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.

One Reply to “Why Apple Will Fail (with iOS)”

  1. You would think that as a developer and an Open Source Software advocate, I would agree with your assessment – but also as an Apple shareholder, I will mention the reasons that I think that the Apple ecosystem will continue to be successful.

    While many of us like to tinker, play, and have full control of our content/data, there is a huge percentage of the population that just wants things to work, and not to have to think about how to make it work. I love Google as well, and many of my best friends have been employed there over the years. They make great products, and the fact that something is hackable, doesn’t mean that it “just doesn’t work” for the people that don’t want to “greasemonkey” around with it.

    I guess at the end of the day, I see success for both companies – and I will be a consumer of both of their products.

    I’m jealous – I wish I could have been at Google I/O. I hope you had a great time!

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