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Author: HMALETTER Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 201981  
Subject: Re: Its the Software Stupid Date: 11/1/2013 7:57 AM
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And if I may continue the thought, Apple's app advantage comes because they provide a wall-to-wall development environment where every tool is first-rate*, and an app store deal where the customers know you've passed some pretty strict vetting before they ever see your app.

This developer experience requires a huge effort from Apple, and note this well: it all depends on Apple's notorious "closed" platform. It is a hugely attractive proposition to most developers.

*Oh, OK, once in a while there's a buggy version of Xcode. But they fix it.

All three posts are extremely good, very interesting thread. Yes, Office is not the be all and end all for productivity. In fact, I've long believed that people have had their creative sides muffled by such drab and routine use of those products. I can't tell you how many extremely complex Excel spreadsheets I've seen over the years that should have been incorporated into databases long ago. But that's another matter.

Before I read Ogre's post, I was about to launch into a (probably long-winded) missive about how those apps could have been just as easily developed on an Android tablet, thus saving the band far more money. I have no personal experience in development for either platform, so I don't know how spot on your comments about Apple's Xcode and development environment is far better. The results and developer's comments seem to agree with your statement though.

In fact, if Apple were ever to license IOS and development tools, I suspect they'd have companies lined up outside their door to do it.

One thing to add. Apple needs a fantastic, impossible to duplicate ecosystem in their business model. Otherwise, they are just another company producing a high end piece of hardware for higher margins. People forget that the initial success of iPad was it's surprisingly low price. Nobody else (at that time), could begin to compete at a $499 price.

Even though there are many detractors of iTunes and the ecosystem that it comes with, it is still a dominate player. The odd bird in online services is iCloud. Now they are tacking on iWork add ons and throwing free apps on their new products.

As you suggest, it's the App developers that have made iPad entrenched in business so far. But in the consumer market, it's the ecosystem and tremendous hardware that combines for success. As DOS showed long ago, it was about Developers.

Apple needs marketing, and lots of it. But they also need to spread some reality as to Why consumers should choose an Apple product rather than Brand B. Consumers want to see the consumer apps, the benefits of an all-inclusive ecosystem. While showing how cool and thin a new IPA is, it's just a product. I was reminded of the stark contrast in ad content when I saw a Samsung commercial during the World Series, it was specifically targeted to family consumers. The apps looked cool, the versatility displayed was awesome, and I particularly loved the multitasking features.

If Microsoft can spend almost a half a billion marketing a Meh product that has seen poor response, think of Apple doing the same, only with a product people already love and want more of and from. I think the combination of ecosystem in the consumer markets and developer support is a winning combination. It's what Apple needs to build upon to maintain both market share, and their higher margins.

But you can put forth the most amazing applications and uses, and still not have enough people know about it if you don't show them.
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