Is this a serious point of view?
As a software developer, OSS advocate, multiple-os user, I couldn't disagree more.
My personal laptop is a 1st-gen MacBook Pro when they first made the Intel switch, and I'm using an iPhone 3G. Never used an Apple product until they made the intel switch, and I've loved every minute of OS X.
I still use Windows, Linux and Solaris for personal use, work use and for any other purpose, but if I had a choice I would undoubtedly choose OS X.
Why? Simple, it doesn't suck. I won't say "it just works", but it sucks a hell of a lot less then Windows or Linux. Surely, we can agree on Windows here, and Linux I'm not going to go into some kind of argument, but suffice to say my time is valuable (if not to others, to myself), I don't want to invest tens to hundreds of hours into simply configuring Linux to do what I want, when OS X does out of the box, with a cleaner and (more) unified interface.
Why did I get an iPhone instead of a phone with WebOS, Android or Symbian? Same goddamn reasons, WebOS is a tiny market, Android is fragmented and destroyed by the vendor specific distributions (sad, really, I wish this weren't the case -- or else i'd have gone here). When iPhone 3.0 came out, I was able to upgrade my phone instantly. When iPhone 4.0 beta came out, I was able to upgrade my phone isntantly. My buddy at work with his Android phone? He's stuck on something ridicuously old at 1.5 because he's at the mercy of the combination of his cell provider and handset maker to update their proprietary version of Android.
We all know that the cell phone providers have a long way to go in order to "catch up" with the technology we all want to use; and that's why I went with apple here. They used their brand power to strong-arm a major cell provider into giving them unified control. Sure, I'm "locked in" to Apple for my iPhone. But what do I get for that?
- Free (in a sense, not at additional charge) software and OS ugprades
- Largest app store by an order of magnitude (i seldom pay for anything, tons of free stuff available that do what I want)
- Unified interface to sync/get content (Sure, you see iTunes as locked in, but the app is free, purchased music is DRM free and there is simply no better alternative on any OS. So what the hell are you complaining about? Make a better competitor and maybe someone will use it.)
- The UI is smoother and more intuitive then any other device
- Flash? What? Android doesnt even run flash (except in latest betas, i believe, which wont see an actual piece of hardware for who knows how long, so dont give me that BS)
Until someone else can compete at this level (and that wont be for some time, if they are lucky), then I'll stick with my "locked in" platform, which, has more free and better tools available then the OSS alternatives.
By the way... small share of the market? Apple has moved (literally) over 50 million iPhones, and I believe significantly more iPod Touch's, and the US has a population of what.. roughly 330 million people, and lets say we make some broad assumptions that only about 1/3 (110 million) of those (cut out children, elderly) are even eligible iphone customers, thats nearly 50% market penetration. Small? Are you on crack?
Yes, that's 50 million world wide, but that is just a comparison to put it into perspective.