rurwin wrote:To expand my original point, the Apple ][ had an open specification and could accept third-party add-on boards.It was the PC of choice before the IBM PC, and in many cases even after it. I was using one in 1984-85 to assemble code and blow EPROMs. It had all the advantages of the IM PC except for the name, and it had market penetration. Fighting IBM with a new machine would never have been easy, ("nobody ever got fired for buying IBM,") but they had significant advantages.
Openness didn't come into it. In the '80s , you decided what software you wanted to run, and then bought a machine to run it. Sure, if it could be expanded, so much the better, but if it couldn't - well, who cares. All the machines came with schematics anyway. Software was the driver, and Apple had one really influential piece of software that ran on the Apple II, and which made everything else look stupid. That software was Visicalc. Indeed, it wasn't until the release of Lotus 1-2-3 in 1983 that the PC had anything to beat it; and it was only in 1983 that Apple II sales started going into freefall, despite having earlier kicked it's supposed successor, the Apple III, into touch (although that wasn't hard - the Apple III was badly designed and plain didn't work until its last iteration, launched mere weeks before the entire product line was pulled).
Visicalc was the thing that pulled the "personal computer" out of the hands of geeks and tinkerers , and put it into the hands of business.
Lotus 1-2-3 was the thing that killed the Apple II
Excel was the thing that stopped Windows being a mere graphical launcher for DOS applications
The Mac was something completely new (well, not completely, there was the much unloved Lisa before it), and had its own "killer app" (beyond the awesomely graphic-ness of its interface) - PageMaker.
Apple was (and is) a hardware manufacturer, that's where its profits came from, and that's where they come from today. Trying to compete with the "IBM PC" (which, by 1984, was in fact a morass of more-or-less compatible, budget-basement clones) would have been suicide. The "PC" was bolted together from off-the-shelf commodity parts, the Mac was made, in-house, using specialised parts. Even with the Mac's graphical interface, there was no way Apple could have competed directly on price, even before Windows 3 made the PC and the Mac "indistinguishable" .
IBM didn't like the clone market either. They tried (and failed) to kill it off many times, most notably with the PS/2.
But the new Apple Macintosh was completely closed, even writing software for it required buying the SDK from Apple
Writing software for *everything* that didn't come with a language blown into its ROM required buying the tools to do it. That's largely the case even now.
In the mid '90s Apple tried opening up to the clone market. They nearly died because of it.
What has changed since the end of the '80s-mid-90s is that pretty much all the platforms are equivalent in terms of what you can do with them, so the purchasing choice made is more to do with the hardware / OS combination and not the software you want to run. In most cases, that decision is made purely on cost, unless there is another compelling reason to go with one over another. Apple's compelling reason is that their stuff, quite simply, works as advertised. It's clean, it's integrated, and it's sexy. That goes for the Mac, the iPhone and the iPad.
And yes there are counter-examples, such as the iPad, but that is not as closed as the Macintosh was
So, you need an Apple computer in order to develop for it, you need to pay to develop for it, you can only distribute your software through Apple, and Apple have the final say as to whether you can distribute a particular piece of software or not. In what way is that somehow "more open" than the original Mac? At least with the original mac you could distribute what you liked, how you liked.
Android is winning against the iPhone.
Android is winning against the iPhone in the budget sector because :
a - Only one company makes the iPhone, and the iPhone is expensive
b - Android is a no-brainer for phone manufacturers, because it largely "just works" and has no licensing costs
c - Android enables the network operators to push out budget smartphones to people who'd like an iPhone but can't afford one (and thus increase their turnover; if observations of the people I know are anything to go by, this happens twice - once on the initial purchase of a budget Android smartphone, and once when they decide that it's a pile of cark and upgrade to an iPhone)
Apple are doing very nicely in the higher end smartphone market. Android is killing the rest - it's seen as being "as good", but it's pretty much free (MS's extortion racket aside).