If Apple wants to retain its dominance in the digital download market, the company needs to embrace Android and port iTunes to the Google Android platform, claims Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
“Let’s look at Apple. Apple’s real rise from the small market-share Macintosh company to the iProducts of today began with iTunes and the iPod. This turned out to be the second huge business which roughly doubled Apple’s ‘size’. If you remember, we ported iTunes to Windows. We now addressed 100% of the world’s market with this integrated system (iPod/iTunes) and it began the era of Apple that we are now in. So why don’t we port iTunes to Android? Did something get closed up? I love Apple products and iTunes and wish it were on my Android products too,” said Wozniak during a Q&A session on Slashdot.
In other words, while Apple is busy building walls around its iOS and OS X ecosystem, it is forgetting how migrating iTunes to Windows — a move which the late Steve Jobs once said would happen “over my dead body” — was actually what helped make the company what it is today. It opened up the iPod ecosystem to millions of Windows users, and paved the way for the iPhone and iPad ecosystem that we see today.
But there are a number of reasons why Apple is unlikely to ever put iTunes onto Android devices. First and foremost is the fact that Apple doesn’t play well with other companies. A company like Apple could migrate iTunes to Android in almost no time at all, but that move would give the platform a level of credibility that the Cupertino giant doesn’t want to bestow on the platform.
Another reason is that iTunes is not where Apple makes its money. Apple makes money from its hardware, not software. Why should Apple reward people who have bought an Android device by making the iTunes ecosystem available to them? By making iTunes available to Android users, Apple would be strengthening a competition’s mobile platform.
Then there’s the fact that Apple uses iTunes to lock users into the iPod, iPhone, AppleTV, or iPad. When they lose of break existing iDevice, they have to go out and buy a new one if they want to continue to make use of their investment in iTunes music and movies. Putting iTunes on Android would make switching platforms easier … an activity that Apple doesn’t want people to do because it would be harmful to the company’s bottom line.
And finally, Steve Wozniak no longer has anything to do with Apple, and it’s unlikely that anyone at Apple will listen to his advice.