Didn’t you also have an opinion about the most popular boy or girl in your high-school? The ‘followers’ adored them, the non-popular kids hated them, and a lot of the others just did not want to pay any attention to them.
After the last keynote that Apple gave, I thought of Apple being the popular guy at school. I was never the popular nor the ‘nerd’ at school, but sailed through in-between, I did not care so much. I was always amazed though by the social developments in classes and communities that make people being marked as a ‘leader’ and as a follower.
And Apple now has set themselves in the position to be treated like the leader. And it is a message they live by and behave like. But, just like with the high-school kids, the effectiveness and the truth of this seems thin. The most popular guy was not a leader, nor did he had leader skills – more often than not. Apple doesn’t have the skills to be a leader, not in OS, not in devices. A true leader searches for what is best for the followers, in the short or long run (or both). Apple, though, prove to be the innovator on the playing field. Not in any technical way; there is not a single technical thing Apple really invented from scratch. But what I certainly have to praise, Apple makes other companies realize to pay more attention to usability and design. With the iMac they made sure people knew that a computer can look good, with the iPod they introduced a wonderful hardware interface, and OSX is still the prettiest operating system around, and with the iPhone they showed the world what you can do with touch-screen.
Although innovative on their own, none of these innovations were actually inventions from Apple, but mere modifications. I don’t say this to dis Apple, because it is making something good even better. But it doesn’t make them in any way a leader. In sales of mp3-players/phones maybe somewhat. But in the computer area they are still the small minority.
But, Apple uses big words, tries to threaten big players to look big too, and in the meanwhile, they are pissing the other players in the field off. Apple is big, but not that big to claim control. Parties like Google and microsoft are like the hippo’s in this playing field; big, they appear friendly and they are older… but if you taunt them long enough, they will charge and they will demolish. Apple is not David against the mighty Goliath, Apple is the kid, who keeps throwing sticks at a stray dog acting all mighty, until the dog doesn’t take this anymore.
It is the attitude that forms the real problem, acting like they have invented video-phone on their iPhone, which has been around for eons. Sure, Apply does it better and nicer, but it is not innovative. If Apple simply would be honest about this, and say things like “Video calling has been around for years, but was never easier to use as with the new iPhone 4.” Is that so hard? But it sounds now that you we smart, making a good thing into an amazing thing. It is just marketing.
But with Apple now targeting Google againand now with not allowing adMob on their iOS4 system (why do we have to have an ad system anyway!) while others are allowed (if they are not related to device builders). These kind of things will result in FCC inquiries and lawsuits. And although, like said, Apple is big, but not thatbig. Microsoft and Google can handle a $300 million fine from the European commission alone, or more. But can Apple? Sure, they have the cash, but products like Windows, Office, Google are so integrated around the world, a government can hardly prohibit the use or sale of the product altogether. But with an product like apple, that are mostly on an easy to replace device, it is a whole other story. And with all the corruption in politics, it is a good thing to sometimes have friends, or not to make enemies.