Why Apple Will Fail (with iOS)

I am currently at Google IO and am not the most unbiased of people normally; so writing an article about why Apple will fail is probably going to be the most inflammatory thing I can do. However, Apple’s core values of curated systems, strong interface conventions, technology lock in, and anti modding are at fundamental odds with they way people expect to use technology today and going forward. Furthermore, at IO, Google has embraced these values and reiterated them in their Nexus line.

Of course what event could have been so eye opening that I would post this? First some background, my mother is a math teacher in Toombs County, Georgia. She is intelligent but is not a hacker, engineer, or anything of that sort. Last weekend she called me for instructions on how to flash dd-wrt onto our old Linksys WRT54G router to set it up as a wireless bridge. If baby boomers are hacking their appliances unprompted, I don’t see how Apple will be able to keep them as customers, much less their much more demanding children and grand children.

Google at IO has been really adamant about pushing cloud technologies and open APIs. They are also promoting friction ess sharing and exposing of data via intents in Android and Web Intents. The Nexus Q was even mentioned in the keynote as being hackable (and people have even gotten games working on it). Having access to your data and providing accessible endpoints so applications can use your data in the cloud is the future of the market Apple needs to maintain the relevance of iOS. With the announcements at WWDC 2012, Apple seems to be doubling down on their black box.