ACM 184: Jeff & Bryan’s Christmas Wish List for Apple

| Apple Context Machine Podcast

In this special episode of The Apple Context Machine, Jeff and Bryan present Santa Claus with their Wish List for the holidays this year, including opening up the App Store (just a little), Light Peak for Macs, and a wish that Apple buy Dropbox.

The Apple Context Machine


ACM 184: Jeff & Bryan’s Christmas Wish List for Apple

Dec. 26, 2010 — Download: MP3 Version (AAC Version Coming Soon)

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I had a account back in the day.  The annual fee was the deal breaker.  I got a Dropbox account earlier this year and love it.  I have an iMac and a HP laptop and the syncs are seamless.  Moving files to family members that don’t have the service is very easy.

So keep your money in your pocket.  The first 2 Gigs of Dropbox space is free.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Sideloading solves everything guys. Of course, it would also cut significantly into $1B of revenue with over 25% profit margin, but that will ultimately be the last ditch effort by Apple to save its iPhone business in the face of next year’s Android explosion.

What Apple needs to get through its head is that once the phone lands in the customer’s hands, it’s the customer’s phone, not Apple’s phone. You do not beat the carriers at their game (walled garden) by playing the same game with a bigger board. Google knows this, Apple doesn’t. What the carriers who customize Android too much are finding is that it’s expensive work that yields a sub-par phone and does nothing to capture revenues. Google’s hands-off approach plays to its strengths, while Apple’s control-freak approach guarantees continuing controversy and alienation of a portion of its fan base.


Sure, Bosco. “Most desired,” “Best Rated,” “Top-Selling,” “Best Customer Service.”  Apple’s model is so terrible. How can the Apple corporate bozos and all their unwashed masses not appreciate all you’re trying to tell them?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@farmboy: The reason you don’t hear the backlash is that you’re only listening to your sheep.

Bryan Chaffin

Brad, I understand your point about the echo chamber—it’s easy for everyone to sometimes get lost in the chorus of those with whom we agree.

However, farmboy’s central premise is salient: Apple’s sales are growing, ergo there is no backlash.

There may be a growing counter-chorus of those who don’t buy into Apple’s business model, but this can in no way be confused for some kind of overall “backlash.”

Fortunately, there’s room for at least two (I’d prefer three or four) choruses in the market place.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

One common complaint about Android is that there is no single Android phone that has sold a lot of units. Not true any longer. Samsung announced that it has sold 10M Galaxy S phones. And Sammy will be introducing a Galaxy Player (“S minus phone”) at CES. The player, when it has Gingerbread on it (either official or from the hackers) will actually be a better smartphone for my office than my Nexus One. Gingerbread has a SIP client built in, and my office is in an AT&T dead zone.

The backlash though, will come in small chunks following rejections and removals from the App Store. It’s like an evolutionary process, with the examples becoming more controversial and more egregious. And you’d expect that, as developers will continue to have a perverse incentive to get their apps rejected and get more value from press and blogosphere discussion than they would from sales. Don’t hate the players, though. Hate Apple’s game. It’s not necessary for anything but securing an exclusive revenue stream for Apple. Not security, not safety, not “the children”, etc.

Bryan Chaffin

The backlash though, will come in small chunks following rejections and removals from the App Store. It?s like an evolutionary process [...]

Brad, where we differ is that I don’t think the rest of the world cares one iota about App Store rejections or approvals.  It’s the echo chamber that cares, but even there it’s a small minority.

The broader world just wants a phone that works and some cool apps.

As for developers, they will stick with Apple as long as the iOS ecosystem delivers the lion’s share of the profits. The vast majority of apps make it through, and there is increasingly less and less surprise when the rare app does get rejected.

I posit that Android could be four or five times bigger than Apple’s iOS user base (and it’s still far smaller), and still iOS would deliver more profits.

That will keep developers coming to make those cool apps.

The end.

Bryan Chaffin

Oops, I left out that all of that is to say there’s plenty of room for a huge Android and a healthy iOS, too.

That was my central point, but I seem to have lost it in the writing. smile


Bosco, can you show us the downturn in iPhone sales directly related to the “controversial” and “egregious” rejected apps (overly dramatic much?)?  I think not, and you know it. In the big picture, nobody cares. Nobody jailbreaks, nobody roots. Nobody misses ads in Flash. Nobody wants a Boobs App. Nobody cares if they are denied a Boobs App.

I noticed you went from Apple trying to “save its iPhone business in the face of next year’s Android explosion” “the backlash will come in small chunks.” Well, what is it—tsunami or trickle-down? Or a trickle-down tsunami? How many more times can they offer BOGO—which tells their customers either it’s only worth half of what you just paid for it, or we can’t sell these so we’ll give them away?

Apple clearly has its devotees and fanboys, and has product shortcomings, but do you really fail to see the herd mentality in Andro’s as well? “Sure it’s flawed but wait ‘til next year…2.1…2.2…Honeycomb…” Whatever. And what’s to be made of their attempts to reduce their cognitive dissonance over their choice of OS, computers and hand-held electronics by endlessly posting in internet forums who denizens are known to generally view favorably a competing OS and its devices? No love in AndroWindowLinuxville?

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