Dave Winer and many others don’t like that Apple’s iPhone is a closed device, which doesn’t allow you to change the software or use other software. While I can appreciate how frustrating it must be for people like Dave with the skill and desire to customize their tech products to better suit their needs, they are a tiny minority. The reality is that Apple is not in the business of creating platforms — they are are in the business of creating experiences. The iPod was so wildly successful because it was — from the perspective of millions of people — a great experience, and the iPhone promises to be as well.
One-size-fits all is tough proposition, because one size will never fit all — but Apple has a talent for fitting MORE people EXTREMELY well than almost any other tech company. I’d much prefer Apple focus on creating great experiences than on supporting a developer community who might pull them in a thousand different directions.
Perhaps Dave would be willing to demonstrate the benefit of open platforms by letting me post on Scripting News — but that would surely kill the experience of Scripting News, wouldn’t it? (Or how about you, Mathew, can I change the layout of your blog to better suit my needs?)
I could also rewrite the end of Casablanca, or take a pant brush to a Monet canvas, or remix a Jimi Hendrix recording, or…if you don’t like any of those, there are lots of other choices. Apple is not restricting anybody’s choice — if you don’t like the experiences they create, there are plenty of other tech companies out there.
There seem to be two arguments against Apple here:
- Locking out developers is bad for business
Yeah, that lock-in approach to iPod has sure been bad for business.
And how about Google, that other paragon of openness?
- Steve Jobs is an egotistical control freak, which offends our sensibilities
Yeah, well, get over it.