App(le) Clue(less)

Giff Constable technology


The NY Times article today on Apple’s App Store shows that our favorite Cupertino company still hasn’t got a clue.

“I absolutely think this is the future of great software development and distribution,” says Philip Schiller, head of worldwide product marketing at Apple.

The future of software development? It is more like a throwback to the era of box shipping.  With the advent of near-ubiquitous connectivity, consumer software applications are no longer fixed products but rather continually improving services.  Apple’s approval regimen completely stalls out the healthy flow of bug fixes, feature improvements and design iterations to the detriment of both consumer and software developer.

The article goes on to say,

The company places high value on what it describes as “customer trust,” or the idea that users have faith that an application distributed on the iPhone won’t crash the platform, steal personal information or contain illegal content.

Apple has convinced themselves that rigid control is necessary. However, they don’t have to look very far to see an example of a hardware platform earning consumer trust without a Big Brother alienating the developer community: it’s called the Mac computer.

They might also learn some lessons by comparing Facebook’s success to date with a mostly-open platform versus LinkedIn’s lack thereof with a mostly-closed platform.

As for me, I’m not a cell phone first adopter. I used my Blackberry until the iPhone 3GS came out. I love my iPhone.  But you can bet that if Apple doesn’t change its policies, I’ll be making a move to Android once that platform grows up a bit more.

I could go on, but instead will just point you to required reading: Paul Graham, Apple’s Mistake