And Then it Hit Me, Open Always Wins

We know the history of the PC market – Apple had great products but a closed ecosystem and subsequently the PC – originally based on IBM components and design eventually won the war for the desktop.

In the eighties, I made the choice to move TMC to desktop publishing on a PC instead of Mac because the horsepower per dollar of the PC was so far superior. It turned out the manpower wasted in the short-term based on this decision showed I made the wrong choice. By the mid-nineties however, I was convinced that a single computer platform for our entire organization did make the most sense and as a result in hindsight, I was correct.

Fast forward to today, Apple is designing products which are superior to others but they are generally more expensive and closed. In many cases they are so closed you can’t swap a battery or add memory or decide which applications you want without the express approval of Steve Jobs.

This past July, I asked if Apple was making the same mistake from the eighties in the mobile arena because when I saw the Motorola Droid X I realized this device was better than the iPhone in a few important ways. And as I came across this article today from NetworkWorld, which essentially asks the same question, I realize, I am not alone.

Alan Shimel, the author makes a point worth sharing and this will be the end of both pieces:

Is Apple doomed to be the mobile device for the graphics world like their computers were for so long? I don’t know. But I know the openness of Android is going to wash over them like a Tsunami on a South Pacific island. It’s not just the phone either. AT&T had the Samsung Galaxy tablet for sale too.  While not priced competitively enough to compete with iPad, it is easy to see how tablets from lots of makers will again drown out the Apple entry.

At the end of the day, it is hard to compete with an open platform. I have seen the future of mobile computing and it is open.

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