I posted a comment on this AppleMatters article, but I’ll repost it here since that’s the “weblog way”:
I do think that Apple is walking a fine line here, although I think it’s a sad statement on competition in the software industry that companies just don’t want to compete. Apple makes good software and that should drive even better software from other companies, but they just give up. Same is true to some extent in the Windows world (but they benefit from MS’ less-capable products for the most part).
However, Apple should open-source their apps. They don’t make much money from them and this would drive sales of their hardware, which they really care about. If they open-sourced iTunes, iCal, etc. we’d get more innovation faster, more developers would be interested in developing these apps, etc.
It wouldn’t necessarily create more competition in the Mac world, but that’s not the point here. We just need the Mac to be a viable and growing platform and to do that we need good apps that people want to use. Of course, Apple’s software strength is the design and open-sourcing their apps doesn’t give that up since Apple still maintains control of the source.
Apple has open-sourced the kernel so they clearly “get it”, at least in part. I don’t see why the iApps can’t be open-sourced as well.