Monday, May 03, 2010

Apple & Antitrust

image:: Wired cover from June 1997

The NY Post is reporting that Apple may face anti-trust scrutiny. While Apple may not be the market share leader in mobile devices, it's a key player in terms of traffic and market power. Steve Jobs' anti-Flash manifesto last week seemed strange to me, but now it makes more sense. The question is how will the regulators view their actions with respect to their lucrative platform. So, while Apple has frozen out Adobe's Flash, how does this affect competition? Some issues I've thought of::
  1. Will developers shift away from Apple and its higher margins, due to their policy? If so, what is the economic impact for developers, Apple, and competition?
  2. What will Apple do if there are strong apps that bridge Flash and the iPhone/iPad? {Skyfire?}
  3. Will Apple's actions inadvertently strengthen Android by Google, by focusing efforts on a rising rival and open platform? Implications?
  4. How will Apple's actions shape developers actions with respect to technological choices?
  5. Will Apple take a dominant role in determining paths taken with open technologies, such as with HTML5?
I think the issue is complex and will unfold over time, so my guess is that Apple will be walking on eggshells and will be more guarded about what they say. I'm curious how this will affect an already secretive organization.

Twitterversion:: Apple may face increased antitrust scrutiny due to Flash ban that's likely to take years to play out w/many unknowns.  @Prof_K

Song::  Apples in Stereo-'Everybody Let Up'

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