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Apple…we can't handle OPEN!

I enjoy reading Matthew Ingram. He writes for the Globe and Mail and lives in Toronto. Good paper, greatest city (disclosure – born and raised in the city and on the paper).

If it is an important subject, he will sum it up well with all the links.

His Apple iPhone wrapup post sums up all the hubbub surrounding Apple and their continued CLOSED systems for computing, music and now phones.

Yes he is correct and so are all the nerds. Problem is that nerds are in the minority. A BIG MINORITY.

Almost all the computing public out there can’t handle open. They don’t deserve open. Open equals a customer service nightmare. Ask Dell. Ask Microsoft (woops – good luck trying suckers). Job’s is just a smart guy and a REALIST who understands that most people (including me) using his products are idiots.

I will stay long the stock and their mantra while others complain about a fantasy world where “open” matters. It does for a few but not for the masses.

A Blackberry, Macbook, iPod, Firefox and Search is all we really need to compute. The value proposition offered by these working products is insane and the market can’t begin to value these.

It is fun reading all the smart people discussing the “open” issue. It just won’t make you any money.

Disclosure – Long Apple

  • http://www.andyswan.com Andy Swan

    Nailed it on the nose. People just want everything open so that they can do whatever they want with and to the product without paying for it. Doesn’t matter if it’s music, computers or anything else that lives in a digital world.

    Incentive to create means nothing to these people…they live in a fantasy world.

  • Howard Lindzon

    I have a huge nose so saying I nailed it I am not sure if you garee?

  • Philippe Possemiers

    I agree completely. I used to be one of those nerds, always talking about Linux etc. But you’re right, it doesn’t get the average computer user anywhere.
    Secondly, it stands in the way of accountability. You can’t expect any garantee from something that is open and free.

  • http://egobsd.org/log/ candice

    One point, however, is that the price point the iPhone is supposed to come out at IS for the few.

    I’m reserving my judgement on it until I get to play with one. And if it doesn’t crash like the treo and windows smartphones, maybe, it will do.

  • http://blog.stealthmode.com francine

    I agree with you about the Blackberry and the MacBook. I’d take an i Phone if it were not on Cingular, had 3G, and were less expensive. Open or closed isn’t the question — feature set it.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work Mathew Ingram

    Thanks for the link, Howard — and the compliments.

    And I would agree that openness will likely have no impact on the stock price (just like the options issue likely won’t either).

    But I still want it :-)

  • http://www.timetotrade.eu/blog Dary Mc Govern

    I’m in shock.

    Really shocked.

    When I read Francine’s comments that the iPhone does not have 3G, I was immediately sceptical and thought that surely she must have made a mistake. I thought to myself, who would be stupid enough to bring a bandwidth hungry mobile media device to market without 3G; surely this is wrong? Apple are better than this?

    After a quick search on the web, I apologise for doubting you Francine, but it appears that you are right. Up until reading Francine’s comment, I had decided that I wanted an iPhone.

    This is quite significant as I’m not into gadgets and therefore don’t own things like iPods etc. When I saw the feature list for the iPhone, I thought to myself, “OK, I get a cool phone, google maps, integrated search and phone functionality – as soon as they hit Europe I want one”. I then thought, if Jobs has now hooked me and I’m prepared to buy this device directly rather than waiting to get it subsidised by the mobile operators, then these things are going to sell like hot cakes; therefore it is time to invest in Apple.

    Now that I’ve found out it doesn’t have 3G, I have absolutely no interest in the device. How disappointing. I had completely assumed it would have 3G. One saving grace is that it does have WiFi.

    I’m now reading that it won’t even synch with Outlook?

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/mobile-gadgeteer/?p=269

    Living in the UK and working across Europe, over the last year there has been a real surge in 3G uptake, and just about everywhere I turn now people are using 3G phones. Secondly just about every professional in the work place uses Outlook to manage contacts, and the ability to synch my phone with Outlook calender, contacts and task is absolutely essential to a lot of people.

    Also, once you start using 3G the thoughts of going back to GPRS or other 2.5G protocols, are similar to the thoughts of having to use 56 kbps dial again – horrific.

    The only saving grace for Apple is that the US market does not seem to have adopted 3G to the same extent as Europe, therefore it should help with its adaptation in the US market. As for places like Japan, it will simply not get adopted in it current form.

    As for the Open Closed debate I worked with hardcore self proclaimed, “Geeks” who had pointed out quite quickly that the iPhone was closed. It is interesting to note that despite this, they said that if it had a full feature set, that would be more important.

    No 3G; doesn’t synch with Outlook, oh dear; I think I’m going to stick with my trusty Sony Ericsson.

  • http://www.thedogwoodreport.blogspot.com dogwood

    Boy, didn’t take long for the nitpickers to come out of the woodwork.

    Don’t get too bent out of shape over the lack of 3G. Jobs did say in his keynote that 3G phones will be made in the future.

    Also, the iPhone launches first in the States and then Europe & Asia in late ’07 & ’08. Plenty of time for Apple to add 3G and other features for markets where those things actually matter.

    Its Apple’s first phone for crying out loud. Chill, enjoy, be patient.

    rant

  • http://www.timetotrade.eu/blog Dary Mc Govern

    I was just thinking about the iPhone debate over dinner. What I’ve been trying to get my head around is the revenue potential for the new iPhone and therefore who are likely to buy it?

    Dogwood beat me to it! In response to his comments one of the initial conclusions over dinner was that Apple have done their homework and developed a product that is initially only targeted at the US market. The inclusion of WiFi and not 3G reflects this. The folks at Apple are not stupid, so it makes sense that they will develop a 3G version of the phone before even trying to launch in Europe or Asia.

    Will the iPhone sell? Absolutely. It has already become a status symbol and people just can’t wait to get there hands on it. Before dinner I went to the shop to buy the Sunday Times and there in the middle was a full page spread on the iPhone.

    So the big question that I’m really interested in, is what effect will it have on Apple revenue? To answer the question you have to consider the target market. From a straw poll of some friends it will probably be the same people who bought the original iPod plus a few people who are prepared to pay for it because of the mobile browsing experience.

    I have no doubt that the iPhone will sell but will it have the same revenue impact that the iPod had?

    Time will tell, but it would seem likely that the iPhone will replace the top end iPods, therefore if nothing else the iPhone will ensure continued strong revenue from the iPod product line. This will ideally be to a wider group of people, such as myself, because it has the telephone and mobile browsing technology.

    Some other side thoughts while enjoying dinner:

    – I will probably buy an iPhone when they add 3G technology if it lives up to the hype

    – OK if the iPhone won’t integrate with Outlook and my Windows laptop, maybe it is time to get a MAC? If I’m thinking this, then others are probably thinking the same, which means Apple should continue to benefit from secondary cross sales.

    – The iPhone does not appear to be a corporate email killer and it is unlikely that corporates are going to pay for media players, therefore RIMM was probably unjustly over-sold over the last few days. Secondly corporates have spent a lot of money installing Blackberry backend technology that they will probably be reluctant to put in the bin. I do love it when there is a sell off on a stock due to fear of the unknown as this can present some excellent trading opportunities. A recent example was Walgreen, when they got sold off after Wal-Mart said they were going to sell generic drugs as discussed in the following blog entry:

    http://timetotrade.eu/blog/2006/12/04/round-one-to-walgreen/

    In conclusion I’m bullish on Apple and want a 3G iPhone!

  • http://www.thedogwoodreport.blogspot.com dogwood

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a product rollout similar to the iPod with very frequent upgrades, enhancements, color changes, etc. Perhaps a lower-priced model within a year to 18 months?

    Figure a new and improved iPhone every nine to 12 months with software upgrades in between. Since so much of the phone’s functionality is software driven, it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep the buzz going with cool and sometimes actually useful software releases, including an Outlook contact import feature.

    It will be interesting to see how aggressive Apple gets with the corporate and government markets, i.e. the Blackberry’s primary users.

    Apple products have always been shunned by the IT folks who would rather spend 12 hours getting a PC to work rather than do 12 hours of work on a Mac.

    Even if Apple doesn’t crack those markets, I think the iPhone will have such widespread appeal among the masses that Apple won’t need those two markets to prosper.

  • Jordan Glasner

    I’m a little late to this post, but have been following the “open” debate closely. The developers are missing the boat here.

    One simple fact makes the iPhone completely open, it has the most powerful web browser ever put on a mobile. These guys should be rejoicing, instead they’re fixated on the idea that they have to code native applications.

    I for one am thrilled that no one is focused on what to me is the best part of the iPhone. Will make the iPhone app field a little less crowded at first.

    Interested in web applications Howard?

  • http://www.bestwaytoinvest.com Investor Five

    I was talking to friends about the recents technological developments from Apple. The release of the iPhone and the soon to be relased Apple TV have added so many opportunities for Apple’s stock to rise and for investors to make some great trades. Any thoughts as to how far Apple’s stock will rise in the next month?

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