The Case for Competition.

Leo Laporte (@LeoLaporte) and Jason Calacanis (@JasonCalacanis) recently hosted an interesting podcast (#TWIT Episode 206) wherein Jason asserted that Apple should be vilified for having a business model based on its closed platform and anti-competitive nature.  He encouraged people to give up use of their iPhones in order to protest what he saw as an abuse of power on Apple's part.  Jason followed that up with an article entitled 'The Case Against Apple' where he essentially describes his evidence of the anti-competitive nature of Apple.  He finishes the article with:
Apple will face a user revolt in the coming years based upon Microsoft, Google and other yet-to-be-formed companies, undercutting their core markets with cheap, stable and open devices. Apple’s legendary comeback ability will be for naught if they don’t deeply examine their anti-competitive nature.

What I think Jason is missing here is that Apple 'fanboys' (I am admittedly one of them) have been prepared to pay a premium for a good user experience and we're prepared to live in a closed environment in order to preserve (for now) that good user experience.  The problem here is that we don't seem to be able to get that same level of user experience elsewhere.  Is that anti-competitive?  Windows has, in the past, been a miserable experience.  There are some technical reasons for this but there is also the primary reason that Apple appears to place more of a premium on producing products that WORK.  Do they work 100% of the time?  No, but they do a damn sight better than most of their competitors.  Is that anti-competitive?  I understand, for now, that part of the price for this is a closed platform.  I wish that wasn't the case, but currently I value gear that works over open platforms.  If that's part of the kool-aid then so be it.  That situation will change when a good user experience becomes a commodity.

I look forward to the day when 'Microsoft and Google undercut Apple with cheap, stable and open devices' WITH GREAT USER EXPERIENCES.  Until then I will continue to reward the company who apparently has realized how much I value the fact that my IT gear works the way I want and need it to work.  Isn't that what competition's all about?