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Apple's Headed for a Fall, Says Former Exec

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Four months ago, it was Dell's global head of marketing Andy Lark who said the iPad will fail.

Two months ago, it was Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen who said the iPad faces increased competiion.

But this week, Apple's "inevitable" doomsday comes from a source a little closer to home: Apple's former director of strategy and marketing Trip Hawkins.

In an interview with Edge, the Electronic Arts founder spoke of his work as CEO of video game developer Digital Chocolate -- specifically about the freedom he has in production and distribution. And according to Hawkins, that's not something he finds much of within Apple's walled garden.

"Digital Chocolate's games will always be in the App Store. But I think it would be an incredibly positive thing for the industry if Apple decided to support all of the web standards, because then Apple could be the best about everything. Right now they make a conscious choice. They want you to be in the App Store rather than the browser, so they cripple the browser. They've created this outlet and they had to have an excuse to keep you there, so they're like, 'Oh it's nothing against Flash; we just prefer HTML5'. Well, Flash can actually make a really good game, and with HTML5 you can't do that. But give HTML5 another few years to mature, and that could solve the problem. Or Apple could be more generous about deciding to support more de facto standards like Flash, or at least let it run its course."

Adding, "[If] you want to be more successful, you have to be on more platforms, and you have to take a more open, democratic cross-platform stance."

Hawkins goes on to say that Steve Jobs and Apple "do actually make the best products," however, "then they have an attitude about saying, 'Well, we're the only manufacturer of this, and there's only one right way of things working,' " he said.

He adds that the App Store's iron fist will be its undoing, saying, "I think prosperity in media does not happen with any form of censorship, so for Apple to decide that they're going to be the censors and decide how to do things and what you can and cannot do, it just doesn't really work that well, because they still end up with a thousand farting applications."

After Hawkins left the company, he said his relationship with Jobs began to sour. "He's a very difficult guy to be friends with, and he thinks of anyone who leaves as an act of permanent betrayal. You're on the s*** list for life."

As for the company as a whole, despite his praise of its current state, Hawkins believes that the empire will eventually crumble.

"The thing is, it may take another year or two before it starts to decline, but it has to -- everything does. Everything revolves so much around Steve, and no matter how good his lieutenants are, they're not Steve. None of us is going to live forever, though I hope he lives for a really long time."

How's that for a backhanded compliment?

(See also: Google Slugs Apple, Microsoft Finishes the Fight and iPad's Days Are Numbered, Says Adobe CEO)

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