CorrectingI botched something yesterday. Let's fix it.
Here's what I said yesterday: it's important to remember that iPods, iPhones, and iPads exist for one reason only: to sell you shit. They are content delivery devices. That's how Apple makes its staggeringly ridiculous financial targets, because once people buy Apple hardware, they fill it up with content that also profits Apple. Even if it's not an Apple program, Apple takes a toll fee for buying it through iTunes or iWhatever.
In bold: incorrect. it's not that Apple doesn't profit greatly from selling shit to you to fill up your iWhatever--they do--but they also make money from selling hardware. Kevin Caffrey and Tor Einar Samdahl (that has to be one of the coolest names I've ever heard) both pointed this out to me, and thanks for their contribution.
However, I still believe that the applications are a huge driver in why Apple sells so much of its highly-profitable hardware.
Let's use the iPhone as an example. I had a Samsung Fascinate last year, and as a piece of elegant hardware, it KILLS the iPhone. It's significantly thinner, and it's significantly lighter. It oozes ultra-cool, and it's a great phone.
The iPad? Prior to the new iPad with the ultra-sick resolution, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was lighter and thinner and cooler. It's a remarkable piece of hardware.
But Apple has the app store with significantly more ass-kicking content. It's wonderland. It makes them almost invulnerable.
What would happen, though, if the app store was surpassed? Trouble. Big trouble. That's why when I say that no one is better than Amazon at selling you shit, it explains why they're such a threat.
Let's say, hypothetically, that three years from now, both Google and Amazon have better app markets than Apple. Actually, it doesn't have to be three years--let's just say that at some point, Apple no longer has the best or most exclusive content for its devices.
How many people would buy Apple hardware then?
Yes, the core group that I mentioned yesterday wouldn't care. They wouldn't even admit that someone else's app store was better. But like I said, the concentric rings would be vulnerable, and without them, Apple becomes a very different company.