|Adobe and Apple|
|Written by L. M. Lloyd|
|Friday, 09 April 2010 02:28|
I have to say, this new news about Apple specifically refusing to accept programs made in Flash CS5, just a few days before the CS5 launch, really has me laughing my ass off. Sure, it is the classic Apple dick move, but in reality, both Adobe and developers have just been 'asking for it' for years. As amazingly aggressive and just outright rude as the announcement is, all I can do is, much like Nelson on "The Simpsons," point and say "I said ha ha!"
Adobe has been 'asking for it,' because for years they have watched Apple release program after program which competed directly with them, like Final Cut, Motion, and Aperture. Yet like a battered spouse, Adobe has professed nothing but love for Apple, all the while watching Apple trash talk their products and whittle away their market share. Apple has done everything, up to and including actively sabotaging the functionality of Adobe software on their systems, to make Adobe look bad, and make their own mediocre offerings look better. Adobe should have seen this most recent development coming, as soon as Apple mandated that Adobe must rewrite their entire Creative Suite in Apple's development tools, to have the privilege of continuing to sell software to Macheads. I mean come on, it is an old-school Microsoft move. Use changes to your OS to mandate all development is done of your tools, then take advantage of undocumented APIs and enhanced versions of the toolset not available to third-party developers, in order to make sure no one can compete with your products. It isn't exactly a new tactic, in fact it is a massive throwback to the old days of computing. Yet Adobe went right along and poured tons of development resources into trying to chase iPhone development even as Apple was going on a full-tilt PR offensive against Adobe. It really shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone that Apple just cut to the chase and flatly denied Adobe's advances in their user agreement.
Of course Adobe wasn't the only one 'asking for it' here. The iPhone developers, who unquestioningly accepted, as a matter of course, Apple's bizarre system of acceptance rules and development requirements, couldn't have been 'asking for it' any more if they had walked into a maximum-security jail wearing nothing but a bra and panties. They told themselves that Apple had every right to take a 30% cut of their sales. They told themselves that Apple had every right to mandate where they sell their app. They told themselves that Apple had every right to tell them their app wasn't good enough, so wouldn't be sold. They told themselves all these things, because they are a ridiculous parody of a real developer, and don't understand who actually has the power in the relationship. It is the software that makes the platform, not the other way around. They were dazzled by hype and snazzy commercials with soothing nursery-school music, and were too busy dreaming of what they would do if they won the iPhone App lottery, and forgot there is a reason that most companies work hard to try to earn the trust of developers. That reason is that without developer support, your platform is nothing.
It has been crystal clear since the moment Steve Jobs came back to Apple, that the strategy was for every Mac user to buy Apple software, Apple hardware, and spend all their money in an entirely Apple ecosystem. As Steve Jobs himself said back in '96 "If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it's worth-- and get busy on the next great thing." And that is exactly what he has done since returning, to the determent of long-time partners, developers and users. Steve Jobs sees a world where no one makes a penny off Apple products without him getting his cut, several times over. Developers, in Steve Jobs' world, aren't the hard-working partners who add value to your platform and make it appealing with their compelling content, they are a revenue stream. The Apple ecosystem isn't an unprecedented opportunity for developers to create wealth, it is a digital company town. The business model isn't new to the information age, it is straight out of the San Francisco Gold Rush. You buy the tools you need from the company, rent a plot of land from the company, take the product of your hard work to the company to be appraised, where they tell you how much it is worth, charge you a fee for the privilege of letting you work for them, and then pay you a percentage of what they say they can get for it. Just when your resolve starts to waver, they trot out some shill, who claims to have struck it rich on a plot of land just up the river from yours, and you buy a few drinks at the company saloon, and renew your lease and get right back to work. No one ever really wins but the company, but luckily their is a sucker born every minute, and they can keep the scam going for a good long time.
So here we sit, in iTown 4.0, and you've already paid them their subscription fee for the privilege of creating content to help them sell their product. Now you have the privilege of buying your iAds from Apple, and using only their approved iTools, and selling only in their iStore, and maybe, if you are really lucky, they will approve your iApp, and won't subsequently just pull it down without warning because it somehow offended them. Now, you can start really rolling in those ¢99 sales! Of course you will only actually get ¢69 of that, because Apple needs their cut, but just think, you only need 400 people a day to buy your app, every single day, for the entire year, and you'll be worth an entire $100,000! I mean just look at the math. There are ten million active iPhone users in the US, and only about 150,000 apps, so that means you only have to get like 1.5% of the entire market. With only 50,000 developers vying for the same market, that means you have at least some hope of making your whopping $100,000 in a year. I mean who wouldn't give up their pride, learn a whole new development language, put time into developing a program, risk being told their time and money was wasted because of an undisclosed set of byzantine rules, and then hand part of their profits to someone who did nothing for it except develop a device that they are already making a hansom profit on, all for the chance to maybe getting one-hundred-whole-thousand dollars?! I certainly can't think of a single better way to make that kind of money, at least not that doesn't require me to have a skill, or some modicum of motivation.
So in an environment where Adobe is sure Apple only beats them because they really care, and developers are grateful that Apple might save them from having to get a day job, is it really any surprise that Apple gets ever more brazen in their megalomaniacal tendencies? The iPhone users, who it would seem feel empty inside if they go more than a few seconds without buying another app, certainly aren't going to criticize Apple, and their business partners and developers clearly aren't ever going to say "enough is enough." So, it would seem everyone is getting what they deserve, if not what they want, and I just have to sit back and laugh.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 12 June 2010 06:02 )|
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