Archive for July, 2010

A ”dogfight” between giants have started. Will have someone taking big bites of their apple?

Posted in 1, Digital business, Digital media, Digital news, IT and communication on July 30, 2010 by Geir Stene

Apple launched iPhone 4.0 in Norway today. I have to say the show isn’t what it used to be. Yes people sat in line till midnight to get their hands on the very first ones.

But also an increasing number of people on twitter was shaking their heads over Apple’s attempt to create yet another mass hysteria, without anything else new to show, but a new model of a cell phone. Speaking of branding problems, Apple recently lost a lawsuit concerning their policy to stop ‘apps’, they’ve met resistance about their censorship policy, and there’s a wide range of lawsuits concerning patents going on between the giants.

All of this is hurting Apple in a different way than back at the days where Microsoft was the “enemy” and Apple was the underdog. This is a new situation where Apple seems to have become more arrogant towards their customers and partners. But something is about to happen, customers and partners aren’t going to be as dependent on Apple and their iStore anymore. Get me right, I like Apple, I like Google too. I like Facebook, and the good old IBM as well. I like Twitter and I like In short; I like the new world we got with the Internet. But I don’t like that the giants all seem to have become greedy and all have tried to lock in their customers in their own one-stop-shops. It’s like trying to maintain old school business models into the future.

The “dog fight” isn’t on behalf of us as consumers; it’s a battle of big bucks and control! Google, IBM, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, HP, Facebook, Apple, and the like all want to make sure that the competitors doesn’t grow to strong. This is a sad, unnecessary fight that seems inevitable. The threat for Apple isn’t only the battle of market shares.

The media industry is undergoing a dramatic age of transformation. None of the media industry participant can stand by the side passively and have Apple, Amazon, Youtube or other players control their ability to renew their business and business models.TV, Film, News corporations, publishing houses can’t afford it and have to go into the battle too. It’s really an easy calculation to make: Can some of the existing content platforms (iStore, Amazon, youtube) provide a solution that’s cheaper than if the corporations in the media industry cooperate and produce their own open content platform? In Norway some of the major publishing houses have done parts of this already and are in serious negotiations with the “giants” of how to get access to their marketplaces.

There is no way the worlds publishing houses will accept that Apple conduct censorships, like they did with the book Ulysses – or determine the cost of an e-book. Yesterday I read that Apple has denied to sell subscriptions in their store, I’m not sure if this is true, it seems too unbelievable.

What I’m saying is that there’s an upcoming “dogfight” between giants of the internet AND amongst content providers. And it seems like Apple sits in a spot where they are far too easy to attack – from all angles, and I can’t see how they possible can win this – without doing the obvious: Open up for all to place their content in their store, let anyone buy it (whatever device, hardware or software) and let the market decide what business models that works. Make it easy and smooth to be a partner and to be a customer. It’s really not so complicated.

Update: Eirik Newth and I was interviewed by E24 conserning Apples censorship policy. You can read the article Here