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[Discuss] [OT] Apple is the AOL of consumer electronics

I had the thought that Apple is the AOL of consumer electronics. Sure
enough, not an original thought. Google finds, "Apple is the new AOL
because of iPad, which offers a safe, easy way to consume content
without venturing out onto the vast Information Superhighway."[1] (And
deeper analysis in the latter half of this blog posting[2].)


Anyway, my thought wasn't limited to the iPad and not quite as literal
as these comparisons between AOL's restricted information sources and
the similar restricted information sources on some Apple devices. (The
latter article makes the comparison that you can't deep link between iOS
apps. and it was this very lack of linking with the broader world that
was AOL's downfall.)

It was more along the lines of how those of us who knew the Internet,
and not Compuserve or AOL, was going to be the future, avoided AOL, even
if it offered some short term ease-of-use advantages.

I raise the point not for the purpose of Apple bashing, but instead to
ask the question, do these long term bets pay off for those of us who
bet on the "winning" side?

What if we are right, and the phone and tablet markets do evolve into
something that more closely resembles Android, or perhaps even more
open, like the PC market (was), what do we gain by avoiding the long
term losers in the short term?

You can argue that it is better for the market, and expedites reaching
the desired end-state, by investing in the long term solution, rather
than the easy short term solution, but that isn't necessarily in one's
best self-interest in the near term.

On the other hand, avoiding a siloed environment does potentially reduce
frustration, if you are the type of person who wants to be able to do
anything with the hardware you own, even at the price of using a less
polished end-product.


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
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