Is Apple about to make the same mistake … again?

Apple has moved to dominance in some consumer product categories with leading edge, useful products such as the iPod, iPad and iPhone. This also helps their computer sales. There was a time Apple was the dominant personal computer maker as well. The Apple II was the dominant product of its day.

What happened? Several things:

  1. The Apple III and Lisa I and II were a bust
  2. Apple kept a closed operating system and control over how people could use and develop for their products
  3. IBM introduced an open operating system-based PC

The results: Apple has a trivial share of the computer market today. However they are dominant in other markets, but they are following the same strategy as they did with the PC market. Control and closed, because Apple knows best. Could this be an historic repeat? That is from dominance to niche player … yet again? Evidence says maybe.

An article appeared in today’s San José Mercury stating, “A majority of developers believe Google’s Android operating system — not Apple’s iOS — will be the dominant platform in the future to power everything from smartphones to touch-screen refrigerators, according to a survey released today.”

While possibly demonstrating a better understanding of the dangers of keeping a totally closed system, Apple recently relaxed some of their rigidity with regard to their operating system. However,  the article states, “By a wide margin, Android is considered the most open platform, even after Apple recently revised its developer agreement to provide more transparency to its app approval process and opened up iOS to third-party development tools.”

Deja vu all over again?


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