It's a calculated gamble for your love.
It seems like every time you turn around, Apple's pissed off somebody else in their mad quest for control. The company has been fanatic about policing iPhone jailbreaking from the beginning, and they launched a legal crusade against Psystar when that company had the gall to produce OS X computers. Just last week they began enforcing a new App Store rule that cost them the goodwill of every content provider in the world. And now they've decided to assault the last bastion of people who don't hate them.
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All Apple repair consultants are now required to join OnForce, Apple's support call system, or lose out on referrals from Apple retail. Since that would be crippling to any of these guys, they have no choice but to comply.
For the consultant, it means lower pay, the inability to advertise for their own business while on call, lots of paperwork, and that soul-crushing feeling of being trapped in the great beak of an industrial kraken. For the customer, it means lower cost, a ton of simplicity and a certain guarantee of accountability. Which is why this move will succeed, even if it pisses off every single repair consultant in the country.
Apple spent much of last year further centralizing what was already the most centrally controlled consumer device ecosystem in the world.
Much of this comes down to Steve Jobs. He's always fought against allowing any other manufacturer to create a device running Apple software. It isn't ego. From their earliest days, Apple has always been about presenting an experience to the user. The greater control you have over every aspect of that device ecosystem, the more seamless you can make it.
Apple sells because they launch products that are attractive, unthreatening, and blissfully simple. Everything works with everything else. Everything connects to everything else. Now, with the App Store change, customers won't even have to brave the scary wide Internet to make purchases. They enter their credit card information once, ever, and then they never have to bother pecking those numbers in again.
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Apple is taking a very risky gamble here. They're betting it all on the user experience. If they keep selling, keep dominating the mobile sphere as utterly as they do, online retailers will have to play ball. Content providers will fall in line. But if Apple's momentum slows they'll be left in a very precarious- and friendless, position.