Originally Posted by dfiler
I would agree that there are valid complaints about Apple's app store distribution model.
"Thousands and thousands of dollars" though? That seems like overstating the case a bit. While it could be true for you, the typical non-transferable software/media investment is probably less than $100. Keep in mind that the music is now DRM free. As for software being non-transferable, that is true of pretty much every computing platform now and throughout all of history.
Those other costs don't seem to have anything to do with the App store or Apple. I would agree that the phone/phone-service pricing model is bad. I'd even call it somewhat predatory. Subsidized hardware with higher monthly bills and a minimum contract period always seems like a bad situation for consumers. Note how the monthly bill doesn't go back down after having paid off the subsidized hardware.
So again, i'll agree that there are reasonable complaints to be made about the phone industry as well as Apple's roll in it. But it seems that people are struggling to voice those complaints in an accurate and reasonable manner. All of the topics are getting muddled together and terminology is being used rather loosely.
To illustrate this point, I think Solipsism would agree with much of the above despite him jumping in to correct the usage of the term "free-market". (Please correct me if I'm wrong about that.)
Others may be, but I'm certainly not "struggling to voice those complaints". My complaints are detailed and specific. (Where is solipsism now?)
This is nothing like the PC industry. Sure, if you buy a PC and switch to a Mac, you'll have to re-purchase some software. In some cases, though, such as Adobe, you can switch your license for a small fee. This can't be done when switching to Android. why? Because Apple does not give software sellers any information (not even an email address) about the customers their software is sold to. So there's no way to verify a person is your customer. So how can you give them a discount on switching to another platform?
Also Apple controls what software is sold on the iDevices, unlike the Mac, where you can get software anywhere. So a company may want to produce an iApp, but Apple won't allow it to be sold by them--or anyone else.
I didn't mention music, so please don't bring that into the picture. I specifically mentioned books and video (movies, TV shows). Both are heavily DRMed. In apps alone, Apple has sold almost one and a half a billion dollars to its almost 100,000,000-iDevice customers. That's $14/device--a lot, when you consider it's only been a year or so that these huge number of devices have existed. Certainly, huge numbers of people have hundreds of dollars invested.
And video & books will probably sell a lot better on the iPad with its larger screen. And, over time, people/families will buy more and more content. More hundreds of dollars invested in the platform.
And unlike physical books and movies, you cannot sell these if you switch platforms. You just lose them. On the PC platform, iTunes/Quicktime runs on both Mac and Windows. On portable devices, it's iOS or nothing.
So the DRM lock-in (in addition to the 2year contracts mentioned previously) means that customers are forced to not stray from Apple devices for fear of losing their entire media/app investment.
Thus customers have no choice but to buy and consume apps that only Apple says are OK, using content that Apple has specific rules for (Apple controls not only what apps users can buy, but also the policies on how to use them! For example, every "chat" app has rules about provocative language or partial nudity in profile pictures--Apple is controlling apps *and* content, i.e., how *you* use the app you paid for!)
Doesn't that scare you?