Apple, given their history, is acutely aware of the pain that can result when their destiny depends on companies outside their control. Microsoft, Adobe, Google, Hollywood, AT&T, Nuance, and the list goes on. In yet another thoughtful piece on his blog, Hypercritical, John Siracusa argues that despite all this, Apple might do well to consider a few more dependencies.
An unfortunate side effect of doing everything yourself is that every other company starts to look like an enemy. Realistically, Apple can’t do everything—or can’t do everything well, anyway. Online services are only going to become more important with time, so it’s understandable that Apple wants to be the master of its own destiny in this area. But it needs to improve much more quickly if it wants to even remain competitive, let alone catch up to Google. Failing that, it needs to find some partners that aren’t mortal enemies. (I’m sure Marissa Mayer would take Tim Cook’s call.)
It's an interesting quandary. Apple ultimately suffered from their partnerships with Microsoft, Google, and Samsung. In essence, they taught their partners how to become their competitors. Apple is currently partnering with Nuance for Siri's voice detection, yet Google's in-house voice services are providing far better service. If Apple had voice in-house, would it be more competitive? Is Apple's lack of experience with services in general better served by partnerships or acquisitions?
Siricusa looks at the history and the current situation, and also at Samsung and Google, their dependencies, and how they compare and contrast with Apple's.
It's great to see Siracusa blogging more regularly again, and as usual, the whole article is a fascinating read. check it out.
(Along with Marco Arment and Casey Liss, John Siracusa is also podcasting about technology again. You can find their new show -- which has been excellent, so far -- at Accidental Tech Podcast)