BusinessWeek: Apple Should Just Say No to Harmony

BusinessWeek has published an editorial by Peter Burrows, Computer editor in the magazineis Silicon Valley bureau, that says Apple should just say no to RealNetworksi Harmony. Harmony is Realis recently announced software that allows iPod users to play downloads from RealNetworksi own music download service. According to Mr. Burrows, Harmony is a threat to Apple, and the company should do all it can to fight it. From BusinessWeek:

Apple isnit commenting on Realis move yet. But itis almost certainly exploring the possibility of a copyright lawsuit. And thatis not the only option. Experts say it could require iPod owners to download a firmware upgrade the next time they try to buy a song from iTunes that would render Harmony useless -- much as a security patch resolves a computer virus.

If Jobsis lawyers tell him itis legally justified, the CEO might even consider an even more radical way of making his point: loudly inform iPod owners that Apple will no longer honor their warranty if they buy songs from Real or other rival online music stores.

BIG-TIME PARTNERS.  Such a move might temporarily cast Jobs as the Darth Vader of interoperability to industry watchers. But in the long run, itis in Appleis best interest. Jobs & Co. donit need anyoneis help to achieve their iPod sales growth or profit goals. Despite an already dominant position, iPod continues to outgrow the market. In the second quarter, Apple sold more than 800,000 iPods and just sold its 100 millionth song.

There is much more in the full article, and we recommend it as a thought-provoking read.