Julian Yap

Apple's iOS platform is looking to dominate the real ecosystem battle over content

Apple's upcoming "education announcement":http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2012/01/apple-to-announce-tools-platform-to-digitally-destroy-textbook-publishing.ars is significant because it demonstrates that Apple's lead in mobile with the iOS platform is so strong that they are firmly focused on solidifying their position. While other players continue to make marketshare and infrastructure moves, Apple has already moved on to the next phase which is the real battle over ecosystem and content. Google TV doesn't excite me but definitely wake me up if and when they actually announce a significant content deal with studios. I suspect this will occur long after Apple announces their plans and has done all their hard work in establishing studio contacts and solidified business models.

Apple is so far ahead of the competition its hardware (especially the iPad) is becoming the de facto standard in industries and enterprise. It's amazing that a company so focussed on the consumer market has been able to make huge inroads in the "enterprise market":http://9to5mac.com/2012/01/16/idg-91-percent-of-business-pros-use-ipad-to-get-things-done/ with the iPad without ever directly addressing them. That shows product maturity and enterprise confidence in the platform.

The difference between Apple's iOS and competing platforms is that Apple sees iOS as a content distribution platform. Perhaps not since day one but definitely by the time the iPad arrived. Apple provides tools to developers like Xcode and will provide tools to publishers. It works hard at making deals so that compelling content is available immediately on new hardware such as the iPad. Apple understands that a full user experience requires hardware, software and content to give its platform long term appeal. That emphasis on the end to end user experience is why we love Apple.

Google on the other hand sees the Android platform as an advertising distribution platform. With the fragmentation of the Android platform comes an "inability to control your fate":http://ceklog.kindel.com/2012/01/14/fragmentation-is-not-the-end-of-android/ and technology adoption efforts. Through losing its control over the Android platform Google has lost its ability to innovate because innovation without the end goal of end user adoption is meaningless.

Could Android push through the wide adoption of a new publishing format like Apple potentially will on Thursday? Certainly not but "Amazon certainly could":http://www.cultofmac.com/140653/apples-war-on-amazon-starts-thursday/. Ironically the only platform and company which could pose a threat to Apple and its deals with content is Amazon, a company solely devoted to content delivery.

17 JANUARY 2012 @ 12:36AM

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