August 7, 2004

"riding on top of everyone else's platform"

Drunkenbatman has a fascinating essay called Convergence Kills, about where Apple might be heading with its new technologies. He argues that convergence (the gradual merging of all our digital gadgets into one) is going to take the path of mobile phones eating everything else. Why? Because your phone is the one thing you always carry. Phones are already turning into cameras and PDA's, and also Internet browsers. Apple has just partnered with Motorola to include their music technology into the next generation of phones, which will work like iPods, though only holding 15 songs!

Apple has claimed that its iTunes Music Store is mostly a loss-leader to sell their very profitable iPods. Maybe it's the other way around:

There's an old adage about magicians; if you want to learn the trick, close your ears and open your eyes. Well it might not go exactly like that, but that's the lesson I took from it.

When people are talking, you have a natural inclination to look at their eyes, and if they're doing something with one hand chances are you really need to be watching the other if you want to see what they're really up to. In other words, watch the hands. And Apple is particularly adept at misdirection...
. . . . . . . .

...Apple is playing towards that exact same endgame, but with a twist: they're creating a new light-DRM [Digital Rights Management] platform that is riding on top of everyone else's platform. iMacs, Windows, mobile phones, everything. Google is also creating a platform riding on the backs of other platforms... except its based around becoming the access point for all things internet. Apple wants that, but for DRM content.

They weren't kidding around with their vision of the computer as a hub for your digital life, they just forgot to mention that the hub will come with a lock. And guess who owns the keys? (Thanks to Joe Katzman)

Apple has a head start, but a lot of other players will be trying to do the same thing...Good luck.

My next cell-phone will have a camera for sure. I'm always seeing odd things and wishing I had a camera handy. And look at this--one inch hards drives for phones! It's coming.

Posted by John Weidner at August 7, 2004 10:29 AM
Weblog by John Weidner