Adobe and Apple are locked in a death match while Google mines the battleground with Android.
We see the same battle all the time. Microsoft versus Netscape. Microsoft versus Apple. Microsoft beat IBM's OS/2 with the NT Windows merger. Microsoft battles with Oracle over the ownership of your databases and applications while open source databases and applications sneak up around the edge.
Web 4.0 is all about replacing democracy with capitalism. Your Web browser is democratic. Everyone has equal access. Capitalism used to be about beating your opponents with with better products and services. Today with patents and free trade agreements, trade is no longer free and the winner is whoever can afford the best lawyers. In every market the leader is out to destroy anyone who is competitive.
Apple built their early success on the back of Adobe applications by marketing Apple computers as the best devices to run Adobe applications. Then Apple moved out of the computer field to focus on entertainment and fashion. Apple released the iPod as a fashion accessory because buyers of fashion accessories are willing to pay exorbitant prices for things without any real substance or technical advantage. The iPhone puts Apple back in the Information Technology market where most people have too much experience with mobile (cell) phones to buy the iPhone as a telephone. Apple has to do something drastic to lock in rich customers.
Enter Web 4.0. Web 4.0 removes the Web browser because the Web browser gives the customer democratic access to all the Web and all the Web offers sellers equal access to prospective customers. Web 4.0 replaces Web browsers with applications that control what you see. The owner of the application helps you buy whatever products pay the biggest access fees. Yes, Web 4.0 is thought control, also known as marketing. Shades of Stalin, Pol Pot, the Chinese government before they removed Internet censorship, and the current Australian federal government after they introduced internet censorship.
Too much AIR
Adobe stepped into battle with AIR. AIR is Adobe Interactive Runtime. Adobe market AIR as Adobe AIR which means it should be abbreviated as AAIR. The Adobe marketing department could go into a loop adding A to the front of the name.
Adobe claim 100 million installations of AIR due to people wanting to run AIR based applications. I can find only one potentially useful AIR based application across all the industries I work in and that AIR based application is useful to only a tiny percentage of specialists in a tiny niche industry.
The real reason for all the AIR installations is that Adobe installed AIR as a virus in the Adobe Reader. When you update the Adobe Reader, the AIR virus installs AIR on your computer without your permission. The Adobe Reader is a Trojan horse to worm other Adobe products onto your computer so Adobe can lie about the number of people using AIR.
Why AIR? Adobe want to replace the Web browser with AIR based applications so Adobe can sell AIR development tools to almost everyone. When AIR floods the market and squashes all competitors, Adobe can then collect commissions for placing certain data ahead of other data. We buy products from the Web based on reviews and recommendations. AIR can place some sources of reviews and recommendations ahead of others. Instead of seeing your current sources of information, you will see reviews written by the marketing departments of the big companies throwing their money at Adobe.
Apple closes a door
Apple wants to own the same market. They want to own your thoughts. They want to sell you to the highest bidder. They did it with the release of the iPod when they forced you to use an Apple application to load inferior copies of music onto the iPod and indirectly influenced people to buy inferior MP3 files from the Apple Web site. Apple did it again with the initial release of the iPhone when they sold the iPhone locked into an expensive telephone company. Now Apple are locking out Adobe to crush Adobe before Adobe can take possession of Apple customers.
Apple used to be the end point of presentations from
business gurus. The speakers would tell you to cure every business technology problem by leaving the
evil axis of Microsoft and Intel for the wonderful magical kingdom of Apple. Then Apple jumped into bed with Intel. The IBM Power chips in Apple computers were many times faster than the Intel chips until Apple suddenly decided the Intel chips were actually
2.5 times faster than the old rubbish sold by Apple.
All those conference presentations had to have Intel deleted from the evil section.
Then Google arrived with applications and operating systems. Apple could be replaced by Google in the
list. Those presenters who love to love anything new, love all things Google.
Apple does not have the skill to take on Google in the technology race because Apple fired most of their developers many years ago when Apple replaced the Apple operating system with Unix. Apple does not have the money to battle with Google. Apple can afford to crush a smaller opponent and Adobe is the right size.
Apple banned Adobe Flash from the iPhone to keep the greedy people at Adobe away from Apple customers and to keep Apple customers locked into buying applications from Apple. Every billion dollars that goes to Apple instead of Adobe weakens Adobe and could influence Adobe shareholders to dump Adobe shares. When Adobe is down and almost out, Apple could buy Adobe at a bargain basement price the way Oracle purchased Sun to get control of Java and MySQL.
Apple AIR could then take Apple applications out to non Apple computers. Think of Stalin winning the cold ware against America before tackling China or another way around.
Apple still has to battle Google and that war could be financed by taking all that money away from Adobe. Microsoft is distracted away from Apple by a battle to the death with Sony and Nintendo. When either Sony or Microsoft buy out Nintendo, both Sony and Microsoft will be able to focus on crushing Apple. If Microsoft buy Nintendo, then Apple would be the perfect meal for Sony. Yes, Apple shares are currently higher than Apple but Sony has more revenue, has more successful businesses, and Sony owns a lot of the media used to promote Apple fashion accessories. The battle would be long and Sony would have Microsoft plus Google working equally well to crush Apple. Apple shares could quickly drop to a realistic price, reducing Apple to an edible size.
Apple would have made a tasty dish for Oracle before Oracle swallowed Sun. Now Apple is in the fashion industry and worth US$223 billion while Oracle languishes at only US$117 billion.
Nintendo is a good match for Apple. Both have equally inflated share prices. Nintendo games on Apple iThings would bring all those hugely profitable accessories to Apples 20 million customers. An iWii is the way to go.
Back to today's fights
The newest Apple product is their tablet PC named the iPad. Everyone tried to sell tablets and failed. Japan had the world's only successful hand held tablets more than ten years ago. Amazon sell a trivial number of Kindles. A news item about the
huge lineup to buy iPads and the
complete sellout of stock on the first day in New York showed four Apple shop staff trying to sell dozens of iPads and just three customers shopping in the store with an indication that only one or two of those customers actually interested in buying an iPad. The iPad is eating into sales of iPhones and Apple notebooks, not sales of other brands. Apple needs a new novelty to sell to their 20 million customers.
Apple is head to head with Adobe. The Apple Flash ban is limiting Adobe access to 20 million iPhone owners but most of them also use computers and Adobe has the Adobe trojan horse Reader infecting 100 million computers every year. Adobe could win against Apple then lose long term to Google.
The Apple iPhone, from an FTC factory in China, is head to head with the superior HTC Desire and the superior Google/HTC Nexus One and a whole bunch of other similar phones from Samsung, Sony, and everyone else. The Google device is a HTC Desire with only two differences including a noise cancelling microphone. The Desire is currently the better choice in Australia because the Nexus One is sold exclusively through one telephone company ripping off Australians by cashing in on the Google name. The noise cancelling microphone is good but not worth the extra AU$1000 you pay across the two year contract to have to sign for the phone. Telstra is the competition and Telstra currently have the Desire as an exclusive deal but Telstra offer the Desire unlocked for outright sale. When HTC, or Samsung, unleash an open competitor to the iPhone, the price of both the Desire and the Nexus One will halve, moving the iPhone from a little bit more expensive to an obvious rip off. In a year the Apple iPhone will be just another Dell style product discounting into a saturated market.
The iPad will not keep Apple shares afloat. They are running out of markets to enter. An iCamera or iCar or iAnything will take them into saturated markets. that leaves the iWii and similar niche markets. They need to crush then takeover Adobe or a similar competitor to distract shareholders, tap into the more profitable professional software markets, and lock in customers outside of Apple iThing owners.