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Netgear CEO Says Jobs's Ego Will Bite Apple

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the even-egos-go-on-vacation dept.

Businesses 500

AcidAUS writes "The global chairman and CEO of home networking giant Netgear has launched into a scathing attack on Apple and its founder Steve Jobs, criticising Jobs's 'ego' and Apple's closed up products. At a lunch in Sydney today, Patrick Lo said Apple's success was centred on closed and proprietary products that would soon be overtaken by open platforms like Google's Android."

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500 comments

Overtaken... (2)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055620)

Like a couple of decades ago, where Microsoft and IBM boomed into the market? Seems history does repeat itself.

Re:Overtaken... (4, Insightful)

miknix (1047580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055888)

YEP. Most people don't actually care if the devices are open or closed, they don't even notice it until they need to migrate their data (contacts etc..) to a new device. Things like having special incompatible cables and software for each device is also perfectly normal for them, it has been like that since forever so people is somewhat used to it.

As I see it, the only difference now is that Apple provides polished products that actually work with minimal effort. It is a big win for everybody except for us, hackers, that want control over every piece of hardware and software.

Re:Overtaken... (2, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056006)

Still if you choose an open platform chances are when it is time to upgrade or migrate data. The stuff you had became out of date. So migrating your data isn't clean and heck the cables could have changed to a new open standard. By keeping a closed standard you are really loosing out on the Hacker market, and the 3rd party cloning market... (like netgear) who want to make money off of another company expensive R&D

Nothing like kicking a man when he's down! (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055630)

There's nothing like kicking a man when he's down [wikipedia.org] is there. Seriously, why complain about his influence just when he's left to "focus on his health"?

Re:Nothing like kicking a man when he's down! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055728)

He's had health problems for years (Wikipedia says 2004ish).
Jobs lost any magical "immunity from criticism" rights when he became the CEO of an international company.
And no, medical leave != left the company.

If we had it your way, /. would have gone bankrupt the first time Bill Gates caught a cold.
Grow up.

Re:Nothing like kicking a man when he's down! (0)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055780)

The future of Apple is at stake. Many Apple employees will lose their livelihood if Jobs doesn't get over himself and quickly appoint a successor with a sane vision for the future. If he doesn't it will mean a return to the Sculley years for Apple.
Hurting the feelings of a tyrant who is being kept alive by regular injections of money is a minor point in comparison.

Re:Nothing like kicking a man when he's down! (4, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056084)

He already has. Tim Cook has been running Apple for a while, and was solely in charge during Steve's previous leave of absence. They have been working on what to do for some time, not just with Tim Cook, but with the whole top level team. Consider that they have known Steve's health condition for a lot longer than we have.

Re:Nothing like kicking a man when he's down! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055876)

yeah cause we all need to play fair wink wink

Re:Nothing like kicking a man when he's down! (1, Troll)

xxdesmus (932581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055934)

uh... riiiiight. We should give Steve Jobs a free pass for being a huge egotistical douche for the past decade just because the man is sick now? Uh, no. He's still a douche, a sick douche, but still a huge douche.

Fight Two Demons in my First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055640)

I for one, welcome our new Android overlords, Apples are so last year.

Apple is too big and well entrenched to fail (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055656)

As of now, there is really no way Apple can fail. They have a virtual monopoly on the MP3 player market. Smartphone makers are fighting to the death for the scraps the iPhone leaves behind. Tablet makers were struck off the books before the race even begun. Even desktop computing is swinging Apple's way with more people moving to Macs.

Just the Apple name is good enough to sell anything, reality distortion field or no.

So, regardless of Jobs, there is realistically no way Apple can ever fail as a company.

Re:Apple is too big and well entrenched to fail (2, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055686)

I don't usually respond to AC's... but Mac market share is not increasing. MacBook market share is a bit, but not at any sort of alarming rate, and the iPhone is barely big enough to be considered a contender for top spot and isn't moving upwards.

Re:Apple is too big and well entrenched to fail (2)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055748)

I'm sure that Verizon thing won't change the iPhone's market share at all...

Re:Apple is too big and well entrenched to fail (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055948)

Not on a global scale. It's about as important as Germany getting the iPhone in the grand scheme: quantitatively significant, but not qualitatively important.

Re:Apple is too big and well entrenched to fail (4, Interesting)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056134)

I don't usually respond to AC's... but Mac market share is not increasing..

Sales of Macs have increased faster than sales of PC's for several years in a row. That means that Apple's market-share is increasing.

Re:Apple is too big and well entrenched to fail (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055712)

Actually, Apple's currently the third-place player in the smartphone market, after Google and Symbian. (Apple's hardly going to fail in that business, though. Even six months ago they were making about half of the money in the entire mobile phone market.)

Re:Apple is too big and well entrenched to fail (2)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055854)

Scraps?

In another story here on /. we learned that Android market share has grown to ~30%, Nokia's Symbian has ~30%, iPhone has ~15%, and RIM has ~15%

Wrong, about practically everything (2)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055862)

They have a virtual monopoly on the MP3 player market.

1) No they don't.
2) Lot's of computer companies have had "virtual monopolies" in the past: wordperfect, ashton tate, lotus, netscape, and novell; to name a few. Where are they now?

Smartphone makers are fighting to the death for the scraps the iPhone leaves behind

Hardly. Adroid sales are roughly equal to iPhone sales.

Just the Apple name is good enough to sell anything

Dead wrong. Apple has had lot's of failures in their history.

Even desktop computing is swinging Apple's way with more people moving to Macs.

Who are you kidding? Windows absolutely dominates desktop computing, and will do so for the foreseeable future.

Re:Wrong, about practically everything (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055946)

Smartphone makers are fighting to the death for the scraps the iPhone leaves behind

Hardly. Adroid sales are roughly equal to iPhone sales.

I think the OP was referring to profits. Apple is way more profitable than Android-sellers combined.

Re:Apple is too big and well entrenched to fail (2)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055892)

So, regardless of Jobs, there is realistically no way Apple can ever fail as a company.

I think that's overstating the case. Apple is in no danger in the foreseeable future, for exactly the reasons you present, but "never" is a long time. If they started to really screw up (ala, the Sculley years) they'd have 5, maybe 10 year of padding before it started to show. They could easily be on the verge of bankruptcy again in 10-12 years if the right combination of events occurred. Note that I'm not saying it will happen, or even that it's likely to happen, but Apple is no more immune to screw ups than any other company.

Re:Apple is too big and well entrenched to fail (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055920)

This is true... between from about 3 to 6 years ago. These days, everything has "MP3 players" in them. Every smart phone and quite a few not-so-smart phones too. Hell, even USB memory devices are also MP3 players as well.

Apple relegated itself to niche markets at every turn. The PC market was overtaken by business machines made by IBM and then by clone makers. Did it mean Apple died? No. They maintained their fan base just as they always have. If Steve Jobs were a "greedy bastard" he would have and could have beat them all by making machines and software that are more enterprise friendly and enterprise ready. He didn't and he won't it seems. He sees something better in the way he does things now, but more people reject Apple and its projects than crave them. They are certainly no longer out of the price range of most people. No... it's partly because of that pesky "critical mass" monster that Microsoft created... partly because Apple doesn't care to compete in that market.

One thing I am pretty certain of is that once Jobs is gone, Apple will change in a drastic way. Another thing I am pretty certain of is that Jobs has already lived longer than I expected him to. I expect him to kick the bit-bucket any time now. I don't think we will have to wait long to see what Apple will become next.

Re:Apple is too big and well entrenched to fail (1)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056112)

If by "Fan base" you still mean Universities and school systems who are still under contract to replace Apples with more Apples.

*Yawn* (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055658)

Same ol', same ol'.

Steve Jobs isn't even at Apple at the moment.

Apple's closed model attracts a highly profitable minority of the market. Open (read: cheaper) platforms will "dominate" the market, Apple will skim off the cream, the world will continue to turn, Slashdot will continue to try to apply a geek-centric perspective to it.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055778)

Depends... if Ballmer had said the exact same thing, it wouldn't be AS true. In this case since someone who loves Android says it, it's a "gotcha".

Disagree (5, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055660)

JOBS vision to create "cool" Macs instead of the old beige/bland Macs/MP3s, basically saved Apple from the same fate that hit Atari and Commodore. Plus he had the vision to create the sleek, easy-to-use iPod.

Else we'd all be talking about the bankrupt former company called Apple, instead of today's thriving near-number 1 company. Jobs is still leading the company in the right direction and giving it that cool factor which appeals to consumers.

Re:Disagree (5, Funny)

nibbles2004 (761552) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055730)

Iphones are not cool, there too ubiquitous, when the binman has one, it's no longer the phone to desire, my N900 that's cool, only 5 people have them

Re:Disagree (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055822)

Iphones are not cool, there too ubiquitous, when the binman has one, it's no longer the phone to desire, my N900 that's cool, only 5 people have them

Make that 6, you insensitive clod!

Re:Disagree (2)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056034)

Seven! I mean... Do you -really- want to be seen reading Slashdot on your iPhone? N900's -so- much better, what with it's desktop browing experiance -- And root Xterm.

Re:Disagree (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056024)

Nokia... bah! After I got excited about what Nokia was doing with the N8XX series, I bought an N810 and followed its development intensely. I was setting myself up for complete disappointment when it became clear that Nokia was cutting its development of the software and OS for N8XX and failed to deliver on their hype and promises. N900 looked cool, but Nokia will not do much to advance it. They will make another device with newer software on it and sell it to you all over again.

I know to a certain degree, they all do that and to a certain degree, it can't be helped. But Nokia only put out a small handful of revisions to the OS before it quit. I won't buy another Nokia anything after that experience. The N810 cost me a good chunk of money and now it's useless and worthless. Anyone want mind?

It seems Samsung is pulling the same crap with their holding back Android v2.2 from their older phones as a means of attracting people to buy the newer ones. If I see too much of this, Samsung will join Nokia on my list of junk dealers.

Re:Disagree (2, Insightful)

illumnatLA (820383) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055752)

People apparently like and want Apple's closed products. Nothing is forcing people to buy Apple products, and now with Android taking off, people who want 'open' platforms have a choice.

Maybe Jobs does have a bit of an ego, but then, he brought a company that was near death back from the brink, created products people wanted, and revolutionized some product lines. (Remember the state of smart phones prior to the iPhone's introduction)

It's not like the Apple police are coming to your door and forcing you to buy Apple... if you don't like what they offer, don't buy it. I don't see why that's such a problem.

Re:Disagree (-1, Troll)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056068)

People like and want jewelry too. Jewelry is just as useless as iPhone. There's not much you can do with jewelry -- it just sits there looking pretty. For some, looking pretty is enough for them.

But where Apple goes "too far" with iProducts is that there is something like "Apple police" in that they attempt to force their will on the people who bought and own their products. They do this by force of legal action and other means.

A Closed Model Can Only Take You So Far (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055776)

Hmmm, that's an interesting take on it -- I guess one that is diametrically opposed to my take on the situation. If you read the article, the author argues that a closed locked in product like you describe can only go so far before the open alternatives arise and overtake it. No doubt you can achieve massive success initially but it's only a matter of time before an open competitor appeals more to the community and users. Oh how I wish I could have the iPod hardware with an open source program in Linux to put music on it ... unfortunately Apple does not want this. They want to keep me using iTunes and that software sickens me.

From the article:

"Ultimately a closed system just can't go that far ... If they continue to close it and let Android continue to creep up then it's pretty difficult as I see it."

Lo said the industry had "seen this movie play several times", pointing to the Betamax vs. VHS video format war, Mac vs. Windows and various proprietary networking protocols that at one stage tried to compete with the now dominant TCP/IP.

In each of the above cases, the more open platforms won more market share. However, Apple has bucked this trend so far with its closed ecosystems for the iPhone and iPad.

"Right now the closed platform has been successful for Apple because they've been so far ahead as thought leaders because of Steve Jobs," said Lo.

"Eventually they've got to find a way to open up iTunes without giving too much away on their revenue generation model."

The author is positing that the closed model you are so impressed with needs to change if they want to survive Android. Unfortunately, Jobs' ego will not allow this and they'll most likely end up in the same realm as Microsoft -- financially great but viewed as a 'has been' and opportunist by the community.

Re:A Closed Model Can Only Take You So Far (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055924)

If you read the article, the author argues that a closed locked in product like you describe can only go so far before the open alternatives arise and overtake it.

You mean like Windows has been overtaken by Linux on the desktop...?

Re:A Closed Model Can Only Take You So Far (1)

robus (852325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055928)

Only if you're just considering software - which is missing half the equation. It's funny that when comparing devices the only thing that's looked at is the hardware spec (cpu, ram, camera etc) but when talking about devices we seem to only look at software (iOS, Android, etc) - but the device is only usable as a whole and a closed model really can accelerate the development of a well-integrated device, hardware and software.

BTW open source projects seem to be good as product seeds but it generally takes a closed model to finish them off to a usable state. The web is rife with stories of unusable (or undocumented) open source projects. It's the exception that turns into something good - and I'd hazard most of those are projects that started off closed and were converted to open source.

Re:A Closed Model Can Only Take You So Far (2)

jambarama (784670) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056058)

Oh how I wish I could have the iPod hardware with an open source program in Linux to put music on it ... unfortunately Apple does not want this.

You can. [yamipod.com] I know, the software that interfaces with iPods on linux are all something of a kludge, and Apple occasionally breaks compatibility and jerks you around. But you can run open software on your iPod [rockbox.org] and make it really easy. After screwing around with iPod loaders for years, I switched to rockbox and never looked back.

Re:A Closed Model Can Only Take You So Far (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056088)

"the author argues that a closed locked in product like you describe can only go so far before the open alternatives arise and overtake it."

Yeah, problem is, it hasn't, ever, actually happened, despite lots and lots of opportunities. Netgear itself isn't exactly known for their products being (purposely) open.

Re:A Closed Model Can Only Take You So Far (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056118)

People chose the more-open platforms because they were open in ways that mattered to the average user of that kind of product. Betamax's restrictions were troublesome to the average home movie viewer of the time. Mac's restrictions were troublesome to the average computer user of the time. I'm not sure that the iPhone's restrictions are the kind that matter to the average mobile phone user, any more than the iPod's restrictions mattered to the average portable audio customer. The exceptions cited in the article aren't flukes, they're an important weakness in the trend they're trying to spot.

Make snobbery of apple get some free PR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055666)

I've seen this one before. Move along.

Apples Cycle of rise and fall is well documented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055698)

Each time it is something else that kills them. In this case however the end may come as a conscious decision. When consumerism and convergence drive 'free' as the entry price for high value hardware (100% subsidized handsets/tablets), and as android matures, Apple will have a hard time keeping up even with the cash boon that is iTunes funding it all.

Also..

As Apple validates the market for VOD/AOD the studios are only getting more brave about their own ambitions and talk around town is that they are looking more internally for their future. The studios however need the market to help drive sales and at the end of the day it will be the brands that drive their business, in this case the brands currently are distribution entities like iTunes so it will be interesting to see how the studios move forward with DECE and traditional outlets like Best Buy, as well as direct sales, etc.

Hello? (1)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055700)

When was the last time that anyone made money by betting against Steve Jobs?

Re:Hello? (2)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055756)

back in the 1980's?

i like apple, but like a lot of companies they got lucky and rode the gadget wave of the last decade as PC growth stopped. it was John Rubenstein who made the ipod, not steve jobs.

wintel rode the PC wave as people wanted freedom from IBM
Apple did the same thing as people started doing more computing away from PC's

in a few years a new tech cycle will start and apple may get left behind like MS

Re:Hello? (3, Interesting)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055970)

Actually, you wouldn't have made money betting against Jobs, just against Apple. To my knowledge Jobs has only ever been directly involved in one company that didn't pretty much make money hand over fist the entire time he was with them. That company was NeXT, and while it was never a huge commercial success in it's own right, it paved the way for Jobs' return to Apple and for all intents and purposes designed what would become OSX. So you couldn't exactly call it a failure either. Apple has stumbled a few times under Jobs' direct leadership (the Lisa comes to mind), but it's never had any disastrous failures while he was at the helm.

Re:Hello? (-1, Troll)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055894)

Yeah, the NeXT was a huge success, wasn't it?

Re:Hello? (3, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056100)

The prototype didn't do so well, but there are an awful lot of the production model around. All those silver notebooks with glowing apples on the cover.

Re:Hello? (3, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056114)

Yeah, it's now OS X.

The hardware is gone, but the software lives on in a highly capable OS.

Re:Hello? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055936)

When I took the under on 8 years before a relapse...

Like Apple gives a shit (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055706)

Netgear's stock has increased in price by 100% since it went public. Apple's stock, over the same time period, has increased in price by over 3100%.

Now stock price isn't everything, but it is to these people...

Re:Like Apple gives a shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055900)

Netgear is shipping OpenSource equipment now? When did that start?

Re:Like Apple gives a shit (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056136)

Netgear has shipped "open source" hardware for quite a while, just like Apple. They use Linux (Darwin) which is open source, with some proprietary extensions, and do what they can to prevent you from updating or changing the open or the closed parts.

Pot, kettle.

another CEO who doesn't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055708)

Just because you're not the biggest player in a market doesn't mean you still can't be a significant (and profitable) player in that market.

Apple will do what's best for Apple (5, Insightful)

Rinnon (1474161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055714)

I don't care much for Apple or it's products for exactly the reasons stated in TFA. The closed nature of the offerings usually locks me out of doing something I considered basic, that I wanted to do. Little or no reprieve from this is often offered. It's Apple's way, or the highway.

But the fact is, this attitude has been nothing but good for them from a business standpoint. Most consumers don't need or WANT options that they consider complex or confusing. Time and again it has been proven through sales that people want simple. People want 1 click, 1 button, no chance of screwing up. When people are more confident with their product right out of the box, they like it more. And Apple is great at giving people something they feel comfortable using the moment they turn it on.

Why would Apple change this? It feels like sour grapes to me. Developers have a hard time, but consumers are happy. In the end, Apple cares more about it's customers than it's partners, which is the right choice to make from a business standpoint. The only way Patrick Lo is going to be proven right, is if people stop buying Apple products. I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Re:Apple will do what's best for Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35056098)

"Developers have a hard time, but consumers are happy."

Make an app for the iPhone and Android and you'll quickly find that developing for the iPhone is much easier than Android. There are a few variables in the hardware on Apple products and hundreds of variables with Android based hardware.

Although I believe in the philosophy and ideals behind open source, it is too easy to poorly execute and I think the current state of Android is a prime example of this - it's a complete mess. Different things working on different phones, dozens of different phones/tablets at different resolutions and hardware configurations and no real overall plan for the OS. We see security issues, privacy issues and we're going to see different Android Markets popping up with no real easy way for a consumer to know what the heck is going on with what.

I'm not a fan of closed off systems at all (my primary reason for not agreeing with things that Steve Jobs believes), but consumers need an open system that is properly managed for a real alternative before they will see any benefits of an open source alternative.

One issue: (0, Troll)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055718)

So long as rampant fanboyism lurks in the hearts of men, Steve Job's vision will never die.

(Seriously, look at how much people are willing to spend on iAnything.)

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055828)

Have you ever wondered why people are willing to spend that much on iAnything?

It might very well be because the competitors aren't making the things people want. Apple often doesn't have the most technologically advanced product in the market. And it's nearly always rather expensive compared to the competition. So, why do people choose Apple gear?

Because, and think a bit about this, the products can actually be used by ordinairy people! Yes, you are a techno-uber-nerd that likes to dig down in seven layers of settings and menus and things. But Joe and Joyette User just want to listen to their music and just want to check their mail.

That's not fanboyism. It's just that the competition has no clue whatsoever about what the people want. Blame them, not the users.

Re:Why? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056078)

People assume Apple sells to fanboys at their peril. Nokia, to read their media statements, assumed that the iPhone was a cut-back phone they intended to sell to iPod owners. If they'd appreciated that Apple had its sights set on their entire customer base they probably would've reacted a bit more urgently.

Re:One issue: (4, Informative)

robus (852325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055980)

Actually they're not. AppleTV (an iAnything if ever there was one) has been pretty much DOA until recently - Xserve was killed due to lack of sales - (you'd think the corporate fanboys in Hollywood and New York would have lapped those up?!)

How is this still debated? Not everything Apple touches turns to gold. Your meme is defective.

Overtaken? Yes. Bite them? No (2)

Zouden (232738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055734)

Yes, iOS-based devices will be overtaken (in terms of sales, and number of users) by Android. That seems pretty clear now, and the Android folks should be proud of their achievements.

But Apple will continue "succeeding", in terms of making bucketloads of money. Consider the computer segment - Apple occupy a small, significant niche in the market, and make a healthy profit from it. I think that's where their iOS devices are headed. People who want Apple products will always have them, and everyone else gets to choose their OS and hardware.

Re:Overtaken? Yes. Bite them? No (0)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055974)

iOS is always going to face Android and eventually lose, since the latter is available on many different phones from many different manufacturers.

In terms of PC sales though, Apple is continuing to grow. In 2008 their share of new sales overall went from 9% to 14%. Steve Jobs mentioned in the 2010 keynote that the figure was now closer to 1 in 5. Essentially they are displacing Windows boxes (and not just in the home environment).

OS X is more open and flexible than Windows, and has more stuff that consumers want by default, marketed to them extremely effectively (iLife especially, is streets ahead of anything on Windows). I don't see them cutting into Linux marketshare *except* on the hardware side, for people that virtualise and need OS X also, or just like the design (eg, Mac Minis with XBMC on them).

Either way, they have certainly judged their market position well with many of their products (the original AppleTV was a bit of a bust, as was the Mighty Mouse with the tiny trackball on it) and will continue to do well in those areas.

Their only truly closed ecosystem is iOS. As soon as you move away from that onto OS X itself, you run into open formats, increased interoperability (OS X ships with Exchange support by default, which even Windows didn't (or still doesn't - is it in Win 7 retail?), as well as all the familiar Unix stuff underneath that make it play nice (mostly) with fully open systems. Their document formats are open, so much more like OOo's format than MS Office), they store mail in .mbox format, their calendar and address book systems are open source (and the two are being merged I think, or were). They ship with X ready to go (although not usually installed by default, it either grabs it off the disk or from Apple's servers if you need it) and Rosetta for your legacy PPC apps. Their developer tools are completely free (even for developing iOS apps - the $99 fee only applies if you want to sell on the store), and they feature a large complement of OSS stuff in them - GCC is their main complier.

I know that many people (Stallman I'm looking at you) won't be happy unless the entire OS and its apps are completely open source, but in this imperfect situation, it is the best marriage of OSS and proprietary software and hardware that I have seen, mainly through my experience with using it for more than 10 years. I am not surprised they are making money hand over fist. Their price premium for hardware reflects that; it's simply good business, since you charge what the market will bear, and this was confirmed as one of the few tech companies to grow during the recession.

I know some will now claim "we'll, you're locked in, you have no choice!" but that's only the case in a few small cases, depending on the software you use. All your music can be moved onto open systems (I know because I use my purchased iTunes stuff on Ubuntu), your documents can be converted easily into non-apple formats (all your iWork stuff), if you have MS Office formats you can move to Windows, your email is all in .mbox format.. it goes on. The only issues that most people will face if they want to move away from Mac completely (including iTunes on Windows) are movies and TV shows, since they still contain DRM (not at Apple's behest), or if they want to keep their iPhone but don't want to use iTunes - there are other OSS methods for working with iPods and so on without iTunes, but the iPhone is still iTunes only. Not bad overall I think.

Not to mention the man hours they put into OSS projects as a whole (that of course benefit them, but not all of the stuff they contribute to was OSS first, they have opened up several of their own projects).

Maybe I'm missing something? (3, Insightful)

SwabTheDeck (1030520) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055760)

In the practical sense, I don't see why Android is considered more "open" than iOS. I realize more of the OS components for Android are fully open source. However, developers are still subject to the rules of the Android store. The phone manufacturers are carriers still have the final say on which features of the OS are actually shipped intact. Users still have to jailbreak Android phones to side-step these artificial limitations. Maybe I'm missing some critical bit of information -- and if so, I'd love to be corrected -- but I don't see much of a difference between the "openness" of the two platforms when it comes to practical usage.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055784)

Apps can be downloaded and installed outside of the Android Market. In fact there are other, competing stores available, such as the one Amazon's supposedly about to launch.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055908)

I thought that most providers locked their phones down? I'm in the US -- can anybody recomend a provider that I can sign up with who does not lock Android down?

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (2)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055840)

You're missing the fact that on 90% of Android phones shipped, the option to install non-Market applications has not been removed, so developers are not subject to the rules of any one store, and users only have to jailbreak if they want root access for some reason (WiFi tethering used to be the main one, but that has been included since 2.2).

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055870)

Well, sort of. Some popular Android phones do, in fact, limit the ability to install non-authorized (i.e., Market-available) apps. Take my Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S) phone:

"For one thing, AT&T blocked the phone from installing applications from anywhere other than the Android Market."
Originally Posted: http://thetechjournal.com/electronics/mobile/samsung-captivate.xhtml#ixzz1CceqMMwR

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (1)

Frozen-Solid (569348) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055856)

Even on the most locked down Android phones, you can still side-load applications without jailbreaking or rooting the phone.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (4, Informative)

kyz (225372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055874)

However, developers are still subject to the rules of the Android store.

They are not. Tick "Settings -> Applications -> Allow installation of non-Market applications" on your Android phone and install the app directly from the developer's website.

The day you can do that on an iPhone is the day it stops being a closed platform.

The phone manufacturers are carriers still have the final say on which features of the OS are actually shipped intact

There are hundreds of Android phone models. Not all phones have or need the same features. If you don't like one phone's feature set, choose a different one.

Find me an iPhone manufacturer that isn't Apple.

If I find Motorola's restrictions on a DROID 2 onerous, I could just buy Google's Nexus S instead. They're both Android phones and they'll both run the same apps.

Find me an iPhone that's sold without Apple's restrictions.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35056166)

Find me an iPhone manufacturer that isn't Apple.

If I find Motorola's restrictions on a DROID 2 onerous, I could just buy Google's Nexus S instead. They're both Android phones and they'll both run the same apps.

Find me an iPhone that's sold without Apple's restrictions.

And both of these phones will still be laggy and suck. Enjoy your Android, as it is the new poseur geek iPhone. Your geekdom shines brightly, and I hope you relish it.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055926)

Does Apple allow other manufacturers to build and sell their own branded iOS phones, with various core apps removed and replaced by their own versions?

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055984)

I do. I have an iPhone 4 and an iPad. My iPhone is jailbroken, which was necessary to even turn do certain basic things (like change icons!).

I just got a "3G wireless router", which is actually an underpowered Android smart-phone. Although it's sold as an internet router, you can use it as a (low spec) android play-toy, so I messed around with it a little bit.

First thing... well it has tethering as it's main point of existence in my device's case. My iPhone doesn't show the option, and my carrier would rip me off if they did offer it I am sure. (Yes.. I can install the jailbroken one.. I tried and it killed the batteries in like 10 minutes and wasn't very fast anyway).

I found that I could change the background, change the icons, easily and reliably have stuff like Skype run in the background, modify the keyboard layout, etc. I installed a network traffic graph and signal meter widget on the home screen, which is very convenient given the device's purpose.

In short, it's actually customizable to a large extent! I was amazed when I tried to play with the "phone" program. I entered a number and hit "dial", and it asked me if it should use the native phone capability, Google Voice, or Skype! (The native phone option wouldn't work since this device only has a data plan...). You simply can't integrate stuff on iOS like that.

This isn't to say that everyone in the world needs to heavily customize their device, but having the option to, f.e., have the normal dialer launch skype is like a luxury after dealing with the iPhone. There's also a status bar at the top so you can see what's running. On iOS, for example, if Skype is killed in the background, you never know (except when you find out later that you missed calls). There's nifty screens where you can see what's actually killing your battery (on iOS you have to guess), etc., etc.

The nice thing is that all these options don't seem to hurt the stability of the system at all, and those who don't need them don't have to use them. Likewise, you can install apps only from the "safe" Android market, or you can install from anywhere else you like. After playing that that thing, I kind-of wish my iPhone contract was up, so I could get one of the new Sharp Android phones... :(

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (1)

erixm (1882824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056076)

There is a difference: I develop an Android app. I upload it to my web site, where my testers can download it and install it once they have checked the "Install non-Market apps" checkbox. To do the same for the iPhone I would have to compile the app for my testers' phones, and I would have to buy an extra license if I wanted more than x testers.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056182)

Android is open, but what many don't realize is that open source software doesn't count for anything unless the hardware to run it on is also open. When you're talking about a smartphone, the network also has to be at least somewhat open as well.

Harsh words (2)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055774)

This guy from netgear talks but he should remember that this is Steve's invention let him do what he wants with it. So you have two choices, one that is closed and one that is open tell this guy to buy the one he wants to buy. I've thought about the smartphone market and I can't convince myself anyone else would have butchered the thing from the beginning. Mind you I realize Apple did not invent the smartphone or pioneer it but he did do a great job of it while most others had their heads up their asses. Something in my gut tells me without Jobs kick starting this market the way he did we would have been stuck with programs that wouldn't of even loaded, some nasty monochrome screen and a brutal 16MHz chip powering the whole thing. What Jobs did do is make a consumer expect something out of their device and their purchase, they expect the developer to be in some way responsible for their programming, they expect some sort of fluid UI, they expect the device to do what is claimed rather than reliving 3gp type video and brutal audio. He might not stay the king but he has made confidence in a product and now a market that did not exist before him and for that at least I have to say thanks for bringing us this far.

Why does this guys thoughts matter ? (2)

kevorkian (142533) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055790)

Lets take a look

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL

Market Cap: 309.64B
P/E (ttm): 18.75
EPS (ttm): 17.92

vs

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=NTGR

Market Cap: 1.22B
P/E (ttm): 26.91
EPS (ttm): 1.27

Mr jobs is obviously doing "SOMETHING" right ..

And by the looks of the numbers , mr netgear should worry about his own house , before he starts looking into others.

Same Old Song and Dance (4, Interesting)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055796)

Heard the same thing about iPods vs. MP3 Players, Macs vs. PC's, and before that about Apple II's vs. CPM. There was a five year stretch where Apple wasn't doing so hot, but it turned out this was because they weren't being proprietary enough... once Steve brought out the iMac, nuked the clones and axed compatibility with obsolete or inefficient standards, they've been selling exceptionally well, and delivering a much thicker profit margin than competing profits.

That's not arrogance, that's good business sense.

It won't be his ego (2, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055800)

It'll be the economy. The US is poised by end of year to have the same debt:GDP ratio that Greece had when catastrophe struck there. The US is teetering on the edge of another great depression because our debt levels have reached a point where they're choking both the public and private sectors.

Apple does not make products that will fare well in a very bad economy. The iPhone, for example, forces the user to pay a king's ransom for a new battery every two years or so or buy a new one. Apple doesn't make decent computers which can compete in the low end market (where many users will be forced to go by the economy); their idea of "low end" is a $900-$1000 laptop, not a $400-$600 laptop.

Apple won't be alone in this area. I think Oracle will end up getting hurt even worse as companies that used to throw expensive enterprise apps at every problem have to choose between payroll and expenses like using Oracle for a database that's barely more than a bit bucket. The US IT industry as a whole will get humbled.

Re:It won't be his ego (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055950)

"The iPhone, for example, forces the user to pay a king's ransom for a new battery every two years or so or buy a new one."

Hmm, let's see. From apple.com:

"A properly maintained iPhone battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 400 full charge and discharge cycles"

So, even assuming you discharge the battery fully every day (which a lot of users don't), that's a drop of 0.05% battery capacity per day, or 36.5% over 2 years i.e you'd still have about 64% of the original battery life at 2yrs down the line, probably more depending on your use case. Hardly forcing you to buy a new battery or phone every 2 years, is it? Also, the cost of a new battery is currently $85.95. You must have some cheap-ass kings where you live...

I think "stop with the FUD" is probably the most appropriate response to your post overall.

Re:It won't be his ego (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056002)

It'll be the economy. The US is poised by end of year to have the same debt:GDP ratio that Greece had when catastrophe struck there. The US is teetering on the edge of another great depression because our debt levels have reached a point where they're choking both the public and private sectors.

Apple does not make products that will fare well in a very bad economy. .

Which is why Apple's sales came crashing down during the financial crisis, while the sellers of cheap PC's saw their sales soar. No, that's not the way it happened....

The iPhone, for example, forces the user to pay a king's ransom for a new battery every two years or so or buy a new one.

People who replace batteries in their phones are few and far between. And the lack of replaceable battery will hardly be the downfall of iPhone.

Re:It won't be his ego (1)

robus (852325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056038)

Actually I believe Apple made out like bandits in the early 00's - I distinctly remember Steve saying that while other tech companies were cutting jobs (HP for example) Apple would innovate through the recession and come up with products people would want to buy (iPod came soon after). Last year they had record profits despite the world being in the middle of a massive recession...

Wishful thinking doesn't make it true....

Re:It won't be his ego (2)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056048)

Apple does not make products that will fare well in a very bad economy.

Hmmm, what? Have you been in a cave? The iPad and iPhone sales have been most excellent during the bad economy. Reference Apple's sales and stock figures. Compare them to other companies in this period.

Re:It won't be his ego (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056156)

Basically what you said, but the exact opposite.

Apple were growing during the recession, unlike almost every other tech company. Mainly due to iPhone sales.

Ability Hubris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055818)

Millions of consumers can accommodate Job's hubris. There is some truth in his words however. There is a good amount of people, including me, that are eager to support the Apple vision if only Jobs would compromise on flash.

Apple guy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055832)

I used to be "go for the open platform" guy, but now I own iPhone and I wouldn't change it to any other Android phone. Openness comes at the cost of diversity and incompatibility

BIG MARGIN (1)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055836)

BIG MARGIN, BIG PROFIT.

Steve's been doing that for a while now.

Open source free license means extreme competition and low margin.

He's not suddenly going to compete in that region, and he hasn't felt the need to for quite a while.

Sounds familiar (3, Insightful)

bbasgen (165297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055842)

Michael Dell (10/6/1997): ""What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders," Michael Dell said before a crowd of several thousand IT executives. [http://news.cnet.com/Dell-Apple-should-close-shop/2100-1001_3-203937.html#ixzz1CccaByog]

And just because it is too easy, another one from the oracle of all that is IT, Dell. This time from CEO Kevin Rollins (1/17/2005):

"It is interesting: the iPod has been out for three years and it is only this past year [2004] it [has] become a raging success. Well those things that become fads rage and then they drop off. When I was growing up there was a product made by Sony called the Sony Walkman – a rage, everyone had to have one. Well you don't hear about the Walkman anymore. I believe that one product wonders come and go. You have to have sustainable business models, sustainable strategy."

So, now the venerable Netgear, whose footsteps make all in the industry tremble, has announced the demise of Apple. Projecting just a tad, perhaps? :)

Custer committed Siouxicide?!?!? (1)

zenlunatics (516752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055918)

wtf is up with "Custer committed Siouxicide." at the bottom of the page. is that supposed to be funny?

Re:Custer committed Siouxicide?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35056040)

Is ur face supposed to be funny?

Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35055940)

"Once Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away,..."

That was entirely unnecessary.

I like apple gear... (0)

mevets (322601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055956)

but come on. Some lame ass CEO crying into his beer because his products have problems with AirPlay or somesuch? Not even his kids bothered to read it.

Great cover image (2)

gabebear (251933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055960)

The cover image is great [If you can't see it, it's of the Netgear CEO holding a Netgear branded phone that I would guess was won in a claw-machine game.]

Why ditching the Xserve was a huge mistake (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055964)

You actually can do well with closed environments iff you are willing to make sure that you can provide one stop shopping for the end user and create an ecosystem that works well. Apple had that until recently, but the cancellation of the Xserve with no real replacement destroyed the environment apple once had. If you cannot get rack mounted servers that just work with macs then there is no reason to get macs and less of a reason to get iPhones and iPads etc. Not pairing up with oracle or some other provider to give Xserve users a real choice was probably steves biggest mistake since coming back to apple IMO.....

Envy is an ugly thing (2)

chmod0750 (1736592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35055968)

Steve Lo wishes he had the industry influence (control) Steve Jobs has. He doesn't. Maybe this is why: 'Asked whether he was concerned about reports that the world would run out of internet address within weeks, Lo compared the issue to the shift from 2G networks to 3G networks and beyond. "It's disruptive, but we love it - everybody has to buy something new," he said.'

Meh. (2)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056010)

So an armchair quarterback of a small 1.2B company thinks he knows more about things than someone who runs a company almost 300 times his size? Things are a bit different at that scale.

Lo said: "Steve Jobs doesn't give me a minute!"

Call the waaaaahmbulance.

"What's the reason for him to trash Flash? There's no reason other than ego," he said.

If he really can't understand the big deal with Flash -- which has been discussed to death -- I don't think he has either the technical background or business acumen to understand why Apple has made their decision.

Maybe instead of worrying about other companies he could focus on his own product support -- I own a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo and have found it underpowered... can't even stream multiple streams at once. Heaven help you if you try to use the included FireFly software while you're copying a large file to the NAS... it just can't handle it. It's best described as a NAS for a single computer... unless you actually want to do 2 things at once with it.

NetGear products are cheap to mid-range products and a bit more attention to detail would help differentiate them. Netgear needs someone to fixate on getting it right rather than getting it out the door.

It's funny.... (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056104)

...Whiners keep on pointing out the Mac vs. PC-situation as a failure of Apple, and they keep on talking about how Android is going to do the same with iPhone. Well, if we looked at the computer-business, we would see that Macs have something like 5-10% market-share, but they out-earn just about everyone else. HP is the company with biggest market-share in the PC-business, and Apple out-earns them in the computer-business. Reason being that HP sells lots of dirt-cheap computers at razor-thin margins, while Apple really competes only in the $1000+ market, where profits are fatter.

And it should be noted that Macs are outgrowing the PC-market, so not only are they laughing all the way to the bank, they are actually gaining market-share. Add to that the high customer-satisfaction-ratings.

If that is a "failure", I wonder what a "success" looks like....

iPhone has something like 15-20% market-share, and out-earns everyone else. So how exactly are they "doomed"? because Android is outshipping them? And that's a "failure" because.....? Why is it that people expect Apple to gain iPod-like market-domininace, if they get something less, it means they have failed? Do people think that there can only be one "success" in the market, while everyone else are "failures"? That either you utterly dominiate the market, or you are a failure? iPhones are selling like crazy, and Apple is earning big bucks from their phone-business. I'm honestly at a loss at trying to see the "failure" here....

"Closed" just doesn't resonate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35056144)

I'd position myself about halfway between the "average" consumer of Apple's products and the hardcore tech enthusiast. I've yet to have a problem conforming my Apple products to do exactly what I want them to do. If anything, there's too much choice. The only people who consider Apple's products 'closed' are those who probably shouldn't be buying them in the first place. By definition, then, Apple is a success without those who care about 'open' tech. I honestly don't see the problem, in a business sense.

Closed systems in the future? (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056154)

A closed system might be ok right now. There are plenty of consumers who don't want to deal with extra options and functionality in their tech products...for now. But what about the coming decades, when a majority of consumers will have grown up in the digital age. I'd expect they would be more tech savvy and able to handle (and appreciate) more open systems like Android.

wow, haven't heard that before... (1)

DynamoJoe (879038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35056176)

That article is so insightful it could have been written two years ago. Seriously, there's nothing new in the article (except I now know who Netgear's CEO is, which I suspect is the point). Jobs blah blah, Apple blah blah, Open blah blah Flash blah. He's just an attention whore using popular keywords to get free publicity. When I want a unique insight on technology trends, I have to admit Mr. Lo just ain't the first name I think of and this article doesn't change that.
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