Forget Android, Apple will sink Apple

The debate over whether Android will scupper Apple in the smartphone and tablet markets has been raging for a while, but it wont be features or hardware that decides.

With the use of mobile devices as phones reduced to a peripheral concern for many, it’s consumption of content- be it web content, music, video, games, books, magazines or anything else – that people use these devices for.

Think of a mobile device as a tool for accessing content, a bit like the old cassette Walkman was a tool for listening to music. With out content the tool is useless.

Whichever platform has the best/most/cheapest content will win, betamax and HD-DVD lost to VHS and BluRay because of the decisions of film studios.

Apple have just confirmed that the 30% they charge app developers will be rolled out to digital content providers like newspaper and book publishers. The margins on this type of content are paper thin already and 30% may just be too much for the already beleaguered publishing industry to stand, particularly compared to Google’s 10%.

Not only are Apple asking for 30%, they’re also not going to pass any user information back to the publisher, which Google will.

Apple have found themselves in a position where they have up to now been able to call all the shots. It got to market with it’s app store ahead of the game and changed the mobile phone and personal computer markets with it’s iOS devices. But Apple have  got some real competition now, and antagonising the people who produce the content their product depends on may just force those people into the arms of those competitors, further strengthening their offering.

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