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Sprint CEO Dan Hesse on Apple’s Tech Dominance

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel Corporation, talks about how Apple has come to dominate its corner of the technology market. Also appearing in this video: Kevin Johnson, CEO of Juniper Networks; Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, and Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick.

Hesse: I think in the case of Apple, they are going to be a unique company in that to their credit what they were able to do is create this really controlled ecosystem—hardware, software, apps—all the way across, and without having market power in any particular—you can take hardware, PCs, phones, music devices or what have you. By tying them all together they created this, if you will, walled garden. I remember when I first started the internet world, actually was going to Esther’s conferences. What was it, PC Forum? I still have the shirt somewhere. It was a great conference.

But back then in the early days of the internet, this was like the beginning of ’96, AOL had a walled garden. It really was not an ISP. You went on, you got AOL content, you didn’t have, if you will, the internet. But they didn’t have enough, if you will, control over other elements of the ecosystem to be able to let those walls stand and it eventually crumbled. Apple I think has just done a very effective job, not only in, quite frankly, real genius in understanding what consumers did want, but being able to create an ecosystem that creates a very broad, one could say prison, but a very beautiful prison that they’ve created.

Kirkpatrick: That’s so good. That was good.

Hesse: People are very happy to stay there because the beds are soft and the food’s great.

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