Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners -- who previously made headlines before they sold Palm to HP -- is back with some interesting views on how Apple's App Store might have already killed Google's open web.
McNamee asserts that search, which makes Google billions in advertising revenue on the desktop, has been reduced to 1% of mobile activity, effectively obliterating it as a business. He blames/credits that to Apple and their App Store model, where they present the internet not in open, standards based web pages but closed, proprietary native applications.
The open web was too wild for the mainstream, MacNamee says, which makes Apple's iPhone and iPad far more accessible, approachable, and comfortable. (He also thinks iPad is the most important device since the IBM PC and urges everyone to get one.)
McNamee doesn't seem to be casting Apple as the villain of the open web, or the hero of the app mainstream, but rather both, or rather still commenting on the re-closing of the web.
That's something we've been speaking about a lot on our podcasts lately. Compuserve, Prodigy, AOL, etc. all started as mainstream-friendly, walled-gardens built on top of the internet. Eventually, they had to give users real email and real web access, and the walled gardens fell.
Now, however, the App Store has repackaged it again. And Facebook has erected a new, more social, but just as walled a garden. And Google is having to walk the line with Android and Plus and other services to provide a good experience while still staying as open as their original philosophy allowed.
MacNamee thinks it's done in Mobile. Google's model lost. I'm not so sure. "It is what it is" is far too easy and final for the turbulence we're still undergoing. Apple is all in on open HTML5 as a second development platform, for example, so just like Google they're embracing what they feel is the best of both models. That might be the new normal. We might finally be recognizing one model doesn't work for everyone, and a combination of the two is more than the sum of it's parts -- or its soundbites.
Video after the break.