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13 responses to “Is the iPhone a Monopoly or Not?”

  1. iphone video converter

    iPhone can’t monopolize the market because too many digital products as opposed to competition.

  2. Constable Odo

    There is no consumer being forced to use an iPhone, Touch or iPad. There are at least a half-dozen major players in the smartphone market. Apple is entitled to use whatever developer tools it wants on its own mobile platform. Apple shouldn’t have to be told by an outside party what technology it has to use to deliver video to users. Why isn’t Flash considered a monopoly if it is used by 95% of the internet for content delivery of ads, video and photos and nothing else is even close? I believe this whole matter has been blown out of proportion by bloggers and there really isn’t much too it. Adobe is just being greedy and acting like a spoiled child.

  3. Synthmeister

    Sorry, but the 25% figure is already about the smartphone market, i.e. phones that can download and use apps created by third party developers. Android, WinMo, Palm, RIM and Symbian all fit that definition. The reason why the iPhone blows away the competition in internet usage is because it is so easy and enjoyable to use. In the, “pleasure to use” category, Apple does seem to have a monopoly.

    Besides, everyone knows that it is just inevitable that Android will take over the world very soon. How can they fail? They have so many OEMs, hardware, software, OS variations, there is something for everyone, including developers who want to write once and deploy everywhere. And once everyone but Apple has the magical plug-in, otherwise known as Flash 10.1, nothing will be able to stop them, because we all know that Flash is a strategic, competitive advantage for everyone that uses it.

    OTOH, if Jobs is correct, then Flash will become the ball and chain dragging Apple’s competitors to the bottom of the ocean, while they wait on Adobe to throw them a life ring.

    If it were me, I wouldn’t be depending on Adobe for anything strategic in my product’s future, no matter how ubiquitous Flash has become.

  4. klasseng

    The iPhone is NOT a monopoly in any market.

    There are far too many other smart phones that do almost exactly what the iPhone does for it to be any other kind of monopoly. Yup, Apple has a monopoly on the Apple iPhone… and that’s about it.

  5. oz

    Would it be reasonable to say that Rolls-Royce is a monopoly because only its cars offer certain luxuries?

  6. Bob Warfield

    You guys all say 25% blah, blah. I still want to see how that is defined exactly and by who. That the market definitions do not reflect actual usage is suspicious because that usage leads to revenues, which are what monopolies are all about, particularly where software and the Internet is concerned. There are tons of search engines, but that doesn’t stop the FTC from looking hard at Google. There were tons of operating systems and that didn’t stop them looking at Microsoft. That there are choices is not the issue. Its what choices people are making.

    Constable Odo, there are two problems you bring up.

    First, Flash apparently does not have a 95% content delivery share any more. I’m not sure it ever did, but h.264 apparently now has the majority of content from what I’ve read.

    Second, the difference between how Apple is approaching it and how Adobe has approached it is that Adobe hasn’t force anyone to use Flash or develop in it. Apple has, OTOH, forced people not to. It is not illegal to have a monopoly, it’s only illegal to abuse it to advantage.



  7. Blad_Rnr

    So, let me get this straight. Are you saying Apple has a monopoly because other smart phones have crappy web browsers so therefore no one uses them? If so, how is that Apple’s fault?

    Why do you think Apple made the iPhone, then? Here’s a clue: because other smart phones had crappy web browsers!

  8. jocca

    Apple is not a monopoly. It is a very successful player amongst a multitude of players who have been in the telephony business much longer than itself. The success it carved with the iPhone is not due to anti-competitive method, but by producing the best touch phone operating within a well controlled ecosystem. Controlling the quality of the iPhone ecosystem is paramount to Apple in order to protect the quality of the user’s experience, not because of “anti-competitive practice” because some software maker has complained to the government that its crappy software has been banned from being plugged into that ecosystem. This is not a monopoly problem but one of great competition based on performance, intelligent management and a long term vision that is sadly absent from the rest of the technology industry.

  9. technicaltruth

    Brilliant, must-read piece by Stanislav Datskovskiy:

    I argue that Apple now has not one but two monopolies:

    I) A nearly-total monopoly on computer (and pocket computer) systems designed with good taste.

    II) A total monopoly on the Microsoft-free, hassle-free personal computer.

    Mr. Jobs is indeed starting to behave like that other convicted monopolist we know and love. Yet unlike the latter, Jobs did not engage in underhanded business practices to create his monopolies. They were handed to him on a silver platter by the rest of the market, which insists on peddling either outright crap or cheap imitations of Apple’s aesthetic.

  10. technicaltruth

    first time i have seen a company with 95% marketshare accuse another with 25% marketshare of being a monopoly. LOL

  11. Louis Wheeler

    This discussion has jumped the shark. None of the Anti-Apple arguments make any sense. It’s okay for Adobe to have a monopoly, but its detestable if Apple should have one? It’s okay for Adobe to have complete control over Flash plugins, but Apple cannot have a little store?

    What this is all about is that the handwriting is on the wall. Three years from now, Apple’s little store will be huge. Three years from now, HTML 5 will be acceptable, fast and wide spread, but it isn’t ready yet. Three years from now, H.264 will be as wide spread as Flash is now.

    Adobe can see the train wreck coming. So, it is trying to intimidate its way to success. Sorry, Adobe, it won’t work. No one but your paid shills is listening. Time has already passed you by.

  12. Gavin

    It is always amusing to read comments from those who think Steve Jobs is infallible! (I wonder is Microsoft could so easily avoid condemnation for utilizing sweat shop labour or banning Windows programs not built with VB!)

    The issue is not that Apple has a monopoly, it is that it is abusing it’s position. I love my iPhone but anyone who is naive enough to believe that Flash is banned for noble reasons seriously needs to wake up. If the iPhone is the best smartphone out there then it would offer the best Flash experience, and open the floodgates for more developers, more competition in the App store, and ultimately better apps.

  13. DK

    Despite the ramblings of all the apple fanboys (and girls) – Apple is monopolizing.
    By setting up a single source app store is which they are the sole owner of the store , they committed gross monopolization against other already established app store vendors (handango, mobihand etc). The whole purpose was to lock them out of the game, not just insure security and quality as apple claims.
    This was bad for users, who are stuck buying at a single location and have no competition on the pricing as such. It’s bad for developers, who have no choice but to develop through apple. It’s an obvious example of abusing power for financial gain.