Dilger blasts the Wall Street Journal for calling Apple’s garden ‘walled’

“I have been rebutted many times in many mediums but this by is the rebuttalist of them all.” — Christopher Mims

From Daniel Eran Dilger’s No, Apple’s licensing of iTunes & AirPlay 2 isn’t a ‘strategy reversal’ in any way posted Friday on AppleInsider:

In his piece “Apple’s Next Move: Be More Like Microsoft,” Christopher Mims portrayed Apple as making a “radical shift in its corporate strategy” by licensing the AirPlay protocol and supporting iTunes content playback on non-Apple platforms.

He also cited Apple’s move last month to support Apple Music on Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo appliances as another example of the company “blasting holes in the boundaries of its staunchly defended walled garden,” by allowing its own media content services to work on non-Apple hardware.

“For years,” Mims dramatically wrote, “a big part of Apple’s premium experience—and justification for its premium pricing—has been that its software and services are only available on its hardware.”

That’s not even remotely true, though.

My take: There are counter-examples; the first two years of iTunes, for example. But Dilger is right. Apple’s “walled garden” is a piece of business-reporting shorthand that everybody—including yours truly—tosses in without a second thought.

11 Comments

  1. David Emery said:

    But “security membrane” is a lot less compelling language than “walled garden” 🙂

    0
    January 12, 2019
  2. Jonny Tilney said:

    When it comes to Apple, any amount of laziness by the media is acceptable. Except when you get Rottweiler’d by Daniel Eran Dilger!

    1
    January 12, 2019
    • S Lawton said:

      Apple has been described as a walled garden for years. Dilger is only now getting upset?

      0
      January 12, 2019
      • Aaron Belich said:

        Someone didnt read either article…

        0
        January 12, 2019
        • S Lawton said:

          ” Apple stole the limelight at CES without even appearing as an exhibitor, thanks to a series of announcements from Samsung and a series of other television makers incorporating Apple’s AirPlay 2 wireless streaming in their products, including LG, Sony and Vizio. ”

          Apple stole the limelight? I am sure that would be a surprise to the attendees a e tech writers who attended CES. Opening with that statement is as much a clue to his prejudice as WSJ to theirs. And no I don’t read behind ASUs walled articles.

          0
          January 12, 2019
  3. Fred Stein said:

    The article was so full of distortion, meaning stock phrases, the I could not finish it.

    Just a couple. 1) “Premium Price” – We discussed many times that iPhones owners actually get sw updates (statistics are overwhelming on this) and support which is worth about 30% given the current average upgrade rate of three years. 2) “Apple playing defense”? Just the opposite. Apple takes their loyal customers of Apple services to other vendors’ devices and thus skims the cream. By expanding the reach of Apple services, Apple has a stronger negotiating position with content providers. That’s not defense. That’s a classic Tim Cook “win win” thinking.

    The biggest flaw is the premise of “radical shift”. Tim Cook started touting services as Apple’s growth vehicle years ago These recent moves are tweaks to Tim’s strategy.

    0
    January 12, 2019
    • S Lawton said:

      ” By expanding the reach of Apple services, Apple has a stronger negotiating position with content providers. ” How many years has Apple been negotiating for video content?

      0
      January 12, 2019
      • Jonathan Mackenzie said:

        “How many years has Apple been negotiating for video content?”

        A long time. For better or worse (and I think it’s worse in this case), Apple seems to be allergic to negative cash flow. I don’t think they are eager to do deals that won’t make a real return. Netflix paid $100 million for another year of friends. Can you imagine Apple paying this kind of money to get one more year of an old show?

        I think Amazon has cleverly absorbed the loss leading nature of streaming video into the Amazon Prime membership. It was a marketing masterstroke. And their massive subscription revenue allows them to justify huge content costs. I don’ think Apple has a lot of experience with loss leaders. If they bid $100 million for a syndicated TV show, it would be because they had a graph showing they’d make $600 million in revenue.

        Eventually, Apple will have to pony up if they’re serious about doing subscription video. I think they have sticker shock and I’m not even sure that’s the wrong reaction to have. I am interested in seeing what they ultimately decide to do.

        1
        January 12, 2019
  4. Fred Stein said:

    After reading Dilger’s rebuttal, there two explanations. (maybe both combined).

    1) Mims does not understand Apple, not even close.
    2) Mim is desperate for clicks.

    The clincher was Mims 2015 suggestion to kill off the Mac. Ludicrous.

    0
    January 12, 2019

Leave a Reply