January 13th, 2007
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:
1. 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?
2. Steve Jobs is an egotistical control freak, which offends our sensibilities
Yeah, well, get over it.