Apple is Not George Wallace, and the Smartphone War is Not Segregation

Gizmodo infuriates me. They put out a tremendous amount of content. Most of it right in my wheelhouse of interests. They also have become linkbait borderline-tabloid nonsense.

This article in particular pissed me off today. My favorite part:

Try this thought experiment: Imagine Apple had been successful in its suit against Microsoft. Imagine Microsoft had been prohibited from shipping Windows 2.0 or Windows 3.0—or, by God, Windows 95—without licensing the hell out of it from Apple. Where would we be?

Without Windows there to pressure Apple to Build Something Better, things would be very different in Cupertino today. After it lost its case with Microsoft and saw its market share dwindle to nothing, Apple had to innovate like crazy.

Had Apple won, it never would have had to transition from the System 7-era to Mac OS X. It never would have had to buy NeXT. It never would have had to bring prodigal son Steve Jobs back into the fold. Without Mac OS X, there would be no iOS. And without iOS, no iPhone, no iPad.

Right. Because if Microsoft hadn't been able to blatantly rip off the Macintosh, then Bill Gates would have quit developing software and become a fry cook. And an in-his-prime and on top of the computer world Steve Jobs would have just sat pat without moving forward toward his already desired future of thin portable computers and a more accurate human-machine interface. Right.

Here's what Apple is doing with their current legal battles against Android manufacturers: Slowing them down on their copying.

That's all they have to do. Android's marketshare is gigantic in comparison to Apple's. But Apple eats all the profits. The only Android manufacturers that make any money off the damn things are the ones that copy Apple most directly. So Apple slows them down with legal action. Meanwhile, Siri (and other new takes on search) end-around Google's traditional advertising revenues and the Android marketplace continues to be an abymsmal place to make money. Android withers on the vine.

That doesn't mean that everyone has to get an iPhone. It just means that the competitors that emerge (and Google may remain one of them) won't be able to do so by slavishly ripping off each other. Say what you want about Windows Phone 7, but it doesn't look (or act) like a poor-man's iOS. Android does.

Why is that a "win"?