Forrester Chief: “Apple is blowing it”

Forrester Research chairman and CEO George Colony says that Apple is suffering from hubris in deciding to take a proposed 30 per cent cut on app subscriptions. In a blog post, Colony says that iPhone, iPad, and Android apps signal “a cataclysmic shift in the technology industry away from the Microsoft desktop standard and the cloud/web paradigm.”

The post continues: “This is App Internet, representing a new model of applications that seamlessly combine the power of local devices with the scale of the cloud. App Internet is positioned to shift activity away from the web to the app experience – forever changing many, many markets…These are the formative and critical moments in the development of the App Internet market – the winners could become dominant for decades.

Against this backdrop, says Colony, Apple’s decision to demand a 30 per cent cut of revenues from content providers on its app store could result in it ceding the app market to other players, in the same way that it gave Microsoft a clear run at the PC Operating System market.

“Apple is blowing it”, says Colony. “It risks replaying the PC wars of the early 1980s when Microsoft welcomed everyone into their development world while Apple stayed ‘pure’ and scared away its allies. We know what happened – the world has had to use a lowest-common denominator PC operating system for decades, with excursions into wonderful places like Vista.”

Colony believes that Apples hostile position could result in a 2014 App Internet market that looks something like: 80 per cent Android, 10 per cent Apple, 10 per cent other. He concludes: “Apple has to play chess here, not checkers. It has to stay reasonable and accommodating and play for the ultimate prize – dominance of the App Internet. If it doesnt, well look back at this moment and call it the top for Apple.”