Joe Wilcox: Lunatic

We feature the work of Joe Wilcox at Betanews fairly frequently on Ye Olde Angry Mac Bastards podcast, mainly because he’s a raving lunatic, but the festering turd that he published yesterday forced me to take direct action. The headline reads Apple should ban freebees from the iPad App Store and that essentially sums up the article. Joe argues that, in order to distinguish the iPad from the iPod Touch and the iPhone, Apple should set a policy that no free applications can be offered via the iPad App Store.

Apple shouldn’t treat iPad like iPhone or iPod touch. The iPad App Store should be stocked full of premium content, meaning no freebees. It’s the right way to help establish iPad as a premium product, as something special like the Macintosh. Unfortunately, Apple has little incentive to take this right approach benefiting its developers (because they make more money), customers (because they get better quality apps) and the iPad brand (because it comes be to viewed as a more premium product).

Ok, excuse me for a second while I go stick my cock in a light socket. I need to reboot my brain. … All right I’m back. What in the everlasting fuck is wrong with Joe? Where to begin with this crapfest. First, how the fuck does “premium” equate to “paid” you gormless twat? There are many free applications in the App Store that are of exceedingly high quality. Second, where does this “iPad App Store” codswallop come from. Of course no one knows exactly what the iTunes App store will look like after the iPad is released, but it’s a damn good bet that iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad applications will be offered as part of a single store just as they are now. Moving on:

Apple’s business is about selling hardware, using software and services as differentiators. Sure, Apple sold its 10 billionth song at iTunes yesterday, but the company’s business isn’t about selling content. The content is a means to selling more high-margin hardware. From that perspective, paid apps only marginally benefit Apple. Free is better, because there can be more applications, which is good for building out the App Store/iPhone OS device platform.

This paragraph is so bizarre I can’t actually parse it. First it seems to be arguing against the very position that Joe staked out in the previous paragraph. Secondly, how does “free” mean that there will be more applications. Since it’s the developers who decide to build applications for the iDevices, the reverse would seem to be the case. I is confused. Joe babbles on for a few more paragraphs about iDevice sales numbers before presenting the meat of his thesis.

If three-quarters of the apps are paid ones already, why not 100 percent on iPad? Sure some people will balk, but, hell, they’re the early adopters paying somewhere between $499 and $829 for iPad. What should they expect? It’s a new product category for Apple and one where competitors have repeatedly failed. If Apple is going to try and breakthrough with tablets, why not freshen the approach: Make the product even more chic by making it more exclusive — even at $499. Paid apps, and only paid apps, is one way to do it.

All I can say here is that Joe Wilcox has about as much understanding of consumer psychology as Robbie The Robot, perhaps less. Allowing only paid applications on the iPad won’t make it “chic,” it will make it the worst product failure since The Angry Drunk’s Whiskey and Sex Toy Kit for Toddlers. Joe continues to rehash this same point for a few paragraphs until he delivers this zinger:

Apple’s risk is low, from my perspective, although company execs might balk at any strategy that could hurt early iPad sales. The people who are going to buy have already decided to do so. According to a report released today by AdMob, 16 percent of iPhone users and 24 percent of iPod touch users plan to buy an iPad within six months.

Apple’s risk is low”. For the love of Satan someone please get me a supply of whatever drugs Joe is taking. Apple’s risk is the howls of rage from both developers and consumers, Not to mention the tech media. Apple’s risk is the complete and utter flop of the iPad when the “competition” trumpets the “fact” that you can’t get free applications for it. Sweet Mephistopheles we had a day long debate on Twitter yesterday about how to get users to pay anything for iPad applications; now you want to enforce no free apps. Seriously, is Wilcox on Benzedrine?

Hat tip to my favorite font of facial-hair, Jim Dalrymple at The Loop.