My daily readings 03/06/2011

    • In the nineties, Apple kept insane profit margins on their products while dozens of manufacturers created inexpensive commodity PCs running Windows. There was a margin war on the PC side, and PCs became noticeably cheaper (despite paying hefty licensing fees to Microsoft), and that price difference, combined with Microsoft closing some of the usability gap with the Mac, is what lead to the dominance of Wintel machines. In the nineties, Macs simply cost more. You could argue that Macs were cheaper based on TOC or employee efficiency, but in the quantifiable terms that bean counters understand, the Mac was a lot more expensive and didn’t do noticeably more, especially once Adobe jumped ship and become cross-platform.

      That’s not where things are now, however. For typical consumers – people who don’t have a dog in the technology race, so to speak, are going to buy based largely on price, Apple’s mobile “post-PC devices” aren’t just better than their competitors, they’re cheaper than comparable competitors.

    • We don’t have a situation where commodity resellers can easily assemble components into a working, desirable mobile device. Mobile devices are all about form factor, design, and ease of use. They don’t sit on a desk, they go where you go. They need to be well engineered, light, get good battery life, and be easy to use. They can’t require IT support staff, an instruction manual, or training. A large beige box on a desk is one thing, but in your pocket it’s another thing altogether.
    • As I listened to Steve speak, one phrase kept gnawing at me. Steve said that the iPad was “a post-pc device”. As an iOS developer who makes his living building apps for iPads and iPhones, I disagree. You see iOS has this ball and chain attached to it called “iTunes” that runs on a typical PC. The first time you turn your iPad on you’re greeted with this screen on the right prompting you to plug your iPad into a computer so it can be setup. You can’t even turn your iPad on the first time without being tethered to iTunes.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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