The term Sheeple is one i use to describe people who display herd mentality; many times products and marketing are successful simply because one feels like they wish to be one of “those people” that have “that device”.
Apples products survive solely on this mentality, non of their products are technically very different from any other and quite often they bring a higher price; they are rarely better quality and in some cases are less reliable than their counterparts. Some will say the design of Apple products is amazing, well, if you like white then yeah i guess you would like Apple products. Personally I grew up with beige and white computers and after many years computers finally got a nice black and metal finish, this was lost in Applism design.
Now to the point of the story, like no other platform, Apple iOS has picked up the lions share of development, even with a far from high market share it got much attention and we found apps being developed for a minority platform. This of course has helped with the growth of the iPhone and iPad and has created an app culture.
The problem is, iOS lacks integration with social networks and email and states that “there is an app for that” rather than innovating and providing built in functionality. Android does the same, however, believe it or not there are platforms paying attention to how consumers use phones. Windows Phone 7, by Microsoft for example, integrates, Facebook, Linkedin, Windows Live, Twitter, Exchange email, Gmail, Hotmail and the list goes on, all without having to even open the marketplace to get an app.
It has been apparent to me for a long time that there is a strange focus on iOS; my theory is that Apple are secretly paying large software houses to develop for the 0platform then having them sign NDA’s to hide it. This is pure speculation of course, however I have watched the mobile landscape for over 15 years now develop and never before have developers, small or large, developed with such vigor for a platform with very low market share. (this of course has changed over the years but the ratio of market share to developers and app by those developers for the platform has been extremely high in iOS like never before).
Now add on top of this many analysis of the Windows Phone Marketplace demonstrating being the most profitable for developers, and the ability to code across platform (XBOX, Windows Phone and Games for Windows all use the XNA studio and make it very easy for game developers to release across platforms).
Now Peter-Paul Koch, better known as PPK in the web developer community, adds his input on the focus on webkit and iPhone development:
“What we have here is an iPhone monoculture; not in the stats, but in web developers’ minds,” writes Koch. “This is the fundamental problem we must address.”
He goes on to suggest the change needed and I must agree whole heartedly in his comments and find it refreshing for someone with a bit of clout behind them to be stating such:
“Start talking about testing in mobile non-WebKit browsers (i.e. Opera),” he writes. “Start talking about other platforms besides iPhone (and Android). Start talking about mobile diversity, instead of showing the iPhone over and over and over again.”
It’s about time developers start delivering cross platform applications and allow the consumer the choice they deserve, even the sheeple.