Apple Anti-Trust (was Apples actual response to the Flash issue)

David Bovill david at
Tue May 4 07:19:46 EDT 2010

Just a minor point on market share stats - of interest I think because of
its relevance to developing on mobile platforms for this list:

On 4 May 2010 08:46, Kay C Lan <lan.kc.macmail at> wrote:

> > Indeed, though Apple has the most applications, it is a distant second in
> > terms of operating system market share. According to comScore, RIM, which
> > makes the BlackBerry, has a 42 percent share, while Apple's take is 25
> > percent. Microsoft has 15 percent and Google's Android software has 9
> > percent.
> Sorry, Jobs doesn't control 95% of the market share, he isn't even ranked
> No
> 1? There even seems to be more players and a more even spread of market
> share, than in the PC OS arena, so why is this a competition problem?

Richard and others have made this point - but I think the figures are
misleading. From memory there are two figures that stick in my head - and it
would be great to have them discussed, trashed or verified on this list :)

First that 97% of mobile app revenues are on the iPhone - this one I find
hard to believe, though I can also understand how this could be possible.
I'll dig out the bookmark I have for that one if it proves to be
controversial :) Second that 80% or there abouts of mobile phone web
browsing of sites are from iPhone users - that one was from Mr Jobs KeyNote
- but there could be some independent source somewhere - again I can
understand why that may be the case - it is one thing having a phone that
can send MMS or browse the web in theory, and another to get users actually
to use the stuff, or better still actually pay for it (in terms of app or
media purchases) - iPhone OS is leagues ahead of everyone at the moment on
these fronts.

The figures that indicate the real battle are the projected ones and the
ones that refer to the (very) recent growth of Android - these are promising
but not yet solid.


And now for a - "sorry I can't help this - this is way more fun than getting
down to work - please skip if you feel otherwise.


Apple has a good shot at cornering this market - that is establishing a de
facto (and legally supported) monopoly, just as Microsoft did in the
mid-80's (without the legal protection), and the real battle looks like
between Android and iOS, one of them a fully open platform in which
consumers and producers can freely operate in market terms and another - a
closed market controlled by Apple. It is not a monopoly yet (because the
market is young), but everyone is now much more sensitive to these issues
and the tactics companies can play in network economies - and everyone is
looking to the future here, and by the future we are talking a few years.

Like a few others on this list I am now pretty convinced that the PC market
is about to be dramatically overtaken by the new mobile market in terms of
sales and new software developments. Apple and others will be quite happy to
leave the desktop market to the web and to open source strategies - they
simply will not be interested in closing this market - let Google have it.
They (ie Apple and others) clearly want to dominate the mobile market in the
way that Microsoft succeeded to with the 1990's desktop market.

Regulators and commentators are now wise to those tricks and will kick up a
fuss early if they see moves like this coming - there are a lot of people
and governments who want to keep these new markets open, and global
networked markets do not stay open by themselves - they can and have decayed
into monopolies, and mathematical models clearly show this to be an inherent
property of free markets in certain situations - we don't need a conspiracy
theory to explain it.

It is not unreasonable to view this as an early stage in the battle between
two different types of mobile market place, one closed and dominated by a
single proprietary player and the other open. I think regulators would only
be doing their Job (pun intended) to take a closer look at this - better
early than late given how long these things take to go through the courts
and how fast this market is going to move.

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