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Analyzing Apple's iPhone Strategy

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

270

Galen Gruman submitted infoworld's summary of Apple's grand strategy for the iPhone. He points out that the real important part of the new iPhone is the software, not the hardware. He talks about the new SDK stuff, the ad-hoc app distribution, and other stuff. It's a reasonable read if you have been ignoring the iPhone and want to know what the hype is about over this release, but doesn't break any new ground if you've been paying attention.

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it's the apps, stupid! (5, Interesting)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747207)

He points out that the real important part of the new iPhone is the software not the hardware.
Well sure, now that the smartphone hardware is becoming powerful enough that you don't have to constrain your app to the capacities of that hardware, people are starting to realize that the hardware is actually inconsequential.

But this shift has only happened recently, and we needed something like the iPhone to show us that the hardware is actually darn good enough!

This is also why I'm so fascinated by Android, which is a powerful software platform (ok, for a given set of hardware). ...and I say this as an embedded software developer :p

Re:it's the apps, stupid! (-1, Troll)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747301)

The recent demos of the Android [androidcommunity.com] and the announcement of the HTC Touch Pro [htctouchpro.com] are really livening up the smart phone market at the moment. I just can't decide on which one to get :o

The new iphone is basically available now, where as the others aren't, which is a massive advantage, but having a nice keyboard like the Touch Pro has will make being on call a lot more pleasant! Android are yet to announce a phone though, although they have made an announcement that they will be announcing an Android phone at the end of the year...

Free Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft XBox 360 [free-toys.co.uk]

Re:it's the apps, stupid! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23747615)

>Free Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft XBox 360
Are you fucking kidding me? Someone ban this shit NOW!

Re:it's the apps, stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23748717)

For sure. Where's the pooping story?

Re:it's the apps, stupid! (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747749)

With the Android, I wonder how the integration will be (which is Apple's strength).

I looked at HTC Touch Pro... but saw the windows start button (no thanks).

Re:it's the apps, stupid! (4, Interesting)

Admiral Ag (829695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748465)

That's a weird thing to say from my point of view. The iPod has done well because the hardware and software were tightly integrated (both on the device and with iTunes), whereas the players that went for a common platform like PlaysforSure did not.

Google is much stronger than Apple with web services, but weaker with respect to hardware. I don't think hardware is inconsequential. The more diverse the hardware your system is on, the more likely there may be compatibility problems.

Maybe it will be different this time. Mac shareware developers must be salivating. The quality of Mac shareware is excellent for the most part (and some of it is much more polished, better designed and more mac-like than software from major companies), but crippled by the fact that it's shareware and people have to find it and buy a license off a website, if they buy it at all. I imagine that respected Mac shareware developers like Panic will thrive when their software is on the same store as the stuff from the big guys and is pay per download.

Apple's strategy... unchanged (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23748939)

Their strategy is pretty easy to decode:

1. make money.
2. make money.
3. make money, so that we can
4. make even more money.

I think they are doing great. Just for kicks (and to kick myself), I looked at how much I could have made if I had just invested $1000 in Apple in 1985. Taking the stock splits into account, that stock would be worth more than $500,000.

Apple is a great example of how you can take a fanatical fan base, show them nothing but contempt, charge outrageous amounts of money for everything connected with your products... and be adored all the more for it. THAT'S the kind of stock worth investing in, but it's a shame that setup is so difficult to replicate.

And... best of all, they are eating Linux's lunch. If someone hates Microsoft SO much, they aren't going to get Linux. They are going to buy a Mac, of course, and get locked in to that money sink (at least $150 in El Jobso's pocket every time they make a point release is great for Apple's bottom line!).

While Linux likewise has the fanatical user base... they just have no way of monetizing it. Linux users like being locked into that platform, but not enough to actually pay for anything. They are happy to use hardware two generations out of date, happy with being completely locked into FOSS (since extremely few companies will write for Linux), etc, but not happy enough to actually spend any money supporting what they supposedly believe in. Look at Red Hat- they've been doing poorly for years now, and that's not going to change (although their dropping the failed "Linux on the Desktop" project will undoubtedly help them a great deal).

While Apple has been gaining market share (up to 4-5%)... Linux's has remained flat for the past ten years (always around 0.65%, even as the size of the market has virtually exploded). Meaning... every Apple sold is coming from Linux's share of the market (either actual or potential). Which is good, since Linux has no chance of succeeding in competition with Microsoft, while Apple can do quite well with a tiny market share.

Objective C (4, Insightful)

thammoud (193905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747217)

The language is a serious turn off for most developers I know.

Re:Objective C (2, Informative)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747509)

Why?

I'll admit I'm not a programer and I have a tendency toward reading pro-apple sites, but I was under the impression that objective C is just an extension of C, and that regular C code would compile and run fine without extensive modification.

Re:Objective C (2, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747609)

Why?
Because it's not Java?

Re:Objective C (4, Interesting)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747733)

But I thought the whole idea was that full powered, desktop level, apps on a mobile device.

I'm not trying to slander Java, but I've never used a Java app that doesn't take up a disproportionate amount of processor and memory when compared to the same type of program written in some flavor of C.

I want to reiterate that I'm not a programer and I'm not trying to be contrary. I'm just a little confused is all.

Re:Objective C (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748549)

MIDP Java is generally pretty small and fast, it's what's used on basically all smartphone platforms other than the iPhone and Windows Mobile (ok there's Symbian native, but I don't think most new development is going that direction due to the portability of Java).

Re:Objective C (4, Informative)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748623)

I'm not trying to slander Java, but I've never used a Java app that doesn't take up a disproportionate amount of processor and memory when compared to the same type of program written in some flavor of C.


And many have said that about C vs Assembler. The difference is that you'd have to add a zero or so to the end of the price of the app. Java's substantially easier to write apps for, in certain domains, in certain sizes of applications.

C doesn't have features which make it reasonable to write very large applications (namespaces come to mind). You can do it (e.g. Unix kernels, etc), but you have to be much more disciplined without those features. That discipline costs in terms of additional expertise required, (higher programmer salaries) and project management (more overhead for managers, documentation, etc).

Also, Java has features which make writing tools for it substantially easier than C. Better available tools also reduce the cost of software production.

For the most part, Java sacrifices starting performance for long-term performance. Letting a Java app 'warm up' for a while will show substantially better performance than when it first started running.

Re:Objective C (1, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748323)

What a ludicrous reason.

Re:Objective C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23748821)

Well, it's not java, but it still has all the disadvantages of a java-type language (I haven't used obj-c in a few years, but as I recall it syntactically resembled c++ with some smalltalk quirks; it kind of seemed like a step backwards from java actually, with function declarations in a separate file than the actual definitions and manual memory management). So you're not really gaining anything by switching languages, you're just losing in having to acquaint yourself with a language with substantially different syntax and quirks.

Re:Objective C (4, Informative)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747835)

Obj-C is often considered what C++ would have been, if C++ were done right. However, for a right while only NeXT really used it. GNUStep, which was trying to copy NeXT Step, started supporting it as well.

When Jobs came back to Apple (he also formed NeXT), Apple acquired NeXT and all their technology. This is when OS X was born and why it uses Obj-C.

So, basically only MacOS X and GNUStep really use Obj-C in any significant way (at least that I'm aware of).

The syntax is a little weird, and the targeted platforms are somewhat limited, so not many people know it or bother to learn (unless they want to develop for Mac or GNUStep).

Its a turn off because people like familiar things and would rather use C++ or Java rather than Obj-C, I suppose -- and Obj-C is sort of the barrier to entry to Cocoa and Carbon.

Re:Objective C (1, Insightful)

slawo (1210850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748953)

The syntax is a little weird
Depends on your point of view

and the targeted platforms are somewhat limited
Just so you stop your bullshit : Generic Objective-C programs [...] can also be compiled for any system supported by gcc, which includes an Objective-C compiler [wikipedia.org] .

Its a turn off because ...
... because you are simply ignorant and lazy.
Sorry for the harshness, but it is well deserved when you see this type of FUD propagated by pretending "BSD guys"

Re:Objective C (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23747523)

It's a great language actually ... dynamically typed, garbage collected. It's not vary Java-like, so some will surely hate it. But it's powerful and elegant in its own way.

Re:Objective C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23747661)

Not garbage collected on the iPhone though.

Re:Objective C (4, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747549)

objective C is unfortunately a career no go for most developers.

To get and keep jobs in almost all companies you need to know a current mainstream language or two. I haven't seen a job that listed objective-c as a requirement in, um, well ever.

I certainly wouldn't touch it.

Re:Objective C (4, Interesting)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747705)

Because you are only capable of knowing a set number of languages?

Re:Objective C (5, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747797)

Because today's programmers don't learn programming or engineering, but instead a language. A real programmer should be able to program regardless of a language. In fact they should be able to pick a language based on the problem at hand and not the other way around.

Re:Objective C (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748443)

What the heck are you talking about?

With the Intarwebz, learning a new language no longer relies on getting an expert to teach it. The only programmer that refuses to use the best language for the job is pretty dumb given the resources at their disposal. Luckily, almost all of the programmers I've worked with/met that are around my age have been forced to take higher maths.

The only stumbling block I can see is the tools or basic libraries for the language itself *coughmicrosoftcough* being held at a premium.

Anyways, I fully agree that a programmer is not one who plays word tetris, but can see the objectives and envision how the code will come together and fulfill that objective in terms of functions, objects and a keen mind on how it will all fit.

Re:Objective C (5, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748687)

It's not just the language that matters. Yes any decent programmers can pick up a language in no time but the real issue is the libraries and frameworks and patterns that often go with a language and its environment. Re-learning the APIs for the environment takes time. Good documentation helps a lot and so does being open source (or use the Lutz reflector if you're doing .Net). Even then there are still certain conventions for different environments. Python programmers talk about code being "Pythonic". While there are many ways to do something in Python, there is usually a few good ways or patterns for a problem. So, it's not just the language but everything else that goes around the language that also matters.

Re:Objective C (2, Insightful)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748871)

Amen brother. Programming languages are, in this way, a lot like spoken and written languages - once you've learned a few, picking up a new one becomes much easier. After thoroughly learning C++ and Java, Perl, Ruby, PHP, Python, Lisp, Objective-C and JavaScript took me almost no time at all to pick up - just a month or two of casual tinkering before I became proficient.

Programming languages are ultimately just expressions of logic, with different strengths for different applications. I once read that children who learn more than one language when they are young have a fundamentally different structure for the language center of their brains than those of us who learn only one, and a significantly greater facility for learning languages, because they essentially have a better data structure for storing and processing language. I think the same thing can be achieved with programming languages, one simply has to go out of one's way to *learn more than one*. I try to learn a new language every year or two, simply because it's good exercise for the brain.

Re:Objective C (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747953)

Well are you looking at jobs for Windows software development? That could be why...

Re:Objective C (1)

rockmuelle (575982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747585)

Most good developers are can pick up a new language fairly quickly, so it shouldn't be a hurdle.

Objective C is a little strange at first, since it mixes "real" (i.e., Smalltalk-esqe, message-based) object oriented programming concepts into a statically typed language. But, once you separate the C and the Objective C mentally, it's kinda like programing Python and writing the occasional C extension.

Cocoa Touch has a large set of support libraries that cover most tasks. Once you understand the basic patterns they use, it's pretty easy to pick up a new library and run with it. That said, the basic data structures take a little getting used to since it takes a little longer to develop a good mental model of how they work under the hood (whereas C++ Standard Library components are easier for C programmers to grok).

Anyway, don't let the language stop you. If nothing else, you might expand your knowledge of what is possible with programming languages.

-Chris

Re:Objective C (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747701)

I have no doubt most good programmers can pick up a new language pretty fast and even become quite productive. But it is the hiring manager you have to get through. Most HR bean counters go by grep $keyword resume.txt .

So many programmers feel it is better to stick with what they are asking for in the ads.

Re:Objective C (4, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748411)

Oh come on, how many HR bean-counters know how to use grep?

Re:Objective C (1)

mrslacker (1122161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748643)

They don't; they insist upon Word format (sic), even if it's for a Linux position. Allegedly recruitment databases only understand such formats.

Re:Objective C (1)

Palshife (60519) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747589)

You must not know a whole lot of Cocoa developers.

Re:Objective C (1)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747769)

Yeah, I'd imagine that any company that decides to push into OS X (iPhone or desktop) coding will have a demand for Obj-C coding. Kind of a no-brainer, really.

Re:Objective C (0)

furball (2853) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747605)

If you see learning a new language as an issue, please just don't ever call yourself a developer. Just stop. Right now.

Re:Objective C (4, Insightful)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747877)

If you see learning a new language as an issue, please just don't ever call yourself a developer.

Define "issue".

Is the choice of Objective-C a part of the reason why I'm not planning on doing iPhone development any time soon? Yes. Because it's a dead end.

While you can use Objective-C to build Mac applications, you don't need to — there are other languages that run on the Mac that are also commonly available on other platforms. And, outside of OS X and iPhone, there are no platforms I can think of where Objective-C is the "right answer", or even a "likely candidate". It's more like "you're using...what?" or "didn't that language die out a decade ago?"

Now, I'm not above learning a language solely to use a platform — I'm learning Python to play with Google AppEngine, for example. But Python has greater potential utility to me beyond AppEngine, more so than Objective-C does beyond iPhone, and so Python is less of an issue.

If the issue were solely language — say, for example, iPhone was likely to be as open as Android is likely to be — I'd probably overcome it. But, combine the language issue with the other issues, and iPhone just isn't compelling at present. Maybe that will change.

Re:Objective C (1)

Moebius Loop (135536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747639)

Can you elaborate on this?

In the first place, if you agree with the sentiment about the attractiveness of the iPhone as a deployment platform, the language it's written in should be irrelevant.

Furthermore, since I'm not a huge fan of the C++ way of doing things, Objective C provides all the OOP features I require within a syntax that really isn't *that* far from C, and reminds me of other nice languages like Smalltalk and Lisp.

Developers could be intimidated by the Cocoa API, though. It's a pretty different way of doing GUI development, particularly if you're used to the verbosity of Swing, or the vapidity of VB. Still, the end result of learning to develop for the iPhone is access to a built-in audience of potential users, and (if you're so inclined) an easy transition to Mac OS X development.

Anyways, my 2/100ths...

It's good (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747729)

Once you get around the syntax, Objective-C is not hard to use at all. The language runtime is very dynamic and memory management is easy reference counting or garbage collected if you want(but no GC on iPhone). I came from the standard C/C++ background and I found it a little weird after using C/C++ for many years but you can pick up Objective-C relatively fast. The big learning curve is learning what frameworks and APIs you need to use to do what you want which requires lots of learning and/or looking up things all the time but that's really the same with any other frameworks.

Re:Objective C (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747737)

The language is a serious turn off for most developers I know.

Really? The only developers I can think of that it would be a problem for are those guys who learned Java or VB at their trade school and have never learned anything else. Pretty much everyone else has picked up C at some point and Objective C is just a superset.

I'd also note that from what I've read developers are raving about the ease of use of the iPhone dev kit. From the development forums I see a lot of happy people, with the occasional clueless person asking if they can develop for the iPhone using Visual Basic 6. I've seen some complaints about the slow rate at which people are letting developers into the program, but not about objective C.

Re:Objective C (4, Funny)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747747)

If you know C and any OO language then obj-C should be easy for a real developer to pick up. Keep in mind that C runs just fine on the iphone (at least on the simulator) you just won't have access to any of the Cocoa frameworks and thus no UI.

Re:Objective C (4, Interesting)

NtroP (649992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747811)

[Objective-C] The language is a serious turn off for most developers I know.

It takes getting used to, but I find it very elegant and powerful. I think the biggest turn off for most is "it's something new". It's C, but then it's not. I find myself having to think much more "MVC" and "object-oriented" than I'm used to (my brain is wired old-school procedural), but I also find that I can get an amazing amount done with fewer lines of code. The trade-off is that I don't feel I have the deep level of control I should. This is nonsense, of course, I can write any functionality and subclass all I want, but with the API's I usually don't find I need to, so I come away from a project feeling a little guilty - like I didn't *really* do any hard-core coding. Combine that with Interface-builder and it feels more like building with Legos than "programming". It's just that you find yourself getting so much functionality for free.

All that, combined with the fact that the syntax is different from C++ and you get a bit of a turn-off, but give it a chance. It's like transitioning to any new thing. You like what you know. It takes stepping out of your comfort zone for a while (which is hard for a lot of programmers who tend to be control freaks to begin with). Once you are used to it though you find going back a bit clumsy. At least that's been my experience.

Re:Objective C (1)

Linux Ate My Dog! (224079) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748537)

If Objective-C is a problem, you should not be in mobile development.

Because the limits of J2ME will make you tear your hair out, the installed base of WinMo will make you tear your wallet off, and Symbian C++ will just simply make you tear your brains out.

In the mobile world, Objective C looks good. Yeah, the mobile world is that sucky.

Re:Objective C (5, Interesting)

ImdatS (958642) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748597)

You know, I started developing in Objective-C back in 1990/91 on NeXTstep (yes, it was lc 'step' at that time...) - Coming from Pascal, C, Forth (and some Basic dialects), I found it a bit weird at the beginning (the first 4-6 months). Then, one day, it made "click" - as we say in German. And from that day on, I couldn't really imagine doing it in a different way than MVC & Objective-C.

In order to fully grasp it, I started experiments with Smalltalk (great), Eiffel (great, but ugly syntax), and some other languages I forgot.

Remember: those times were the times when we wrote our frameworks ourselves (I remember writing objects like "Float", "Integer", "String", ... - they didn't exist in NeXTstep those days).

You have to switch from "Calling a Function" or "Calling a Member of an Object" to "Sending a Message to an Object" and get used to the idea that everything is an Object (even classes are instances of the class class and so on) and then you are set.

The syntax may turn you off a bit - that's what happens with Python for me (the indentation is still a psychological issue for me) - but you surely get used to it quickly.

Now, after having developed in Objective-C for such a long time (including having learned Smalltalk and Eiffel), I can't actually look at the "ugly" C++ or Java syntax - and I (more or less) believe the worst thing that could happen to the world in programming languages was C++ (my two EUR 0.01, which, by the way, results in 3.14 UScents by a strange coincidence today).

Anyway, try it out and you'll either hate it or love it.

Also, for me, a good programmer is someone who is personally, privately, and passionately interested in Esoteric Programming Languages - which brings us to the "Indifference to Syntax" - or "Being amazed by Syntax" (some people should probably take this with a grain of salt).

Re:Objective C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23748869)

Then most developers don't see the HUGE potential for their users. People are walking around with mini-computers in their pockets, asking for useful, monetizable creations to use. It's like a reverse field of dreams - the people are already there, you just have to build it! A video, to my point: http://youtube.com/watch?v=irXCMdRprfw

This argument seems like a copout in some ways, and a missed opportunity in others. I just don't get it.

Slow news day? (4, Insightful)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747249)

It's a reasonable read if you have been ignoring the iPhone and want to know what the hype is about over this release, but doesn't break any new ground if you've been paying attention.


Well, in that case, why is it on the front page?

Surely if a /. reader has been ignoring the iPhone up till now they're pretty unlikely to read past the thread title.

Re:Slow news day? (3, Funny)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747285)

This is /. as you pointed out. If Steve Jobs takes a crap it makes the front page. Everything Apple makes the front page regardless of whether it's consequential or not.

In short...you must be new here :-)

Re:Slow news day? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23747445)

I heard it had bits of corn...

Re:Slow news day? (3, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747577)

You certainly ARE new here if you think that /. has always been pro-Apple.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747771)

Did I say always? Reading is fundamental :-)

Re:Slow news day? (1)

nbvb (32836) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748611)

.... exactly. Makes me happy that "my" article submission was the one that launched the entire Apple section here at /.

My, how times have changed.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748023)

If Steve Jobs takes a crap it makes the front page.


Sorry, what? That's on Digg. Over here we wait until news comes in about his explosive diarrhea.

Hope Steve gets better (3, Funny)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748211)

In that case Jobs has a pretty massive constipation. I hope he finds relief in some way.

ATT Contract (2, Interesting)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747261)

OK, I RTFA'd but I've yet to understand where the AT&T exclusivity deal fits Apple's oh so grand strategy. Funny the suthor doesn't mention it either... afraid to lose an advertiser I suppose...

Re:ATT Contract (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747393)

If it is a deal breaker for you, you can buy an unlocked one from O2 and have it shipped to the US, but it will cost you a lot more. Even if you got one on the T-Mobile network, I would suspect that the network connectivity features won't work that well. I guess the only solution then is to move to Canada. :P

Re:ATT Contract (0, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747423)

AT&T pay Apple money to have the "must have phone". Apple gets the money and becomes richer. Apple uses that money to clean up more Open Source projects.

Re:ATT Contract (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748293)

Revenue sharing is no more with iPhone 3G.

Re:ATT Contract (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747473)

Where it fits seems pretty obvious to me, Apple used the carrot of exclusivity to operators in return for the operators breaking rank and doing a lot of things they didn't do before (unlimited data tariffs, out of sequence voicemail, and now the ability to 'push').

A first! A useful summary?!? (5, Funny)

Kostya (1146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747267)

It's a reasonable read if you have been ignoring the iPhone and want to know what the hype is about over this release, but doesn't break any new ground if you've been paying attention.


Thanks. That was truly one of the first useful summaries I have read in a while. Now I can skip TFA ;-)

Parallels (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747317)

Apple is now doing for smartphones what it did for DAPs. Really there are not doing anything new here in developing the whole ecosystem.

  1. Make a better UI. Some people don't like a new UI but for most people Apple's UI is better than other smartphones.
  2. Make it easy for users to get content. In this case the content is applications and not music or movies, but the idea is the same.

Strategy? (2, Insightful)

Monkey_Genius (669908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747349)

What strategy?

1. Make glitzy 'must have' consumer gadget.
2. Lock everyone into your distribution network.
3. Profit.

Business as usual.

Re:Strategy? (0)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747809)

you mean profit for a couple of years.   It will be interesting to see what the renewal rates are starting next summer as the first round of 2yr commits expire.  The iPhone for the vast majority of people buying it is about having the latest coolest toy.  When the reality sets in that they are paying upwards of $400/yr in data charges for a device they pretty much just use to make phone calls or play music sales will level off.  The iPhone is a great product for those that really need what it has to offer but most people will rarely use those features - this applies to all the smart phones, not just the iPhone. 

Re:Strategy? (2, Insightful)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747985)

As an example, you could say the same exact thing about all of the people who are buying Blackberries because they're trendy. Most of these folks don't connect them to a corporate BIS. They're probably locked in to a contract and don't get use out of the expensive Blackberry data plans.

Re:Strategy? (5, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747999)

I guess you missed the part where nearly 85% of iPhone users regularly use the web [wired.com] from their phone.

Re:Strategy? (5, Interesting)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748305)

Yeah, I've actually been surprised - every single person I've known with an iPhone, I've seen using its non-phone features. Getting directions via Google maps, using Twitter, using the calendar, whatever. Usually you do see people paying way too much and then only using the most basic features, but people seem to actually be using iPhone as more than a standard phone.

Re:Strategy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23748225)

I can't remember the exact numbers that Jobs quoted in his Keynote, but the proportion of iPhone users who are also browsing the web is in the mid-90% range, and that most users are using 10 or more features.

Come on Taco, this is neither interesting nor news (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747355)

Although it is "stuff", I guess. Apple has ALWAYS been about the software - there has only been one point at which buying their hardware was advisable on any level, in the age of the G4. The PC quickly whipped their ass and the Mac became a PC (in the x86 sense.) Irony.

However, Apple has always been pretty bad at the hardware, with the exception of the intel-based macbooks. It looked sexy, but had serious flaws. For example, macs didn't have accelerated graphics (not even ANY 2d accel) until late in the Mac II era. But we're talking about a machine designed to be used only graphically. This seems like a major oversight - and it is. If the Amiga had been competently marketed instead of the company being sucked dry, today it would be "Apple who?"

Apple has ALSO always tried to make you do things their way, and if you don't like it, you can fuck off. These days you can see that in the form of their latest bid to prevent people buying iPhones without a contract. You could also see it in the iPhone with the fact that originally there was to be NO user-developed software beyond webapps, and even today you have to run a special OS release that Apple can (and HAS) terminate at will, or accidentally.

Re:Come on Taco, this is neither interesting nor n (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747575)

Although it is "stuff", I guess. Apple has ALWAYS been about the software - there has only been one point at which buying their hardware was advisable on any level, in the age of the G4. The PC quickly whipped their ass and the Mac became a PC (in the x86 sense.) Irony.


Actually, I don't think it has ever really been about the software. The powerPC architecture is/was more efficient then X86 so you didn't need CPUs in the 3 GHZ range. However when people saw an 800 MHZ CPU in a Mac and a 1.3 GHZ low-end Pentium 4, most people would buy the PC (when with a PC you can get the hardware for cheap compared to a Mac). When it became clear that OSX could be easily transitioned into the X86 architecture Apple did.

Apple has ALSO always tried to make you do things their way, and if you don't like it, you can fuck off. These days you can see that in the form of their latest bid to prevent people buying iPhones without a contract. You could also see it in the iPhone with the fact that originally there was to be NO user-developed software beyond webapps, and even today you have to run a special OS release that Apple can (and HAS) terminate at will, or accidentally.


Apple follows Steve, half the time he comes up with something great, the other half Apple is almost bankrupt by the time he comes up with another better idea. Just think the Apple ][ was great, the Apple III a disaster, the Lisa a commercial failure while the Mac was a best-seller.

Re:Come on Taco, this is neither interesting nor n (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748501)

The powerPC architecture is/was more efficient then X86 so you didn't need CPUs in the 3 GHZ range.

Having been awake during that time I can tell you that this is horseshit. The only time the PowerPC has honestly been faster than the x86-compatible processor of the day was during the era of the G4, and for about two months after the G5 was released. That's it. PPC601, 603, 604 were ALL slower than their high-end PC counterparts. And most critically, Apple hardware really did come at a huge price premium at that time. It's true that Apple has never had price-performance so bad (compared to PCs) as during the Quadra era, when Macs were half the speed (or less - especially in the graphics department!) and often as much as twice the price even comparing high end to high end.

Apple follows Steve, half the time he comes up with something great, the other half Apple is almost bankrupt by the time he comes up with another better idea. Just think the Apple ][ was great, the Apple III a disaster, the Lisa a commercial failure while the Mac was a best-seller.

I agree, except that you forgot the IIgs (moderate success but mostly it was too expensive.) :)

Re:Come on Taco, this is neither interesting nor n (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747707)

Ouch. Well said. Hope the Apple fanboys don't mod you into karmic hell for that one.

Yes, Apple is a software company in drag. I've always said that. The hardware isn't why people buy Macs or iPhones -- the hardware just isn't that good. The hardware just makes appear that they aren't going toe-to-toe with Microsoft. Even when they really are.

Re:Come on Taco, this is neither interesting nor n (1)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747975)

I agree. Apple calls itself a hardware company. But I've always said they needed to write the best software out there to get people to buy their hardware. They could have been Microsoft. They could have licensed the original Mac OS and Microsoft would have been known as a producer of office apps. But Steve was a control freak. Granted, they make the sexiest hardware now. The iMac is far superior to any PC for consumers. And the Mac Pro is phenomenal, I just wish more affordable. And the MacBook and MacBook Pro are best in class as well.

But I didn't switch to Apple for the hardware. I switched because I wanted to use OS X. And no, I didn't come from Windows. I came from Linux. I still use Linux, but 90% of the time its on servers.

Re:Come on Taco, this is neither interesting nor n (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748671)

Ouch. Well said. Hope the Apple fanboys don't mod you into karmic hell for that one.

Too late. Luckily, I can afford it.

If there were no Karma Kap, I could afford it basically indefinitely :P

The hardware isn't why people buy Macs or iPhones -- the hardware just isn't that good. The hardware just makes appear that they aren't going toe-to-toe with Microsoft. Even when they really are.

That's pretty much it. Apple is honestly not very good at the hardware thing. All props to the Woz for the Apple I and ][, back when you could do that kind of thing in your garage. This is NOT to say that no current apple machines are good. I am general impressed with the current Macbooks in spite of the broad range of very stupid problems Apple has had with heat, hinges, power connectors, improperly implementing the CMD IDE chip in the B&W G3 Rev. 1, once again the total lack of graphics acceleration until the 8*24 GC... It really points to broad-based incompetence.

I also just want to say here that I've been using the Mac OS off and on since version 5, I've done my share of resedit hacking (when I was a kid I thought it was awfully neat that I could add a picture to the zterm download window and stuff like that... now I know there's a price for that convenience, and that forked files are forked up) and all that stuff. I've used practically everything on the desktop (well, I never had an ST... or an acorn) and I really have an excellent basis for comparison.

In fact, I've had or worked with macs of every generation (including having the fun of opening imacs and such crap) and PCs of every generation (my PC-1 motherboard still hangs on a friend's wall) as well as tons of other hardware. And Apple has really never been very competent in the hardware category. Mostly they excel at making cases. Even that is not necessarily true - I've hated having to try to work on any non-tower mac since the Mac II series. You could take a IIci's logic board out without tools and the machine could take some serious abuse. If anything, Apple has lost any ability they once had in this area.

Re:Come on Taco, this is neither interesting nor n (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747819)

The iPhone 1.0 was not ready for 3rd party development. If you have been following the SDK releases you can see that they have been changing at a very rapid pace. The early iPhone software was basically not ready for people to use and the API was not stable. Giving people the ability to develop web apps that looked like native apps was the best thing they could do at the time.

Now that they are stabilizing the APIs, people can write native applications. The iPhone at the beginning was already lagging a bit IMO and you can see that because they had to delay Leopard to work on it.

Re:Come on Taco, this is neither interesting nor n (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748535)

The iPhone 1.0 was not ready for 3rd party development. If you have been following the SDK releases you can see that they have been changing at a very rapid pace. The early iPhone software was basically not ready for people to use and the API was not stable. Giving people the ability to develop web apps that looked like native apps was the best thing they could do at the time.

Translation: the iPhone was rushed to market before it was ready, and instead of getting developers on board before the release to make sure it was worth releasing, Apple took a gigantic shit on them.

Now that they are stabilizing the APIs, people can write native applications. The iPhone at the beginning was already lagging a bit IMO and you can see that because they had to delay Leopard to work on it.

Translation: Apple is spread too thin to actually give proper attention to their OS or to their Phone.

Apple fanboys will make endless excuses for Apple while criticizing other companies for precisely the same behavior. Luckily, I have karma to burn.

I took a look at an iPhone the other day (4, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747379)

That someone imported into Australia, interesting device. Not sure I'm interested in it though.

There's a bit of scope in the market for software giants to chip into this.

gPhone - Targetting non-evil people, has 11 buttons, 0-9 and a "dial/hangup/camera/gps/play music/search" button
MSPhone - Steve Ballmer made one for himself out of a tennis racket, twine and bleach, bundled with a left over Zune to provide fully functioning WMA support.
jPhone (I know a lot of phones run java already) - You get two phones, a client phone which makes all the calls, and a larger server phone which does all the connecting to the towers. You can upgrade to a 3-tier mobile phone system, using mochaFrappeLite. Bundled with a free tweed jacket with leather patches.

Re:I took a look at an iPhone the other day (1)

multi-flavor-geek (586005) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747887)

I sat on one, luckily the screen was already cracked... I hate trying to type on the things, yeah, its nice to have google and what not at your fingertips everywhere you go but then again thats why we have this thing called a memory. I am going to say to hell with the iphone and all of that and stick with my thirty dollar mobile-virgin (like that ever happens) where if I break it or lose it, or drop it in the Pacific ocean and even after flushing it out all of the residual salt corrodes the circuit boards (done this) I can just go to the store and buy a new one. I was also just thinking, wouldn't the MSPhone ask you to hang up so it could complete the call dialing process?

Meta-summary: apple is still a software company. (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747463)

Apple is, like Cisco, primarily a software company. It's Apple's software that sells its hardware, so while their revenue model is based on hardware sales, it's the software that makes them happen. No matter how nice Apple's hardware might be, without their software they'd sell no more than any other boutique hardware vendor, and once they burned through their cash reserves and liquid assets they'd just be another Alienware waiting to be bought by Dell or HP.

Focussing on their hardware, whether it's the iMac or iPhone, is definitely missing the point. This guy definitely gets it.

One thing that I would like to see more of is details of the ad-hoc licensing. My google-fu is failing me there.

Re:Meta-summary: apple is still a software company (2, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748707)

You're pretty much right, but I think it's worth mentioning that although the software is really the keystone of Apple's success, they've also got the ability to make decent hardware if the need arises. They didn't have to wait for someone to release an mp3 player with a scroll wheel. They decided that that'd be the best interface for their iPod software(or more likely the two evolved together), and so they designed their own hardware. The same happened to a lesser extend with the iPhone. Apple didn't need to convince a phone manufacturer to build a handset that was basically just a big multi-touch capable screen, they went and designed their own.

It's also important to notice that those hardware specifics are generally tied to hardware requirements to make the user-interface work. That is to say, it ties really directly and clearly back into the software. At the same time that Apple is designing new hardware features to interface with their software, they've been generally moving towards more commodity hardware for the guts of their stuff. While the iMac has a history of the outside looking rather unusual compared to most computers, the components inside the shell are usually pretty standard stuff that'd be just as at home in a PC as in a Mac. The recent-ish switch to Intel being one of the most obvious examples.

It's a pretty reasonable strategy for product design, especially considering the consumer market.

Re:Meta-summary: apple is still a software company (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748985)

Apple is, like Cisco, primarily a software company.

This is "insightful" and not "funny"? This looks like sarcasm to me. Or at least it looks like it should be sarcasm.

Apple's grand strategy? Lock-in. (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747511)

Apple's grand strategy is the same as any highly successful tech company: lock-in based on a solid platform. e.g., Microsoft: proprietary OS platform with integrated business apps; Apple: proprietary hardware and music store with integrated components; Cisco, proprietary hardware overlaid with integrated interface, etc.

The real strength is the iPhone 2.0 software
Nah...as a developer I really don't give two hoots about this unless it's something I can use cross-platform. The iPhone is such a small player in the cell phone market that I'd rather just handle it through optimized web sites and web services than building some localized app that will break with iPhone 3.0 software.

Re:Apple's grand strategy? Lock-in. (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747735)

I don't have the skills to be developer and maybe I'm don't know something you know but here is what I see: If I can develop an application for the iPhone, I can be an independent developer without having to go through anyone but Apple. Millions of users can buy my app easily. I don't have to worry about maintaining an infrastructure for a yearly $99 license. If I charge $10, I get to keep $7. If 14 people in the world buy it, I've broken even. If 10,000 people buy my app, I've made $70,000. That is why I think a lot of people are interested: the potential of it.

Re:Apple's grand strategy? Lock-in. (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748043)

If I can develop an application for the iPhone, I can be an independent developer without having to go through anyone but Apple.

And if you're a PC developer, then you can be independent without having to go through anyone full stop. It's a crying shame, and a testament to the egregious and undue influence the telecom industry has over our government, that the cell phone market isn't like that too. This kind of shit -- that is, requiring apps to have the "blessing" of the device manufacturer or service provider to work -- ought to be illegal!

Re:Apple's grand strategy? Lock-in. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23748339)

Except that you need to get listed on a popular website, pay for marketing, distribution, credit card processing fees, etc. For many small developers, getting this set up is what ultimately kills their ideas. They want to code (and get paid for it) and if someone else can worry about the logistics of selling and distributing the app, all the better.

Yes, it's not the bazaar environment of the internet, but there's room in the big world for more than one model.

Re:Apple's grand strategy? Lock-in. (5, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748095)

If I charge $10, I get to keep $7. If 14 people in the world buy it, I've broken even.
Yikes - yes, let's keep you away from the business side of the house.

You forgot to include the value of your time to develop the application, any time it might take to market it (e.g., even if it's just posting to Slashdot), any support costs, taxes, etc. Also, if 10K people might buy your app for their iPhone, there might be 100K people who might buy it if had a wider cell phone base, or 1000K people who might buy it if it was available for PCs, etc., so you might be chasing a tiny "profit pool" anyway if you only target the iPhone.

Microsoft has a similar model going with MSDN and lesser licenses and so do thousands of other vendors with a proprietary platform and a paid SDK/API/dev environment.

The $99 is there basically to protect Apple from the total time-wasters; Apple would otherwise give this away free so they can get developers, developers, developers.

Re:Apple's grand strategy? Lock-in. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748733)

I didn't say it wouldn't cost you anything. I said that you would not have to maintain your own infrastructure: website, hosting fees, credit card fees. Or you could go through a distributor that will charge you 40% and additional fees. Also whether you develop for Windows or iPhone you still have all the other costs that you mention.

Also there is the problem of visibility. There are more Windows Mobile users but the issue with developing for that platform was that you couldn't access a large number of users in any one place. AT&T users go to their store. T-Mobile, their store, etc. There are independent stores too. With Apple they are all on one site. You might think that it is chasing a smaller pool of customers overall, but I would argue you are actually targeting more customers in a way.

Still no open source apps (3, Informative)

SilentTristero (99253) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747539)

From TFA:

Still, neither of the iPhone DRM licenses enables the collaborative development that typifies open source projects. So Apple created a new "ad hoc" license that allows developers private distribution of iPhone executables to up to 100 registered handsets. Groups of coders can share work in progress binaries via e-mail or source code control.

However, even the ad hoc license is not the wide-open solution that the open source community ultimately desires. An iPhone user should be able to opt into installing and running unsigned applications, a capability offered by all competing mobile platforms.
This is the showstopper for me. A smartphone without a real freeware ecosystem will never truly thrive, for the same reasons that that open source development and commercial s/w development drive each other on standard platforms.

Re:Still no open source apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23747813)

A smartphone without a real freeware ecosystem will never truly thrive

Good suggestion for a Slashdot poll. Will the iPhone thrive?
Check back next year for the answer.

Re:Still no open source apps (5, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748155)

This is the showstopper for me. A smartphone without a real freeware ecosystem will never truly thrive, for the same reasons that that open source development and commercial s/w development drive each other on standard platforms.

From a geek's standpoint, you don't want a smartphone without open source options. For an average consumer, do they really care? They just want things to work. When the iPod came out there was a lot of griping about technically inferior the iPod was, and that it would never flourish. Hundreds of millions of iPods later, I would say that it's been a success. Really, my grandma didn't/doesn't care that the iPod can't play ogg-vorbis. All she knows is that when she puts her new CD into her computer in iTunes and then plugs in her iPod, she gets her music. If she got an iPhone she'd only care about getting on eBay to see if she won that cute figurine. She doesn't need to see the source code.

Re:Still no open source apps (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748169)

I wouldn't say that's entirely accurate, from my understanding. Source code is source code, and you can attach whatever license you like. The difference here is that in order for truly widespread distribution, it has to go through a single point. If you care about open source for the sake of actually having the source, the lack of easy binary distribution is a non-issue since you're just going to modify things and re-compile it yourself.

I'm not saying that I agree with the policy, but I wouldn't say that it's a show-stopper either.

I think you could still have Free Software apps. . (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748767)

I don't see why Open Source / Free Software apps still couldn't happen on the iPhone. For one thing, I would assume that actual development of the programs occurs on a Mac or PC, then get's cross-compiled for the iPhone. So, you can just setup your normal website/sourceforge, cvs/subversion, mailing lists, etc that you would normally use to manage the project, and people can download the source and do development on their computer. As for testing the app on your iPhone, the apps are required to be signed with a key, but I don't necessarily see any reason an open source project couldn't get a key from Apple, sign their builds (even developer builds), which would then allow any developer to download that build and test it.

So, what, exactly, is the problem again?

Re:Still no open source apps (1)

mrslacker (1122161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748789)

No one seems to have made the obligatory mention of the Freerunner yet:

http://www.openmoko.com/ [openmoko.com]

About as open as it could be.

Re:Still no open source apps (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748849)

Nothing is stopping a developer from giving their application for free and publishing the source code online except that the developer would have to pay $99 a year for the licensing.

Re:Still no open source apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23748905)

Yeah it would thrive like linux... Is it really that hard to believe that people paying $500 for an iPhone don't care about open source! Look at all the people paying for a song again to use it as a ringtone!

We'll see how well apps catch on (3, Interesting)

deanston (1252868) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747641)

Sure it's the software, but it's also the whole ecosystem, which Jobs likes to control to deliver a finer experience. Sure Google can offer so much more, but if somebody put Android on a crappy hardware with bad programming so it's experience sucks there's nothing Google can do about it. And who's going to install Adobe AIR on their WinMo or BB? Now Apple has basically become the first to hand you the whole cloud computing experience on a mobile phone.

Avoiding malware and crapware (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747645)

I suspect that part of Apple's restrictive software distribution strategy is to avoid malware and crapware from creeping into the iPhone ecosystem. It's something like a walled garden or customs & border protection model for software distribution. Although I'm sure that enterprising criminals will find ways to break into the iPhone, Apple's approach does raise barriers to drive-by downloads, worms, trojans, and socially-engineered installations of malware.

Time will tell whether restricting software distribution for the iPhone is a net positive or negative in either creating a stable, easy-to-use, secure environment for mobile computing or in stifling development for a subset of developers.

Re:Avoiding malware and crapware (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748203)

While WinMo and Palm phones don't see much malware, they do have a bumpy 3rd party app landscape. Even the app resellers like Handango and PocketGear/PalmGear do little to ensure that you're getting a quality, reliable app that plays well with the others you've bought. Currently I have about five licenses for Palm apps, at least two of which made my phone unstable while they were installed. They were all from high-profile developers and were well regarded by the community.

A centralized store that sold apps that were qualified to work properly on their target would go a long way to making people want to shell out for software locked to one vendor's phone. Before someone complains about the fact that the software can't be resold, well, I still have those Palm apps, all of which have license keys locked to my sync ID.

Its sad to see such nice tech being locked-down... (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23747715)

...but hey, it's Apples platform-- I just guess that el Jobso has his plans for it that require it to be locked-down...

Thoughts on MobileMe (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23747723)

A few years back, I would have thought MobileMe to be the perfect way to keep information on all my devices. (Or at least what "all my devices" would be if I had an iPhone.)

But after using Google Apps for my personal email for well over a year now, filing individual messages into folders just seems quaint. GMail allows me to apply labels to entire threads at once.

Furthermore, although it doesn't exist in GMail yet, there is the potential for Google Gears to allow browser-based offline access. In my opinion, this is the direction email, contact management, and calendaring should be moving toward.

PS. I do understand all the arguments against having Google control you're email; I'm just saying I like that direction.

!bricked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23747815)

oh...wait...

Roland's opinion ? (1)

KingofSpades (874684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748301)

So what does Roland's blog say about this ? I can't wait !

Question (3, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748409)

Will the iPhone eventually kill the iPod? If you're going to carry a phone and an MP3 player anyway, won't you want to combine them? Especially since Apple is ripping the iTouch people for extra dosh on every upgrade.

Open Enough? (1)

Dyne09 (1305257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748427)

I appreciate the fact Apple will pay private developers 70% of the digital distribution proceeds, however, with the advancement of Android, and an entire plethora of next gen hand sets, I think Apple might be shooting itself in the foot. This is the same strategy that made Apple, the once even competitor with windows, now dominate less than 5% of the market share. Pretty soon, anyone will be able to download Android and install it on any mobile device hardware, and use any data plan they like. Screw the exclusive AT&T plans, Android will revolutionize the global G3 marketplace. And, in addition to all of that, Android will be FREE.

Apple's Strategy (1, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23748713)

Very simple.

Make stuff that looks a certain way on the basis that you are appealing to the fact that some people are prepared to pay for exclusivity, rather than functionality, first.

Charge a premium price to keep it exclusive and pump the additional money into the overall design and look of the product so that the device can be worn or carried as a fashion accessory, thus appealing to those people that need to make open displays of allegiances to certain product brands.

In this respect, Apple are no different to Ferrari, Chanel or Gucci - in other words, fine for some but if you just need something to make phone calls, drop the kids off to school in, smell nice or keep your feet dry, there are probably a lot more economical ways of doing it.

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