Originally Posted by cloudgazer
Do we disagree on what this phrase means? I bought an Apple device and then decided to buy books for it. I chose kindle books because I liked their software marginally more, but had they not existed I would have settled for Apple. In my case Apple delivered the consumer to Amazon. Now a friend has a vast kindle library which he now reads exclusively on his iPad in spite of spending months swearing to me that he preferred the kindle's eInk to LCD. In his case perhaps Amazon delivered the consumer to Apple - though he already owned an iPhone so it's doubtful.
The sales of the iPad-2 have been constrained by supply since it's launch, so while I'll stipulate that the loss of some apps would reduce demand I'll say that yes - the lack of those apps wouldn't have hurt its sales. But of course it's just an opinion, and there is no way to know, unless you have some links to market research that shows that those apps were foremost in peoples' minds when they purchased.
As for the iPhone I don't think that any of those apps are remotely important to its sales, and as 3G gets capped across america they'll be even less so. If anything was going to hurt iDevices it was the lack of Flash. Remember how Adobe insisted they were doomed because they lacked it? How the IT press got on board and insisted that Flash was a key requirement? Users apparently shrugged and went on buying. Nowadays practically nobody believes that Flash is a key selling point on mobile.
Suppose those apps really were critical to iDevice's success. Then Hulu/Amazon/Netflix could offer Android or MS an exclusive and make considerable income from the deal. You can be sure that MS would pay - they have a history of offering content suppliers exclusives and it worked well for them with the Halo franchise.
If you disagree and think that Hulu & Netflix are such strong brands that they can make or break a mobile platform then I strongly recommend you buy their stock - I however think that they are commodity purveyors of other peoples content and that ultimately Apple at least will cut them out. iBooks is already directly competing with Kindle, and if they just add an orientation lock on iPhone it will probably be good enough on the A5 that I'll cease to have a preference either way. On the A4 processor I find it a bit sticky.
Now see if you can answer my simple question. Why is it not an issue that Amazon don't allow 3rd party eReader software on the kindle?
There are many issues here at stake... sure hulu/amazon/netflix are just content providers, but they provide a lot of content, and at reasonable prices that people like. I would never claim that everyone who has an iOS device wants these apps, I personally don't use them, but knowing they're available makes the device more attractive. Right now I can't afford those services, int he future, things will change, and I can. I WANT those services available on my phone or future tablet etc.
With the example of buying the iPad, you partially bought it because you wanted to read books on there. Even if you were stuck with just iBooks, you might think twice. iBooks catalog isn't as impressive as amazons, knowing you have a choice is good.
The reason I don't get up in arms about other devices that have the same strategy is because for most of them, I don't care. I'm not invested in the platform, I don't have a device that uses it, and I have no plans on getting one. I've been using apple devices for a while now, and I don't want to be forced to not use Apple's products (which are often superior) because I don't like Apple's business practices, or find their restrictions unacceptable.
And at the end of this post, you brought up the point that I really really really concern myself with:
"If you disagree and think that Hulu & Netflix are such strong brands that they can make or break a mobile platform then I strongly recommend you buy their stock - I however think that they are commodity purveyors of other peoples content and that ultimately Apple at least will cut them out."
This fact really scares me. Apple is getting into more markets, there's no questioning that, and they'll likely be successful. I am not an Apple stock holder, I am just an Apple consumer, and this power going to a single corporation scares me, and makes me feel that Apple will have too much power over me personally, and I don't want that. I tend to trust Apple, and have in the past, but at the end of the day, they're a corporation that's willing to screw their consumers over for profit, if the profit justifies it, and with some of these moves, it appears that they're getting greedier, and more willing to do this.
I am not afraid of Apple going head to head competing with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc. What I am afraid of is that Apple will offer competing services, and then block out my ability to use a competitors service. Or if not outright blocking it, making it extremely annoying to use a competitors service, such that I default to using Apples. This is exactly what Microsoft did in the past, only to nowhere near the degree that Apple appears to be doing it. When Microsoft crippled opponents office software on Windows, there was an outrage. If Apple does the same thing on iOS, will there be? Sure, iOS isn't a monopoly, but it IS a monopoly on the iOS devices that we already own. I can't install Android on my iphone at the moment and avoid apple, and even if i could, there's no way it would run well.
As Apple takes on these other services, they might not offer the exact same services, and they might not charge the same either. As a consumer, more choice is good for me. Being able to decide who I buy software from is good, and being able to decide who I buy content from is good. Giving all this power to one single company is a recipe for disaster. It's just asking to screw yourself over, and that is what I worry about. What happens when Apple decides that Netflix is stopping people from paying to rent Apple's movies? Or that Amazon is preventing people from buying more iBooks, etc. It's a dangerous idea, and because I've already bought into iOS, I feel that I have a stake in what they choose to do with it. I don't want the rules changed on me after I bought it (I know their EULA says they're allowed to change the EULA at any time, but is that in itself legal?).
There are just a lot of things going on here, and it seems on these forums everyone thinks Apple can do no wrong, as they have been fairly benevolent in the past, and not overly restrictive. However, the thought of giving them so much power sickens me. There's a reason on the rare instances that I buy music online (most of my music I get on CDs or LPs), I tend to buy from Amazon (normally I only do this when an album I'm thinking of getting is available for very cheap, otherwise I'll pay an extra dollar or two and get the CD).