Wednesday, July 27, 2011

No iPhone For Me!

IMG_9218Image by hobnogs via FlickrAnyone that has read more than a few of my previous posts will know that I'm a big fan of Apple and their products. My wife and I have owned several iPod's, an Apple TV, an iMac and a couple of iPad's over the years. There is one product I won't be buying and that's an iPhone. Actually, I won't be buying another iPad either. There are two factors that drove me to make this decision.

The first is the lack of a native Google Mail client. Yes, you can use Safari to look at your Gmail and it kind of works but it's not close to the full experience of a native client and that really bugs me. I don't care whether it's Apple or Google that is primarily responsible for this shortcoming.

It doesn't end with GMail either. Google has apparently taken a dim view on all things Apple since their Google voice App got rejected. I need my Google stuff and I'd be willing to consider an iPhone if it were all there. Since it isn't, the iPhone loses.

Actually it would still lose because of problem number two which is Apple's insistence that in app purchases must filter through them so they can take a sizable cut. I understand the business driver behind this but I don't like it at all. Charging anyone who wants to sell stuff through an Apple device 30% is theft in my book.

One of the reasons Apple is such an impressive company is that their margins are very high. This isn't true of companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble who have very small margins on most products. When your margins are 10% you lose a lot of money selling something and paying Apple 30%. We're already seeing companies pull back from providing in app purchases because of this. This means choices are being eliminated and I'm a guy who likes to have choices.

There is an hope though. HTML5, while still not an official standard is gaining a lot of traction. The capabilities of HTML5 are making it possible to present users with a browser experience that is very similar to a dedicated application. "The Next Web" is an online magazine that shows what is already possible with HTML5 on the iPad. It offers a clean and simple interface that doesn't look like a traditional web site at all. What this means is that companies that can't or won't pay Apples exorbitant tax have an option. So in theory we users of Apple products won't lose in the longer term because of the Apple tax. I have to wonder though if Apple is going to take some sort of action against companies that bypass them in this fashion. I can see that happening based on some of Apples recent moves and I want no part of it.

Apple is a great company with great products but they are starting to lose their way a bit in terms of how they approach their customers and their partners. If this doesn't change I won't be buying any Apple products in the future.
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