In our last installment, I talked about some players in the consumer electronics industry that were left sucking seawater in the wake of the latest launch by the USS Cupertino. Not everyone in business is hating life, however. Let’s see who stands to gain the most from the introduction of the iPad.
Sigh. Multiple choice question. You own a beleaguered wireless network. You’ve gone on record a few times bitching about Apple’s smash hit devices as being the root cause of your shittiness. What do you do?
A. Offer a modest apology to your consumers for spawning stupidity that carries the message “you use too much bandwidth, so you’re creating your own problems” and get to work fixing your shit.
B. Restructure your rate plans to punish evil content hogs while allowing people who use less to pay less.
C. Serve as the exclusive carrier for Apple’s next smash hit device, whose millions of additional customers using a device that’s even MORE data-intensive will further constipate your already piss-poor network.
B&M Book Publishers
For all of those that thought they were going to get $9.99 eBooks on a device that actually did more than read books, sorry. Apple’s eBooks are going to cost more, news of which obviously resulted in a deafening bitch chorus from people who thought they knew the exact value of electronic versions of books and. thought that publishers were happy with the current Amazon pricing.
Apple has zero obligation to preserve anyone’s pricing model, so people blathering on about “defending the consumer” should go out and bang a woodchipper. Apple did, however, have a very good reason to do what it took to line up publishers prior to the iPad’s announcement. This requires them to charge more for eBooks. I would contend that it’s because Apple has far less leverage than Amazon and publishers were pissed about the deal they were forced into by Amazon in order to get into the eBook business. Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan thinks Apple did this purposely to screw over Amazon with publishers. I’m sure Apple didn’t mind that Macmillan started the avalanche of publishers willing to take Amazon to the woodshed shortly after eBook prices for the iPad were announced, but to assume that the prices were purposely meant to put heat on Amazon is…well…actually pretty consistent with what I’ve come to expect of that shitshow.
The market will decide what people are willing to pay for an eBook. It all comes down to price x units, people. Neither variable means more than the total.
Apple knee-capped music sharing sites by offering a viable pay alternative. Print media, which is on a similar path to irrelevance, is losing to free alternatives loaded with eye spam and shoddy content. Everyone who values good journalism is losing out as a result. If Apple can make create a way for newspapers and periodicals to showcase their content, they may be able to create a pay-per issue and/or subscription model that actually works. Whether the Times realizes it or not, this is their best chance for survival.
If you listen to some of the more prominent asshat tech blogs whoring themselves out for hits, you may think that Apple’s newest device is intended solely to line Cupertino’s pockets and lock people into the iTunes ecosystem. Apple’s business model is to lock in customers by providing the best computer and consumer electronics experiences – period. The real winners with any major Apple release are consumers who benefit from devices that make it easier to access and enjoy their content, surf the web and do their jobs. It’s really that simple, folks.