Who Won The Smartphone Wars: Google Or Apple?

Last week, an Oracle lawyer said in court that Google had made $31 billion in revenue and $22 billion in profit from Android, according to Bloomberg. ~ Miguel Helft

(T)he comparisons between Google’s Android business and Apple’s iOS business that are starting to surface (Apple generated $32.2 billion in iPhone sales in the most recent quarter), well, they don’t mean much either. Apple sells mostly hardware. Google sells mostly ads. Those are fundamentally different businesses. Both companies are very successful at what they do. ~ Miguel Helft

I could not disagree more.

Congratulations On Making Money

I want to congratulate Google on making any money at all on Android, let alone ~$22 billion in profits. As they used to say: A billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you’re taking real money. ((Senator Everett Dirkson))

Congratulations On The Pivot

Google doesn’t get enough credit for the amazing pivot they made with Android. Google purchased Android in 2006 with the intention of competing against Blackberry and Microsoft. When they saw the iPhone in 2007, they went back to the drawing board and by 2008, they were ready to introduce a revamped Android operating system that could compete head-to-head with the iPhone and its iOS operating system. It was an amazing achievement.

Compare that to Microsoft, which moved much, much more slowly and didn’t introduce a competing smartphone operating system until 2009. By then it was too late. The iPhone took the high end of the market, Android took the low end and there was just no room for Microsoft’s entrant to grow and prosper.

There is an immeasurable distance between late and too late. ~ Og Mandino

Congratulations On Achieving Your Primary Strategic Objective

Any money that Google makes form Android is a bonus because money was never Android’s primary objective anyway.

Android’s immediate objective was to keep Microsoft from dominating mobile the way Microsoft had dominated the desktop. Android’s long-term objective was to prevent Google from being locked out by platform owners. In the latter case, Apple’s app ecosystem proved to be surprisingly troublesome. However, in the short run, Android was an unconditional success. Not only was Microsoft prevented from dominating the nascent mobile marketplace, the entire foundation of Microsoft’s personal computing business model was undermined.

The highest realization of warfare is to attack the enemy’s plans. ~ Sun Tzu

Before Android, there were two viable business models in personal computing: licensing an operating system for profit and device sales. After Google began to give Android away for free, Microsoft’s licensing business model was unsustainable.

Congratulations On Not Losing

Google has made an estimated $22 billion in profits over the lifetime of Android.

The iPhone, on the other hand, has generated more revenue in the past three months than Android has in its entire existence. Further, it’s been estimated that the iPhone has made around $500 billion over its lifetime.

That’s what winning looks like.

Apple sells mostly hardware. Google sells mostly ads. Those are fundamentally different businesses. ~ Miguel Helft

First, as Benedict Evans, Horace Dediu and others are fond of saying, unfair comparisons are often relevant comparisons. The goal of business isn’t to be fair, it’s to win.

If you’re in a fair fight, you didn’t plan it properly. ~ Nick Lappos ((The Military Quotation Book by James Charlton))

Second, what the heck makes Miguel Helft think that you can’t compare Apple and Google just because they have two different business models? Almost every business, in almost every market sector, has a different business model. That’s how they compete.

Was it unfair to compare Microsoft’s very successful software licensing business model to Apple’s mostly unsuccessful integrated hardware and software business model in the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s?

Hell no!

(T)racking precisely how well Apple and Google’s mobile platforms are going has ceased to be very interesting. They both won, and both got most of what they wanted, more or less, and at this stage iPhone or Android phone sales announcements are really just victory laps. ~ Benedict Evans

Well, yes and no. It’s certainly true that Google didn’t lose the Mobile wars (as opposed, say, to Motorola, Microsoft, Palm, Sony, Rim, etc.) And $22 billion in profit moves Android firmly into the winner’s column. But Android was primarily a defensive play. Google’s objective was to not lose. That’s why making $22 billion in profit is so sweet. But $22 billion doesn’t compare to the $500 billion the iPhone made. Apple was the clear winner here…and it’s not even close.

Cloning The PC Wars

With its disruptive and leveraged strategy, it is Google that is attempting to be the Microsoft of the smartphone market. Perhaps ironically, Apple is well positioned to be the “Apple” of the smartphone market. ~ Bill Gurley, AboveTheCrowd.com, 5 January 2010

The pundits had it half-right, which meant they had it all wrong. They opined that Google was the new Microsoft and Apple was the new Apple. Google was the new Microsoft alright, but Android was not the new Windows. And Apple was the new Apple, but the iPhone is not the new Macintosh, it’s the new Windows.

How can I make such an outrageous claim? The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Google pays billions to Apple to make its search engine the default search provider for iOS devices, the company collects much more from ads placed on Apple devices than from ads on Android devices. A recent analysis by Goldman Sachs estimated that Google collected about $11.8 billion on mobile search ads in 2014, with about 75 percent coming from ads on iPhones and iPads. ~ Farhad Manjoo

The iPhone is the new Windows because everyone — Google and Microsoft included — has to develop for it. Google needs Apple’s mobile platform. And Microsoft needs Apple’s mobile platform. But Apple doesn’t need Google or Microsoft’s platforms. The smartphone wars are over. Apple won. Microsoft lost. Android placed.


It may sound like I’m denigrating what Google’s Android has accomplished. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Android absolutely and overwhelming achieved its strategic objective. It gutted Microsoft’s business model and provided Google with access to the then burgeoning mobile marketplace.

But, let’s keep things in perspective. Just because Google won with Android, doesn’t mean it won nearly as much as Apple did with the iPhone. Android kept Google from being locked out of mobile. With the introduction of the iPhone, Apple went from being just another fortune 500 company to one of the largest, most successful companies in the free world. If that ain’t winning, what is?

Published by

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?

253 thoughts on “Who Won The Smartphone Wars: Google Or Apple?”

  1. Nice article. Yes, Apple is the new Windows. Worse in anticompetitive behavior than ’90s Windows, except for market share. I say this, and (some) people think I’m nuts, to which, all I can say is that my being nuts is merely incidental.

    “The iPhone is the new Windows because everyone — Google and Microsoft included — has to develop for it….” -John Kirk (full paragraph)

    The sooner this notion gains the attention it deserves, the sooner the anti-trust lawsuits will pick up.

    Being that each and every MS and Google App can be removed from the App Store in an instant, without recourse, this is why I call them worse than ’90s Windows. The only reason they exist at all is because they add value to iOS, but the avenue, and precedent, exists for eliminating them for competitive reasons.

    1. “The iPhone is the new Windows because everyone — Google and Microsoft included — has to develop for it….” -John Kirk (full paragraph)

      “The sooner this notion gains the attention it deserves, the sooner the anti-trust lawsuits will pick up.” – Klahanas

      Google, Microsoft and everyone else find it desirable to develop for the iPhone for competitive reasons, Saying Apple’s platform is anti-competitive is like saying it’s anti-completive that clothing makers feel compelled to display their wares with Abercrombie & Fitch.

        1. There’s nothing — except market forces — keeping anyone from competing with either Apple or Abercrombie and Fitch.

          And if you think Apple is “the only store available in the mall” then I’d like to introduce you to my little friends, Amazon and Android.

          1. So which is it? Market forces compel MS and Google to be on iOS or not?

            It was market forces, as a necessity, that required Windows development. It wasn’t for love of MS.

            And if it’s market forces that offer Amazon and Android as MS and Google alternatives, what’s to prevent them from still being banned on iOS, other than it suits Apple for having them there, until one hypothetical day when it doesn’t.

            I want to write an App that converts iOS users to Windows Mobile or Android. Or an iBook disparaging iOS. iOS customers would obviously be my target market. Am I assured publication, not in Apple’s store, but on the platform? That’s from a developer perspective, what about the customer who might be interested?

            I’m arguing against an built in anti-competitive flaw in the iOS model. Not the business dynamics per se.

          2. Please correct me if my understanding of anti-trust is wrong, but I think that not being “dominant” is a large part of why Apple is not targeted for anti-trust.

            Apple cannot abuse its dominant position because it is not dominant in the first place. It is Android which is dominant with 80% market share worldwide, and Google which is dominant with its search market share. That is why both Search and Android are being targeted around the world for anticompetitive practices.

            Many of Apple’s practices would be illegal if they were dominant. Fortunately, they have never been in that position, thanks to Android.

          3. I see your point, but if I go back to the quote “because everyone has to develop for it”, I see that as a sign of dominance.
            As far as search goes, I would regulate that as a public utility.

          4. There’s nothing wrong with being “dominant”. It is, in fact most desirable. I think you’re confusing dominant with monopolistic. And even there, it isn’t the monopoly that is illegal, it’s the abuse of monopoly power.

            That’s it for me. If we differ on what is and is not a free market good and what is and is not a monopoly, we’re not likely to ever see eye to eye on this issue.

          5. The question is not whether I or you confuse anything, or whether we differ or not on *our* views. The question is how the authorities view the situation.

          6. In any case, Apple already got fined half a billion for their ebooks behaviour. I’m sure J. Kirk has no quote about that :-p

          7. Except for the ebooks collusion, Apple’s behaviour is not considered anticompetitive because they are not a monopoly nor dominant. That’s not even my opinion. That’s the opinion of antitrust laws around the world.

          8. Nafumi,

            You realize you’re arguing with the always certain and sometimes right Mr O? The rest of us can hear you even though he won’t.

          9. You’re confusing legally-punishable anticompetitive behaviour and the plain, non legally-punishable kind. Same a being drunk: you can be drunk, a long as you’re not driving. You’re still drunk, but it’s not legally punishable.
            Wikipedia as a nice article on anticompetitive practices. Their list includes DRM, refusal to deal (= banning from Appstore), tying (… product/apps together), limiting pricing… Apple certainly engages in all of that.

          10. You’re having an issue with 2 opposite things existing at the same time ? Think about it as order vs chaos; or as personality traits: an overall nice person can have specific bad traits; or as stomach ache: you an be nauseated and underfed…

          11. I don’t have a problem with that at all, if that were what’s happening. Maybe you should re-read that Wikipedia entry again. Or even the Merriam-Webster definition.


          12. Other thing: definition of anticompetitive by Merriam-Webster: “tending to reduce or discourage competition”. There’s nothing about legality in it.

          13. Apple has petitioned the Supremes to handle the ebooks judgment. Be patient as he may not need a quote.

          14. There’s no doubt they did it, the question is whether it’s legally punishable, which is another, separate, question.

          15. Sure I have a quote for that. The case is on appeal to the Supreme Court.

            “An appeal is when you ask one court to show its contempt for another court.” ~ Finley Peter Dunne

          16. The question is not how *you* would define dominance. The question is how the authorities would define it. Typically, market share is the criteria and not whether developers are compelled to develop for it.

          17. True. The time may come where at least one DA agrees with at least the spirit of my argument. I’ll leave the law to them… 🙂

          18. “Proving that a company violated the Sherman Antitrust Act requires more than just proving that the company exercised a monopoly. A plaintiff or the government must show that a monopoly existed, and that said power was accompanied by some anti-competitive act by the offending company in a relevant market.”

            Read more: http://business-law.freeadvice.com/business-law/trade_regulation/monopoly_power.htm#ixzz3yCX8DS4c

            Where Klahanas goes wrong is that he believes Apple has a monopoly on iOS (which it does) but Apple does not have a monopoly on the relevant market, which is smartphones (or perhaps mobile computers or even personal computers).

          19. in the US they should giving the almost 50% market share

            anti-trust is market to market not the entire world in one shot

          20. Anti-trust requires abuse of a monopoly, not the mere existence of one.

            You are smoking too much crack.

          21. that’s my point, if Google can be sue in the US market for Android so can Apple giving their respective market share

          22. They are under investigation in Europe for their control of Android and the FTC is thinking about opening an investigation in the US as well for the same reason something a lot Apple Fan was cheering about without thinking about the way that could impact their beloved Apple.

          23. Since Google’s Android is in a dominant position, that kind of makes sense. The real problem that muddies the waters for me there are the Europe vs US politics. How much of this is driven by European protectionism.

            I don’t know the details about the US concerns. If it doesn’t involve Google’s dominance of search I would have serious doubts on any investigation going forward.

            In either situation I would think Google’s out is that Google is only in charge of one strand of Android.

            In either case, who cares about any cheerleading? There’s always cheerleading. I don’t care about the cheerleaders and I certainly don’t let them affect my views. Nothing I (or you) can say or do will change them. So why waste the time and energy?


          24. when it come to market share, Android is not dominant in all market, in the US it is 51/45 with IOS even in some European country Apple market share is around 20 to 35% hence if the FTC or the European commission want force Google to provide alternative to other search engine and App developer to become default on Android to protect user choice as many wanted, they would have to force Apple to do the same on IOS on those market for the same reason that was my whole point because.

          25. The only place I saw Android under 70% is the UK. That’s pretty darn dominant.

            The reason (other than politics) I can see that Google can be investigated and not Apple is the same reason MS was investigated, they are (supposedly) exerting control on another company’s product through their control of the OS. There is no one else who makes Apple products.

            But personally, I don’t see anything but politics involved. Even in the US, it seems the government wants to punish technology companies for not playing the political game properly. I’ve heard them say as much.


          26. Being dominant is not always about pure number it is about your ability to distort the market and harm consumer or other company, if Google can do that with their 70% market share so can Apple even if it’s only 25%. these kind of lawsuit are about preventing company from making business decision that could harm unfairly their consumer.

          27. Joe was referring to MS exerting control over another companies products through control of the OS. That applies perfectly, and more severely, on iOS products.

          28. It doesn’t apply because no one is making Apple hardware to run Apple software except Apple. Apple has no OEMs to run their software. So they get to do with _their product_ what they want to.


          29. It’s more unfortunate that you don’t understand that when Apple sells the hardware, it no longer belongs to Apple.
            Crochet on that one a little while dear friend.

          30. And you are perfectly free to jailbreak your iOS device, use it as paperweight or doorstop, or whatever.

          31. You still seem to believe that Apple’s hardware and the software that powers Apple’s hardware are two separate products.

            You seem to believe that you’re “entitled” buy one without the other and that Apple has no say in the matter.

            And you’re wrong.

          32. Best argument yet, but still anti-competitive. Perhaps legally anti-competitive, but as a user I don’t care about Apple, Google, Samsung, whoever. I care about the user.
            A gilded cage is still a cage. On the user’s property no less.

          33. “…but still anti-competitive. Perhaps legally anti-competitive…”

            FAIR competition in any market is only possible when intellectual property rights are honored. These include such longstanding legal concepts as copyrights, trademarks, patents and licenses.

            Your idea that Apple enforcing these rights is “perhaps legally anti-competitive” has gone past approaching and has now fully entered the realm of idiocy.

          34. Um. Déjà vu. Apple doesn’t license its OS to any other manufacturer. This comparison doesn’t “apply perfectly.”

            Using your definition of a ‘free market’ and your definition of ‘fair competition,’ Apple would be forced to allow other operating systems on their phones. Failure to do so would be ‘anti-competitive.’

            Your definition of a ‘free market’ allows for nothing to be proprietary. Your definition punishes innovation. Your definition of ‘free market’ would allow any developer to undermine Apple’s efforts to provide a distinctive technology product. Your definition of a ‘free market’ is not ‘free’ and is the opposite of ‘competition.’

            You seem to believe that all ‘competitors’ must be allowed to commandeer any technology they need to prevent anyone from having a competitive advantage or to overcome any disadvantage. You seem to believe that Apple’s success is due to preventing ‘competition,’ rather than actually competing and winning.

            You are being obtuse.

          35. Thanks for clarifying this “anti-competitive”/monopoly thread. You lost me at first.

            But, isn’t Google being accused of promoting certain sponsored search results over European or more local results? Isn’t that the reason the European commission is going after Google Search/Android?

            Hard to keep track of all the legal pissing matches going on, but I believe that is what I read awhile back.

          36. in search yes
            but the investigation about Android in Europe or the US is about their total control over the Play store and Pre-install App as default
            they want Google to be force to provide alternative to other search engine and App developer to become default or pre installed on Android to protect user choice and if they succeed they will clearly go after Apple next since they are even worst in this case

          37. I was nodding my head in agreement and understanding until you got to the “Apple is worse” bit.

            Android pretends to be “open.” Apple makes no such claim. An “open” system should not require default services and apps that all point back to a single company. That is problematic.

            A “closed” system (such as iOS) has no such requirement. Apple is not “worse” because Apple isn’t held to the same standard. Apple is free to do whatever it wants with its proprietary platform–so long as consumers believe what Apple offers is worth the price. Anti-Trust doesn’t even begin to apply here, so your concerns are unwarranted.

          38. all that’s tell me is that you do not understand the dynamic about the way Apple control their platform and they way that could e harmful to user.

            Android is free and open source, no one is force to use it or accept google play services, but still they want them to set up the platform in way that make it easy for other to compete with them on their own platform and if you cannot see the parallel with Apple in this simple explanation then you clearly do no get it.

          39. Clearly. I don’t get it. Clearly. Apparently every lawyer in the world fails to get it, as well.


          40. “I want to write an App that converts iOS users to Windows Mobile or Android. Am I assured publication.”

            I want to write a book on how much people misunderstand anti-trust and the laws of economics. Am I assured publication by any publisher or distribution by any retailer? A book store carries whatever books it wants and it does not carry the books it doesn’t want.

            I want to write an article for the New York Times. Do they have to publish it? (Hint: “No”.)

            What about supermarkets and deli’s. They too pick and choose which foods to sell.

            Clothing retailers pick and choose which clothing brands to sell.

            ALL sellers pick and choose what to sell.

            The reason you don’t understand monopolies, Klahanas, is because you don’t understand free trade. Free trade does not mean anyone is obligated to buy or distribute my goods or services. It’s exactly the opposite. It means the seller is free to sell what they want and the buyer is free to buy what they want.

            If an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it. ~ Milton And Rose Friedman

          41. But my chances of finding “a” bookstore, “a” newspaper, “a” blog to carry it are improved…
            If Techpinions were Apple owned, under the same policies, I wouldn’t have the right to be wrong… 😉

          42. Think of AppStore & free market as you would free speech and a magazine. Free speech doesn’t mean magazines have to publish my rants; free market doesn’t mean resellers have to resell my wares.

            That doesn’t mean Apple isn’t being anticompetitive, they do ban apps that compete with their own, even simply mention other ecosystems, or break Apple’s own fairly random bylaws (porn books are OK but not porn apps; political/religious aggressive books are OK but not apps…).

            What’s iffy is that, with the walled garden, Apple users can’t go around those limits. Like if my glasses or TV prevented me from reading/watching/listening to what I want. It’s a brand new issue that appeared with walled gardens, and there’s no specific law staying that “if it’s legal, you must let people sell it”. It’s weird users aren’t walking away in droves from that multifaceted censorship, but hey, at least we did.

          43. Your argument is mostly valid if Apple is a monopoly, or a dominant seller. But they aren’t.

            Don’t walk into a walled garden knowing it’s a walled garden then complain you’re in a walled garden when you could have walked into the much bigger open garden right next to the walled garden.

          44. But do average customers know about the walled garden and understand what it means ? Are they really “knowing” ?

          45. It’s a fascinating world Mr O. Do average users know or care about the walled garden? Should governement protect them from it?

            What about security? Should average users know about Android’s failure to protect against serious malware ? (StageFright). What should government do? The feds have already warned against one Android malware problem? Should they be shouting about StageFright?

          46. You have a very profound point, and I agree. The government should oblige all companies to fix security risks for all devices ‘in the wild’. That Google’s Android licensing model makes that difficult due to the need to involve OEMs and carriers is immaterial. Oh, and through the FCC, I assume the government has every right to oblige them. Don’t know for sure.

            Fixing that problem is different from the problem being discussed.

          47. the have 50% share of the smartphone market in the us, how can Google be anti competitive in Android but not Apple when it come to the US market?

          48. Has my memory gone that bad? Please point out to me where I said that “Google is anti-competitive in Android”.

          49. Think of the complete iOS device as the platform. One problem is that most people let a modular model that splits OS-Hardware define how every product “should” be.

            The integrated model is just that: Integrated. You buy it for other reasons than to “go round” the integration. Maybe for having one point of contact with help or support; Maybe because it tends to last and remain useable longer; Whatever.

          50. i think many of are confuse between what is best or right for Apple to what is anti competitive.

            IOS as a platform the way Apple set it up i think it is anti competitive but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is bad.

          51. You still don’t have the right to do “anything” you want to on this thread. You can certainly be wrong. But you still have to be careful how you go about being wrong. Use certain language, or interact with others in a certain way, and you might get banned. Insert dubious links or code, etc., and you might get banned.

            In short, the platform owners get to use their discretion about what you do or don’t do on their platform, and they may or may not act in what appears from the outside to be an arbitrary or self-interested manner. They can even say it is in the interest of their users, even though it is also in their interests.

            You can acknowledge all these things, and you have a couple of choices: boycott Techpinions and complain about it every where else, whenever you get the chance; or, also acknowledge, as you have above, that it has its uses and you actually learn from it.

            Same with Apple products: the value and benefits vastly outweigh the perceived negatives. And if you were really serious about chasing down different issues and integrity, you would find a lot more issues with the platforms and companies you purport to be comfortable with. Certainly, it’s not black and white. But it is true that Apple is usually held to a higher standard in most things.

          52. Okay, let’s go with that.
            Now, on my computer, when visiting Techpinion’s site, I have to abide by Techpinion’s rules. But here’s the thing, on that same computer, my property, I am not bound to stay ‘only’ on Techpinion’s site…

          53. Me neither. Then again, the internet is neither Techpinion’s nor Apple’s “platform”. So here’s the thing: you are making a straw man that bears no comparison.

            However, as I said in another comment on this thread, it helps if you view the complete integrated package (iOS hardware device, OS and App Store) as the “platform” rather than an OS-Hardware split model as “the way it has to be or should be”.

            There are a number of reasons to buy and prefer the integrated product; it does deliver value, though competing app stores isn’t one of them.

          54. But Apple does indeed restrict internet use. Flash? Java? Download and side load of Apps, etc.

          55. Dumb, perhaps, but true. If one could side load, then anyone can write an app, or use an app, without permission.

          56. It would be “true” if Apple did “indeed restrict internet use.”

            They don’t. So it is both dumb and not true.

          57. You have it exactly backwards. The websites that insist on employing proprietary garbageware are restricting the internet.

            Here’s how the free market is supposed to work: Rather than propping up an outdated technology that drains batteries, saps performance, and introduces all manner of security issues, Company A says: “we won’t allow that because there are better alternatives.”

            Company B says: “We’ll keep supporting this dead carcass, it will be our competitive advantage!”

            The free market then decides. And it did. How is Company A being “restrictive?” They’re NOT.

            If you need garbageware, you have choices.

          58. Things can be replaced as you described. They can also be replaced because the customer found and chose something better, or the provider decided not to offer it any longer. In those cases its between the customer and provider, not some imposed third party.

            I know that you don’t often get to praise non-proprietary often, but choice is best.

          59. And for the 560,056,235,125th time: Apple did not deprive you of any choices.

            Who’s doing the “imposing” here?

          60. My understanding of free trade is that everyone is free to buy legal goods or services. Obstacles imposed by a dominant player are anti-competitive. Forced bundling, and forced exclusivity can also be anti-competitive. Remember IE? And they didn’t even forbid Netscape.
            But then, I’m not a recovering attorney, just an interested customer.

          61. Then your understanding of free trade is wrong. You only talk about ‘free to buy’, omitting ‘free to sell’ and ‘as they so choose’ and ‘at a price acceptable to both’. And like all freedoms, they must be balanced against each other. So you’re free to buy as long as you aren’t a dominant buyer and likewise for a seller.

          62. “My understanding of free trade is that everyone is free to buy legal goods or services.”

            You got it half right that means you got it wrong.
            How about altering you understanding(actually misunderstanding) like this:

            “My understanding of free trade is that everyone is free to buy legal goods or services and FREE TO SELL ANY legal goods or services.”

            I really couldn’t understand your thinking process. First you make up of own definition of some well defined concept than start gauging every single thing with that faulty understanding.

          63. Klahanas after reading your comments for sometime I’ve come to a conclusion. I might be wrong in my conclusion but I really think you don’t come here for learning but for Mental Musturbation.

            “Mental masturbation is a method of intellectual self-stimulation that creates a pleasing sensation.”

            The most basic prerequisite of learning is to admit mistakes. Admit that I was wrong on this then you’d be able to learn something otherwise it’d be same old drums which you love to bang in any other TechPinion’s article.

          64. Does not a free market consist of freely buying, yes AND selling goods and services? How the hell does one freely buy if another can’t freely sell?

          65. My understanding of free trade is that EVERYONE is free to buy legal goods or services and FREE TO SELL ANY legal goods or services.”

            Apple is SELLER in this transaction.
            Biases can make a person quite thick.

          66. Klahanas only problem here is that you’ve no idea what a free market is. You keep coming with these stupid replies.

          67. And your defense of Apple reminds me of the old Soviet leaders insisting they had a democracy.

          68. “So which is it? Market forces compel MS and Google to be on iOS or not?”

            I don’t think you understand what “market forces” are. Market forces are: “the economic factors affecting the price, demand, and availability of a good or commodity.” Market forces are not physical force or coercion. They’re the very opposite.

          69. No, making money is the force of necessity (coercion), strongly dictated by market forces.

          70. “making money is the force of necessity (coercion)”

            That’s just not so. You have no right to force someone to give you a job and you have no right to force someone to sell your wares.

            We’re just not going to agree on this because we don’t agree on definitions.

            “How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.” ~ Aristotle

          71. That may be so. I’m conversing, after all, from a position of legal ignorance, with a lawyer. I see that as an opportunity to learn something (believe it or not, I have). But, just as the law is so subject to opinion, by it’s interpretation, I can only conclude, by what you’ve taught me, that you don’t think MS should have been tried either.

          72. You know, we’ve had this discussion before and this was answered then, too. I can only assume you are being deliberately obtuse. MS was tried because of how they were coercing OEMs to sell their own (not MS’s) product, not just by what MS was doing with Windows, itself.


          73. Is there a stronger form of coercion than ‘you must sell your product exclusively through my store’?

            Neither are okay, but if MS was wrong, Apple is being ‘wronger’!

          74. Apple owns the AppStore.
            You’ve no idea what free market is.
            Klahanas my sincere advice to you.
            Leave all this discussion for time being and learn about free market and please please don’t make your own definitions. Also learn about public and private properties. And please stop treating private properties as a republic.
            I can recommend Milton Friedman. At least watch some YouTube videos of his lectures.

          75. Again wrong definition.
            Learn about free markets.
            Many peoples have tried to tell you about free market but again and again you’re making up your definition of free market.
            Tell me honestly do you live in mental asylum?

          76. Internally iOS violates the most basic premise of free markets. Many buyers and sellers freely buying and selling.
            Actually awareness of my condition prevents me from being clinical, suggest the same for you.

          77. It’s just a place and time where buyers and sellers can agree or not to cause transaction on any price without intervention from any union of state (government) that may create a market for exchange. However, a governing body may impose fees, taxes, regulation on how exchanges must be made in fairness, and possibly imposed dynamics to prevent competitors.

            Free market is more a concept and not a course of study in economics, more of a policy within law or politics. However, free markets are discussed in courses of economics, just as many other topics from many fields of study.

            Some of the worlds largest free market is currency exchange, debt markets, futures markets. Some of the smallest free markets could be a child’s lemonade stand, or your neighbors garage sale. Exclusivity is in what may seem unfair a type of free market. You can participate, as long as you follow governance or not.

            The size of any market can be one to the n-th size. It is voluntary, you can choose to exercise your will for exchange or leave for another market place, or possibly create a new market.

            It’s possible you don’t mean free market, but another word which might help your argument and avoid red herring on both sides of the debate.

          78. Anything I think I know at all is from the news during the MS anti-trust trial. Those defending Apple in this thread can only be defending MS during that trial as well. Other than market share, I can’t see how Apple is better. In fact, since they are more egregious at blocking competition, they are worse.
            Is market share really the main criterion? As our author says, Google and MS “have no choice”… Could a company become so powerful that others can’t compete?

          79. You keep talking about Apple being more “egregious” about the control it exerts on its own product, ie. a piece of hardware it has produced, with a complementary OS.

            The issue with bundling IE with Windows would not be a problem on the Surface. MS can configure its own devices, and Apple can likewise configure theirs. So, yes, I wholly support MS in that. It was a problem on devices made by OEMs and not MS : they could not differentiate from each other.

            Google tries to exert similar influence over its OEMs by saying they can’t use Google services if they also sell devices using Android Forks, etc.

            Both MS and Google are providers of an OS to companies which make and sell their own hardware. As suppliers, MS (to PCs) and Google (to mobile devices) can abuse their monopoly position. What real choice do the OEMs now have? What realistic alternatives are there to Windows or Android? If a PC OEM goes Linux, they still pay MS a license per PC anyway (and if they have been forced to drop that, that is why MS is looking at services, or more integration like Apple). If Mobile OEM uses an Android Fork or something else, they run the risk of not being able to use certain Google Services in a certain way.

            At the same time, nobody disputes how Google or MS might run their own stores, nor how anyone else runs any other type of store in the world (as it has been mentioned in this thread, a seller can choose what he sells). So, there is no double standard from those who support Apple there, either. Rather, you hold Apple to some fantasy of a standard that no other seller in the world is held to.

            No, in short, Google and MS, as suppliers of a key part of a finished product, the OS, exert influence and control over others who do sell to the end user regarding 1) how the hardware of those other companies is configured; and 2) (through potential monopoly abuse) even exert influence over what those OEMs can and can’t do on products that do not contain the OS — by withholding services, or charging a licensing fee anyway, etc.

            Apple does not have that power, influence, or type of monopoly because it sticks to its own products and platforms. It does not want that power, and it does not take it. Appel’s marketshare is not growing through backroom deals with OEMs that run the whole gamut of quality and ethics; Apple is growing marketshare because end users choose to buy the integrated product that Apple offers. Yet, having somehow, every time I raise such a notion, you always make that out to be more “egregious”. Go figure.

          80. I was against MS during their anti-trust trial, and bundling was the least of it (IMO). I guess we would have differed then as well.

            Configuration of the devices isn’t so much the issue, it’s post sale policy that is the issue. Though I don’t like some of the design decisions, I don’t bring them up in this thread.

            Android has multiple stores and you can sideload apps. MS allows sideloading. So curation of their own stores isn’t an issue. I have no issue with Apple’s right to run their own store as they see fit. I have an issue that it’s the only allowed store on the platform.

            MS did not control the software developer. Anyone could code for Windows (as is with the Mac as well). Apple requires a revocable license to write programs for iOS. What Apple is doing with developers, a ‘software OEM’, is worse than what MS did with hardware OEMs (as bad as that was). MS said, ‘we have a deal, you pay based on shipments, regardless of OS’. Apple says ‘we decide whether your app can even exist’.

            MS did not directly control the user. The user could do with their machine as they saw fit.

          81. “Those defending Apple in this thread can only be defending MS during that trial as well.”

            We went into this above. And then you said I must differ with you over MS anti-competitive practices, that I must defend them and not find them anti-competitive. Yet, you failed, and still failed to see where to apply the distinction…

            Apple supporters would “defend” MS when it comes to its Surface product, its own hardware. We do not defend MS when it comes to its OEMs’ hardware.

            You can only continue to fail to see this distinction if you are deliberately being obtuse.

          82. And yet, MS got in trouble over bundling (IE) as the anti-competitive practice. Explain that to me.
            They didn’t provide the hardware. Apple provides hardware, OS, applications, retail, AND uses third party, independent companies as ‘OEMs’ to write software for their ecosystem. These are independent companies, not work for hire or employees.

          83. What’s to explain? They bundled it for devices that were not their own. They kept competitors out of products that they did not own by leveraging their monopoly power over the PC OS.

            If they had the Surface back then, they wouldn’t get in trouble for bundling IE on the Surface, just on OEM devices — as they did.

            It’s like Intel saying you can’t use an Nvidia GPU with an Intel CPU. They can make you a better deal, or offer an integrated one, but they have to be careful about anti-competitive practice.

            The company making and selling the complete hardware device can, however, sell one with both the CPU and GPU from Intel, and is not bound to offer a model containing an Nvidia GPU.

            Microsoft is not bound to offer Firefox or Chrome on the desktop of its own hardware product. But it does have to be careful not to leverage its OS monopoly in order to push more of its products.

            Apple is making its own product. It is not bound to use every supplier that wants a piece of the action. How is that not obvious?

            Gee, car makers better start including random tires from four different tire makers on each car, just to share the love around and make sure everyone gets a chance to sell tires.

          84. “They kept competitors out of products that they did not own by leveraging their monopoly power over the PC OS.”

            And ‘still’ they didn’t forbid competing products or anything else.

            “Microsoft is not bound to offer Firefox or Chrome on the desktop of its own hardware product.”

            Yet they were obliged to by the outcome, though they didn’t forbid them. So in this regard, you defend MS’s case.

            “Apple is making its own product. It is not bound to use every supplier that wants a piece of the action. How is that not obvious?”
            And how is it not obvious that the users are ENTITLED to competition within the platform? And entitled to not be censored, and to have a direct relationship with other providers?

          85. “And ‘still’ they didn’t forbid competing products or anything else.”

            Well, not overtly; they just corrupted things like javascript and standards, so that you had to have IE and other software to interact with websites and many corporations. Apple just says certain technologies are junk and declares they are not supporting it or allowing it on their platforms; MS just quietly makes everyone else’s stuff stop working.

            “Yet they were obliged to by the outcome, though they didn’t forbid them. So in this regard, you defend MS’s case.”

            I defend MS installing IE alone on their own devices, but not their preventing OEMs from installing alternatives by default, and certainly not their penalising OEMs for doing so through a leveraging of Windows.

            “And how is it not obvious that the users are ENTITLED to competition within the platform? And entitled to not be censored, and to have a direct relationship with other providers?”

            Wow, you make those direct relationships sound like such a wonderful thing! I guess you don’t understand one of the key reasons people do like Apple products. While Google just makes us feel dirty. BTW, you can have a direct relationship with those other providers: go sign up on their websites, and use the offered alternative integrations like Google apps, Google Calendar, Dropbox, etc., instead of iCloud services. Fortunately, you can be insulated from those direct relationships, too. Sounds good to me (and to about a billion other people).

            “PS- I can put any company’s tires on my car, so long as they fit. So can you. There is a vast aftermarket for all cars. Your position would restrict me from using them, while not obliging you.”

            It’s not a great analogy, because tires are more like components than third-party apps or services. I was more illustrating that you might buy a car regardless of the deal that the car maker has with all the possible tire providers. But if a given tire provider made it so you had to provide their tire iron and jack as well, then the car maker (and you in aftermarket) would think twice about them. BTW, in this analogy the car maker is an OEM (or Apple), and MS is the tire provider — so don’t keep trying to turn it on its head and trying to make a case for Apple being “more egregious”.

            Now, if a car maker wanted to make its own tires, or specify tires to be used after the car was bought — then it would have to be a darn good car with some other values or good USPs. Otherwise, the car maker would just be shooting itself in the foot. Perhaps the car maker has re-imagined tires, and its tires last 5 years, and you just roll into a certified service station for five minutes to get them swapped out. Then all those people who just love changing their tires can moan about how egregious that car maker is, and how stupid their billion customers are.

          86. Yes, and?
            Did you even read the verdict on that wiki page?

            Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issued his findings of fact on November 5, 1999, which stated that Microsoft’s dominance of the x86-based personal computer operating systems market constituted a monopoly, and that Microsoft had taken actions to crush threats to that monopoly, including Apple, Java, Netscape, Lotus Notes, RealNetworks, Linux, and others.”

            Not sure what you are trying to say. That MS would equally be held legally actionable (and therefore by extension so would Apple) for bundling its own software on its own product(s) (ie., Surface)?

            No, I don’t believe that would have been a problem (nor is it today). The problem was that “Microsoft’s dominance of the x86-based personal computer operating systems market constituted a monopoly”. That is, NOT the Surface and X-box “market”.

          87. If we put aside Klahanas biases and his own made up definitions the problem I see is that he is not treating Apple as a party in the transaction. To him, developers and customers are the only two parties involved in the transaction completely overlooking that Apple is the one party here. They’re selling digital space in their AppStore to developers. Firstly Apple and developers are the two parties in this transaction but I don’t know why he doesn’t want to look into this angle probably because of his biases. What he wants is that anyone can setup his own shop on someone’s land and on top of that he wants the landowner to facilitate the encroachers in every possible way.
            Apart from the free market issue there is another very important dimension to this whole debate: Apple wants to own the complete experience and this is the real bone of contention between Apple and nerds(Klahanas included). According to my observation nerds usually want to make everything complicated because they think that everyone possess tinkering skills whereas Apple wants to make technology more simpler even disappear it for the common person. As someone succinctly pointed in this thread that these nerds want every business model SHOULD be modular. This is completely against the Apple’s intent of owning the whole user experience. One of my friend was opening some website on his iPhone. When he clicked on some link on that website some popup windows opened up. He blamed this as a problem of iPhone and subsequently considered it as Apple’s fault. That’s how the average users are. So I think it’s in Apple’s best interest to completely own the whole user experience so that Apple should be held responsible for every aspect of the UX.

            P.S. I’m in no way against nerds as they’ve brought quite a lot of technological advancements for us but it’s just technology. One of the many dimensions of the whole thing. Their are other sides as well such as liberal arts and good business acumen. To run a successful technology company one need to possess all of these things and many more but nerds think technology alone is enough.

          88. When I pay my money, they no longer own the experience, I do. Experiences are offered, not owned. The chef prepares the food according to their own vision, I decide whether to salt it.

            You also present a false dichotomy between simplicity and capability. When AOL was an ISP, they offered a curated simplicity on internet use. It was organized, and relatively safe, but my computer did not restrict me to ‘AOL only’. It was far too capable for that. That is what choice looks like, not an either ‘go my way’ or ‘go somewhere else’.

            That’s reminiscent of the ‘if you don’t like it here, then leave’ nationalistic crowd.

          89. “The chef prepares the food according to their own vision, I decide whether to salt it.”

            Treat Apple as a restaurant where no salt is offered. Chief chef decides the quantity of the salt in the food. Don’t like it don’t go there. As simple as that.

          90. That exactly is lack of choice. A binary in or out choice is more limited than an n-th degree choice scenario.

          91. So what’s the fuss. Why not treat Apple as a seller whose target audience are the ones who don’t want choice. More than a billion are happy with this “lack of choice”, even though they’re paying top dollar for it. I’ve told you earlier theoretically you’re not an Apple customer no matter how many iDevices you keep purchasing.

          92. “if I have to eat there every day, I want to tailor my experience to me. That’s personal.”

            Why do you have to eat in that restaurant where no salt is offered.

            On one hand you keep chanting Choice, Choice, Choice but on the other hand you don’t want to give the same CHOICE to that restaurant owner who doesn’t want to offer salt in HIS restaurant.
            What should I call it? Sheer hypocrisy? Double standards?

          93. Because it’s not about the chef. It’s about the customer! And unless all customers are iDentical, then diversity is appropriate.

          94. So in your view if a person wants to open a restaurant where no salt is offered, he shouldn’t be allowed.
            Please answer.

            Have you accepted the fact that the your own definition of free market is wrong and many commentators have tried to correct it but you’re still sticking with that distorted definition.

          95. Apple could stop ALL third party access to its platform this afternoon. Even doing that, Apple could not be accused of being anti-competitive.

            On the contrary, that would be the most competitive move imaginable.

            We all get it. You want your salt. You want your phone to be the same as your desktop. You don’t believe there is any advantage to having restrictions. And this argument is stale.

            Many consumers see the value of restaurants that take major proactive steps to keep the riffraff out. We realize that providing the ability to add your own salt compromises everyone’s security.

            So don’t come to our restaurant. No one will miss you. Just stop pretending that the decision not to cater to your ilk is ant-competitive. IT IS NOT.

          96. You dodged the question. Let me be more specific.
            I want to open a restaurant where no salt would be offered also there’d a policy of strip search making sure that no one is bringing salt into the restaurant and this policy is for people who would like to come into my restaurant voluntarily. Now tell me in clear words whether am I ALLOWED to open a restaurant with these kind of (might be draconian) policies or not?

            On a side note. For quite long time I’ve observed that nerds have inclination towards socialism/communism, politically speaking. They think what’s best for them is best for everyone and there isn’t any space for dissent.
            Your replies in general and specially in this thread are cementing my long held observation.

          97. I’ll answer your second question first. Nerds loathe censorship. Nerds also hate giving up their personal choice and personal control. Some of us don’t want an IT department that we don’t control.

            Yes you are allowed to open a restaurant as you describe. If, however, you require a two year dining commitment, that ‘could’ change things. Also, if you sell me a car that requires me to drive only to said restaurant, that could change things too. It would be like Taco Bell winning the restaurant wars, and all restaurants are Taco Bell. (from Demolition Man)

            But answer my question now. Your arguments support MS during the anti-trust years. And I remind you of what our author said, ‘Google and MS have no choice but to…’. Regardless of market share, can a company become too strong, too influential, so as to stifle competition? (Notice, that’s a question, not a definition)

          98. “If I accept your argument, then it’s perfectly okay for all other OSs to do the same thing, that is, apply Apple practices.”

            No, you still are not getting the argument. It IS “perfectly OK for all other OSs to do the same thing” in certain circumstances

            Those circumstances being, when the hardware is Google or MS hardware. Google can do what it likes on its own Nexus phone. MS can do what it likes on its own Surface products. No-one disputes that. Apple *DOES NOT HAVE OEMs*! What part of that don’t you get?

            A consumer is not forced to buy an Apple product. There is competition in the smartphone space. But guess what:
            …when he “chooses” a Sony, HTC, Samsung, Xioumi, LG…, the “choice” is Android, Android, Android, Android, Android…

            Google, by definition, has more responsibility in the anti-competitive area than Apple.

          99. Every third party developer of applications is an OEM in the software sense. An ‘OSM’ if you will…

          100. Uh, no they aren’t. I don’t remember buying an app and getting a computer with it. If you do remember, tell me where quick!

            The computer comes with OS and apps. The apps don’t come with a computer and the means to run them.

            Either, the computer maker makes its own OS, or it doesn’t. If it has to license an OS, then it might need to comply with certain specs, but it shouldn’t let the OS supplier dictate the full package the OEM is selling or terms under which it sells the full package.

            If I create an app, then I need a platform and marketplace for it. If I am not happy with the market place, then I may not develop for it. I am not an app developer, but I am a writer. I might pour hours of my life into a piece of writing aimed at one marketplace, and comply with all the rules of that marketplace in my writing. But I know my piece might get rejected. The publisher is not obligated to accept it and sell it.

            I can then re-compose my thoughts, and re-purpose my output, and submit it to another market place — albeit with a different clientele or readership. Either way, I am not “censored”, I am merely un-published. A writer or developer is never assured of sales to readers or users, regardless of the platform. A lot depends on the quality and presentation of my thoughts.

            Now I could stop “jumping through hoops” altogether, just suit myself, and self-publish. So, I do have recourse to other means outside the different publishing houses and platforms: I can hand out my own fliers, stand on a soapbox, etc. (like the internet). But I may not get very far. Especially if I value the readership of an audience that now must find me and come to me.

            All in all, I may have varied experience with different pieces of writing at different times, on different platforms. Yet, I might still go for the extra effort of submitting to the more difficult marketplace, and even risk rejection; because I know the outcome is often six times better due to the quality of the platform and its readership.

          101. “If these two parties are one and the same, it’s moot.”
            No it’s not, it’s the whole point.

            Okay. Let’s explore that. Though I still don’t buy it, because it’s still mandatory bundling, let’s consider this.

            You contend that because Apple makes both the OS and the device, they get to dictate which apps get to run on the platform. Shouldn’t they have to buy the rights to the apps themselves then? That way they are the sole provider. I could see your point IF Apple truly owned the whole enchilada, and ONLY offered their own property. Then the relationship would TRULY be between the customer and the provider, with no interfering intermediary.

            This still doesn’t address the ownership question (post sale). If I develop my own OS, and offer as a paid service, replacing iOS on iPads and iPhones, Apple wouldn’t use it’s considerable might to sue me into the cretaceous period? Ask Real Networks…

          102. “No it’s not, it’s the whole point. …it’s still mandatory bundling.”

            Whaaat? Mandatory? For whom? Mandated by whom?

            Of course it’s moot. How can it be “bundling”, how can you be leveraging dominance and influence, and mandating stuff, if you own both ends of the deal, both the content and the platform?

            It’s not “bundling” just to say something “comes with something else”. That hamburger comes with a bun. That’s not a “bundling” issue, even if the consumer didn’t want a bun (then it wouldn’t be a hamburger of course, but anyhow). So, of course any discussion of coercion and leverage is moot: McDonalds owns the establishment and makes the burger; and that’s how it has decided to deliver it to you in its restaurants.

            No, a “bundling” issue comes on the supplier side (like MS with Windows). Coke has plenty of power and leverage. They need to be careful not to be anti-competitive. It’s not McDonald’s that is anti-competitive for choosing to serve you Coke products and not Pepsi products. McDonalds can’t be compelled to serve Pepsi products. You can whine and boycott them, but that’s McDonald’s prerogative. They are free to sell what they want in their store.

            No, the “bundling” would be if Coke says, “take our paper towels as well as Coke, or you don’t get Orange Juice, Diet Coke and Ice Tea. Take the Coke-Towel Bundle, or else. Or else, we charge you for Paper Towels anyway, and still don’t give you Orange Juice or Diet Coke.” Of course, McDonalds could probably resort to Pepsi with less effort and negative impact than OEMs could go Linux; MS had quite an effective monopoly, and thus an effective means of leverage and coercion.

            “Shouldn’t they have to buy the rights to the apps themselves then?”

            Yes, Apple might buy rights to third-party software if Apple wants exclusive rights on its platform, or to be the sole provider itself (in which case they might buy the whole company, to stop it from appearing on other platforms). Usually, though, the third-party wants placement and pays the platform owner to be put in front of every purchaser of that device or service (like Google with Search).

            In most cases, the third party pays 30% of each transaction in order to have access to a billion potential customers in one place. In most cases, they are not giving or selling Apple exclusive rights, because the apps are available, or can be made available, on Android and Windows, too.

            That bundling question is a different question from being a “gatekeeper”, which Apple is for iOS, though not for Mac OS.

            Basically, you seem to think that Apple should pay developers because they went to the effort of making an iOS app, even though Apple might not let that app appear in the App Store, which is the means of getting your iOS app onto iOS devices without hacking them.

            Yeah, you, me and everyone else in the world wants easy money. No wonder others on the thread are using the term communist when referring to you. (Again using my writing example, since I don’t develop iOS apps) Great, I wrote a piece for the NY Times. Followed their guidelines and everything. I submitted it, but they didn’t publish it. What’s with that? I mean, they have a “monopoly” on column space in the Times (I guess they have to, since they own it). They are gatekeepers to anyone wanting to get something to appear in print on that exclusive platform so that those valuable readers can read it there (readers who by the way purchased and own an actual physical newspaper). OK, so the Times didn’t publish my piece; shouldn’t they pay me anyway? I mean, I went to all this trouble, and now the poor readers are being deprived of my work appearing in the paper they bought!

            Of course you completely neglect the aspect of how the Times takes responsibility (or should do) for what appears in its papers. Similarly, Apple takes a lot of responsibility for a lot of what ends up on iOS devices (besides your private data and files), whether Apple “owns” exclusive rights to third-party stuff or not. That’s a good thing, because most others barely take any responsibility for the stuff they do own and do place on the devices they make and sell.

            Your other, post-sale question (selling an alternative to iOS) is all about the IP of others; and has little to do your ownership of particular iOSdevices. As we’ve seen, “Ownership” is messy. It’s about the IP of others because you would probably have to have some pretty exclusive and unauthorised access to iOS and Apple’s chipsets in order to pull it off, like Bill Gates had intimate access to Mac OS allowing him to make Windows. Of course, now, you can put Windows on a Mac.

            iOS is a different thing, largely because of the responsibility thing. And because 70 million new iPhones per quarter is probably a little more difficult to support effectively, than 5 million Macs on an older, more mature OS.

            You could put your own OS on your own device. You might even get away with “improving” iOS devices as an after-sales service. But what companies get sued for doing is selling complete “Apple devices as non-Apple devices” without any distributor’s license.

            So, yes, “ownership” is messy. I can “own” an image (at least there are bits on my device, and I can have a license to use those bits in certain specific ways). So, I have in “my possession” a file on my harddrive. The website where I got it said it was “free for personal and commercial projects”. But, I can’t distribute and sell the image as an image for the use of others; I would be sued if I did so. Legally, it is not considered “my property” to sell, even were I to download a fresh new copy for every sale I make.

            With the photo, I would have to buy the IP, or a special license, or exclusive rights, or something, if I wanted to use it in a certain way (like sell it commercially), even if its already “in my possession” (like on a device I own). On the flip side, for some reason you apparently want Apple to buy exclusive rights to stuff they don’t use (i.e., third-party apps they reject).

          103. I have written code, but I’m not a developer. Sorry if I mislead you.
            How does any of that not apply to 90s MS too?

            Bundling is when they are sold together. I can accept the OS with the device. I can’t accept censorship. Also, please tell me how I can not be forced to conduct further transactions with Apple after purchase? When I buy a refrigerator, I’m not restricted where I shop for food.

            You’re mistaken about modding. Real Networks wrote software that could manage a user’s iPad at the user’s discretion. Apple sued. I’m also not talking jailbreaking (should be unnecessary, and Apple petitioned protection under DMCA against the practice), I’m talking about hypothetically putting an entirely different OS in the device at the owners request. Replacing iOS with an OS I have either developed, or have license to distribute. Yes, it will no longer be a full fledged Apple device.

            Anyway, censorship can (and likely does) stifle innovation.
            Example: How long did it take to get any replacement keyboards on iOS? A Bluetooth stack for external keyboards? The initial stalling of ‘allowing’ Google Voice on the iPhone? (And many more)
            In the end it’s like a car that will drive to only approved places.
            But you know what? I’ll wait for Apple to ‘win’ and see what happens.

            Better yet, for Google and Samsung mobile to merge…

          104. “Bundling” is not HP selling you a computer that comes with both Windows and IE.

            As I clearly explained, from the Wiki page judgement, Bundling is MS, as HP’s supplier, not letting HP and other OEMs put Firefox on the desktop instead of or alongside IE. It is MS using its OS monopoly as leverage. That was the verdict.

            So, re-define it as you will, but “bundling” is not Apple putting Safari on iOS devices, nor MS putting IE on its Surface, nor HP selling HP MP3 players with HP earphones. In these cases, MS, Apple and HP are not leveraging market power against other companies in anti-competitive behaviour, they are configuring the devices they sell for differentiation, added value, and USP.

            It may not always be appreciated by every customer, but it isn’t the issue, it wasn’t legally challenged, and they are not obligated in any way to sell their products to the end user with competitor’s products included (just because you can use *any* standard earphones with an HP MP3 Player, does not mean HP has to include competitors’ earphones in the box — that’s just asinine).

            I think that is enough about “bundling”.

            Now, as I also said, “Gatekeeping” is an entirely different question question to “Bundling”. Your objections not only confuse and mash up definitions, you keep conflating all your complaints and objections. (“Yes, but Apple restricts what I can do after purchase” — that’s “Gatekeeping”).

            Gatekeeping: I would also say that there are many things I think Apple can improve here. Personally, I am not so concerned that they do act as Gatekeepers on iOS (while keeping OS X similar to a desktop OS like Windows).

            The Gatekeeping on iOS has its evident advantages, such as security; and security, no matter what you think, is orders of magnitude better on iOS than the situation on the Android and Windows platforms. Also, as I mentioned, Gatekeeping on iOS enables Apple to provide good, consistent support and take responsibility for things without pointing fingers to vendors, suppliers, or carriers as might happen on another platform.

            I don’t think the Gatekeeping has a particularly adverse effect on the iOS user base — in fact, quite the opposite, as borne out by the stats on app sales and payments to developers. I think the stats bear out that not only is the App Store more active and pays developers more than any single Android store, but more than all Android stores put together, despite Android’s higher user base. Not only that, but iOS users are, by and large, happy with the single point of payment, happy with the treatment of private data, and they generally trust Apple to manage all that better than most other companies or combination of companies.

            Now, having said that all that, there are many improvements Apple could make, and Apple customers want Apple to address some real deficiencies: like make it possible for developers to offer trials and upgrades.

          105. From Investopedia.


            DEFINITION of ‘Bundling’

            A marketing strategy that joins products or services together in order to sell them as a single combined unit. Bundling allows the convenient purchase of several products and/or services from one company. The products and services are usually related, but they can also consist of dissimilar products which appeal to one group of customers.

            Not my definition.
            As far as gatekeeping goes, when it’s involuntary, it’s censorship.
            I take you back to my previous comment.

          106. Again, the judge had a very specific view in mind in the judgement against MS that you first linked to. Maybe he was just concerned that MS was making a “bundle” of money? There’s a third definition for you. You also like various definitions of “monopoly” to suit.

            Yes, we call what MS did “bundling”, so the term “bundling” becomes shorthand for what MS actually did that was called into question. Then, all the sudden, Apple is “more egregious” because, what do you know, they, and every other company on the planet “bundles” (“joins products or services together in order to sell them as a single combined unit”)…

            Only, that’s not what MS got sanctioned for: they got sanctioned for “bundling” that specifically used their monopoly over the whole x86 based PC making industry to coerce multiple other companies (OEMs) into taking and showcasing IE and sidelining competing products on the OEMs’ computer products (not MS own hardware products). None of which Apple does.

            Therefore, when we say Apple doesn’t do that, we might say, shorthand, Apple doesn’t “bundle”. And of course, unless you are being intentionally obtuse, you can understand that means, Apple doesn’t do all of the above for which the shorthand “bundling” stands in our discussion: “bundling that specifically used their monopoly over the whole x86 based PC making industry to coerce multiple other companies (OEMs) into taking and showcasing IE and sidelining competing products on the OEMs’ computer products (not MS own hardware products).”

            And I take you back to my previous comment. I can submit all kinds of articles to the NY Times, but it doesn’t mean they are obligated to publish me. And the subscribers to the NYT know they are getting the NYT gatekeeping in their paper. And yet I can get published elsewhere, and subscribers can subscribe to other things.

            But, be that as it may, I know computers are different from newspapers. Yet buying an Apple product is pretty voluntary. Now, you might call the app gatekeeping that Apple does “censorship” (your equivalence, and again your definition of gatekeeping with the assumption it is involuntary). But I have yet to hear of Apple interfering in personal data. In fact, Apple staunchly and almost uniquely champions privacy of personal data in the face of pressure from governments around the world and the caving in of other tech companies! So, it’s a little difficult in my opinion to make a charge “censorship” stick.

          107. I remember the charges against MS over ‘bundling’ being rather lame myself, but hey, whatever worked. They had it coming. Why? They stifled innovation with anti-competitive behavior. I ‘guess’ market share made them a monopoly.

            “Buying an Apple product is pretty voluntary”
            So was buying a Windows computer.


            No the NY Times, or anyone, is not required to publish my stuff. Since the PC, especially since the Internet, I can publish my own stuff, via code. Except on iOS.

          108. “So was buying a Windows computer.”

            Which is why, I presume, anti-trust cases, monopoly abuse issues, anti-competitive behaviour, etc. are judged more by what is going on between businesses and whether there are good possibilities of real alternatives from other companies. Not how you, the public, or a disgruntled user perceives what is going on “internally” (as you put it elsewhere in this thread).

            When all the OEMs are in the same boat, then there are not good possibilities of alternatives from other companies, are there? The issue is not that the consumer doesn’t have much choice within Apple (or even within MS or Google). The issue is that the consumer doesn’t have much real choice among all the OEMs of companies like MS or Google when they exert monopoly control over the whole bunch.

            My reference to voluntary was in regard to “gatekeeping”, which has not been judged (or even seriously challenged as far as I am aware) as being something that is “stifling innovation and anti-competitive” in any real or challengeable sense.

            Rather, your argument seems to be that “an unhindered developer who doesn’t care to jump through Apple’s hoops could make the platform better for me and everyone, if only Apple would let him”.

            To which Apple says, thanks, but no thanks. A developer deciding that he can’t be bothered to meet the entry requirements to a closed environment is not exactly censorship. Again, you seem to confuse and conflate ideas, definitions, and your personal reactions to them.

          109. “To which Apple says, thanks, but no thanks.”
            And I say the owner of the individual machine has more say than Apple does.

          110. And when someone starts a company that creates products that give the best of both worlds (the security, convenience, privacy, etc. of a closed system, and all the things you like about an open system without their disadvantages), in short, the perfect products, then I guess they will clean up. Go for it.

          111. No. Sorry. I’m a trained economist. That doesn’t garner much respect these days and it’s mostly the profession’s fault. But no, that’s not the definition of a free market.

          112. You’re welcome, but I decided to delete (before I noticed your reply) what I thought was a pedantic post that was starting to stray too far. Gotta practice what I preach.

      1. ?? Apple’s platform is the pinnacle of anti-competitive: you’re not allowed to compete with Apple’s apps, you’re not allowed to replace them, you’re not allowed to even mention alternative ecosystems in your apps. And apple is bundling interlocked ecosystem elements make switching costs very high, and protecting weak aspects from better competitors, which simply can’t get an “in”. Some (many ?) individual Apple apps are clearly inferior, yet they are always defaults, sometimes even set in stone. Exactly the same issues as Explorer on Windows, Google Search on Android… except Apple’s small market share makes it a less visible issue, and is the only reason why they are allowed to go on.

        Others willing to grab whichever slice of the pie they can is no proof that the setup is competitive…

        1. “Apple’s market share makes it a less visible issue”

          Sorry, no. Apple’s small market share makes it a legal triviality. There is nothing to prosecute because no law was broken. Unless suddenly Congress passes a law that makes it a crime for Apple to have a monopoly on Apple products. Which is really what most people are complaining about when they accuse Apple of monopolistic abuse.

          When the day comes that iOS corners 90% of the smartphone market, then there might be valid grounds to complain about Apple’s anti-competitive behavior.

          1. Indeed. But the fact that Apple’s share is trivial and that the harm is mainly self-inflicted by users who choose to get themselves walled in does not make the behaviour any less anti competitive, just not legally actionable.

            And the issue is not Apple having a monopoly on Apple products, but Apple forbidding competition on its platform. Like a car forcing you to buy its maker’s fuel.

            This reminds me of the “it’s not lock-in because users are happy” discussion: you can be happy and locked in, and you can be anti competitive within your own minority ecosystem.

          2. “That the harm is mainly self-inflicted by users who choose to get themselves walled in does not make the behaviour any less anti competitive…”

            Surely you see the self-contradiction.

          3. What contradiction ? “it can’t be anticompetitive because it’s freely chosen” ? When, ever, did that figure ? MS did exactly that w/ Windows+IE, nobody was putting guns to people’s heads saying “buy Windows or else”, yet it was unarguably anticompetitive, they even got commended for it because dominant share.

      2. Apple is almost 50% of the Smartphone market share in the US, that make them a target for anti-competitive action as much as Google with android in the US.

        1. First, they would have to be guilty of ACTUAL anti-competitive behavior, rather than silly perceived gripes from the Android dullards.

          1. there is no way Google can be sue for anti competitive action with android in the US and not Apple in fact i do believe that such action against Google will have far more collateral damage to the IOS Platform at least in the US Market than they will Google

    2. Seriously, you really think a company with a 20% share of the market can be successfully prosecuted for monopolistic abuse?

      Worse than 90’s Windows? If you didn’t like MS’s practices back then, there was really no other option for most people because a lot of key apps were Windows only. On the other hand, if you don’t like iOS, all the major apps (that aren’t from Apple) are available on the market leading platform.

      Come now, I know you disapprove of Apple’s practices but don’t let it cloud your judgement.

      1. So you’re saying that market share in mobile is the saving grace. This does not make the practice any more palatable to me. You must admit, that within iOS Apple is the epitome of anti-competitive, even if legally they might not be.

        Still, and I’ve said this before, arguments could be made that where there are distinct technical barriers (hardware, OS, applications, etc.) that that constitutes a market in and of itself. Android is a market, iOS is a market, WP, etc.

        Then, there’s the size of the iOS market, I read here that it’s approaching one billion. If iOS were a country, it would be as big as India. Regardless of percentage that’s a huge market. One billion people could potentially benefit from the protections envisioned by the Sherman Act, if not the Act itself.

        1. I accept the total validity of your personal disapproval of Apple’s practices. Personal preferences are, well, personal.

          But what you said originally was that the antitrust lawsuits against Apple are long overdue, or words to that effect (OWTTE, shall we say henceforth for brevity?). And all l was saying, OWTTE, is that those lawsuits haven’t been filed because there is no case. That is in no way meant to deny that you have every right to hold and express the opinions you hold about Apple, or any topic in the world, for that matter.

    3. “The sooner this notion gains the attention it deserves, the sooner the anti-trust lawsuits will pick up”

      I am not sure if this will happen. It doesn’t appear that Apple is violating the three core federal antitrust laws. The Sherman Act, there appears no attempt to monopolize or conspire to restraint trade that seems unreasonable. The Clayton Act, there appears no merger or having Tim Cook make business decision for competing companies. And, The Federal Trade Commission Act, which bans “unfair methods of competition”. And, I am not aware of Apple using deceptive business practices.

      However, Apple has been accused of collusion, and it’s still going through the legal process. We’ll know soon.

  2. Besides which, Macintosh is slowly winning the desktop war, as close to irrelevant as that may be these days. (A stern chase is a long chase).

    1. As computing moves towards smartphones and away from notebooks and desktops, only experts will be using notebooks and desktops. And Apple is striving to become the premium provider in a market that is becoming more and more a bastion for those who require a premium device.

      1. Not so sure about “premium”, I’d go mostly with “comfortable”. When spending a whole afternoon typing up a document (which is what, 80% of PC use ?), what matters is not performance, the PC typically spends 99.9% of its time waiting for keystrokes, but a nice big screen or two or three, a nice keyboard, and a nice mouse.
        Apple are bending over backwards to force people to buy expensive Macs for that, and succeeding, but cost effectiveness-minded people can do the same with a $200 Atom/Windows PC; or Chromebook or even with any tablet/phone if a single large screen suffices.

        1. “Not so sure about “premium”, I’d go mostly with “comfortable”. ”

          People who buy macs are doing so because they are willing to pay more for a better product. That’s what premium means. There are all kinds of metrics for better, but what matters is that some people are willing to pay extra for metrics that matter to them. It doesn’t matter one bit that you think macs are no better by metrics that matter to you. The fact that I think a BMW is a ridiculously overpriced penis substitute does not invalidate the fact that BMWs are premium cars. Your antipathy to Apple does not invalidate the fact that Macs are premium PCs.

          Apple spends huge amounts of time and effort to make sure that their computers are premium devices by all kinds of metrics that matter to a wide variety of customers. Macs are pretty. Macs run OS X, not Windows and not Linux. Macs are somewhat more user friendly than other computers. Macs are backed by the best customer service in the computer industry. Malware is less of a problem on OS X. And so on. Complaining that OS X isn’t actually all that more user friendly than
          the latest Ubuntu build, or that Mac viruses do so exist, is to obsess
          with the trees and miss the forest.

          Apple isn’t interested in building the most powerful computers on the planet. They make sure that their computers are not underpowered (they don’t use Celeron or Pentium processors in any of their machines, and apart from the bottom end student Imac all of their machines have at least an I5), but power isn’t the goal, it’s merely a means to an end.

          Apple’s goal is to make their customers *happy*, to ensure that the people who buy Apple devices provide free word of mouth advertising in favour of Apple’s devices and become repeat customers. Apple makes the best computers not in terms of specs or bang per buck but in terms of a constellation of metrics, some technical and others more squishy, that add up to making most of the people who own them delighted to have bought them.

          1. Agreed.

            I was mostly wondering whether PCs will be retreating mostly to a “premium” niche, or to a “comfortable” niche. People around me, and myself, mostly use PCs for stuff that would be doable on tablets, but is so much more comfortable on a large screen with a keyboard and mouse.
            Maybe comfort is one dimension of premium, but the comfort I speak of can also be had with rock-bottom devices.

          2. Premium sure seems to be all over the place. It seems each industry has its convenient definition for premium.

            I, as an ex-arbitrage serf, will gladly sell premiums.

        1. Smartphones are the dominant computing devices. All second screen devices — tablets, hybrids, notebooks and desktops — are competing against one another to be your second computer. However, since many, many people get by with only a single computer (their smartphone) the growth of the second screen device market will either decline or remain relatively stagnant.

  3. Great stuff. I’d add that Google has failed in its efforts at hardware, which theoretically could gain it access to some of Apple’s massive loot. Apple, otoh, spits on Google’s advertising services as wrong and destructive of security and privacy.

    1. Both Google and Apple are great companies, but their respective business models both help them and limit them…because that’s what business models do.

      I’m working on an article regarding Luxury, Premium and Value branding and its effect on the players in the mobile marketplace. Hopefully, I’ll have it done by next weekend.

      1. Yah but. You’re implying that Google wouldn’t love to shift into highly profitable hardware. I’d suggest it would and should.

        1. Spoiler alert: I suggest Android can’t ,and won’t, “shift into the highly profitable hardware business” anymore than K-Mart could aspire to be the next Bloomberg.

          1. My bad. I went back and edited it to say “Google” instead of Android.

            By the way, Nest is a sub-brand of Alphabet and it is trying to break into high heating and cooling solutions. Different brand, different business model, different strategy.

          2. I don’t think Trump will ever want to be a Bloomberg. Real estate assets can allow higher leverage and most favorable rates. I am not sure how Bloomberg could borrow beyond book value? I will take Trumps position for excessive leverage ability. He can do private/public debt structures.

            Unless, you know that Bloomberg has holdings that can be serviced.

        2. I’m not sure about that. Google really don’t care much about hardware margins. E. Schmidt reportedly steered the Raspberry Foundation towards making the Pi Zero by telling them “Do Cheap. Nobody can beat cheap”.

          And I don’t thing anything by Google points to a new hardware focus, but still to a platform focus. They need to make the hardware for new platforms because by definition the hardware doesn’t exist yet… but even for Nexus, they’re still working with named OEMs, not with quanta/pegatron/…

          1. Google will be shut out of hardware-software platforms over time. Or just strangled slowly. That’s happening now.

          2. How is it happening now ?

            How is it unavoidable, or desirable from a business standpoint, in the mid/long term to have a vertically integrated approach forcing a single player to set up an ecosystem and create hardware for every significant segment ?

          3. Apps are replacing the web as search portals; Google is losing search share. Also cloud services will provide unique search services; that’s Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon and not just Google.

          4. Isn’t Google Search the grand daddy of all cloud search services ? There’s some competition, but I don’t see how that relates to “shut out of hardware-software platforms”.

            Same with in-app search: Google (and MS and Apple) introduced search APIs so that the OS’s search tool can get results from apps alongside web and files.Not sure if users will use this or that, but doubtful it’s “happening now” in a meaningful way, and, above all, I see no relation, again, to “shut out of hardware-software platforms” ?

          5. “In last year’s survey, Google led with 80 percent, followed by Yahoo at 8 percent and Bing at 6 percent. Based on these results, Google did in fact decline, while Yahoo stayed the same and Bing increased.” As Google loses search share, no matter how, it has to think about locking down its Android-Chrome platform via branded hardware devices.

          6. I’m not following the leap from slightly lower search share to total ecosystem upheaval.
            Android allowed Google to grab independence from MS and Apple by creating a thriving Mobile ecosystem based on openness in all possible meanings of the term (all can join, FOSS, barely walled-garden let’s say fenced-garden…). Messing with that formula makes no sense on several counts:
            – the risk is way higher than the possible rewards. Turning OEMs away either directly or by aggressively selling Nexus devices (which Google has been, and still is, emphatically not doing, they’re not being aggressive w/ Nexus which are OEM devices anyway) would lead OEMs to defect (I’m sure MS would welcome them) or fork. Way more to lose that way
            – other opportunities exist: in-app searches, smart assistants, bigger total market (esp. China). Google has arguably tried to act in that direction, with Nexus being first low-price, now premium, probably Android’s core weaknesses/opportunities each time, and rumoredly w/ China plans.

            – the problem will probably solve itself. Yahoo and Bing… should Google really be worried ? The real fun will be when Apple goes its own way, which I’m sure they’ll do at some point.

          7. Market share goes down, profit share goes down. Profit share goes down, share price goes down. Time to look at another market, which ain’t there. Or another business. Let’s see what John says in the article he says he’s writing. He doesn’t think Google needs hardware either.

  4. I’ve said for a long time that Apple and Google both won. What is fascinating is that Apple winning bothers some people quite a lot. So much that they’ll continually argue that Apple is going to lose Any Day Now ™, or that Apple is Not Playing Fair (patent pending).

        1. It’ not like being convicted of price-fixing would be relevant in a discussion on anticompetitive behaviour. Oh, wait…

          1. Price fixing is about collusive behavior, the only instance where a minority market share holder could be prosecuted for anticompetitive behavior and only in conspiracy with other companies. And yes, certainly in the smartphone market, Apple was colluding with . . .

            As I said, irrelevant.

          2. First, it’s relevant because the very books subject of that condemnation are overwhelmingly for consumption on iOS. That condemnation is already firmly about the mobile market, and utterly relevant.

            Second, it’s relevant because it goes to character. Apple is as happy to price-fix and anti-compete as anybody else, as long as they a) have the means to do it and b) feel they can get away with it.

          3. Really? You found a way to relate eBook pricing to mobile platforms? Do the publishers really care about which mobile platform wins? And ‘goes to character’? Now we’re into TV courtroom dramas. These arguments are tenuous at best. And I suspect you know that.

          4. Where do you think people read their ebooks ? on their TV ? You found a way to NOT relate ebooks to Mobile ?

          5. Straw man. That’s not what I meant and I know you’re smart enough to know that. I said eBook pricing not eBooks. We can relate anything to anything if we really want to but I don’t engage in sophistry, or try not to.

            As I said, The publisher’s attempt to control eBook pricing is not out of a desire for iOS to beat Android. It’s out of a desire to make more profit. That is why, given the topic at hand, which is the mobile platform wars, eBook pricing is not relevant. It’s related, but not relevant.

          6. You’re feeding one of the most asinine, arrogant, and ignorant Apple-hating trolls on the web.

          7. At least I contribute something apart from invective, and don’t resort to that unless first provoked. You sir are the troll.
            Ad hominem when short of arguments… that’s utterly cheap and idiotic.

          8. And why should pigs be precluded from enjoying caviar? After all, you of all people commenting here, should know that we owe a lot to pigs for all the truffles we eat. 😀

          9. It’s okay. Obarth generally makes reasoned arguments. I’m not going to claim that I’ve never ever let my rhetoric to get carried away.

  5. First: right now, both. But the “war” (why does it have to be called a war ? Because Apple called a Jihad ?) is far from over. Google sidelined MS, that’s nice already, then they got the lead which was utterly unexpected vs RIM, Nokia, even Apple.

    Second, I have the same issue with comparing Apple to Google as I have with comparing Apple to MS: comparing a vertically-integrated company to a collaborative & open ecosystem with several layers is equivalent to comparing a cake’s topping to a full cake and concluding the full cake is better: duh ! Right now, the article is “OK, Apple is structured that way. No other
    player is, so let’s take a random part of what Apple does and use
    compare someone that handles that part to the whole of Apple”. Makes no
    sense. Adding in other direct revenues/profits (OEMs, other appstores) is a bare minimum, I’d argue that for the full picture you want to add *all* mobile-related revenues (ads, content sales, cloud/service revenues, accessories…). I know, that would be a lot of work….

  6. Here’s what u don’t get as a pseudointellectual lawyer, the day Steve Jobs died having promised to go thermonuclear on Android and use every penny apple had to bury Android, the day he died apple held 78.2% of the smart phone market, Android was 10%, BlackBerry and windows combined for another 10%, .To have it today in 2016 to be that over 80% of the smartphone market is nkw Google’s Android while apple.is now 15% of the world wide smartphone market can only be considered by any measure a stunning defeat. And a defeat that would have never happened had jobs lived, but when the genius dies u can’t just find another one in a million

    1. Jobs and Apple aimed for 1% of all mobile devices. That they now have 10% or whatever of the mobile market is a great success! Forget “smartphone”, look at complete mobile market.

      Very few mobile devices were “smartphones” in 2007. Today, most are. The arbitrary category, “smartphone” has grown incredibly.

      Android was very quickly the default OS put on any and all mobile devices from all OEMs, regardless of the hardware feature set. Just the fact that Android itself is a “smartphone” OS, caused many mobile devices to be viewed as “smartphones” almost by definition: again regardless of the feature set, and whether they were in fact regarded as “feature” phones before they ran Android, and continued to be used as “feature” phones after they began running Android.

    2. At no point did Apple have 78.2% of the smartphone market. That you think Android, BB and Windows made up the rest, that is, you ignored Symbian, suggests you were only looking at the US market. The current breakdown in the US is about 50% Android,, 45% iOS and 5% other, IIRC.

      Also, the only way Apple could significantly increase market share is to offer much lower priced phones. I have no reason to believe that they would have if Jobs were still alive.

  7. When a firm is making 90% of industry profits at 20% market share and they are not holding a gun at people’s heads, forcing them to buy your product, the logical conclusion is that they are making a product that a good number of people really, really like. Why is it so hard for some people to accept that?

    If you don’t like IOS, then buy the other brand and stop muttering about monopolistic abuse, antitrust violations, and other such things that are arrant nonsense when levelled at a minority market share holder. Selling a (legal) product that is so good that some people are voluntarily paying a lot of money for it has never been and never will be a crime in the US or anywhere else in the world, as far as I know.

    1. You’re overreaching though, the talk is simply about anti competitive behaviour, for which Apple have already be condemned, and which is not a crime only because Apple have a low market share.

      1. There are different types of anticompetitive behavior. What is overreaching is citing one type of anticompetitive behavior, which applies only to firms acting in collusion, and from there extrapolating the commision of another type of anticompetitive behavior, one that presupposes individual action and market dominance, by a firm that isn’t a dominant firm.

        You personally disapprove of Apple’s actions. Leave it at that. Spinning wild legal and economic theories on how to apply to a non-dominant firm antitrust laws that apply only to dominant firms does not further the debate.

        1. You don’t seem to understand that “anti-competitive” is a business and economic concept before being a legal one. It doesn’t have to be actionable to be present.
          One example: “Podcaster was an app that allowed users to download their favorite podcasts without using iTunes to do it. After submitting the app to the store, Podcaster developers received notice that their app was denied access because it “duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.” That’s the very definition of anti-competitive: not allowed, because competes.

          1. Even in the business or economic sense the term refers to an industry, not a single company’s governance of its own product.


          2. Yes. I advise you to look in a dictionnary: “tending to reduce or discourage competition”, or the wikipedia page.
            There are laws against anticompetitive behaviour that mostly apply when a player dominates an industry hence your confusion; but the anticompetitiveness concept exists outside of the laws; and there is *nothing* about anticompetitiveness being industry-defined except for some legal litmus tests, it’s individual players that behave in an anticompetitive way.

            All companies do it or try to, it’s not an Apple-only issue, but pretending that Apple doesn’t do it, even while they do it so much they fell foul of the law and have actually been condemned for it is… unfathomable.

            Edit and, funnily, i also learned that in business and economics class.

          3. Okay, so you are taking definitions from sources that aren’t involved with study of a topic and applying them to the topic. Sounds kind of lazy to me, but I’ll go with it.

            I don’t see anything at Wikipedia countering my post and nothing supporting your position. Maybe you could quote a specific to help clarify.

            You seem to be depending on some informal or casual understanding of anti-cometitive behaviour that I can’t seem to locate. Maybe you could cite a source? Even the Wikipedia entry frames anti-competitive behaviour within a market or industry, not to a company’s specific product deployment.


          4. ? Sorry for taking definitions of a term from the dictionary and an encyclopedia ? Where should we take them from ?

            Let’s start with Wikipedia’s first line: “Anti-competitive practices are business, government or religious practices that prevent or reduce competition in a market”. See out it says “business”, not “industry” ?

            Then their first item: “Dumping, where a company sells a product in a competitive market at a loss.” See how it says “company, again” ?

            Then their 2nd item: “Exclusive dealing, where a retailer or wholesaler is obliged by contract to only purchase from the contracted supplier.”. See how that’s about individual companies too ?

            7th item: “Tying, where products that aren’t naturally related must be purchased together.” Again, individual company behaviour.

            8th item: “Resale price maintenance, where resellers are not allowed to set prices independently.”. ditto

            Again, you’re failing to make the distinction between anticompetitive but legal behaviour, and legally punishable anticompetitive behaviour.

            And finally I don’t see how “that discourages competition among businesses” means it’s not an individual company behaviour. See wikipedia’s list, a lot of the stuff requires neither collaboration between minor players nor industry dominance- though it works much better when either or both are there, hence the law applying n=only in those cases-.

          5. What is an industry except a categorical grouping of companies, businesses, and markets? Recording Industry, Steel industry, Entertainment industry, PC industry. Business practices happen within the sphere of an industry. Dumping of materials or products happens within and has an affect on an industry.

            You’re trying to tie this to Apple metaphorically in any sense—legal, economic, or business. You feel Apple is guilty of anti-competitive-like practices. But that is not the same as real anti-competitive practices.

            Going back to Wikipedia:

            “It is usually difficult to practice anti-competitive practices unless the parties involved have significant market power or government backing.”

            Apple has neither.

            But I’ll give you that you’ve used more words than I have, which is unusual. So I’ll say, on that basis, you win.


          6. Your very quote makes it clear it’s “difficult”, not impossible, not a contradiction in terms, for a single company to have anticompetitive practices. So we can at least agree on that: the concept does exist for individual companies.

            That being clear, I’d like to focus on “usually”: Apple’s iron grip on their walled garden, protocols, formats and interfaces are very unusual circumstances. Actually, as is being strenuously said pretty much everywhere, they are unique circumstances. So “usually” doesn’t apply in this case, unless you want to argue Apple is… not unique.

            I also want to clarify “guilty”: probably not in the legal sense except that one time they got condemned for it. But doing it ? yes, unarguably: they’ve been condemned for it, they’ve banned apps for “duplicating iTunes functionality” (sic).

            As for market power and gov backing: Depends on what the perimeter is: Apple have absolute market power on iOS apps and peripherals, which, granted, is not the same as having absolute power on a whole industry like MS did with Desktop, IBM servers,… Maybe irrelevant, maybe key, because it’s a brand new and evolving situation, previous IT ecosystems never worked that way.

          7. I’ll let you go argue it at the supreme court level since lower jurisdictions have found the other way; and release a competing browser on the AppStore :-p

          8. If I were smart enough to write/release a browser, I would find other things to write that would be worth far more money.


          9. My personal nemesis is card games. As a kid, I did a few full-info games (reversi, chess…) with OK results, but my card game never got past the most basic “let’s follow the rules” stuff. Trying to make a smart card game is devilishly hard, especially with bidding and calls. I have huge respect for the AndrBelote dev: I don’t want to throw my phone against the wall any more often than I want to punch real-life partners in the face :-p Hopefully he’s making a ton of money.

          10. You are aware that there are numerous competing browsers on the app store, aren’t you? And there are other music players, video editors, office productivity products, contact organizers, email clients, map software, voice-assistants, etc.

            Many of these products are “free.”

            You are aware that you can buy music from anywhere and play it on your iDevice, right? You are aware that there are other music subscription services available in the app store, right?

            What is this f’n “iron grip” you keep mentioning as if you had the slightest clue what you are talking about?

          11. Thank you, I’m even aware those are not browsers but reskins of safari. The meat of the browsers (HTML renderer, javascript engine) is only allowed to be Safari, except for Opera Mobile which does its rendering off-device, on Opera’s servers.

            As for other apps, Apple seem to arbitrarily not enforce their own rules all the time. Build you business on that at your own risk. A slide show about rejected apps is here: http://www.bloomberg.com/ss/09/07/0731_rejected_iphone_apps/ it’s both a funny and dreadful read.

            One of us certainly has no clue…

          12. Sorry, clueless boy, but the browsers are as much a reskin of Safari as Chrome for Android is a reskin of Safari.

            You “know” far less than you imagine you “know.”

          13. Hey, here’s something for you to learn: Webkit is the same engine Chrome uses on the vast majority of the Android phones out there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebKit

            See? now you now you have some idea how clueless you seem to the rest of us. Tell ya what. Why don’t you take a break from spewing words and learn what words mean? Just a suggestion, clueless boy.

          14. For your information, taking from the very page you link (at some point, you’ll have to relinquish your handle, it is wildly undeserved):

            – “a fork of the project is used by Chromium-based browsers, such as Opera or Google Chrome” means the Chrome and Opera version are different (that’s what “fork” means: different). Also, Firefox uses a fully different engine. So no, Chrome doesn’t use Webkit. Neither does Opera. Neither does Firefox. Aren’t you tired of being wrong all the time ?

            – a “layout engine software component” is only one component of a web browser. Chrome for example uses a different javascript engine, except on iOS were it must use Apple’s… You’re wrong. Again.

            – each Browser’s extension aren’t supported, only Apple’s
            -etc etc… So you’re wrong. Again.

            – Safari typically lags in implementing new features (service workers etc…), so those are unavailble on iOS as a whole.

          15. Oh boy! The Black Night knows what the word “fork” means.

            Too bad you can’t grasp how foolish you look, Black Knight.

            “…those are not browsers but reskins of safari.” says the clueless one, who then proceeds to prove himself wrong while pontificating about shared system resources without comprehension.

          16. Let’s recap:

            Chrome on iOS
            – doesn’t use the Chrome rendering engine
            – doesn’t use the Chrome Javascript engine
            – doesn’t support the Chrome extensions
            – doesn’t implement Chrome’s latest features

            and ditto for all other browsers, who must all, like Chrome, use Safari’s.

            And you’re trying to argue that Chrome on iOS is the real Chrome ? That would be funny if it weren’t sad.

          17. Oh, Clueless One, you’re so adorable.

            Yes. iOS developers are not free to append/replace system resources. Yet, Chrome for iOS does manage to implement Flash (iOS Chrome is merely a “skin” of Safari, so that only makes sense). And the Ghostery Browser blocked tracking & ads before Apple implemented the ability in iOS 9, but hey, that’s to be expected from a browser that is only a Safari “skin.”

            Apple users are so much the worse for all this onerous control. Apple is so iron-fisted that they don’t allow developers to compromise system security/integrity on the platform Apple owns. Bad Apple! Bad!

            Everything is perfect in AndroidLand. Apple users are missing out big time. Just ask The Clueless Black Knight.

          18. “…see the light on all the other items you’re wrong about.”

            So cute. With you as my guide, I’m sure to start believing complete nonsense any day now. Let me start practicing, oh guru:

            “Apple is nefarious and anti-competition!”
            “Open is always better and Android is open.”

            How am I doing? Should I stress lock-in more?

          19. I feel Google is famous for it’s search engine and YouTube. Plus their Adsense and monetization programs . Apple is famous for its phones and iPads. They do not have half the things Google has, how can you compare.

    2. And, again, I’m not seeing the “industry profits” anywhere, just Apple whole profits vs some OEMs’ profits, not even all of them. I’ve never seen even Google’s profits from Android added for comparison ?

  8. the $31 billion are direct monetisation from the Play store, it does not include Money made on top of Android with search, YouTube, Map, Gmail hence your argument of who is winning is not complete.

    1. The $31 billion estimate is very iffy. But I think there’s little doubt that whatever amount Google made from Android, it’s nowhere near thee $500 billion Apple made. So my point remains intact.

      1. Advertising is a long-term game that helps created a source of recurring revenues, you can double, triple or even quadruple the amount of money that each user generates, for each consecutive year which Apple can’t do selling hardware, Apple may appear to be the winner in the short term, but when it come to potential for future monetization advertising platform always wins.

        1. Wow. An ecosystem monetized entirely by an “advertising platform always wins?”

          It’s not working out for newspapers, magazines, or network television. So one can categorically say: monetizing primarily through advertising DOES NOT “always win.”

          And since I use ad blockers, it may NEVER win.

        2. Since Android users actually make a 10% loss for advertisers compared to the 162% profit that iOS users make, the larger Android gets the MORE it is a loser for Google’s bread and butter.

    2. This is incorrect Kenny. The $31 billion is total lifetime revenue from Android. Not yearly and certainly not only from Play Store. All of Google’s wall st. financial analysts/investors have Google Play ~$3.5 billion in 2015 the most its made in any year. App Annie has a great report out breaking down the app store trends and monetization with the hard data as well.

      1. That’s not true, YouTube made more than that by itself
        how can they’ve been able to pays developer almost $5 billion in 2014 alone while keeping 30% only with The $31 billion as a lifetime revenue from Android that make no sense

        Also the margin from search bar and tools, YouTube, Gmail, Map, in advertising can’t be that High if you take into consideration the $22 Billion in profit.

        third oracle cannot claim money from App on top on Android that does not violate the API only direct monetization is allow in claim.

  9. There are not “Smartphone Wars” just as there were no “Desktop Wars”. At best these were chapters in what will eventually be described as the evolution of personal computing.

    However, if people insist on sticking with the war metaphor, it is worth pointing out that in In war, there really are no winners; there are just survivors. Apple, unlike Commodore, Atari, Osborne and Tandy (just to name a few), survived the “Desktop Wars” and was able to stick around for the next phase of the industry. Yes, by just about any measure Microsoft did much, much better than Apple (or anyone else) during that phase, but we can now see how little that matter as the personal computing moved from the desk to the pocket.

    So far, both Apple and Google (amongst others) have survived the “Smartphone Wars”, while others (Symbian, Palm, Motorola, et al) have not. Microsoft, once the far and away clear leader in personal computing may, is no longer at the top and it is actually imaginable that they will become less relevant in personal computing . I’d say Apple has done better than anyone else because I think profits do matter but it can still be argued that Google still has a lot of inluence. But, really, it does not matter. As Apple has shown, all you need to do is survive in good enough shape to prepare for the next round. And has Microsoft has shown, having a big lead and lots of money will not keep you on top forever.

  10. It seems whenever an article concerning Apple’s fortune is published, the comments section lights up and become quite heated.

    Are these articles written with that intent; to incite wild discussions? Is this an industry fervor or an Apple anything?

      1. Yes, of course, but at times the discussion gets personal and the opinion of the article is lost.

        You have the right to defend as well as others. If it starts to get personal, why not let it go and continue the argument differently. This is a pretty good place to read articles and hear some good opinions.

  11. “what the heck makes Miguel Helft think that you can’t compare Apple and Google just because they have two different business models?”

    I tend to agree with Miguel Helft. For now, at least, asking who won smartphone wars is the same as asking who won Formula 1 race: Shumacher or Pirelli?

    1. Except that Apple’s iOS is also beating Android on its own turf as far as Google is concerned – Advertising revenue and ROI.

      With 75% of Mobile Search and 1,790% greater advertising ROI on web page ads, Apple’s iOS has kicked Android to the kerb where it hurts Google most.

  12. You probably would have declared Apple the winner over Microsoft in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Apple was bigger and more profitable than Microsoft, and the classic Mac (Mac OS/68k) enjoyed high margins when most PC (Windows/x86) makers struggled with low margins. It looked like a victory, but it was an illusion.

    Because of Apple’s early lead to the market, most graphical software originated on the Mac. Even Microsoft Excel, individually and as the core of Microsoft Office, started out as a Mac product. Over time, however, Windows gained market share. As it did, it became increasingly attractive to software developers. Applications started being ported from Mac OS to Windows, then started appearing on Windows first, and finally, in many cases, stopped being developed for Mac OS at all.

    iOS devices are in basically the same position today as its Mac OS devices were in the early 1990s. New apps still sometimes appear on iOS first, but iOS-only apps are a rarity, sales of iOS devices is levelling off and iOS’s market share is steadily falling. iOS is stronger in the US than it is globally (just as Mac OS was in its heyday), which can give a misleading picture to those in the US. That helps Apple, since the US has the strongest software industry in the world by far, but the global market is more important in the longer run.

    In 1993, 9 years after it was introduced, the Mac started to crash. It barely survived the mid-1990s and only became moderately successful again after the switch to Intel made it possible for Macs to run Windows (in a VM or exclusively). We’re now about 9 years into the iPhone era. Apple might be able to avoid a similar disaster for iOS, but that is far from certain. I hope they can, because I prefer iOS to Android (but Windows to iOS and OS X) and dislike Google’s vision of a world where we’re constantly bombarded with advertising when using any of our devices, and no longer get to choose apps through purchases, but are forced to accept the ones that generate the most ad revenue.

    1. On the contrary, iOS is the new Windows in terms of software and hardware peripherals, while Android is only the new Windows in terms of malware.

      With 900 million active iOS devices worldwide, an impressive 60% of Google’s 1.4 Billion active Android devices and with growth of an incredible 25% in the last 12 months alone, Apple’s mobile platform has never been stronger.

      The 3rd party iOS developer platform now generates 80% more revenue than all Android developers put together, up from 70% last year according to App Annie ensuring that iOS will continue to get the best apps first with Android only getting a poor port sometime later or not at all.

      Vision Mobile’s Q2 2015 Developer Economics Report states “Apple owns the high end. The iOS ecosystem appears to have a lock on the high end that will be hard to break”

      “Android handset makers are increasingly unable to compete effectively for the premium customers. Those are the customers that are most interesting to well-funded developers, as well as advertisers, retailers and various service providers….The result is that most developers who are primarily interested in revenue target iOS first”

      Hardware Accessory and Peripheral makers almost always target iOS users first with their innovative new designs and technologies thanks to Apple’s huge numbers of devices without the massive fragmentation in form factors of Android in addition to being where the most revenue comes from.

      The Mac NEVER had that kind of dominance.

      1. I think Ben also just tweeted that premium Android sales have fallen again, now down to 190 million devices for 2015. Yes, here’s the tweet: “High end Android shipments ($500 and above) have decreased from ~ 280m units in 2012 to ~ 190m units in 2015. Curse of modular”

        People do tend to forget that Apple has over a billion active devices now. The Mac installed base was far, far smaller, and it STILL survived. iOS will do just fine.

  13. John, great article as usual. However, many will excuse Android’s lack of profits for Google by saying it is just a vehicle for Advertising revenue.

    Your comment that 75% of Google’s Search revenue comes from the iOS platform is an important part of the answer to this criticism, but it would also be very pertinent to point out that on web page advertising value, the iOS platform completely dominates the entire Android platform as well.

    Nanigans reports that iOS users generate a mind-boggling 1,790% greater Advertising Return on Investment (ROI) for retailers than Android users.

    However, it’s worse than that as It’s not just that Android monetizes worse than iOS — it actually offers negative return on investment. In other words, while advertising on iOS brings retailers 162 percent more cash than they spend on the ads, advertising on Android returns 10 percent less than the cost of the ads.

    As such, the Android platform is actually a liability as far as advertising ROI for retailers – every extra Android eyeball actually COSTS advertisers money instead of making money.

    Now if that isn’t an indictment of Google’s whole Android model, I don’t know what is!

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