Why Apple Can Use The App To Defeat The Web?
Roger McNamee, the managing director and co-founder of venture capital firm Elevation Partners, has a theory about how Apple became the biggest U.S. technology growth story of all time:
“The thing that made Apple successful was betting against the web,” he said on stage.
While Google adopted the cultural norms of the wired (HTML4) web by making its mobile operating system free and commoditizing content, Apple changed the game by keeping a closed system, focusing on brands and enabling paid apps.
Apple differentiated web content for a price. By doing so, McNamee believes, it created a fundamentally different model than what succeeded on the wired web.
“Most of all what Apple did was they charged $400 to $1,000 for the hardware that was necessary to get a differentiated user experience on data that 100% of their customers could get for free off a desktop device,” he said. “Every Apple customer has consciously voted with $400 to $1,000 against the world wide web.”
The result of that vote is a move away from the desktop experience of free, undifferentiated content. Mobile users don’t navigate the Internet with Google searches. They use apps, which deliver a better experience. And they spend much more time within those apps than on any web story.
Instead of needing tens of millions of lightly engaged users in order to be considered successful, McNamee hypothesizes that future success will come from smaller numbers of even more engaged — and thus more valuable — users.
It will, he believes, will be built not on the Google-controlled HTML4 web nor within Apple-controlled apps, but using HTML5, which allows for differentiated, engaged experiences without the downsides of the app store.
“The basic success factors going forward are going to be exactly opposite of those we’ve had in recent years,” he said.
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