS consequences.

First of all, Palm might sue since that engineering cost them money. Palm isn't depriving Apple of any profit, in fact it encourages profit because now another crowd can get their music easy on itunes. But depriving Palm of a promised feature to its buyers and not being the cause of the loss entitles them to sue.

Second of all, Palm owners will likely not buy from itunes again. None of those buyers have an iphone or clearly want one, and considering that todays cellphones have taken the place of the MP3 player as their music storage device. People do like to combine uses within one device, the iphone clearly established this at its introduction at Macworld.

Thirdly, as a result of the second consequence, Apple loses buyers in the itunes market due to angry Palm Pre owners, and could also suffer backlash for this move. We know Apple is aggressive, but this move shows backhanded tactics are not beyond Apple, especially considering they allow people to convert their music to the Apple format. What will Palm Pre do without the itunes market guaranteeing them ability to take their music with them? Music Piracy will ensue among other things.

Finally, Apple's move demonstrates not only a software close out like all their creations imply but also implies a hardware closure. I simply didn't buy a Mac because my software I have wouldn't support on an Apple Product, and there is very few that do. But closing the itunes service to outside developers indicates a deprived and pressured market to pay premium to enjoy the services Apple insists are better. I smell an antitrust suit or Apple losing some of their audience.

I do enjoy my 3 year old 60GB ipod, but i'm not inclined to replace the battery once it kicks the bucket. Maybe i'll ebay it and get myself a Zune, because I don't like combining devices like others do.

1 comment:

  1. This is just one of the many reasons why i hate apple