I have previously written positively about the oligopsonistic potential of a service like Apple’s iTunes; if the RIAA companies can play oligopoly, why not let consumers aggregate, too? But Apple’s single-minded determination to force its hardware customers to use its software, and vice versa, has me angry. As Siva has pointed out, tethering has many negative economic consequences and tends to retard the diffusion of the very innovation neoclassical economic analysis says it promotes.
So I’m not surprised at this Leander Kahney article on a “revolt” of Apple customers. Though I’m a committed iPod user, sometimes the device feels more like an addiction than a liberation. I just hope that other podcasting and music platforms improve, so I can eventually switch to some other MP3 player.
You might be interested to read a short article in the most recent issue of The Economist. Entitled Apples Are Not the Only Fruit, it explores â€œthe economics of Franceâ€™s attempt to open up iTunesâ€ to mp3 players other than the iPod.