Apple walls its garden for a reason

On the internet you read a lot of complaints on Apple product philosophy to tightly control the end-user experience. And it is true. Apple does have strict policies about what is available and what is not available. Even further when in doubt they rather choose to close / stop the activity then to allow it and see what happens.

Of course this creates a lot of unhappy geeks out there but of course this stuff is not meant for them. The products are meant for consumers. And most Apple consumers are happy with their gear.

We can all remember the days we all used Microsoft Windows. And you know what for better and worse Microsoft’s platform was open for all. They of course had their secret APIs and stuff but still anybody could make an application available for all to install.
I can remember that I kept on reinstalling Windows several times a year because Windows would get slow, unreliable or stopped working all together. This was mostly because I played around with so many different applications. But not to forget; Windows was very vulnerable to viruses, worms and Trojan horses. These little buggers made use of this open and easy accessible platform to flourish and propagate.

For me a close analogy are cars. In the past it was normal that certain large percentage of car owners actually knew how the car worked and even were able to fix problems with the car. Nowadays cars are so hard to maintain that even the professional mom & pop shops have to specialize to keep up. Consumers maintaining and fixing their own cars are very very low in numbers. The only people I know who work on cars are working on cars of 20 years and older.
This analogy also applies to electronic equipment. In the past you would get the electronic schematics with your television. This helped you how to fix a problem with your television. Of course you do not get this information anymore.
For computers it is the same process. In the past computers — and especially desktop computers — could be completely disassembled by the owner. Parts of the computer could be replaced or upgraded. It was normal to bring your computer to your local computer geek to upgrade it every 6-12 months. Necessary to play the last computer games or latest version of Microsoft Office.

Computers nowadays are (or should?) reliable pieces of equipment. Users expect it to keep running for several years. They do not want to upgrade to be able to play or run the latest versions of software or games. A computer is a tool like a television, alarm clock or your refrigerator. Nothing more and nothing less. This means that geeks need to find another hobby or use a different car. Linux is an alternative.

Apple sees this clearly and applies this vision to their product line. I think it is a very successful strategy.

Let Android prove it can be different!