Daniel Eran Dilger
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Apple vs iOS Developers: A story of love, approval and world conquest

Daniel Eran Dilger

Readability is the latest iOS developer to resort to the courts of public opinion in its issues with Apple. It doesn’t seem to be working out well.

Apple vs. Los Desarrolladores del iOS: Una historia de amor, aprobaciones y la conquista del mundo (en español)
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Ever notice how everything works the same way

When you run squarely into a policy you don’t like, and there’s no room for negotiating, you might as well make a scene about it and see if you can distract from your weak position using the strength of an emotional argument. But you might also get kicked out of the house for doing that.

When smaller animals are drawn into a conflict with a larger more powerful one, they don’t attempt to battle on the rules established by their larger adversary. They squawk and hiss and flip around and act crazed and loud, hoping to scare through intimidating gestures, either avoiding conflict entirely or winning through superficial damage that often makes their larger foe rethink whether this battle is worth the effort of pursuing. Sometimes they just get mauled and left for dead though.

I’ve noticed a similar set of behaviors when I’m trying to negotiate an intellectual solution to problem with someone I’m in a relationship with. I’m rarely challenged by smarter reasoning (in part because of how I choose to make relationships, but that’s perhaps saying too much). Instead, I’m broadsided with nonsensical, upside down insanity that can, and often does, distract me from the reality of the issue and make me sympathetic with a demand that only later do I come to realize was abusive, manipulative and completely ridiculous. But enough about my codependency issues.

I’m now going to shift the discussion back to Apple vs the Developers, a relationship between a husbandly provider and a harem of concubines all seeking Apple’s attention and the continued support Apple provides for everyone in its vast temple of wealth known as the iOS App Store. It’s story telling time.

Love lost and cynicism gained

Apple first fell in love with a software developer in the 70s, after finding what a groovy situation VisiCalc turned out to be for its hardware. But then VisiCalc was run over in a tragic accident, or actually, was really murdered by Lotus 1-2-3, a rival that didn’t really want Apple’s affections so much as the title of the belle of the ball as the world’s prettiest, most desired spreadsheet.

Lotus was happily wedded to DOS, which promised it far more riches than anyone in the house of Apple, including the aging Apple II, the crippled Apple III, the eccentric Lisa, and perhaps even the charming but very young Macintosh could. Stung by the loss of VisiCalc, the Apple kingdom secretly engaged its young Macintosh with a struggling partner that desperately wanted to be famous and rich and have lots of offspring together, but so far had been locked out of the applications market by more attractive rivals like Lotus and WordPerfect.

That company, Microsoft, worked closely with Macintosh to build a suite of new Office apps that were clearly the offspring of the dapper young Mac, sharing the same charming face. However, the very minute Mac began letting itself go, Microsoft took their children and ran off with a new husband of its own named Windows, which was really DOS in disguise.

Windows and Office, the new power couple, murdered Lotus 1-2-3 and then reigned over the world of tech for the next fifteen years, maintaining a facade of radiant youth and prosperity through lots of facelifts afforded by their taxing all the hardware sales in the land.

Macintosh, still smarting from a series of other bad dates and brief but often painful flings with nearly every developer who might show it even the briefest flicker of attention, decided that the only way it could attract a worthy partner would be if it could bulk up its marketing muscles, expand its ability to control and distribute resources, and of course, heighten its sexual powers of software procreation.

Apple takes to the high seas of mobility

Over the last decade, Mac of the house of Apple built up a minor empire capable of supporting lots of developers, although he still found it hard to attract the attention of some of the prettiest and most popular. His dynasty was also perceived as being far less important compared to the house of Windows and Office, who controlled most of the world defined by the PC map.

Mac’s real strategy, however, was not to overthrow the PC world. Starting such a war would be devastating, and Mac simply had little chance of prevailing. Instead, Mac build up a flotilla focused on discovery, investing in new lands where riches were known to exist but which the reigning monarch duo had largely ignored after a series of embarrassing failures of their own aimed at discovery.

Mac first happened upon an island of music, which he expanded upon with the assistance of music labels who had been incapable of selling their wares in the PC world controlled by Windows and Office. Building upon that strength, Mac created additional trade routes for movies and TV, eventually setting up lucrative markets that stoked insane jealousy in the halls of Microsoft’s castle.

Mac’s focus on mobility eventually let him into the vast seas of smartphones, where he immediately dominated resource collection, causing further shame for the Windows kingdom. Having tapped the vast wealth of the seas, Mac found itself on the receiving end of the advances of every mobile developer in the land.

Rather than demanding an oath of fidelity, as Windows had with most of its previous partners, Mac told the ladies he would care for them in exchange for a regular piece of their action. They were free to court others, and need only follow his rules while they took up residence in his increasingly opulent mansion.

Microsoft’s failure to find any resources in the high seas increasingly caused its mobile developers to leave, taking up residence in the house of Apple, a palace now larger and more resplendent than Microsoft’s own, despite Windows and Office retaining their iron fisted control over the flatlands of the PC plateau.

A new rival emerges alongside a new world

Mac was surprised to find that one of its closest partners had set out upon the seas of discovery itself, having undertaken a gender reassignment that had refashioned it from a service providing concubine to a rival kingdom waving a flag adorned with a green robot.

While proving itself equally able to send out ships of discovery and return loads of resources from the smartphone seas, however, Lord Google didn’t take a cut nor did it profit handsomely from the siring of mobile titles. In fact, Mac’s new rival has been largely unable to build accommodations to shelter its developers at all, despite running more boats than anyone else on the ocean.

Last year, Mac happened upon a vast new continent of iPad, which it immediately discovered to be a shorter trade route with markets of all kinds. After capitalizing on this new discovery and the riches it brought in, the rival kingdoms of Microsoft and Google both announced they would do the same, despite having no real prowess in commanding the smartphone seas and lacking the ability to travel such great distances to bring back resources from a vast new world.

The discovery of iPad only heightened Mac’s appeal, packing Apple’s sprawling campus of temples with developers ready to give a piece in exchange for husbandly ownership. One can’t say they are without quibbling though, as the developers mourn day and night that, while they are certainly able to run off in the night to Microsoft or Google, it simply isn’t in their own interest to do so.

But rather than respecting their wealthily new host, who lavishes them with attention and shared riches, some demand the right to benefit without ever putting out, because they think such an arrangement is beneath them.

Asked what he thinks about these new complaints, Mac points to a public document outlining his rules for approval. Prominently mentioned: if you are rejected, I have a process you can appeal to. If you run to the fourth estate and trash me, it never helps.

  • t0m

    Gruber had it pretty succintly – Readability’s model is to take 30% for a service. Not like they can complain about Apple doing that?

    Apple seems to get the brunt of some of this, as it’s leading in some of these issues – leaving others trailing with insights of what to do better for them.

  • Jim F.

    I just do not get it. The convenience of the App Store makes it so easy for a developer to reach an audience. It baffles me that that they complain about reaching a market. In retail, for example, a vendor is in the place for traffic – a mall or local shopping hub. They know they may get a set of buyers just do to being there while visiting some where else in the same location. They pay more to be at that location and make up (hopefully) the higher location fee in volume. Or they can chose to go to the out of the way hidden location, and hope word of mouth will get them the customers they desire. Their choice – they can move if the mall raises the rates or they can stay and agree that it is higher (and that lower would be better) and smile at all the customers they have regardless. Lastly I think the change is that they have to offer the same or better deal via iTunes.. nothing stopping them from doing that and gaining from both ends – those that want to buy direct and those who opt for convenience.

  • nextguy

    “Well you started with a nice article about developers and apple but now I must stop you as this has gotten far too silly. Now nobody likes a good laugh more than I do. Except the mac advocate. And maybe gus. Come to think of it, every one likes a good laugh more than I do.

    Now let’s have a nice clean article about new mac pros. Cut in 3 2 1…”

  • http://motorizedmount.com Alan

    “Instead, I’m broadsided with nonsensical, upside down insanity that can, and often does, distract me from the reality of the issue and make me sympathetic with a demand that only later do I come to realize was abusive, manipulative and completely ridiculous. But enough about my codependency issues.”

    Boy, can I ever relate to that. In fact that whole paragraph sums up my me disastrous love life these past two years. I finally came to my senses New Years, so there is hope Dan. Good luck to us both in making smarter choices.

    I don’t know much about this Readability app, but it doesn’t seem like anything too special that will be missed or have any real impact. I might disagree with some of Apple’s policies and decision, but they are not run by morons. If a large amount of their top developer’s leave and it actually starts to effect the bottom line, they will adapt and make things right. It is also quite possible and probable that most will just bite the bullet and grumble but stay put. As long as my 1350 shares of AAPL go up I won’t complain, well at least not too much.

    P.S. What is going on with Lion? I haven’t heard anything new about that since the announcement. I sure do miss your Mac hardware and OS X articles. I hope you will do another one of those sometimes soon.

  • Jim Thompson

    Dan, I love your frequent use of analogies. This time you really outdid yourself; great.

    This is a case of some developers throwing a tantrum because they think everything in their world should be free to them. Apple certainly has the right to charge. Now maybe 30% is too high. But it’s Apple’s right to set it. Personally I would think a sliding scale of from 10% for high value sales/subscriptions to 30% for low ones might prove more profitable to Apple, but it is their decision to make.

    I’m delighted to see you are again writing frequently and passionately. Don’t stop. As for future topics, I’d love to see your take on a NFC capability in the next iPhone and what kind of payment system Apple might come up with.

  • Michael33rs

    Boy, it just shows how greedy these developers can really be. They want to live in the Penthouse but don’t want to fork up the rent! Which they can easily afford!

  • airmanchairman

    The developers and publishers that have a beef with this rule all appear to be resellers and aggregators who themselves are taking a percentage of the creative efforts of others beholden to them for distribution and retail.

    This set of App Store / iBooks dwellers represent a grey area that can only get messier with time, as scores of parasitic middlemen set up store as bottom-feeders-in-the-middle and eventually dispense with their own infrastructure while profiting off both ends of their cosy food chain. All it takes to get really silly is for this arrangement to acquire more layers of middlemen and resellers between the actual content creators and the Apple infrastructure.

    Making them pay their way or hit the highway is a foresighted plan to keep things real and avoiding the tangle of lawsuits and class actions that could arise from under-performing, fraudulent or absentee sub-letters, and also provide an incentive for such groups to keep expanding and improving the client base beneath their level of the pyramid.

  • counterproductive

    Nice allegory. It’s hard to write a good allegory, so I am glad you try stuff like this.

    I am struggling to understand the business model for Readability. On one hand, it sounds like they are merely providing, for a subscription fee, something that you get with the Safari reader view anyway. It sounds like it can be any content from any website — the website, writer or publisher has only to register with Readability and start reaping part of the 70 percent of subscription fees.

    Personally I prefer a new approach to content accessibility and curation, like Flipboard — than simply removing the ads and clutter from web pages.

    As far as “supporting authors and publishers” goes, though: is Readability like one if these music copyright groups that go around and ask offices what titles and how many times they played them in their waiting rooms, trying to collect some fees? I guess they track the number of reads each piece of writing gets, and allocate fnds proportionally? In any case, sounds like a real easy win for publishers who don’t have to produce any special content that is not already on their website in some form. Maybe the idea is that the content would have been behind the publisher/writer’s own pay wall anyway and this provides a one-stop portal of some kind.

    Still, their advertised 70 support for writers and publishers right on their homepage to seems as though they are trying to 1) get my subscription in sympathy for writers, and 2) attract any and all content to their system, regardless of quality. I am not convinced they are doing either one effectively…

    As anyone on these boards could tell them: they could probably 1) attract more subscribers by making something uniquely useful for the consumer, a la Flipboard; and 2) NOT promising authors and publishers an unrealistic, flat 70% of all proceeds — but, at best, 70% of direct subscriptions, and 40% of App Store subscriptions (which would help widen readership and thus increase revenue).

    Ralistically, though, as they sign up more and more authors and publishers of all sorts, Readability is going to have to have some kind of system to see how much each contributor earns. Put all the revenue for contributors in one pot each month (both 70% and 40% lots) and rank content by number of reads, and allocate accordingly?

    What I am trying to say: Being as how it sounds like Readability, if they haven’t already, needs to set up and perform a complex service of fee allocation tied to number of content readings. If this is the case, then it seems like their focus really ought to be on making the service actually work, rather than on the high-profile advertised 70%. As we know, anyone can announce anything (like Google’s 10% subscription terms), but actual execution and profitability is much more difficult; and if Apple offers a viable avenue, take it.

  • http://spacecynics.wordpress.com Thomas

    Microkia: 2 boat anchors believing they can somehow teach each other how to swim…

  • John E

    all the wailing and commentary about Apple’s new policy is incredibly dumb as a matter of basic economics.

    overall, what Apple is doing is adding a new cost to the delivery of digital content, its 30% fee for distribution via iOS. the overall response will be for the sellers of that content to raise their prices to offset this – as long as their is sufficient market “elasticity,” meaning consumers will be willing to pay the higher price.

    there are different situations of course. let’s long at the two opposite boundaries.

    if a content seller gets 100% of its sales from iOS, then it needs to increase its prices by 30% to offset the fee. so a $3 purchase or subscription becomes a $4 purchase or subscription.

    but if the content seller gets only 10% of its sales from iOS, then it need to increase its product prices everywhere by only 3% to cover Apple’s new extra cost. so that $3 item goes up to $3.10.

    most product sellers will actually fall somewhere in between. but is will buyers be willing to pay these somewhat higher prices? sure. because the new iOS market has already brought prices down dramatically for all kinds of digital content. bumping that price up now marginally due to Apple’s new fee is going to meet very little market resistance.

    So for example, Rhapsody wails. but how many of its customers sign up by downloading an iOS app first, as opposed to going to the Rhapsody web site first? certainly less than 10% of all its subscribers. so Rhapsody will need just a very very small price increase to absorb the cost the of Apple’s new fee. they can raise their subscription price 10% and actually increase their overall profit margin – and blame Apple for it! because all their competitors have to pay the Apple fee too and so must do the same, this will not hurt their competitive position in the market.

    moreover, to the extent that Apple’s new iOS distribution system increases the sheer volume of sales, the seller’s profit margin per unit sold will go up thanks to “economy of scale,” thereby offsetting to some extent the new cost of Apple’s fee. and iOS does offer the potential for huge increases in sales volume for some.

    which is why all this wailing is so silly. the market will adjust to it. we consumers will wind up paying a bit more, but prices will still be far below their pre-iOS levels – for content that existed at all before iOS. for all the new kinds of content that have been made possible by iOS and its emulators, this is just the process of working out the long term details of how it os priced. surprise! the distributor wants a piece of the action too. Apple is not a non-profit.

  • http://www.van-garde.com adobephile

    My wife and I are freelance graphic artists, and what pisses us off the most is a customer who asks for a lower-than-normal price “because I can’t afford to pay more.” During various thin times we’d give in, but that’s definitely a slippery slope.

    We charge fair prices. We know what our costs are. And we expect to make a profit beyond costs. That’s business.

    Avoid price whiners! Simple rule.

  • gctwnl

    Excellent brilliant writing! I actually laughed out loud when Google had a sex change operation.

    “m rarely challenged by smarter reasoning”. Even if it is true, Dan (and I guess it is), this is not something you say in public. In fact, psychologically, it gives the opposite impression of what you want to convey, as many people who say they are smart aren’t and those that are, necessarily are well aware of their limitations. Writing about your limitations proves intelligence more that writing that you’re smart. Still, from your writing it is clear that you are pretty smart, so maybe I should cut you some slack.

    Anyway, a most entertaining piece with underlying analysis as well as fun.

    There is something I’d love to read from you: your critical analysis directed at Apple instead of the competition. From your vantage point: what does Apple do wrong? Or maybe I should ask Scoopertino for a spoof.

  • berult

    gctwnl,
    Stating one’s forte may sound fatuitous, but never should one hide from being challenged on the evidence. I wasn’t moulded to cut and run. I always stand tall, a juicy target I might add, to be judged on a presumption of outrecuidance.

    Sometimes wording one’s smart explicitly challenges the reader to cut and run from the comfort of unquestionable evidence. Please, “don’t cut some slack” as you say somehow apprehensively; in all deference, cut down to size if you may…

  • daryl4d

    sorry, if I’m Captain Obvious here, but it appears arguments from disgruntled content providers are due to the basic misconception of thinking of the iPad as an appliance rather than as specialized hardware. As an appliance, the idea is after you buy it you own it and you can do whatever you want with it. Some content providers must feel that the iPad is like a computer and the owner should be able to access any content he wants, including subscriptions… and, as the reasoning goes, why should Apple be the middleman and get a cut of that? They probably feel that yeah, once they’ve put their wares in iTunes, amongst the other hundreds of thousands of apps, the person looking for their particular product still has to search for it, similar to searching for something on the net, sorta like finding a compatible windows app… so again, why should Apple get a cut of everything once they’ve sold you the hardware? I mean, the content provider still has to design the app, differentiate it and get the word out, right (and even host and stream it, if it’s that type of app)? I suppose they are many angles when looking at this issue… I’ve compared the iPad to buying a PS3 in past posts, yet the problem with this comparison is that the PS3 is a specialized device, and it was sold at a discount (below cost) so Sony has to make their profits by getting a cut of the games. Yet although Apple makes money on every hardware sale, they are saying that basically you don’t really own the software on the machine… you’re leasing it in a sense and they want a cut of everything you put on it.

    Now this may sound like a simplistic comparison, but say in the future a company came out with a TV that could take any 2D signal and convert it into a 3 dimensional holographic projection in the middle of your living room. And let’s say that this was indeed a very unique experience only possible with a highly sophisticated algorithm embedded in the TV’s software. And as a result, this company declared that after buying this TV, the only way you could view content in this special way is if all the networks and studios, etc gave them a cut for playing their programs on your TV. How would you feel about that? I’m sure there would be an uproar cause of the way we think of the TV and how it’s been marketed in the past. Because the iPad is both a specialized and general appliance, and the way we think of purchasing and owning computers, I think the debate of Apple’s role as a gatekeeper will rage on for some time.

    Anyways, on a completely unrelated note, I bought this toaster from GE today…. it’s great, it toasts bread and bagels in a way that’s out of this world, the taste is incredible. Funny thing is, it actually scans the bread and will only work with particular brands… how the hell GE wedged itself between it’s customers and all the breadmakers of the world is beyond me… I hear they get a 30% cut of all the ……

  • http://backaccessward.blogspot.com beetle

    Great parable! Please consider taking a few more runs at this. I think you are onto something with the potential of “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”. (But first drop the references to your love life and Readability.)

  • daryl4d

    Here’s my last thought on the idea of charging 30% for subscriptions… (Dan, feel free to comment)…. it is a touchy subject and I think that people who feel uncomfortable with it have a hard time verbalizing why.

    For me, it seems an issue of value… who is giving it and who is getting it. Look, if someone out of the blue writes a unique app, puts it on iTunes and makes millions, sure Apple deserves a cut of that. But what about established businesses… for ex, eBay creates an app and places it into iTunes and people use it because it makes their iDevice more useable and therefore more valuable… of course, both parties benefit.

    So what about NetFlix (or Readability for that matter, although I don’t know much about them)… there are probably many existing Netflix subscribers who reason that they can now make their experience more flexible so they go out and purchase an iPad…. in fact, in the long run Netflix may be helping Apple sell hundreds of thousands or millions of iPads for this reason. Do you think Apple will give Netflix a cut of their hardware sales? Of course not, but Apple is profiting because the consumer is getting more value from their products. In a earlier discussion, someone mentioned that they bought their iPad mainly to view Netflix on it and that if Netflix withdrew from iTunes because they couldn’t afford the 30% cut, this guy was not going to purchase the iPad2. My thought for this guy is that if Netflix no longer worked on iPad, even though it does other things, for him it would now start to become a very expensive paperweight.

    The way I see this is that very few people will “discover” a service known as Netflix on iTunes for the first time. Like eBay, it is a known property, and people will subscribe to it to give their iPad more value, which drives hardware sales. Sure, for convenience, they might sign up for the subscription on iTunes cause the program is right there, but if it wasn’t, they’d just use a few more clicks to sign up on Netflix’s site. Does that deserve a 30% commission for life? Did they really “bring them the sale”? I don’t have Netflix so I’m not sure how it works, but once you have an account set up, can you not play it on other devices… like your computer hooked up to your TV or thru your PS3? So if you sign up your account thru iTunes, but play the content thru your computer or PS3 or whatever, does Apple still get that 30% cut or only a portion of it, if and when you play it on your iPad? Hey, does PS3 ask Netflix for 30% of the subscription…? How about your computer maker, or service provider..? Where does it end? It gets sticky…

  • daryl4d

    This may not be the proper place for this comment, so free feel to copy/paste it wherever it should be… I’m calling it:
    I WANT AN IPAD2
    As a disclaimer, I wanted to mention that the only Apple product I own right now is an iPod Touch 3rd Gen. I would have bought the 4th Gen when it came out but I wanted at least a 128 SSD, so I’m waiting for the 5th Gen model. Also, I don’t own an iPhone cause it won’t work in an area where I do business (Northern Canada) but I’ve been informed the necessary network upgrades will be complete end of March, so I’m looking forward to the iPhone5 . Also, keep in mind I’m writing these comments as a consumer, I’m not tech expert.
    OK, so yes, I want to buy an iPad2 when it comes out . I’ve read about some of it’s upgrades and they sound great. And since it’s supposedly going to be announced next week, I’m hoping Steve reads this column, cause the truth is, I would buy a half dozen more of them for business if it did just 2 more things. Here are my concerns along with a few questions:

    1. I would like to be able to load files directly onto the Ipad2 thru a SD card slot. I’m hoping that’s not too much to ask. I know that when I want to load files/Mp3s on my iPod Touch, I have to use another computer to manage the files thru iTunes and then connect the iPod to that other computer. Is this the way the iPad manages files… thru another computer? I mean, I can see why with the iPod, but isn’t the iPad a powerful computer in it’s own right, and so can iTunes be installed on it and have it host itself? I think this is one of the features of the newer Windows7 tablets coming out… they are considered computers, you don’t need another computer to side load apps. Sure, I hear they may be buggy, slow and not yet ready for prime time, but if Microsoft fixed those issues, it would be appealing to the business community.

    2. I need MS Excel or OpenOffice to work on the iPad2. I understand MSFT may be trying to differentiate itself in the market by holding onto MS Office for itself, and I do agree with Dan’s earlier comments that they should make it available to all platforms to get the world addicted to them and then come out with their own mobile device and claim they can do it better (as a marketing ploy)… but it looks like they are withholding. Damn, MSFT is a software company, they should try and sell their software, what’s their problem? Anyways, on the other side, I thought Steve was buddies with Larry Ellison, he owns Sun Micro, they put out OpenOffice, where’s the iPad version of this software? Heck, if it’s just money, I would be willing to buy Apple’s iNumbers as a tax just to be able to run OpenOffice on the iPad2.
    Someone mentioned to me that I should be able to open up an Excel or Calc file thru iNumbers to view it, but that’s not good enough, I need to modify, save and email that file directly to others from my iPad2 and then have them be able to open it with MS Office or OpenOffice on the other end. I don’t think this is possible but I’m not sure…. anyone know for sure?

    So there it, I’m laying down the gauntlet Apple, do you want more of my business? Steve, I hardly knew you but I like you man…. I know you’ll do the right thing next week….

  • Garry

    Your courtship metaphor is fun, but you forgot the brief, unsuccessful fling that Mac had with Lotus before its matchup with Microsoft. The offspring was Lotus Jazz, which was crippled by incompetence at birth and survived only a short time — so short that you apparently didn’t notice it! :)

  • http://madhatter.ca The Mad Hatter

    Apparently RIM has an absolutely fantastic developer system.

    /Sarcasmoff

  • gslusher

    @daryl4d:

    1. Check out the iPad Camera Connection Kit. It has two small connectors. One has an SD card reader, the other an USB port. The USB port can take a flash drive, among other things. (If I recall correctly, you have to put an empty folder that looks like a camera’s folder, but I could be mistaken.)

    2. Check out Documents to Go. They’ve been around a long time, allowing one to read, edit and create Office (and, earlier, AppleWorks) documents on PDAs and smartphones. It may require syncing with a computer. Pages can also open, edit, and save Word documents. You shouldn’t expect Word or Excel, as is, on a tablet. First, they’re too big, too complex, and too demanding for a slow CPU like in a tablet. Second, they’re built for a cursor (or maybe a stylus). They would need serious rewriting to be useful with a touch interface.

  • daryl4d

    @gslusher
    Thank you for the info, I appreciate it. Oh, btw, you don’t have to apologize for the iPad …”You shouldn’t expect Word or Excel, as is, on a tablet. First, they’re too big, too complex, and too demanding for a slow CPU like in a tablet…” I use measly Asus 1005PE netbook in the field, and it has no problems running Excel, but it has problems multitasking and playing video… the iPad (of what I’ve seen in stores) blows it away and the iPad2 will be 4X the horsepower, so there should be no problem.

    I did look into DocumentsToGo last year when considering the original iPad, but it was too limited…. what a difference a few months make. I may have a winner here. Apparently the newer version works well with no compromises and with another 2 apps I would use … “DropBox” and “Zosh” … it would enable our salespeople out in the field to share/alter/email Docs and obtain customer signatures as well. I ‘m glad that these apps are now starting to network with each other, solving a huge problem for managing files on iOS devices.

    There is just one last thing… I hope Apple announces either “Bluetooth Printing” or “WiFi Direct” (for use with portable printers, etc). tomorrow as a feature for the iPad2… Our company also has a need to print out forms on the spot when out and about… it appears only Windows7 and Mac OS supports bluetooth printing and “wifi direct” is just emerging as a new standard (it was launched Oct 2010). I checked, and so far the only bluetooth support the iPad has is with the keyboard. They should add support for bluetooth headsets as well with both the iPod Touch and iPad2, I can’t believe they don’t have it already.

    So Steve, if you’re listening, you’re 90% there…. let’s make this a home run …. :)