Great observations from Tim O’Reilly on Apple’s weakness:
Media and application syncing across iPhone and iPad is poorly
thought out. MobileMe, which should be Apple’s gateway drug for
lock-in to Apple services, is instead sold as an add-on to a small
fraction of Apple’s customer base. If Apple wants to win, they
need to understand the power of network effects in Internet
services. They need to sacrifice revenue for reach, taking the
opportunity of their early lead to tie users ever more closely to
It wouldn’t even be that much of a sacrifice to revenue if Apple included, say, a year or two of free MobileMe service when you buy an iPhone OS device. Or just make MobileMe service free for the lifetime of the device — that way, developers, including Apple, could count on a cloud-based syncing service.
This is Google’s primary advantage, but Apple — judging from how the iPad iWork apps don’t even attempt to sync documents, and how non-MobileMe users are stuck with USB syncing through iTunes — doesn’t seem to see that.
★ Thursday, 8 April 2010