iPhone controversy thoughts

I find it amusing all of the controversy regarding the recent iPhone update (disclaimer: I do not own one at this time). People bought the phone knowing it did not have third-party application support and it could not be unlocked. That doesn’t mean that when hackers figure out how to add these things that Apple has to support them. Which is what happened, Apple simply broke these hacks with the 1.1.1 update. Apple has no obligation to support these hacks.

Now I do agree that Apple should have had third-party application support with the iPhone the second it was released. As the iPhone development community has shown, the iPhone has a huge amount of untapped potential. I definitely believe in the near future Apple will have third-party application support, the key though is you will be able to purchase the applications cheaply via the iTunes Store. I doubt there will ever be a way to download the applications for free. It just makes too much sense for them not to use the iTunes Store. They do it with ringtones, music, etc…why not applications?

As for the unlocked phone controversy, Apple probably had no option except to promise AT&T they will break any unlock hacks. It is too bad, but it is the price you have to pay in the cell phone industry.

I am still planning to buy an iPhone late next year when my Verizon contract is done.

Never doubt Apple's ability to counter-punch

CNET said it perfectly:

When it comes to public relations battles, Apple is a devastating counter-puncher.

NBC just learned the hard way. Late last night, NBC leaked that it would not renew its TV show contract with iTunes. Supposedly, NBC was not satisfied by the financial terms Apple was offering. Nevermind the fact that it was iTunes single-handedly rescued the TV series The Office from being canceled, turning the show into one of the few hits NBC has had recently.

Apple recently has championed consumer rights when it comes to digital media and decided dust off the boxing gloves once more by removing the upcoming fall season of NBC TV Shows from the iTunes Store.

The move follows NBC’s decision to not renew its agreement with iTunes after Apple declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99. ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW, along with more than 50 cable networks, are signed up to sell TV shows from their upcoming season on iTunes at $1.99 per episode.

In one paragraph, Apple laid perhaps the best argument it has ever had for its iTunes pricing structure. After all, if 50 cable networks think $1.99 per episode is acceptable, then why does NBC need to double the price? With rumors that NBC wanted even more DRM on its TV Shows, this price increase clearly would not help consumers in any way. Apple seized on the moment and with one press release, practically knocked NBC out.

So now, NBC has lost its iTunes marketshare (30%), the vast majority of its digital sales, no access to the iPod/iPhone, and has pissed off consumers royally.

Brilliant move NBC. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next. I am sure this will make the stockholders really happy.