Apple's feeling pretty good about itself lately and why shouldn't it? It sold a million iPads in the first month. That means iPad sales reached a million units twice as fast as the original iPhone. The revenue spigot remains wide open and I'm sure investors are happy, but Apple has shown a few signs lately it may be getting a little too big for its britches.
Consider these recent news stories:Just last week, it announced it was shuttering the Lala music service just months after purchasing it.
Steve Jobs got even crankier about Flash posting a public letter on the Apple web site, which prompted some observers to wonder if it was a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Apple recently prevented developers from using any third party development tools to develop iPad and iPhone apps, which has anti-trust regulators sniffing around.
It got me thinking that Jobs and company are beginning to resemble the 1990s Microsoft throwing around its considerable weight and generally pissing people (and governments) off. Maybe it's time to take Apple down a notch.
First, There was Lala
Lala was an interesting experiment that started to make some headway when Google began including Lala in music search results. If copyright allowed, you could play a whole song one time. After that, you got a 30 second snippet. Lala technology could have given Apple the ability to create a subscription service for iTunes, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Instead, we have another case of a predatory corporation buying and then killing off a good service.
Oh That Flash Thing Again
Steve Jobs can't leave Flash alone. Just last week he published a now-famous memo outlining six reasons he hates Flash. It's especially laughable when you consider that some, such as Ben Michael Ward , have called Jobs on his claim that Flash replacement, the H.264 video codec is in any way open. Ward writes:
"The H.264 video codec is not open. It is patent encumbered, and there is a financial obstacle to license those patents."
Jobs wants us to believe his approach is the best, but it's not clear that it's any better or just a case of 'meet the new boss, same as the old one.'Federal Government Meet Mr. Jobs
Meanwhile, the federal government is taking an interest in Apple after the company refused to allow developers to use third-party development tools. In a NY Post article , Josh Kosman explains:
According to a person familiar with the matter, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are locked in negotiations over which of the watchdogs will begin an antitrust inquiry into Apple's new policy of requiring software developers who devise applications for devices such as the iPhone and iPad to use only Apple's programming tools.
As Apple sales increase, so does its desire to control the process as much as it possibly can. I have made no secret how much I like Apple products and the iPad is no exception (as I wrote in my DaniWeb review ), but Apple's arrogance seems to grow with its sales and it may be time to cut them down to size.
Photo by goooder http://www.flickr.com/photos/goooder/ on Flickr. Used Under Creative Commons License.