PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

Summary: Sony's failure to keep PlayStation Network user data safe illlustrates the stark difference between Apple and Sony, and it shows you what's riding on the outcome - the hearts and minds of millions of customers.

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In the wake of Sony's revelation that PlayStation Network customer data was stolen, pundits are asking the question, "Who's next?"

Apple's iTunes service is, of course, the biggest target.

But it's been more than seven years since Apple launched iTunes as a paying service, and it still hasn't happened. Why not? What's different about Apple?

I think we can safely rule out the "security through obscurity" albatross that's dogged Mac OS X for years. No, Apple thinks differently about a lot of things, it seems, such as the importance of its customer data.

Sony has what is, by any measure, a devastating public relations disaster on its hands - the company admittedly publicly on Tuesday that account information for its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services was compromised. The company is still unsure about the extent of the security failure, but admits that customer credit card information may have been exposed. Sony has had to hire a security firm to find out more.

It took almost a week for the story to gain national significance - an indictment of the relevance of Sony's paying customers to its revenue stream, if nothing else. Because if they were paying out for Sony products and services before, chances are they won't be again if there's a viable alternative.

This comes at a particularly bad strategic time for Sony, as the company just this week introduced new Android-based tablets to compete with the iPad and to further Sony's position in a business it's already entrenched in: e-book devices like the Kindle or Nook Color.

Will customers for those devices be willing to be part of an already-damaged ecosystem? Doubtful. That casts doubts on Sony's ability to sell its own curated content for its devices in any sort of impactful way, but it also relegates Sony to also-run status in the increasingly fragmented Android tablet market.

In the interim, don't expect the mobile apps market or the tablet market to change its makeup dramatically. That two horse race will remain dominated between Apple and Android devices that haven't been tainted by the pall of Sony's recent debacle.

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Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Security, Tablets

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50 comments
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  • Apple Console

    I believe if Apple released a console it would dominate the market well over Wii, PS3 or XBox. What are they waiting for?
    JCarpe203
    • The fact that it won't dominate the market?

      @JCarpe203
      This is a crowded field, with 3 well entrenched systems.

      Why would Apple enter the market to be the 4th place system?
      John Zern
      • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

        @John Zern JCarpe203 excludes from memory the Pippin, which was introduced before Jobs' return and which flopped, horribly.

        - Peter
        flargh
      • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

        @John Zern

        They said the same thing when MS entered the market. They repeated it a couple years later when MS still did not gain that much traction. Now they are a major player.
        Michael Kelly
      • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

        @John Zern That exact thing was said about Apple creating a phone. And in many ways, the phone business is a lot more competitive and cutthroat than video games.
        Andre Richards
    • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

      @JCarpe203 Hardly.
      Droid101
      • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

        @Droid101 For once I agree with your dive by trolling... While I do like Apple's tech I just do not see them entering the console gaming business and being successful.
        athynz
      • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

        @athynz
        They could probably succeed, but I suspect the margins are too low for them. Then again, Apple has managed to stump doubters before. I would like them to go into search because I think that's one market where branding makes a lot difference. Most people probably think search is good enough regardless of which engine they use, but they use Google because they were first to be popular. If Apple enters, I think they can sway a lot of users with either a competitive engine or even an inferior engine.
        anono
    • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

      @JCarpe203
      [i]"I believe if Apple released a console it would dominate the market well over Wii, PS3 or XBox. What are they waiting for?"[/i]

      Apple already tried that and failed miserably:

      <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Bandai_Pippin" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Bandai_Pippin</a>
      Qbt
      • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

        @Qbt Oh FFS, why do people keep bringing Pippin up? That was from another era completely. Apple was a completely different company back then. That was before Jobs' return and during a very low point in Apple's history when they'd suffered under years of visionless leadership driving them into a ditch. Do you seriously think if the current Apple wanted to enter the video game market they would do something as inept as The Pippin? If so, think again.
        Andre Richards
      • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

        @Qbt That's "pre-NeXT" Apple, this new Apple is quite a different company. You can basically discount anything "pre-NeXT" as totally irrelevant.

        But I still don't agree with him. If Apple thought they could do this, then they'd do it. If Apple were ever to do it, then it would be quite different to the consoles we already have.
        jeremychappell
    • They did

      @JCarpe203 - it's called the iPod Touch / iPhone / iPad - you may have heard something about them...
      Gr8Music
    • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

      @JCarpe203

      Well, they already have a viable mobile gaming platform that works pretty well.

      I don't think Apple would actually enter the living-room console market (in any serious way) unless they came up with something that could radically change the experience in the same way the iPhone did for phones.
      SlithyTove
    • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

      @JCarpe203 Apple don't believe this, which is why they've not done it. If they do ever believe it, then it'll be quite different to anything else (a la Wii).

      However, I'd not be holding my breath.
      jeremychappell
  • I'm so glad...

    That I have Fallout: New Vegas and downloaded "Dead Money" before the outage. Getting wasted by RCXDs in Black Ops will have to wait.
    His_Shadow
    • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

      @His_Shadow Similarly, I'm glad I activated Portal 3 on PSN and Steam prior to the outage. In fact, the timing was coincidental enough that I initially suspected the outage might have been some PSN/Steam-related issue.

      - Peter
      flargh
      • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

        @flargh Seriously. I beat the deadline by mere hours.
        Droid101
    • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

      @His_Shadow How is this even relevant to the topic at hand??
      jmwells21
  • RE: PSN debacle illustrates stark differences between Apple and Sony

    Apple hasn't been popped yet? What about the breach of info on ipads last year? What about disclosing their customers travel history to any law enforcement who wanted to collect it, without telling their customers?

    The real question is, who's being more transparent and responsible after the breach.
    rousta_bout@...
    • Interesting point.

      @rousta_bout@...
      Just because we haven't heard about something does not mean it hasn't happened or doesn't exist.
      John Zern