You know, I've frequently heard people in the business claim: "Apple doesn't work well with others". I've heard it often enough to think about it historically. After all, surely there is evidence to prove this? However, when you stop to look at history it appears it's Apple's partners, and not Apple, who put the knife in the back.
Microsoft came into Apple's world way back when. The company then apparently imitated (some might say, "stole") the notion of the Graphical User Interface that it put inside its Windows OS. That OS with its licensee-based business model succeeded in almost destroying Apple as a computer company.
Google was an Apple partner more or less since the beginning of Google. Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, even advised Google's founders to help them improve their business, and, of course, Google's Eric Schmidt sat on Apple's board. That was until Google's Android appeared, featuring a bunch of ideas Apple execs felt they had spearheaded on the iPhone. Who stabbed who here?
Apple's Steve Jobs met with then Sony president, Kunitake Ando way back in 2001. At a golf course Jobs and key Apple executives showed the Sony boss a Sony VAIO running Mac OS. This was years before the OS came to Intel chips. Jobs told Ando that while he had shuttered the cloning business, he was prepared to "make an exception" for Sony. However, Sony had only recently launched its VAIO products and was having great success with these in the Windows market, so Ando refused the deal. The rest is history, but does this story show a company unwilling to partner with others?
Bungie made gaming on Xbox a reality with Halo. It wasn't always so. Originally a Mac-only developer, Bungie showed the future of gaming with titles such as Pathways into Darkness and Marathon. Steve Jobs liked Bungie so much he invited them on stage at a Macworld Expo keynote way back in 2001 to show the then in development new -- Mac only -- title, Halo. As we all know, Microsoft acquired Bungie in 2002 and released Halo as an Xbox exclusive title.
Apple worked closely with Samsung for years. Apple was at one time Samsung's biggest customer, spending billions on components from the South Korean firm. Apple was happy to work in partnership, or at least it was until the convicted iPhone copycat decided to introduce its Galaxy series of mobile devices, devices Apple has successfully argued abused iPhone patents. Apple asked Samsung to stop but its one time biggest supplier refused. It remains open to question if the money Sammy makes on its phones matches the cash it lost on its Apple business, but is this an example of a company not working with partners?
Adobe held Mac creatives to ransom when it delayed release of Creative Suite for OS X rather than introduce a version of the software for Intel-powered Macs. Adobe continued to drag its feet when asked to deliver Intel Mac apps that weren't based on Cocoa -- it delayed a 64-bit version of Creative Suite by an astonishing year-and-a-half. Turn the chatter to Flash and Apple waited years for Adobe to make that standard truly mobile. Who worked well here?
These are some of the bigger examples. What actually happened in each case suggests that historical events don't seem to show Apple as a firm that doesn't work well with others. Instead it seems to suggest the reverse -- though Apple might want to ask itself what it did in these relationships that stretched the loyalty of its partners to the extent they chose to engage in such actions against its interests.
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