The Case Against Apple–in Five Parts

About six years and $20,000 ago, I made the switch to Apple products after a 20-year love affair with Microsoft. That love affair started with the humble PCjr and ended with an IBM ThinkPad. From DOS to the first version of Windows (the run-time version that only loaded one program), and on to Windows 95 and XP, I dealt with the viruses, driver incompatibilities and other assorted quirks of Microsoft’s wildly open ecosystem.

It sucked to have to buy anti-virus software and reinstall Windows every 12 months, so moving to Apple’s rock-solid and virus-free OS was, in a word, delightful.

Sure, everything on the Mac platform costs twice as much, but considering the fact that my entire career centers around a desktop connected to the Internet, it really doesn’t matter if I spend $2 a day or $20 a day for my hardware. I replace everything at about a two-year pace (i.e. phone, MP3 player, desktop and laptop). So, at $10 a day, what some folks spend on Starbucks, I have a two year budget of $7,500 for my gear. In fact, the only things I don’t replace every two years are my 30″ and 24″ Dell Monitors, which I tend to keep for five years.

Over the last 12-18 months, my love affair with Apple has waned. Steve Jobs’ peculiar, rigidly closed, and severe worldview have started to cramp my style. It’s not entirely Steve’s fault, as Apple’s style and grace are a large part of what drew me to the platform initially. My collection of Mac products now includes seven iPods ($1,500), four Mac laptops ($8,000), two Airports ($500), a Time Capsule ($500), two Mac towers ($4,000), a Mac Mini ($600), two iMacs ($4,000) and all three iPhones ($1,500).

The cost of these items is just over $20,000, or about $3,300 a year. That’s almost exactly $10 a day–what I budget for technology in my life. Half of that is personal, half of that is probably business. While I know I am a high-end consumer, since I do this for a living, I think there are many folks putting $5-10 a day toward hardware. Blogger Robert Scoble of RackSpace must spend $20 a day and Leo Laporte of This Week in Tech must spend $40 a day!

Key Point 1: For the past six years, if Steve makes something, I buy it. Sometimes, I buy two (one for my wife).

Key Point 2: I over-pay for Apple products because I perceive them to be better (i.e. Windows-based hardware is 30-50% less–but at 38 years old I don’t care).

The Love Affair Ends
Steve’s a great guy, and the love affair has been wonderful, but I’m starting to look past him and back to Microsoft for a more healthy relationship that is less–wait for it–anti-competitive in nature.

Years and years after Microsoft’s antitrust headlines, Apple is now the anti-competitive monster that Jobs rallied us against in the infamous 1984 commercial. Steve Jobs is the oppressive man on the jumbotron and the Olympian carrying the hammer is the open-source movement

For folks in the tech industry, this is not a new discussion. Another radical visionary, Steve Gillmor, has been hosting this discussion since Apple’s draconian iTunes updates led smart people to *downgrade* their software. Think about that mind bomb for a second: people downgrading their software to maintain their freedoms–is this a William Gibson novel?

Steve Jobs is on the cusp of devolving from the visionary radical we all love to a sad, old hypocrite and control freak–a sellout of epic proportions.*

[ * Important Note: I’ve written this piece three times over the past year and never released it. It felt like releasing something like this about a personal hero when they were, according to all counts, dying was too harsh. With Steve back to work and healthy for what will probably be his last five to ten years of full-time work (based on when most folks retire), I feel obligated to let this out. I know many folks in the industry are saddened to see our LSD-taking, radical free-thinking and fight the power hero, turning to the Dark Side. This note is written from a place of admiration and love. ]

The Case, The Five Parts
I’d like to discuss four major issues around Apple’s current product line that I believe are stifling the industry, consumer choice and pricing. Instead of just giving a simple solution to the problem, I thought long and hard about the opportunities for Apple to be less controlling and more open. For example, if the iPhone was available on more carriers, Apple would sell many, many more units, which would inevitably lead to people switching from Windows desktops to Macs (which is what happened with the iPod).

Bottom line: Of all the companies in the United States that could possibly be considered for anti-trust action, Apple is the lead candidate. The US Government, however, seems to be obsessed with Microsoft for legacy reasons and Google for privacy reasons.

The truth is, Google has absolutely no lock-in, collusion or choice issues like Apple’s, and the Internet taught Microsoft long ago that open is better than closed.

Let’s look at the case against, and the opportunities for, Apple:

1. Destroying MP3 player innovation through anti-competitive practices
There is no technical reason why the iTunes ecosystem shouldn’t allow the ability to sync with any MP3 player (in fact, iTunes did support other players once upon a time), save furthering Apple’s dominance with their own over-priced players. Quickly answer the following question: who are the number two and three MP3 players in the market? Exactly. Most folks can’t name one, let alone two, brands of MP3 players.

On my trips to Japan, China and Korea over the past couple of years, I made it a point to visit the consumer electronics marketplaces like Akihabira. They are filled with not dozens, but hundreds, of MP3 players. They are cheap, feature-rich and open in nature. They have TV tuners, high-end audio recorders, radio tuners, dual-headphone jacks built-in and any number of innovations that the iPod does not. You simply will not see those here because of Apple’s inexcusable lack of openness.

Not only does Apple not build in a simple API to attach devices to iTunes, they actually fight technically and legally block people from building tools to make iTunes more compatible.

Think for a moment about what your reaction would be if Microsoft made the Zune the only MP3 player compatible with Windows. There would be 4chan riots, denial of service attacks and Digg’s front page would be plastered with pundit editorials claiming Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer were Borg.

Why, then, does Steve Jobs get a pass?

Steve Jobs gets a pass because we are all enabling him to be a jerk. We buy the products and we say nothing when our rights are stripped away. We’ve been seduced by Steve Jobs: he lifts another shiny object over his head with a new eco-friendly feature and we all melt like screaming schoolgirls at Shea Stadium in ’65.

Simple solution and opportunity: An iTunes API which allows the attachment of any mass storage device,not just a short list of players that jumped through Apple’s hoops. If need be, perhaps consumers pay a simple licensing fee of $1-5 a unit to attach a non-Apple MP3 player to iTunes (i.e. pure profit for Apple).

2. Monopolistic practices in telecommunications
Apple’s iPhone is a revolutionary product that has devolved almost all of the progress made in cracking–wait for it–AT&T’s monoply in the ’70s and ’80s. We broke up the Bell Phone only to have it put back together by the iPhone. Telecommunications choice is gone for Apple users. If you buy an Apple and want to have a seemless experience with your iPhone, you must get in bed with AT&T, and as we like to say in the technology space, “AT&T is the suck.”

Simple solution and opportunity: Not only let the iPhone work on any carrier, but put *two* SIM card slots on the iPhone and let users set which applications use which services. (Your phone could be Verizon and your browser Sprint!) Imagine having two SIM cards with 3G that were able to bond together to perform superfast uploads and downloads to YouTube.

3. Draconian App Store policies that are, frankly, insulting
Like lemmings, we fell for your bar charts extolling the openness of the iPhone App platform and its massive array of applications. We over-paid for your phone–which you render obsolete every 13 months, like clockwork–and then signed our lives away to AT&T. The way you pay us back is by becoming the thought police, deciding what applications we can consume on the device we over-paid for!

Yes, every application on the phone has to approved by Apple, and if you were interested in something adult in nature…well…you can’t do that.

Apple’s justification for this nonsense is that they have to protect AT&T’s network. Oh really? Aren’t there dozens and dozen of open phones on everyone’s network? The network hasn’t crashed yet, and even if someone did create a malicious iPhone application, you would know EXACTLY who was running the application and be able to block and/or turn off their phone. The network was MADE to deal with these issues on a NETWORK level. To say you have to control people down to the application level defies all logic. A second year CS student understands this.

Who in their right mind feels the need to control the application-level anyway? It’s absurd.

Imagine for a moment if every application on Windows Mobile or Windows XP had to be approved by Microsoft–how would you react? Exactly. Once again we’ve enabled Steve Jobs’ insane control freak tendencies. This relationship is beyond disfunctional–we are co-dependent.

Simple solution: Apple could have a basic system setting that says “Allow Non-Approved Applications.” When you click this setting, a popup could come on warning that, if you click this setting, you are waiving your previously-understood customer service arrangement (i.e. only people with approved applications can hand over their money at the Genius bar).

4. Being a horrible hypocrite by banning other browsers on the iPhone
Opera is a fantastic browser built by a company in Oslo, Norway. In fact, a decade ago, I had a speaking gig there and got to interview the CEO of the company for Silicon Alley Reporter. (Sidebar: Man, do I miss being a journalist. I wish I could split 50% of my time being a journalist and 50% of my time being a CEO.) For over a decade, Opera has been making lighting-fast, lightweight and quirky browsers. Long before Apple launched Safari, with the goal of designing the fastest browswer on the Web, Opera was already there.

Opera’s mobile browsers are “full of WIN,” as the kids like to say these days. If you’re a Windows Mobile or Blackberry user, you’ve probably downloaded them and enjoyed their WINness. The company started an iPhone browser project but gave up when faced with Apple’s absurd and unclear mandate to developers: Don’t create services which duplicate the functionality of Apple’s own software. In other words: “Don’t compete with us or we will not let you in the game.”

The irony of this is not lost on anyone who had a computer before they had an Internet connection. Apple was more than willing to pile on after Microsoft’s disasterous inclusion of Internet Explorer with Windows. In fact, what Apple is doing is 100x worse than what Microsoft did. You see, Microsoft simply included their browser in Windows, still allowing other browsers to be installed. In Apple’s case, they are not only bundling their browser with the iPhone, but they are BLOCKING other browsers from being installed.

Simple solution and opportunity: Don’t be a control freak and hypocrite. Allow people to pick their browser; the competition to make a better browser will increase the overall use of iPhones and mobile data services.

5. Blocking the Google Voice Application on the iPhone
Apple took Google’s innovative and absurdly priced phone offering, Google Voice, out of the App Store and is currently being investigated by the FCC for this action. This point is similar to the browser issue, in that Apple wants to own almost every extension of the iPhone platform. How long before Apple decides to ban a Twitter client in favor of an Apple Twitter-like product? Seems crazy, I know, but by following Apple’s logic you should not be able to use Firefox or Google Chrome on your desktop.

Simple solution and opportunity: Let people have three or four phone services coming in to their iPhones and perhaps charge a modest licensing fee for those types of service. Or, just simply stop being jerks and let the free market decide how to use the data services they’ve BOUGHT AND PAID FOR. That’s the joke of this: you’re paying for the data services that Apple is blocking. You pay for the bandwidth and Apple doesn’t let you use it because, you know, they know better than you how you should consume your data minutes.

In Summary
I’m not a huge fan of government involvement in business, so I would rather see Apple resolve these issues for themselves.

In fact, I believe many forces are already at work, with Michael Arrington of TechCrunch and Peter Rojas of (and founder of Engadget) coming out publicly against these very issues. Neither of these two individuals will use an iPhone *specifically* because it is incompatible with their lives.

Apple will face a user revolt in the coming years based upon Microsoft, Google and other yet-to-be-formed companies, undercutting their core markets with cheap, stable and open devices. Apple’s legendary comeback ability will be for naught if they don’t deeply examine their anti-competitive nature.

Making great products does not absolve you from technology’s cardinal rule: Don’t be evil.

It also doesn’t save you from Scarface’s cardinal rule: Never get high on your own supply.


1. Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if they adopted a more open strategy (i.e. allowing other MP3 players in iTunes)?

2. Do you think Apple should face serious antitrust action?

3. Do you think Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their bad behavior?

all the best,


* Note1: Thanks to Lon Harris of This Week in YouTube ( ) and C.K. Sample ( )for editing this.

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424 thoughts on “The Case Against Apple–in Five Parts”

  1. Excellent & thoughtful post.

    I was really frustrated with Apple for banning Google Voice, and their inability to let anyone who tries to compete with their iPhone software extremely frustrates me.

    But the user experience of the iPhone is still so far ahead of any other phone I’ve used that I can’t help but use Apple’s product.

    They’ll eventually change, but I think they’ll always be a few steps behind in the transparency sector.

  2. 1) You don’t need iTunes to get music to your non-Apple MP3 player. You don’t need the iTunes music store either. Ever since Amazon came online I’m happily buying from them because on average they’re $1.00 per entire alubm cheaper, and often have recent releases for less than that. Forcing someone to write their software for other peoples hardware is silly. Now that the iTunes protected AAC stuff is dead you don’t even have to worry about that. For someone whos bought iPods for years you might remember that for those folks that thought Mac OS X was a toy you could sync up your Windows iPOds just find using lots of stuff.

    This is the biggest thing folks have been whining about that bugs me. You’re not forced to use iTunes, there are multiple alternate sources for music players out there both pay and open source. Saying someone should have to open up iTunes to other players would be just as silly as saying the free software that comes with your Nikon camera should be forced to read Canon files. There are alternate options out there, feel free to take them. The ZUne software only works with the Zune, not that I’ve checked because it doesn’t run on Mac.

    2) I love how Apple gets blamed for playing the game of the cell phone companies. Where’s that Blackberry Storm on Sprint? Where’s the Storm on AT&T? I know it’s cool to hate AT&T and all because they had the forethought to sign up for the exclusive deal when other carriers walked away from it, but blaiming Apple for playing by the carriers game is like blaming GM for high gas prices.

    3) This one, yeah. Their App store acceptance is drunken at best, absurd at worst. The problem here is a lot of people assign some kind of ‘evil steve jobs’ personality to it when I’m more willing to bet it’s stupidity. Occam’s razor and all that. This isn’t 9/11 truther or the birth certificate level conspiracy whackadoos It’s most likely general incompetence.

    The problem is with this is they’ve made themselves the arbiter between the user and the developer. for every ‘wonder app that was rejected’ you have others that get right through. The latest roll your eyes oh my god how did this get through and that didn’t one I’ve found was ‘how expensive is my poop’ where you supposedly time yourself while at work how long it takes you to do your business and it’ll tell you how much you made taking a dump. yeah, that app store process is way beyond broken.

    4 & 5 are about as bad as #3. To be honest I don’t do voice communication through software as much as others so no google voice doesn’t bother me as I’ve never used it but blocking it was a mistake. WHy ninja words deserved a VP level reply and Google Voice being blocked makes no sense.

    I don’t think apple would be more or less successful if they opened up. I don’t care either way myself, as there are ways around it. It’s the player that wins here, not the software that moves the music to it.

    I do not think Apple deserves any anti-trust behavior. AT&T? Sprint? Other telcos? Maybe.

    I guess I don’t see Apple as that dexterous. I do think that they wayne gretski’d a few markets though by skating to where the puck was at as he was famous for saying. Now that the music isn’t locked to the iPod/iTunes they’re open in that you can use other software to move their music. There is other music stores out there as open or more open and with better prices.

  3. Wow! All those words must have cost Microsoft a lot of $$$.
    Jason, you’ve been an Apple-Steve Jobs hater and Microsoft true believer all along.
    I avoid Mahalo because of the Apple hating BS.

  4. That was a really good rant post. As a mac junkie I have to admit I have noticed all these points to, and I almost feel the same way.

  5. This is a hell of a post. Apple’s behaviour, and their lack of any kind of openness is at best obnoxious, at worst illegal.

    But you’re right. We’re the enablers. And that’s pretty damn sad.

    PS I write on a mac, but wander on a blackberry. I refused to sign my life away to O2…

  6. Well written. Microsoft “browser” monopoly is a joke comparing it to Apple practices.
    In my recent iPhone experience I can say that my SharePod software to put mp3 is not workig again… and I can’t even sync mp3s in different computers because every itunes clear your previous library.
    And… you can’t record video for the iPhone or display your game on TV because you’re using an “undocumented” API. Windows Mobile? you can do whatever hack you want.

    Again, Apple was a game changer with the iPhone, but very soon a lot of mobile clones will be open to store your favourite [future] mobile OS. You want to run iPhone applications too? wait for a complete VMWare on mobile and you’ll be very happy.

  7. I am, and always have been, an Apple fan. I too feel that this
    recent turn of events may, in fact, be the company’s demise.
    Perhaps it would have been better for Apple to get a new CEO.

  8. Yes, great post. It drives me sick with the fact that Europe
    can worry about Microsoft bundling IE with Windows, yet the
    United states can’t even attack apple and at&t for 1.
    Monopolizing the iPhone. The whole mp3 business also make me
    angry because the Zune HD actually looks nice, and part of me
    wants one.

    I think Apple has gone crazy with power.

  9. Thank you. For speaking out loud about practically everything I have thought about, gotten mad at, and partially written about in my blog lately. With Apple, it’s coming down to the same thing how I’ve been dealing with Microsoft products ever since: Using their respective Desktop OS (XP / OSX), but nothing else. That’s not the future we had in mind, I believe. A friend of mine calls this—in the realms of politics and commerce—“restauration.” Restauration to something really, really bad and really, really stinking.

  10. #4 and #5 have some merit to them but the first 3 are nonsense.

    1. Apple destroys MP3 innovation – FALSE.
    There have always been and continue to be other brands of MP3 players. I myself owned an Archos, and I’ve kept an eye on offerings from iRiver, Samsung, and Sony for years. Before the iPod ever came about, and during its long and steady rise to ubiquity, it had tons of competition. Ever since Napster went big, a dozen companies have been trying to nail the MP3 player market. Apple simply succeeded, and did so by being better. Sure, my RockBox had flashable firmware and could run the open source RockBox software. It could even record. How nifty! But I’m sorry – the iPod is better. Its enormous capacity, tiny size, and easy to use menu won me and everyone else over. Now that Apple has shrunk the iPod so small it fits inside my cell phone, all the so-called innovators who churned out models with all the sex appeal of a casio wristwatch, and all the capacity of a teaspoon, can go get hung for all I care. Apple won this space on merit, not by exploiting some iTunes monopoly. You don’t understand what “anticompetitive” means. That term applies to companies who use an extant monopoly to stifle others. Just because Apple doesn’t bend over backward to make their software intercompatible with all devices doesn’t mean they’re being anticompetitive. Anyone can still walk up and make something better than what Apple offers. No one has.

    2. Exclusive AT&T deal = Monopoly? – FALSE
    Again, you show a lack of understanding of the word. Neither the iPhone nor AT&T are a monopoly, because there are innumerable other cell phones and other carriers out there you can still choose from. Is every cell phone open to all networks? I don’t know, I thought some of them were paired exclusively. I’d rather have a choice about where to take my iPhone, but it is NOT a monopoly for Apple to work solely with AT&T. If you want choice, go with another phone. But once again, Apple’s built the best, and you want theirs. But it’s not enough. You want their hardware and you want it your way. Whine much?

    3. Draconian app store policies – FALSE
    At least here you’re using a fair word without misunderstanding what it means. At this point, I will simply disgree with you instead of correcting you. Apple has brought some 15,000 apps to its iPhone customers by creating a great platform, a great SDK, a huge userbase, and an app store that works. They have banned a relatively tiny number of apps. Again, we have people pounding on Apple’s door, saying “You have to let us in!” Sorry, but Apple has been clear about the app store terms from the beginning. While I understand some developers are frustrated and there are some draconian stories, overall Apple has a vibrant and successful developer community going, and no anecdotes to the contrary can change that. If you want an open app store, go with Android. Ah, but here we are again, wanting Apple’s products, but being unwilling to accept them on Apple’s terms.

    Could Apple do more to make us happy? Yes. But please conserve words like monopoly and anti-competitive for valid cases. Your desire for Apple to work a certain way doesn’t make them wrong or evil for disappointing you. They have their reasons. Furthermore, Steve Jobs may in fact be a dick. But fortunately, the world is full of other computers, MP3 players, and phones for you to use. The fact that you keep coming back to Apple means they’re doing it better than anyone.

  11. Some fair complaints, to be sure. I love my 2G iPhone running on T-Mobile because I can’t stand AT&T. My bill is far less than anything AT&T offers. Their plans suck. I wish I could have real, fully supported iPhone on T-Mobile. I suspect within a couple of years, I will be able to.

    All the complaining about iTunes not being open seems like an overreaction to me. Windows Media Player or whatever software the Zune uses certainly does not support iPods. And iTunes does provide an API of sorts for external software — an Library.xml file where any app can find your music files and read the metadata associated with them. Why in the world should Apple have to provide syncing services (and more importantly, support) for non-Apple hardware?

    I’m with you on the App Store stuff though. I do not care for their arbitrary approval process, and I don’t want them (or ATA&T) blocking things that would be cool. Hulu, Sling Player, Google Voice… All of these are things I want. Google Voice doesn’t even use VOIP, it uses plan minutes that people pay for. In any case, I want my data plan to be MINE. It’s my data, I pay for it, and I should be able to use it for whatever I damn well please.

    I’m still not giving up Apple though. I own a lot of software I don’t want to replace, and I need a nice desktop OS with UNIX underneath for work. Plus, Apple still makes the nicest hardware around.

  12. Amazing stuff Jason! Being a musician, I have been tied to the Mac OS for the past two
    decades. However, I would love for the people to be able to decide for themselves where
    their loyalty lies. This just seems to make sense for a major player such as Apple and it is
    quite the suck that Jobs just doesn’t get it!

  13. As an Apple fanboi / hater (I’m both, according to the comments on my blog) I have to agree with your assessment.

    Apple made three very wise moves with the iPhone
    1) They tied it to a computer. Every other phone in the world exists just fine by itself – but the iPhone requires you to set up an iTunes account & hand over a billing method. There’s no reason for this other than to further entrench themselves in your lives.

    2) They made a user interface that was usable – not useful. The UI is terrific to play with – but fair to poor if you want to get anything done.

    3) They insisted that operators sold the device with an “unlimited” data plan. That’s the reason you see iPhone so high in the browsing stats – people aren’t paying extra for their data usage.

    Apple are very good at marketing their products out of line with their actual merit. But I guess that’s the very definition of “marketing”!

    To answer your questions…
    1) It was my understanding that you can by DRM-free music from iTunes. I don’t use the service myself, but is it really impossible to export the music from it to a USB drive? Given that Apple probably makes more money from hardware than music, I don’t think they’d be happy letting my Nokia or BlackBerry *automaticall* sync from iTunes – let alone buy directly from it.

    2) Anti-trust? No. Not yet. I would like them to realise the value in being open of their own accord rather than being forced in to it. Look at MicroSoft. Decades of anti-trust litigation hasn’t changed their underlying behaviour.

    3) Apple’s mono-block attitude gives them a lot of leeway. They are very clear about saying “This is the Apple way. You buy your software, music, and batteries from us. Don’t like it? There’s the door.” Their complete and utter control is what makes for a compelling user experience.

    While I dislike their products and their attitude, they are still only a minority player. Albeit one whose rapid growth should give its competitors cause for concern.

    But, no, they should be forced by the law to change. Yet.

    Change, as they say, must come from within.

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s about time someone said this. The hypocracy of what Apple does is unreal. The fact that everyone just blindly follows like lemmings is sad. You are right… if Microsoft tried any of the same behavior they would be crucified and sued.

    It’s time to stand up and fight back with you wallets!

  15. If Microsoft managed the Windows PC world the way Apple manages the iPhone/iPod touch world, Apple’s revenue would be less than half of what it is today. Imagine:

    Steve: Hi, we’ve just submitted the Windows version of our iTunes app to the Windows app store.

    Bill: Interesting. It looks like it duplicates existing functionality of the Windows OS, which includes Windows Media Player. Rejected.

    Steve: What? There are similarities, yes, but iTunes provides a clean, easy to use interface for managing, purchasing, and playing music. Further, it allows Windows users to connect their iPods to their PCs and sync their music library seamlessly.

    Bill: Sorry, our policy still stands. Besides, third party applications aren’t allowed direct access to music stored on a user’s PC.

    Steve: But then how will we revolutionize the portable media player market and the mobile phone market, boosting our Mac market share and making billions of dollars in the process?

    Bill: You won’t.

    I wonder what revolutionary apps/gear/services we’ll miss out on because Apple finds them inconvenient.

  16. Yeah. I’m there with you. The whole “thought police” issue
    on the iPhone is the biggest issue in my book.

    Imagine if desktop operating systems were like this!

    The biggest problem is that most other hardware vendors make
    garbage products.

    Hopefully there will be more money in this market if we all
    refuse to buy Apple products.

  17. You forgot the Apple Support Forums (aka – ‘Discussions’); where Apple minions troll,
    waiting to censor any anti-Apple comments. Also overlooked; ‘Surveillance Software.’
    Several iLife apps actually tracks and traces you. iPhoto ‘nicely’ identifies everyone in your
    photo collection, whether you want it done or not, with CIA level face recognition tech.
    And the list goes on and on…

    This makes me not only angry, but sad. I was a loyal Apple devotee, but not anymore.

    Can you say, ‘The anti-1984 company – Apple – has become it’s own worst 1984 nightmare.’???
    I say only one word, which will soon be Apple’s real nightmare:


    Bientôt, au revoir/

  18. I’ve said Apple should turn the iTunes Store into a platform early on:

    They’d make a hell of a lot more money that way.

    1) Server sales (because you just know it’ll only run on Apple’s server hardware)
    2) Consulting fees
    3) Service fees
    4) Commission from every digital sale

    They’d be out of the bluenosing business. And that fear of “rogue apps” would go away because what company in their right mind would permit such an app to be sold?

  19. “Internet taught Microsoft long ago that open is better than

    This strikes me as pretty funny. Microsoft has always been open
    because they are always late to the game. They come from behind
    and iterate quickly until the threat to the platform is dead,
    and then they move on, letting the sector stagnates until new
    competitors rise up.

    See: IE, Windows Media, Vista, and now Silverlight, Office and Bing.

    For all the closed-ness of Apple (and I’m right with you there),
    they have never stopped innovating, even when they are ahead.

    Take your eyes off Microsoft, and they won’t hesitate to shiv you in the back.

  20. Great piece Jason. To your questions:

    1. Apple would not be as successful as they are today if they had adopted an open strategy. They wouldn’t have sold as many iPods and would have hence made less money. iTunes and the iPod line have a symbiotic relationship.

    2. Antitrust case? No, at least not yet.

    3. There’s no bad behavior to be forgiven because if you believe they are doing the wrong thing, then you have no one better to blame than consumers who actually bought their products.

  21. “Imagine having two SIM cards with 3G that were able to bond together to perform superfast uploads and downloads to YouTube.”

    Stringer Bell style, kid. Figure THAT one out, McNulty.

  22. In Australia the iPhone is available on all the major carriers and Apple even sell them unlocked! The AT&T exclusivity is a temporary deal that only affects Americans.

    Also, Apple has never blocked a web app. Not long ago the digerati were telling us that web apps were the future, and now many of those same people are complaining about their inability to run a native app.

    Personally I’m quite fond of my new gilded cage. Thanks, Apple.

  23. Nobody has ever forced anybody to buy anything made by Apple. If you’d prefer something more open in your hardware and software, please do not feel obliged to buy Apple products. Vote with your dollars! Also, if you choose to buy an XBox, doesn’t is suck how Microsoft will not allow you to play PS3 games on it? And why exactly is is that I can’t have the Ford dealer custom order a Toyota hybrid engine in the Focus I love so much? Seriously, this concept of interoperability and freedom must be forced upon all markets. Any company that supports only the products that they make really should be taken to task.

  24. Great post that aggregates what we’ve all noticed over the years.

    The question is – what will YOU do about it? Is this enough to
    get you to stop buying apple products? If you simply rely on
    apple to tell itself “do no evil” or lawmakers to step in,
    then this post is for nothing.

  25. I completely agree with Tom’s post – particularily with regards to Apple being “required” or “forced” to allow other hardware to use iTunes. The music library and media are transparent and Apple did provide a method for other players to use it. There are at least a half-dozen apps that access the iTunes Library, including one for the BlackBerry.

    There is nothing Apple is doing that violates any antitrust law I am familiar with. They built a handheld computer/phone that uses one of many cell providers. That one cell provider agreed to change how their network functioned and offered special plans to accommodate the iPhone in return for exclusivity – Verizon declined to do so. There are plenty of options in terms of phones, cell carriers, applications and media that don;t come from Apple or AT&T to choose from. Nobody is forced to use an iPhone, AT&T or Google.

    The FCC is investigating Google Voice, but not just Apple’s involvement – they are looking at AT&T and Google as well, in an effort to understand the situation. Apple declining to approve GV is not an issue by itself, but if some form of influence or collusion is evident, they may look into it further.

    It is Apple’s platform – they can do whatever they want with it.

    I believe most of the noise is related to Apple not being ready for the explosion of apps that has happened – how would you set up evaluating 1600 apps a week?

    As to other browsers and general lock down of the platform, first, there is a counterbalance in that no one ever provided a storefront service for developers quite like the app store. Over 16,000 of them seemed to like the idea.

    Apple would have two concerns in selling apps – first, they could be liable for what they sell if it caused offense or damage, second, ensuring functionality and security.

    Anyone else can easily jailbreak their phone.

  26. I don’t tend to moralize over how MSFT, or Google, or Apple
    run their businesses. In business, I look at results. MSFT OWNED
    the PC business for decades without ever shipping a version of
    Windows I could tolerate on a daily business, coming from a
    Mac background (since 1989). Apple ships great products. If
    Steve Jobs wants to have a hissy fit over Google Voice, let him.
    If MSFT got its act together, put Windows on UNIX (when pigs fly,
    but Apple did it in 1999) and got Windows the point where I,
    personally, could get through a day without wanting to kick the
    machine, maybe I’d switch. The MSFT IE trial was over bigger
    issues than them providing a free browser; they stated in
    writing that the reason they shipped it for free was to put
    Netscape out of business. And, they had, like, a 95% OS
    market share. There was a reall danger the web would be all
    AciveX and IE-specific web pages if the DoJ hadn’t been
    involved. That’s the difference for me: if the whole world
    went Apple, I’d by fine with that. If the whole world went
    Windows, it would greatly diminish my satisfaction in

  27. It’s a cult.
    I love the products (mostly), but I feel pretty creepy buying and using them.
    Steve’s just your basic evil genius.

  28. The “twice-as-expensive” claim is bullshit. With a Mac, you
    get shit you don’t get with a PC. And it’s good, worthwhile
    shit that helps you get shit done. So. Apples, so to speak,
    and oranges. Yet you don’t see that. Well, not everyone can
    be cognizant of the details of what they are buying.

  29. All valid points but the last time I checked no one is forcing you to buy Apple products.

    There are alternatives to everything Apple makes. Quite whining and vote with your wallets

  30. OK great… but you will still buy and still use their products.

    Sort of like complaining about the dealers prices as you buy more crack.

  31. Jason,
    Thanks for writing this. I have been thinking all these thoughts for years but i don’t have the voice of a great blog to write to. Well done. Hopefully people will understand this soon.


  32. Hey Jason,

    Nice post. I do have one thing to correct, you make it seem, and this has been a big understanding among a lot of people, that the Google Voice app using Data for the calls. It doesn’t. The only data it uses is to send the number you are calling to the Google servers. The voice calls are all over the ATT voice network, since it calls you back to connect you. Which, really, makes the whole thing a lot more ridiculous. They actually got that fact wrong on last week’s Macbreak weekly too.

  33. Hey Jason. I posted a response here since the response would have been too long for a threaded conversation. The bottom line is that I think it’s becoming cool for some reason to take Apple to task these days. It’s funny because Apple has less than 10% of the PC market, and about 10% of the mobile phone market. Neither of which constitute a monopoly. Music, at best, is the only place they have a monopoly, and even then their dominance is the reason we have DRM free music now (it was the industry that demanded competition to Apple thereby releasing DRM free content on a large scale through Amazon).

    Anyway, hope the link is OK. Enjoy the read.

  34. Jason, would it kill you to use a higher contrast font? I’m old enough to have purchased my first computer – the Apple II+ – in my mid twenties. As far as I can tell, you’ve made some good points. I think.

  35. Congratulations. You’ve given voice to what every non-fanboy already knows and understands. This is all quite obvious stuff. What still mystifies me is why there are Apple fanboys. And I say this having been forced to use a Mac for work for about 6 months recently. I just don’t understand it like I don’t understand Scientology. That’s a post I’d actually read through.
    I have, however, long ago learned to accept that I cannot understand all people all the time.

  36. Clearly you have put some time into this. A few observations:

    “2. Monopolistic practices in telecommunications.” I believe Apple signed a contract. Like and
    an agreement. You know, legal. You are angry that they signed an agreement? Seems like a pretty
    successful one for most folks. And I bet they bail as soon as its legal.

    “We over-paid for your phone–which you render obsolete every 13 months.” Now you are
    sounding like a victim. I’ve yet to meet anyone who does not SuperLove their iPhone. You are
    coming off like the far right grumpy old men.

    Otherwise, more grist for the mill.

  37. Truly gr8t article regarding the antitrust, anticompetitive and monopolistic nature of apple business. They really do not provide any customization in any of their apple products and charge more for their functionless but fancy products. A cheap mp3 player made in japan/china will have more functionalities than an expensive ipod. Period.

  38. As for #3, there is a switch saying “I understand using unapproved software may screw up my phone and it may void my warranty.”. It’s called jailbreaking your phone.
    This also enables you to use Google Voice. Apple has no legal
    or moral reason for allowing all apps. I have no legal, moral
    or logistical reason for only using Apple approved apps.


  39. I don’t think Apple’s practices are as much about being anti-competitive as their desire to have a flawless user experience. That is why consumers choose Apple to begin with. AT&T is the only carrier in the US because they made the decision to do what was necessary to carry the iPhone. Verizon had a chance and passed. The exclusivity will not last much longer. As far as the App store goes, this is a completely new business model and it is going to have some problems. But again, Apple is obsessed about the end user experience, so they want to make sure that third party apps do not ruin the whole iPhone experience. These are reasons why I choose Apple. They actually care about the user experience. MS could care less. I’m willing to sacrifice a little choice to get the best user experience possible. If others aren’t willing to sacrifice, then they are free to go else where. This is why this anti-competitive argument against Apple makes my laugh. There are still plenty of choices for consumers. If you don’t like Windows, go to Macs. If you don’t like Macs, go to Windows. If you don’t like the iPhone, then choose another phone. It’s not really that complicated.

  40. 1. Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if they adopted a more open strategy (i.e. allowing other MP3 players in iTunes)?

    Less successful. Their model is based on seamless software/hardware integration. More third party hardware = more problems. For example, we have Windows.

    2. Do you think Apple should face serious antitrust action?

    It’s not a question of “should.” It’s a legal question. And the answer is — umm, no. Apple has a small share of the phone market, and a small share of the computer market. It has a big share of the mp3 player market, but nobody has to use iTunes. There’s plenty of other music library software out there.

    3. Do you think Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their bad behavior?
    Loaded question – assumes apple is behaving badly. You’re wrong. You just don’t like their model anymore. It’s a tradeoff between (a) control/quality/reliability versus (2) open-ness and all of the inherent lower reliability and quality. Pick your poison, neither approach is inherently wrong – there are just tradeoffs in life. You can’t have it all.

    1) Any mp3 player maker can write their own iTunes. Nobody is stopping them. All of the music can be taken out of iTunes, and loaded into this other software. The files are DRM free now, and apple is to thank for that.

    2) For a CEO, you seem to lack some basic business common sense. Apple had to give exclusivity to AT&T in the U.S. in order to be able to free itself of carrier interference in the phone. Gosh, this ain’t rocket science.

    3) It’s not just about cell network security. It’s also about battery life, reliability, consistency, maintaining some base level of quality, etc. And ease of use. It’s simpler for users to have the app store and no separate “unapproved” app channel.

    4) Other browsers? So they can run flash or other plugins and drain the battery? Also, there’s a lot of integration between Safari and other apps (apple’s and 3d party). Add a browswer – how would that work? Also, who cares about this? What is wrong with Safari?

    5) First, this could be AT&T. Second, if apple killed this, they did it for ease of use reasons. It’s confusing to have two different voice apps on the phone. There’s a lot of integration again with apple’s voice app (cell phone).

  41. This is a load of waffle, didn’t get past the first two points
    becuase they are rubbish.

    Firstly, you compare itunes to Microsoft windows, and is upset that Microsoft makes windows compatible will mp3 players, why doesn’t apple make itunes like that? Windows is a fucking OS, Mac os has no problem with all mp3 players. itunes is what APple uses to sync with the ipod, it is not up to them to write software for other players. And there are plenty of players that use the itunes library.

    Second point, iPhone is free to use on all 5 carriers in Australia, this is not just Apples decision, but up to the carriers in US, the same carriers who didn’t want to work with Apple, except for AT&T.

  42. Thanks for the thoughtful post. Your points individually are correct but I don’t see the sum
    as greater than the parts. Here is why.

    1. Whether you like Apple’s corporate behavior or whether Steve is a jerk has litle to do with Apple’s success. That depends eentirely on them coming up with new ideas and relentlessly executing. When they didn’t, they were failing. Now they’re on a roll.

    2. They are entitled to decide what hardware they support with their software. If somebody wants to write great music software for a Rio player, nobody is stopping them. It turns out not to be easy, ask Microsoft. Why should they be bothered with fielding hardware support calls if it doesn’t benefit them ?

    3. The app store has been swamped. 65000 applications plus updates can not be reasonably vetted with consistency at the rate it has grown in just 12 months. Much of the grumbling
    can be fixed with transparency. It’s mostly a technical problem.

    4. Apple made a strategic choice of GSM and went with AT&T. Exclusivity deals were not invented by Apple. They’d love to sellore iPhones, if they get a good deal.

    The bigger paradigm shift that’s underlying these techies to turn on apple, though, is that they’re no longer the underdog. They are dominating the >$1000 market and the
    iPhone platform is taking off. It’s hard to be powerful and loved. But as long as they make great tools to get my work done, I’ll be buying their products.


  43. Jason,

    I feel your frustration. I really, really do.
    I was an apple guy in the 90s; a time when it wasn’t a good idea to be an apple guy.
    I have to think its easy to take some of this stuff personally when we really have no idea what
    is going on behind closed doors. So many of your complaints are about the iPhone (apps, google, at&t), I think it
    isn’t fair to call this piece “the case against apple” Macs, powerbooks, iPods are still among the best
    can find in the world.

    As far as the iPhone goes, I don’t care that much what they have to do to get the job done.
    The truth is I have a phone that is 3000% more useful than my last nokia, palm, and blackberry
    phones. I have an app store, which, despite its kinks, is trying to keep some sense of order
    and keep the crap away.

    I think what happened with google apps goes way beyond a whim. I think google has
    systematically screwed apple over the last 3 years. We’re seeing the google app thing for the
    same reason were seeing Schmidt leave – Apple has decided to make it harder for google to poach
    good ideas from them.

    Isnt it possible that, pressed by competition and having broken a ton of new ground that apple
    is having a tough time being perfect?

    Would microsoft do a better job (ask someone who owns an xbox)? Would google? Or Linux?

    I buy apples because they care about the product and end-user more than any other company.
    And they make mistakes. Sometimes lots. But I’ll stop buying them when they stop caring about
    me. Not when they cancel an google app. Or because I have to use safari. I’ll stop buying
    when safari sucks.

    Keep up the good work. Fight the good fight.


  44. Jason – All good points. One other point: iTunes is a huge piece of dog shit. It’s so slow and clunky that it is amazing that Apple continue to make us use it. The browser part of iTunes is awful. The program itself gets bigger and slower. Would be nice to see Apple get knocked off the mountain top so that someone can build a really great program to accomplish same objective.

  45. Apple is forbidding iPhone users to install Google Voice app on the device. They decided to take it off App Store. Why? Just because.
    This smart phone is essentially a computer with operating system and an ability to install third party software like any other computer. When I called Apple, tech support representative informed me that Apple does not have to explain why they are forbidding me to install Google apps after I purchased device planning to use it with Google Voice. She also informed me that App Store is like any other store has right to choose what they put on their shelves.
    Well, I respect their choice, but the last time I checked in my neighborhood mall none of their stores are FORBIDING me to use products from anywhere else but from their store. Does Apple respect my choice? Communist China government did not dare to make Lenovo give me a list of software I can install on my laptop. Lenovo respects my choice because they know what will happen with their laptops if they would try to deny this choice to people in free world.
    Just imagine what would happen if Microsoft make an agreement with Comcast and set up a list of software you are allowed to install. What if they allow you to connect to internet only through Comcast? What if Comcast decides they not like some software and a week later Microsoft would FORBID using it without any meaningful explanation? That would definitely be considered mafia-like behavior and nobody would tolerate it.
    We are not tolerating this behavior neither from China, US government, Microsoft, nor from Comcast. For how long are we going to tolerate this behavior from Apple? I erased my iPhone, I smashed it with hammer and I will send it on Monday to Steve Jobs, c/o Apple 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014

  46. 1. Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if they adopted a more open strategy (i.e. allowing other MP3 players in iTunes)?

    LESS successful with respect to revenue and market share (full disclosure: I’m am Apple stockholder as an individual and a user of their products, including Mac, iPod, iPhone).

    Apple builds products and systems of products that people want and are willing to pay for. I strongly suspect that most of Apple’s end customers (and I’d go as far as guessing it’s 95%+) are completely unaware of many of these issues. They buy the products to do what they need and they like them. Having listened to Apple’s investor conference calls where they discuss their quarterly results, over the last 2-3 years, they have consistently said that more than half (or “nearly half” on the last 2 calls) of the Mac purchasers in their retail stores are to people who are “new to the Mac.” These byers are switching because of products and systems of products like the iPod and iPhone.

    I don’t find the iTunes lack of support for non-Apple mp3 players to be a bad thing. The fact that another company can’t seem to build a system more desirable than Apple’s (desirable from an end customer perspective) for downloading music and syncing it to their own mp3 player, why on earth should Apple be forced to let them in on theirs? This, plus the fact that anyone can buy mp3 tracks elsewhere and get them into their iTunes library.

    As you well know, the tech industry is incredibly fast-moving and competitive. I continue to be amazed looking back just 5 years at what I had been using and seeing it as incredibly primitive. I’m also thoroughy convinced that this will be true again 5 years from now…and Apple will have to not only continue innovating at this incredible pace, but will also have to continue to execute incredibly well. This combination is incredibly hard to maintain and I applaud them completely for it.

    2. Do you think Apple should face serious antitrust action?

    No. In the case of their deal with AT&T, I’d guess that the nature of the deal that they cut with AT&T went something like this “Apple: we’ll only sell the phone we develop to you to use on your network in the US for x years, but we get total say over how the phone works.” A risk for both parties, but one that got an Apple phone to market and a boatload of new high-paying subscribers for AT&T. It is cheap? No. Will the exclusivity ultimately come to an end? Yes and the world will again change.

    3. Do you think Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their bad behavior?

    The only remote form of “bad behavior,” in my opinion is the lack of consistency in app store management. I chalk that up to it being the early days. As a result, I don’t think there’s much to forgive. I expect that they’ll listen to the market and carefully curate what changes they make to continue to build market share and grow revenues.

    Thanks for the stimulating post.

  47. What in God’s name is this idiotic trend towards barely legible gray
    gray text on white backgrounds? Does 500 years of legibility
    research and practice mean nothing? Do you not care that a large
    percentage of your potential readers can’t see this?

    I don’t know if I agree or disagree with your points, because
    it’s not worth my time trying simply to read them….

  48. Jason: You are right. Now, go back to using Microsoft products. Across the board, in fact. Get rid of every Apple product you have and go right back to where you belong.

  49. FYI – I have Oceanus browser on my iPod Touch, purchased from the App Store. Also saw iCab Mobile on the APP Store.

  50. Jason, I see your point, but….

    1/ Think about ecosystem which Apple creates with its products and software.
    It just not go alone with others manufacturers. It is different. You could not get
    together what could not be that way by default. And there is no need for that.
    We are all different at the end

    2/ You have the choice here: to use or not to use iPhone. Switch to RIM/Sprint
    or use Nokia N97 with any operator you like

    3/ Apple has all rights to set up the rules of the game. You are not agree with them?
    Leave it and go your own way.

    4/ It is Apple’s car and they decide at which station to fuel it in. Don’t be upset about that.
    If Opera guys from Norway want their software to be run on iPhone – talk to Steve Jobs.

    5/ Google and Apple relationships are the mystery. I think they have more in common then
    other way around. Let’s see what will be discovered here later on. This is the only point
    I would put under the question mark. Both companies should openly say about their

    Apple is growing. It is absolutely fine to see a lot of complains and arguments how
    Apple/Steve are bad/evil you name it. Therefore in any relationships there should be at
    least two “yes” before they could continue further. If someone told you “no” it does not
    mean that he/she do not like you. May be they just want to go their OWN way and be free
    to make their OWN choice. Just respect that.

  51. Since everyone else is debating the 5 points I’ll take on the typical “Sure, everything on the Mac platform costs twice as much” statement.


    I’ve been a diehard Mac supporter for about a decade. In that time I’ve bought:

    – a CRT iMac for around $800 new, and it lasted around 8 years being my ONLY home computer during that time

    – a current Aluminum iMac for around $1100 new. I hope to get even half what my old Mac got.

    – an old B&W screen iPod. Probably paid around $300 new. It’s old but I still got it sitting around for an HD if I ever need it.

    – a iPhone 3G, $199.

    – a used Airport from eBay, around $50

    – some (not all) OS and iLife upgrades along the way

    … tell me… what Windows user won’t spend more than I have in TEN YEARS from MS, Dell, HP, McAffee or just in general time-wasting and quality of life.

    The PC I got rid of was a Packard Bell (haha) and it was on it’s last leg (and multiple OS re-installs) after just a few years.

    I’ve had TWO Macs in a decade and both are great. The old CDT iMac? I sold it for $100 and it’s still in use today for email and browsing.

    Yea, Macs are SO expensive…

  52. Instead of trying to change Apple (or MS or Google for that matter) could we as technologists
    try to focus on supporting open and decentralized tools and platforms?
    The obvious example is to support FLOSS but perhaps we should also
    try to push for open cloud standards and move to service providers that offer that.

  53. Wow, I found this article very thought provoking. I think Apple would be wise to take many of your suggestions to heart, and I think it would improve Apple’s products if they did so. But, in my opinion it would only improve upon what is already the best choice for personal technology. I think #3-5 are really the same thing, and together they are the biggest problem I have with Apple at the moment. I wholeheartedly agree that they should open up the iPhone to all applications. I also agree that it would be nice to see the iPhone available to all carriers, but I blame the carriers for their own bad deeds there. I don’t think Apple is evil, period. .

  54. Jason- I cannot agree more with you.
    Apple is surfing on hype. Hype won’t last. They need to change
    dramatically their policies. Pricing, openness and innovation.
    The example of both SIM cards sounds impossible mostly if the
    carrier is in charge of distribution. Moreover both carriers you
    mentioned are no-SIM operator. Sprint and Verizon operate on CDMA.

  55. Well we can huff and puff for & against all we want, but the market is the decisive player. They shut Apple out in the early days of PC and it seems like Apple is back to it’s old ways and we have Android which resembles the erstwhile windows 3.1. We’ll soon find out if Apple has learnt it’s lesson

  56. Yes, every application on the phone has to be approved by Apple, and if you were interested in something adult in nature…well…you can’t do that.


  57. 1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) No

    As to Steve Jobs, you paint it as if Steve has only been consumed by the dark side in recent years. The matter of the fact is Steve Jobs has been a control freak and egomaniac all his life. That apple would turn out to be 100x worse then Microsoft if they ever had any kind of success is absolutely no surprise at all.

  58. Excellent post Jason – you know there is a third way, you dont have to use Microsoft just because you dont want to use Apple

    Why not give Linux a solid test? You could install Ubuntu on your current Apple hardware

    It would be interesting to see Linux from your perspective

  59. That doesn’t read like a list of reasons why one should go back to Microsoft products. That reads like a list of reasons why it’s important to embrace Free Software, even if there’s a learning curve involved.

    If the learning curve is the show-stopper, then these issues must not be quite as important as advertised.

  60. Bravo! I gave up on my iPod in disgust and now listen
    to my Audible books on a humble Nokia 2130 phone. I
    convert the .aa files to .mp3 to do this, but I don’t
    care. At least the phone doesn’t screw up and lose my
    place like the iPod Shuffle did.

    This week I got a call from a guy whose laptop was
    stolen. When he wanted to copy HIS music from HIS iPod
    back to the replacement machine, iTunes decided to
    DELETE all his music instead. Nice one, Apple! Kick the
    customer when he’s down.

  61. My question is: why would you want to leave Apple for, um, Microsoft? It’s like saying: life under Hitler sucks, so I will move to Italy to live under Mussolini. When you think about it, there is little to no difference between them. In the end of the day, you still have to pay premium for other entities to manage your personal data, without even telling you what they do to your personal data. Yes, Microsoft’s EULA explicitly says that Microsoft can LEGALLY peak into your data. No kidding.

    I know this sounds weird, but has you ever thought of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)? True, I will grant you that FOSS right now is a bit rough, but the best thing is that it will let you know, for the large part, what it does to your data. Plus, YOU will now be in charge, and you can do whatever you want to your computer and data. Last but not least, many innovations and bleeding edge features are actually from FOSS, and you will have chance to play with them. FOSS also plays rather nice with Windows stuffs (not quite with Apple, since Apple is much more draconian than Microsoft).

    In desktop, you can use GNU/Linux. With modern distributions like Fedora and Debian (or, if you want something easy, Mint and PCLinuxOS), you can have absolutely breath-takingly pretty GUI.

    In mobile market, your choices are even larger, consist of OpenMoko (GNU/Linux on mobile phone, yup, it exists), Android, and WebOS. Just a bit less mobile is Maemo from Nokia (on N810, N800, etc.). Frankly, I think Android is much better than Windows Mobile, and WebOS is rumored to be even better than that!

    Software freedom is essential in this digital days, when software essentially controls your identity. It is, therefore, vital that we, as users, know what the heck is going on with our data, and be able to install/use the software as we please. Proprietary platforms (okay, some proprietary software is not quite by choice, but platform definitely should not be proprietary) can never provide such thing.

  62. Reading your rant I realized pretty quickly: This is all about the iPhone… Each one of the five points you’re making is related directly to the iPhone. So you’re not really making a case against Apple. But that’s a phenomenon one can see often these days that Apple is being equaled to the iPhone and all the other products are just sidekicks…

    Aside from that you make some faulty comparisons and I won’t even go into all of them but the first one that jumped me in the face was when you equaled iTunes to Windows. Unfortunately your post is riddled with such faults and therefore it really can only be called a rant without basis in facts.

  63. Good write up. I have recently decided to leave my Apple
    products behind after a lifetime of using Apple. The
    iPhone was the last straw. I never bought one and have just
    sat back and watched Apple blow it over and over with that

    I’m getting a Pre next month and have already bought my
    wife a PC laptop. My next laptop will also be a PC. I’ll
    keep my iPod because I don’t have any desire to update
    that product. But if I did, I’d shop around.

  64. OK, Jobs is arrogant and dogmatic. he doesn’t want to play with with some of the people we’d al like him to. But Apple stuff just WORKS. And its beautiful. Which is why you, me, and so many others buy the products. I can live without the beatles on itunes (historically at least) because I’ve got an ipod – thanks to steve 🙂

  65. 1. Destroying MP3 player innovation through anti-competitive practices

    Do you remember when Microsoft had their “PlaysForSure” DRM scheme and completely abandoned it, leaving all the third-party MP3 makers with their respective dicks in their hands, when Microsoft decided to make the Zune/Marketplace? How was that better? How is Apple any different from Microsoft as Microsoft locks its Zune to the Zune Marketplace and no other players can use it? Any third-party device can be used on a Mac as long as the maker creates a driver for it. You’re confusing Mac OS X with iTunes.

    Apple is under no obligation to support the legion of third-party MP3 players. Apple created a closed ecosystem with iTunes from the get-go. You understood that going in. If you don’t like it, buy a third-party player and use Amazon or any other music retailer to obtain your music (and Songbird to organize it). If you want ease of use then use iPod/iTunes. It would be a nightmare for Apple to try to support all the third-party MP3 players.

    The reason the Macintosh runs so elegantly is because it doesn’t have the multitude of problems supporting so many different configurations of hardware that Microsoft has to deal with. While this isn’t a perfect analogy, having to support all these different third-party MP3 players would add massive levels of complexity to the iTunes ecosystem. Apple makes their money off hardware, not selling music or movies. They’ve publicly stated such. Being interoperable with every MP3 player would not only create more headaches, cost, time and personnel but would also drastically cut in to their profit margins. They are a business, after all. And apparently business is good. Their numbers speak for themselves.

    As far as Apple not including certain elements like TV tuners and so forth: maybe they did extensive surveys and field testing and felt that 1. the average consumer doesn’t need or want these elements and 2. They don’t perform adequately enough to include them and finally 3. These features would be used by a small element of users and would add too much bulk to the device (as Apple is focused on small, ergonomically designed devices). The other things you mentioned (dual headphone jacks, radio, etc.) are all easily added through third-party add-ons, so there’s no inherent reason to have them by default for reasons mentioned.

    2. Monopolistic practices in telecommunications

    You’re complaining about Apple when this is an industry-wide problem. Apple went to Verizon first if you remember and they turned Apple down. Every carrier has exclusive deals with handset makers. How is Apple and AT&T any different?

    3. Draconian App Store policies that are, frankly, insulting

    This is one area I half-agree with you. I sort of wish the iPhone’s App Store were more open. However, that would lead to many apps getting through that were written by nefarious individuals with the sole intent of stealing your saved passwords, notes, emails and so forth. Or even using your phone as a mobile botnet for spam. All sorts of bad things could happen that Apple is trying to prevent. Are they going too far? Possibly… but I do like a certain element of control. Besides, what’s keeping you from jailbreaking your phone and running whatever you want to?

    I think the blame here isn’t so much Apple as it is AT&T. At least on some of the App Store rejections; Sling Player and Google Voice, at least. AT&T massively overstated (and oversaturated) its 3G capabilities and has had huge problems keeping up with the demand as far as speed goes. They rejected Sling Player because they knew it would add strain on their network. Google Voice (and some VOIP apps) was rejected because I suspect they feel that it’s a threat to their traditional carrier model. Do I agree with either? Absolutely not! If you look at some of the other carriers, they all do things like this in one way or another. It’s unfortunate. I feel that AT&T is more of the problem than is Apple in the App Store rejection area.

    It’s imperative that Apple get in bed with Verizon very soon so that they can force both Verizon and AT&T to change their oppressive tendencies. If AT&T (or Verizon) want to keep Apple happy and reap the financial benefit of the most popular smartphone they better not try to force Apple’s hands. Having more carrier choice would be a great thing. I know I’d switch to Verizon in a heartbeat if Apple offered a Verizon version.

    The comment about planned obsolescence… you’ve been in the tech business long enough to know that’s how the game is played. Every piece of technology is outdated practically the moment it’s in your hands. As for their price… that’s for the market to decide, and apparently the market is okay with it given the iPhone’s massive success.

    4. Being a horrible hypocrite by banning other browsers on the iPhone

    Umm… search for “browser” in the App Store. There’s several. As far as I can tell there’s no reason why Firefox and Opera aren’t making their own browsers for the iPhone.

    5. Blocking the Google Voice Application on the iPhone

    I fully agree with you here. I already touched on this prior.

    In summation, I think that Apple is still a good company releasing great products and even fosters good will toward open source (they include PHP, mySQL, Apache, etc. in OS X by default and have supported various open source projects, as well as OS X is built on open source technology). I feel that Microsoft has a larger history of stifling any sort of competition than Apple will ever begin to hope for. Remember how they made Quicktime run horribly on IE (to foster malaise toward Apple products and push their own inferior WMV format)? Remember the antitrust lawsuits where Microsoft was forcing OEM’s to include Windows, or disallow pre-installation of other OSes, or else be forced out (and by extension killed Be Inc.)? Remember how they almost ruined standards compliance with HTML by making all sorts of proprietary codes with IE?

    I think Apple has a long way to go if they want to be at the level of “evil-ness” that Microsoft has been at various points in their past.

  66. Of course apple would be more successful if they were more open. It would give greater value for money. If you add anything to a product that improves its value for money the end result is that product would be more successful. If they were more open I would probably buy an iphone myself. There you go, 1 extra sale, more success. Don’t tell me I am the only person in the world that is primarily avoiding the iphone due to their stupid policy of not allowing perfectly good apps that people want to use onto their device.
    Of course Apple should face sanctions for anti competitive behaviour. It is a basic rule of law that the law should be consistent. If Microsoft face sanctions for the browser debacle then justice demands that others using the same, if not worse, strategies should also face sanctions.
    I am not one of the isheep but a while ago I nearly bought a mac due to the failings in all the web browsers I found available for the PC, but then I discovered Google chrome. This browser works so well that it has made my decision for me. The next phone I buy will be Android. I am also waiting to see what the Chrome OS is like before I go hunting for a net book.

  67. Starting in 1979, I was an early Apple ][ fan.

    I walked out of a PC store after seeing the first Mac
    and vowed then to never buy another Apple product.

    Jobs had sealed up the Mac with special screws, preventing
    upgrades and access to the hardware, a 180 degree turn from
    the open philosophy established by Jobs’ partner, Steve

  68. I truly feel bad for you. Although it makes sense your column revolves around apples universe of products, many if not all of The things you complain about are non issues for pc users or any poweruser for that matter. And no I don’t think that reinforces your point but rather talks bad about the author for not looking beyond for alternatives rather than just paying and asking questions later. I’m not surprised however when the pity excuse for going apple years ago was about viruses and the so called working platform. I suggest you look deeper into your buying habits and stop crying about a corporation practices. In my book many of your comments thoroughout the article invalidate you to talk tech.

  69. Surprisingly, no one mentioned about apple frequent 200+ MB
    updates on small things like you know blocking of sms attack.

    lol @ apple for what they have become…. the new Micro$oft.

  70. Couldn’t have said it better. If Apple were in the desktop driver’s seat instead of Microsoft, our world would be an Orwellian nightmare. For all the good things that Apple has done, Steve’s quirks ultimately will be Apple’s undoing… again.

  71. @srw and others: Why don’t you use Winamp to manage your Music-Players?

    It can load and dump mp3-Files on your iThings just fine without the silly iTunes restrictions.

  72. For point #1, I disagree. iTunes is not an OS. Windows is an OS, that happens to be on
    90% (or more) of the installed base of PCs. iTunes is available for both Mac OS and
    Windows, which is basically all the desktops (not counting a few percentage points for
    Linux). Any other company can create an MP3 player that comes with its own music
    management software. In fact, Microsoft has tried to do this very thing, and it is only for
    Windows. So has Sony, and it was only for Windows. Most other company’s are simply
    lazy and only deal with hardware. No one has been as successful as Apple has with
    iTunes+iPod. Apple has earned the iPod/iTunes dominance by being innovative. Apple’s
    innovation has encouraged others to compete harder.

    For #2, I disagree. Just because the iPhone is popular, it does not create a “monopoly.”
    That is a ridiculous argument. There are plenty of other choices on the market. No one
    is being forced to use an iPhone with AT&T. And you cannot use an iPhone with two SIM

  73. An open platform wont assure Apple of the quality they are famous for. We are moving into an era where computers are more like cars, complete ready to use products. Most users im sure like the fact that they dont have to choose each part of their product, but have a familiar brand do the thinking for them, like Apple, or BMW. Even though i’m a high end user, i am one of those ppl. We techies tend to forget not everyone is interested in the machine itself; most ppl consider it a machine they use for tasks.

  74. For point #1, I disagree. iTunes is not an OS. Windows is an OS, that happens to be on 90% (or more) of the installed base of PCs. iTunes is available for both Mac OS and Windows, which is basically all the desktops (not counting a few percentage points for
    Linux). Any other company can create an MP3 player that comes with its own music management software. In fact, Microsoft has tried to do this very thing, and it is only for Windows. So has Sony, and it was only for Windows. Most other company’s are simply lazy and only deal with hardware. No one has been as successful as Apple has with iTunes+iPod. Apple has earned the iPod/iTunes dominance by being innovative. Apple’s innovation has encouraged others to compete harder. I don’t see the problem.

    For #2, I disagree. Just because the iPhone is popular, it does not create a “monopoly.” That is a ridiculous argument. There are plenty of other choices on the market. No one is being forced to use an iPhone with AT&T. And you cannot use an iPhone with two SIM cards on Verizon because Verizon uses CDMA (no SIM card – it is different). To use an iPhone on Verizon’s current 3G network, Apple would need to create a different iPhone model just for Verizon. That may be worth the effort, but that is Apple’s call. If Apple does not want to produce a CDMA iPhone just for Verizon, there will be no iPhone for Verizon’s
    current 3G network. Maybe when the go 4G, it will work with iPhone. Also, the only thing keeping Apple from
    total domination in the U.S. smartphone market is exclusivity with AT&T. I’m sure Apple’s mobile phone competition fear the day when that exclusivity runs out and customers can get an iPhone on Verizon 4G.

    For point #3, I agree that Apple needs to make some changes in the way they approve and disapprove apps for the App Store.

    For point #4, that is just a subset of point #3. It does not deserve a separate “point.”

    For point #5, that is just a subset of point #3. It does not deserve a separate “point.”

    Overall, I disagree. A lot of people seem to think Apple should operate like a non-profit organization and give away the advantages it has worked hard to develop, over a long time and great expenditure of resources. If Apple did that,
    just to be nice to the competition, it would be failing its shareholders. Apple is operating properly, as any for-profit should to increase shareholder value.

  75. “Think for a moment about what your reaction would be if Microsoft made the Zune the only MP3 player compatible with Windows.”

    Er, the Zune is Windows only.

    Apart from Microsoft’s Zune, most MP3 players work on OSX.

    Are you really that stupid?

  76. It does appear that Steve is quite “in control” over at Apple, which has actually been a very successful thing for them, in terms of money.

    There is one pattern, though, that appears to remain consistent. I would characterize it as: “This UFO landed in my back yard last night and left me with this really cool device.”

    Let’s just get over it already. Software is algorithms, algorithms is math, math is studied at colleges and community colleges and high schools and grade schools and everywhere. It’s not like you’re ripping the heart and soul of your anthropomorphological extraterrestrial “device” out and breaking its heart.

    Software is made by human beings, and human beings should be more involved than it being something completely foreign, off limits, untouchable, sacred, whatever… even if one uses the excuse (or fact) that Wall Street is as petrified as someone who’s seen Medusa.

    What’s the logic behind Logic then? Make your own music? Why? Isn’t someone supposed to do that for you? Isn’t the spaceship that landed in my back yard going to give me the coolest tunes for 99 cents a pop? Make your OWN music? Isn’t that illegal? Won’t the RIAA sue you for that?

    Software is no different. Apps are no different.

    I was watching this great interview with some folks from Sun talking about ZFS, and one of the main dudes behind that filesystem was expressing concern that maybe the people entering college might not, overall, be as interested in lower-level stuff, assembly stuff, working with C directly with the hardware type stuff — that we might forget this somehow, that this might exit our consciousness somehow.

    Dark side, yes. The pattern is there. It’s why MS is where it is, if you look at it that way. MS needs to be ubiquitous in order for Apple to do its thing. One hell of a sacrifice, if you asked me. An OS that could have 45%+ market share? Sacrificed for a singular dream? Not a bad dream, if you asked me, but there are dreams and then there are miracles. Miracles are better. Anyway….

    It still is kind of hard for me to believe that one person could have so much influence directly and indirectly; and yeah, I suppose that maybe certain things wouldn’t have happened in a certain way had they been another way, and these things you never know. They just happen, and you do the best you can. Maybe it’s when everyone’s in the same boat… when the ultimate pressures of the universe are affecting everyone equally – no one likes being under that kind of pressure, but maybe some folks, when placed under that kind of pressure, produce things that are so cool they don’t ever realize how cool they are?

    But the one pattern endures: A spaceship landed in my back yard last night, these strange extraterrestrial beings got out of it, and handed me this interesting device. That’s about all we’ve got that set in stone — at least as long as Steve’s around, that’s the way he’s going to want it to be. I certainly wouldn’t count on anything deviating from that, at least not voluntarily.

    So the question is, if we ignore the infantile nonsense, what have we got here? We’ve got a decent UNIX OS, an incredibly decent OS, which could totally annihilate Linux on the desktop and take away maybe 30-50% of Windows’ market share, we might even have an evolution towards getting it running with Oracle and such, giving Solaris a run for its money in that department. And people will totally accept hardware right there, if someone decides to allow someone to wake up and smell the coffee.

    We could have (probably eventually will, anyway) consumers with a real choice on the desktop.

    As far as the mp3 players, the phones, that’s just too new to really play out any one way or another. People are upset about it, yeah, and Apple can totally (and probably will) recover the best they can. But that’s just part of the “flying saucer in my back yard” pattern — which is basically infantile nonsense (even if it were theoretically enforced by a police state, it wouldn’t last long).

    The key thing here is to break OS X loose — for the consumer. That would automatically take care of most of the iPhone woes anyway, right? If the iPhone runs OS X, if that previously Android phone can get OS X installed on it, catch my drift? That’s really all they’ve got that’s worth anything. And it’s really worth quite a bit. And it probably is the future, one way or another. Everything else is infantile fantasy.

  77. Unlike Microsoft who controlled 90% of the OS market and severely limited consumer choice, Apple does not. Overpaying for Apple products is a choice one makes, not an obligation. Steve is a brilliant business man.

  78. Really nice post here, I enjoyed reading it.

    I had an iBook G4 and loved it completely, there was nothing I did not like. It is silent, compact, the close mechanism is nice.

    Then I got an Aluminum iMac. There are several things that annoy me. Glossy screen, graphics card does not support anti-aliasling.

    And the vendor-lock-in thing was in another thing as well: The iSight. It was not possible to attach an USB camera and use it for iChat. Well, we all use skype now for obvious reasons.


  79. Thank you for purchasing $20,000 worth of Apple products, which is about 18 times more than the investment of most Apple product purchasers. [WTF could one possibly do with 7 iPods?] Your Apple purchases have been much appreciated and will help contribute to even more dramatically significant Apple products. It is interesting how vocal Apple product purchasers are, and can be, about the products that Apple offers and how they can be used; formerly SILENT ex-Windows PC users suddenly become writing mavens after they’ve moved into the Apple realm. It seems that Windows PC ‘users grin and bear it’ whereas Apple users jump up and down and scream and yell. What’s with this anomalous behavior? Perhaps it will be best to have you move back to the Windows realm and EVERYTHING that it offers. You can then tell us all about the joys of heavenly 7 … or will you become silent again? However it was much fun reading your long and detailed and comprehensive editorial about Apple’s corporate style …

  80. To start, you’ve got a consumerism problem, second, you’re switching to windows as if it is a better choice? Bit of a nonsense if you ask me ( which you didn’t heh). Third, you’re ditching apple and its products ‘cos to you being unable to sync any media player with a specific software(iTunes) is the same as having a system-wide block to non-apple products, you’re not locked in, apple sells user experience, packs, bundles, a macbook without osx is just a nice industrial design example, but that’s it,it’s only when you add osx, ilife, iwork, that you get to experience what apple sold to you. Anyhoo, you’re paying too much attention to apple’s marketing, ditch iTunes or use something like Itunesmywalkman to sync any media player w itunes. Hf

  81. Wow lits of Mactards & Linux hobos posting here. Can’t you all stick to the subject insteading of licking Jobs asscrack or trying t convince Jason to switch to Linux?

  82. Jason,

    Mr. Rojas and Arrington are in the “MAJORITY” of people who buy computers
    and cell phones. You make it sound as if they are leading the way to some
    great movement to a better way of life, when in fact they are just like the
    other 90 percent of the population who do not buy Macs and iPhones.

    The only legitimate beef you really have is with the iPod and iTunes, since
    they may actually be considered to have a monopoly in this field. Even still,
    you can reasonably make it through life without an iPod or iTunes.

    I feel a Daring Fireball rebuttal coming in … 10, 9, 8, 7 …….

  83. And IBM collaberated with and supplied the Nazis with computers during WWII and yet you seem to be ok with buying IBM PC’s. If you don’t like Apples practices than don’t buy Apple products. But don’t be a hypocrite and buy IBM products either.

  84. @ Frank (#69): If different screw-heads can keep you from opening the case of a given piece of hardware, you are probably not qualified to do anything once in there in the first place. Which is really just a nice way of saying “bitch, please”.

  85. Instead of ranting on for 5 long installments, get rid of your Apple products and go buy something else. What a whined you are. How about a 6th installment describing how you got rid of all your Apple stuff and bought something else. I bet that you keep all your Apple hardware, but prefer to just complain. Steve Jobs is not the pathetic one, you are.

  86. jason, thoughtful and well-reasoned, but let me ad a 6th point: apple fanbois. the inability to acknowledge any apple mistep or mistake is sickening. it makes me want to disguise my MBP or my iPhone for fear someone will think I am part of their legion.

  87. Some of the replies so very much miss the point.

    Imagine if broadcast signals were based on a standard that forced you to buy a Microsoft TV to receive them. At some point, the ubiquity of a standard approaches that of Common Carrier status.

    At one time, AT&T forced all others out of its monopoly because they argued that “rogue” equipment could “damage” their landline network. AT&T finally had Justice take a knife to it and cut it up. But before that time, AT&T was forced to deal with things such as answering machines and non-AT&T PBX equipment and so on.

    One other thing being missed here: where’s the Federal Trade Commission? Apple’s capricious rejection of apps — and rejection of apps that “duplicate” iPhone functionality — has all the hallmarks of Restraint of Trade.

  88. hi there –

    agree with tom way up there –
    the fact that you make the comparison with
    ‘only windows mp3 players working with windows’,
    pretty much shows that you’re being disingenuous.
    the correct comparison would be – only zune
    player with zune software. which is how it is.
    The fact that itunes has a massive backend
    media infrastructure does not get away from the
    fact that it s software designed by apple to store
    and playback digital media and to sync apple media
    players to that media. there is nothing wrong
    with that.
    making a five part list doesn’t make it any less
    of a blowhard rant..

  89. What about ringtones? Apple won’t let you use your own on the iphone – you have to use theirs.. but first you have to buy the song in itunes and then they will let you convert it (an extra fee) to a ring tone.

    This is wrong people. Apple needs to change its thinking.

  90. This post by Calacanais is about one thing….generating traffic. All you fools who weigh in on the age old Apple vs Microsoft debates are idiots just goosing his traffic stats.

  91. Apples progression reminds me of a rebound hookup. We has a bad relationship with microsoft and switch to apple. We’re in love, it’s so easy and good looking. But as time goes on and the relationship is firmly established we realize the new hookup has a lot of the same problems as our last. Death to capitalism!

  92. looks like the posts are running 10 to 1 or more against aapl.

    suggestion: now that msft is building stores, then i suggest the antis wait and go
    to those stores for help.

    if that is no good, then just don’t buy aapl products until they go out of business.
    at that point when innovation comes to a major halt, suggest you buy stock in pay
    phone manufacturers.

    those are two simple solutions except if you like to travel. then when you go to
    japan and look at all those “much better” and much cheaper mp3 players, you can
    save a ton of money on your airfare if you buy enough and then forget about the
    app store.

  93. Hmm…

    For the second one response, common myth for GSM users to assume that all cell phones have sim cards. Only GSM cell phones do (US based carriers, AT&T, and T-Mobile). US Cellular has some, but they don’t really count in the big picture. CDMA carriers like Verizon, Sprint, and smaller ones do not use sim cards. This is a very big difference and so your point is only valid if you were to say that you wanted a dual-sim scenario for both AT&T and T-Mobile in the States. Also realize that from a power management perspective, you would have to have double the radios, thus double the power suck from your battery so while there are actually phones like you’re saying in Japan, they’re not very common due to the power constraints of having to run two different cellular radios since it literally cuts your battery time in half.

    From a technology standpoint, that’s not sellable unless it’s huge in physical footprint since you need to account for a larger battery.

  94. Wow, this looks like an awful lot like a blog post written by someone who supposedly “gave up blogging”.

    Way to jump on the bandwagon there, Jason. Wake me when you have something interesting to say.

  95. Monopolistic practices, draconian policies, banning browsers, blocking Google voice, etc. Give me a break; this isn’t life and death or even important enough to get excited about or spend much time or energy thinking about.

    We’re talking about technology and a technology company and in the end it’s not worth getting upset about any this. Consumers vote with their money, so if you don’t like any of this spend your money elsewhere and your time and energy on things that make a difference in your life.

  96. more then € 500 spend in the App store – do u realy think i give a *****

    Apple is a strong force in my live. Apple goes deeper that any brand.
    Attacking Apple – is attacking my way of live.

    And like Leo said to Steve Gillmore….

  97. You are totally wrong, in fact. Your misconception is caused by obsession
    with current detail instead of seeing the big, multi decade picture.

    Steve Jobs is changing the world (did you watch the original ad?). Two big necessities:
    one – break Microsoft’s control of the personal computing device market
    two – break the carrier cartels’ control of mobile internet, so that all services, including
    mobile voice, run on top of an unmetered mobile internet service.

    Did you notice how OSX is based on open-source Darwin, and uses open or freely
    licensable formats for mail and media files, calendars etc. and how Mac as well as iPhone
    will shortly work out-of-the-box with Exchange Server, unlike Windows (extra cost option).

    Apple is working towards a world where all companies are free to innovate because of
    (a) open standards and (b) open internet. The opposite of what Microsoft, and before
    them, IBM did to stitch up their customers. If you want to move from platform to platform,
    stick to the open way of doing things, as you can with Apple, but can’t so easily with
    Microsoft or the mobile carriers.

    Right now, Apple controls the carriers by milking $$$ from them. This will break, but Apple
    can’t let Google get a head start in the future world. They’ll have to wait until either Apple has
    bled the carriers dry, or regulators level the playing field. Then, of course, MobileMe will have
    a paid voice service like Google Voice. Meantime, Google Voice must stay in the HTML5 world
    so Google doesn’t end up being the new Microsoft either.

  98. All the issues you point out can be solved in two simple steps:

    1. Buy Zune or Sansa MP3 player. Solves point one. By the way, if you buy a Zune you will probably need to buy a PC, because the Zune software does not run on a Mac (ironic, isn’t it?).

    2. Buy a Blackberry or Android smart phone. Solves points 2 through 5.

    I am not sure why you are complaining. You have the freedom to choose which devices/platforms you will support with your dollars.

    Don’t blame Apple for the fact that the Marketplace prefers their products. Blame Apple’s competitors for putting out stuff you don’t want to buy.

  99. Steve’s “control” requirements had almost killed Apple,
    when he deemed that no “unapproved software”
    would be allowed to run on the mac.

    It wasn’t until he was forced out, and Adobe and others were
    “invited” to create software for the mac did the mac finally
    get adopted by a larger audience.

    While the iphone’s success has not been impeded by such lack
    of openness, hopefully getting the issue out in public more often will force people
    to ultimately see the situation for what it is, and perhaps induce
    Apple to “behave better”….though I would tend to doubt it.

  100. @Mike Cane: “where’s the Federal Trade Commission? Apple’s capricious rejection of apps — and rejection of apps that “duplicate” iPhone functionality — has all the hallmarks of Restraint of Trade.”

    Only if you assume that Apple is the only source for smartphones or that they control the entire market, front to back, forcing you to buy their products and services.

    Apple, AT&T, the iPhone and the app store are only one of many consumer choices in each category. Nothing Apple can do right now limits your choice or freedom to buy something else – unless you feel that Apple and AT&T should be forced into offering products and services that you feel are appropriate for you.

    Windows only runs Windows apps, Zune software only supports Zunes and Windows users. “PlaysferSure” only played for sure with Microsoft products. I understand and appreciate open source softare, but also recognise a difference between a commercial product and an open source project. I have never encountered a physical open source product.

    There are many smartphones, many carriers and many applications available for those other platforms. Apple built a platform, you are free to use it, or choose another combination.

    Apple’s “capricious” decisions are most likely rooted in the sheer volume of apps – with over 60,000 available and 1600 more showing up every week, I don’t envy whoever is in charge of the process. Apple has made many mistakes and will make many more, but overall, there is a place for a managed platform, just as there is a place for “whatever you want” – that decision is up to whoever builds and sells a product.

    As to “duplication” of iPhone functionality, aside from the quick jump to “the bastards don’t want competition”, take a breath and realise that many functions and third party apps depend upon the core functions Apple built in. There is a practical side to having a single system browser, and as many of Apple’s built in apps are allowed to multitask, there is a security and functionality side to consider.

  101. Apple has been very clear that they developed iTunes as a service for the iPod.
    They did the heavy lifting in getting the cooperation of the music industry even
    to agreeing to the DRM restrictions the industry required. Amazon started a
    similar download service much easier. Hey, anyone can do it. It is like opening
    a store. Anyone can write a synching app. That a service for their
    customers can be seen as restraint of trade is as ridiculous as saying that the free
    after sale service provided by BMW for their customers must be granted to
    your Chevrolet or that BMW parts must fit your Chevrolet.

    Your bullet point that Apple has stifled innovation of MP3 players is
    completely contradicted by your description of all the innovations at the trade show.
    Are you just spinning words? Do you think that it might be possible that no one
    cares? That Apple has really figured out what people want?

    Did you not know that other phone makers have exclusive agreements? To load
    existing phone company practices onto Apple is absurd.
    Did you not know that Apple was turned down by Verizon initially, and it
    is rumored, again recently? Have you looked at the equivalent cost of the ATT
    iPhone service if provided by Verizon? It is well over $100/month. Apple made
    a good deal for its iPhone customers at ATT.

    You know, with all the harangue about the cost of Apple equipment you really begin
    to sound like another Apple bashing PC user, albeit with a little more style.
    I frankly do not believe you.

    customers at ATT.

  102. I think the Apple’s strategy is fundamentally about the harmony of their products. They don’t see customers as simply “Mac customers” or “iPhone customers.” Apple is dedicated to providing complete solutions for the entire digital experience of the modern consumer.

    Adding support for third-party MP3 players is not as easy as it sounds. Apple wants the freedom to change this without worrying about support legacy devices. It’s easier to just say “We’re changing iTunes, make sure we tell the iPod team to do X on their software”

    Ultimately, I still think consumers have choice in the Apple ecosystem. You don’t need iTunes to sync music, it just happens to be easier but nothing stop Palm from developing their own music management software. There are other phones besides the iPhone, consumers can understand that Apple is not supportive of certain types of applications that the phone’s based on Android have more flexibility here.

    What I do think is necessary is for Google and the rest of the industry to keep Apple in check – this is something that Google has ddone a poor job of.

  103. “Opera is a fantastic brower”?

    You obviously don’t have to write and CSS to support it.

    Opera’s only slightly better than the horrendous IE6, at least
    before 7.1.

  104. I don’t think iTunes being closed to outside devices is inherently wrong. It seems to me
    that its about creating a seamless experience between your computer, your handheld device,
    and your media. I think Apple’s perspective is they can’t perfect a user’s experience of using
    a Palm Pre with iTunes and that the user will blame the software (iTunes) and not the
    off-brand device…
    As a verizon-ite, I wish the iPhone were on verizon, but I don’t blame Apple for being on
    an exclusive contract with ATT. To do so would forget the gulag culture of cell-phone
    service pre-iPhone. The carrier’s are still terrible. They should be investigated. But
    at the time (and probably not today), verizon would’ve required an iPhone to be all
    red-menued and themed over with V-navigator and v-cast and v-blah. Which we all
    know the Apple could not abide. Again, Apple’s obsession with offering a perfect user
    experience has led to a whittling away of options, choices, variables in favor
    of the seamless.
    The app store business does cross the line. Apple doesn’t censor the music it sells on iTunes,
    or the movies, or the Tv shows (if True Blood were an App, not a show, would it be allowed
    on iTunes?). It does allow apps which duplicate features, just not name-brand apps. There
    are tons of alternative browsers, just no Operas, Firefoxes, or Chromes. You can, in fact,
    make a google voice call (on an iPod Touch even), you just have to use a convoluted
    series of Fring-Gizmo5-Google Voice. And Dictionary! has definitions for the worst obscentiies.
    As much as the orwellian controlling and censuring stuff sucks, the contradictions and
    inconsistencies are just as bad. Apple should block apps that threaten the network,
    the devices, or intellectual property, and that is it. If there is a concern about age-appropriate
    content, Apple should work with Palm, Google, Microsoft, the carriers and everyone
    else to set up a review and ratings system just like video games, tv, and hollywood does.
    Deciding the age-appropriateness of a mobile application should not be part of Apple’s
    app store review process.
    But beyond all that, Apple should be a hell of a lot more open
    about what gets in and what doesn’t and why. It is not clear how Apple benefits from
    the current situation. The user certainly doesn’t.

  105. “Sure, everything on the Mac platform costs twice as much”

    Stop reading at that point, as you’re clearly talking out of your arse.

  106. “The truth is, Google has absolutely no lock-in, collusion or choice issues like Apple’s, and the Internet taught Microsoft long ago that open is better than closed.””

    Not true. Google’s lock-in is your data – if you use their GMail service, their Docs etc. you have lots of data there. I’ve been becoming uncomfortable with some Google practices, but after years of use dumping them would be much harder than dumping my Mac. Plus sometimes there is nowhere to run – take Google Reader – there is nothing out there you could replace it with.

    And when it comes to SIM-locks etc. – that’s how telco works. Apple had no chance to make iPhone so popular so quickly without AT&T (and other carriers in other markets) subsidizing the phone, which it would never do without being able to lock the subscribers in. Steve decided to play along with an entrenched industry practice – you could debate if the iPhone had a chance otherwise (I’m not sure, Apple was probably the only company that could have pulled this off), but it’s not that Steve did invent this.

  107. If you don’t understand why Google Voice won’t work on the iPhone, you are an idiot. The iPhone is not open source and never will be. Google voice opens a plethora of issues that many of us can’t fathom. The constant whining by you non-programmers will never cease to amaze me.

    Doesn’t Apple own the App Store? iTunes? Can’t they reject whoever the hell they want?

  108. I think this article starts on a wrong note altogether. Apple is not about anticompetitiveness but about pure competition based on the strength of its compelling offerings. It did not gain this success by twarting other MP3 makers from writing their own software to go with their hardwares but by producing a kick ass, vertically integrated hardware-software MP3 player that took over the world by storm, leaving everybody else in the dust. When the window people saw how well the iPod and iTunes ecosystem worked, they started to clamor for a version for the PCs. Apple smartly obliged and the rest is history. It simply propelled the iPod line of MP3 into the stratosphere. Not even Microsoft could touch it with its Zune product. Sony can produce elegant electronics as compelling as Apple’s but lacks Apple’s strength in the software side of the equation, so it is loosing big time in an industry which it has started with the walkman. Palm should take a lesson from all this and write a fully integrated program to sync its Pre phone to the computer instead of trying to hack its way into Apple iTunes program and complain about Apple being uncompetitive. It is Palm who refuses to compete by being lazy or incapable of producing a counter to the iTune program. It is totally within Apple’s right to reserve the use of its iTunes software for its own products. After all neither Palm nor all the other MP3 players have bothered to pay Apple for the R&D expenses that were incurred in the production of iPod/iPhone/iTunes, but all of them are very much eager to think that they have a right to partake in the success of its rival and think that they can do so by complaining to the authority about being victimized by Apple’s “monopolistic” practice. They are just behaving like loosers, especially Palm who has the nerve to advertise its Pre as being better than the iPhone and yet is only capable of hacking its way into Apple’s program to make its Pre works like an iPhone instead of proving that its Pre is indeed more capable than Apple’s offering.
    Apple’s success is due to its business model that is very much unlike any in the industry. It is the only computer maker who insists on writing its own operating system for its own hardware (not for other shoddy competitors’ boxes mind you) so that it can create a product that performs consistently and works extremely well, albeit a little pricier than the other PCs. It is the only computer business that is fully controlled by the company from top to bottom. If you do not like this philosophy, then deal with it and stay away from the product. There will always be people who will buy the products because they appreciate its quality and reliability and so they keep coming back for more. The computers may not be selling as well as the competitors because of its pricing but the iPod line of products simply shattered the competition by the sheer strength of its compelling features, which Calacanis mistook for uncompetitiveness. Apple is just trying to make sure that it protects the fruit of its hardwork from the competitors who are trying very hard to take a shot at its crown jewels (The OS and the softwares). Apple is a very competitive company and it is driving the battle by producing irresistible products. Contrast this to Microsoft who owns 90% of the operating system of the world and it did not even gain this tremendous market share by producing the most compelling line of software, far from it.
    Apple’s philosophy of maintaining a tight integration between its software and hardware is unique in this business and it is now paying off big time. Unfortunately you will always run into someone who will mistake this kind of success for being monopolistic and anticompetitive. That is pure hogwash. Anticompetitive! Apple is not. Paranoid maybe.
    Without Apple’s competitiveness and paranoid attention to details, this industry will still be stuck in…..blah blah land of mediocrity.

  109. Nobody is being forced to buy Apple products. No developers are being forced to build apps for the iphone. They are welcome to go to another platform of their choosing. Go back to where they came from before the App Store caught all the developers fancy. There’s the Android platform, the WinMo platform, the Palm platform, the BlackBerry platform and the Symbian platform. It’s not like the developers don’t have a choice. I’m fairly certain that before they started, they knew that Apple has complete control over the apps that are being developed. They should realize that the iPhone platform is in a very early stage of development and there are bound to be some rough spots. The iPhone platform has grown faster than probably all the other platforms combined, so why start a big uproar because a few apps don’t pass muster. I’m willing to wager that more than 90% of the developers are more than satisfied developing for Apple. Some people say iPhone users are being cheated out of apps, but the people that I know that use iPhones are extremely happy with them. They’re not into all the latest apps and don’t read tech blogs. They only know that the iPhone is the easiest to use cellphone they ever had. All of a sudden some tech heads want multiple browsers on iPhones. Holy crap! A year ago hardly any smartphone had one good browser on it.

    Do any of you people go to a Walmart or Target and tell them what they should sell? You want them to sell porn or assault rifles? And if they refuse, you try to badmouth them. I’d figure you just go to a place that does carry that stuff. So the developers should just go to a platform where they can do anything they want without any obstacles to confront them. They should go and prove that Apple is destroying the smartphone industry using a walled-garden approach. I honestly think the few developers that jump ship for another platform are not going to change one thing and they’ll probably gripe about something else on their new choice of platform. It’s not a perfect world, get used to it.

  110. Lets look at the MP3 market were iTunes has a majority. A non technical person unaware of the issues buys an iPod and discovers iTunes. Made up with the experience buys $100 worth of tracks. A year later his iPod is knackered and he buys goes out and buys a Toshiba mp3 player because it has a feature the latest gen of iPods don’t but discovers he can’t play his iTunes tracks on it. So he takes it back and buys an iPod just to play those tracks.

    Just change a few details here and see what we end up with:

    A non technical user starts to use IE because it’s free and discovers lots of websites. A year later he discovers Netscape and moves over but has to move back because his favourite sites only work in IE.

    The difference? none.

    Apple is not an abuser of monopolies the same way OJ Simpson is not a murderer.

  111. It’s not wrong to be the leader and innovative. How many MP3 players were successful before the iPod? How many lines were there for cell phones before the iPhone? Don’t like the way Apple runs its app store, so you can use the what instead? Cell phone carriers restricting what you can do on your phone, big news and obviously Apples fault.

    Apple makes beautiful and easy to own/use products. They are very nice to their customers and not so nice to others. Remember that when you try to figure out which of the many different versions of Windows 7 you’ll buy and how you’ll do a clean install. You could just keep your Mac and pay $29 for an upgrade to one OS.

  112. Please your blog need more contrast. At least change the color to black or something with enough contrast. It is hard to read


  113. Agree wholeheartedly and your question, “Why, then, does Steve Jobs get a pass?” really sums up the pathetic excuse for Apple coverage and analysis in the media — both ‘new’ and old. Too many peeps sucking on the Apple koolaid perhaps?

  114. Very articulate summary of Apple’s growing customer, public, and government relations quagmire, but there is cause for optimism. I know people who worked with Tim Cook at his level at IBM for 12 years in the PC/ThinkPad division before he joined Apple. They say very good things about him as being very focused on customer satisfaction, product quality and talent preservation. They refer to him as the ultimate pragmatist, and as such will likely understand that Apple needs to change course quickly on these issues.

    Apple’s latest string of bad decisions are just as likely the result an inability to manage growth as it is Job’s legendary personality. Unless you have been in a mega corporation such as AT&T, or one overwhelmed by growth such as Apple, you can easily underestimate their ability to make bonehead decisions. Tim Cook, has just the right set of skills and experience to take Apple to the next level, but he better not wait too long to act, especially on the iPhone/AT&T and AppStore issues.

  115. I’ll take #73 too.

    Since you are obviously a big Apple fan[judging from your purchases], you are proof that the revolt has already begun. You point is correct.

  116. Apple is a company out to be successful and make money.
    And dang are they doing a great job at it. They are not a
    charitable organization out to please geeks.

  117. Thanks for the article. I think it was very well said. Great specific examples and proposed solutions!

    I have a MacBookPro, PowerMac G5, & an iPod. With the G5, I have Apple’s 30″ & 24″ monitors. In other words, I’ve put a lot of money in Apple products. I find OS X easier to use than Windows. Up until 3 years ago, I’d used Windows for years (at least since 3.1–probably longer).

    I have also influenced others to buy Apple products. One of my friends has a Mac laptop & until yesterday, an iPhone. I helped him pick out a new phone at Verizon turning his iPhone into an iPod. He was fed up with all of his disconnected calls.

    I think the iPhone is a great product with a nice interface. However, I chose not to get one because of the requirement to go with AT&T and the flakiness of the app store. As a developer, I am interested in developing mobile apps. But I think developing an app for the iPhone is too risky since I have no idea if it will be approved. Even if it was, it could be pulled at a later time without notice. I simply do not need to waste my time like this. The risk is too great.

    Even though I’ve really enjoyed my Apple products (I still like my Macs), I do think they have gotten too big for their britches. I know many of my colleagues feel the same way. And it has affected my decision to by additional Apple products. I will be getting a new phone shortly, but it won’t be an iPhone. I’ve also been putting off upgrading both my laptop & desktop trying to decide if a PC is the better solution because of Apple’s direction.

    I can’t help wonder if Apple should be investigated for their monopolistic behavior if they don’t change their ways. Maybe Apple will get a clue, but I’m not holding my breath. It will be interesting to see what the FCC investigation discovers.

  118. One area we all seem to overlook when examing these technological devices Jason is the bloody AC adapters. Hundreds of millions of “unique” ac adapters are made every year for everyt type of device and while there has been rumblings about micro USB becoming a standard its time for the industry leaders to cut the damn strings they have tied to making large profits charging $20+ for an adapter that costs them pennies. If you want to see a company go green it will be the one who builds a smart adapter standard that works, and sticks with it for the next 10 years. Yes I know apple has pretty much done this with the iphone but once again you have to subscribe to their own version of 1984….

  119. Many interesting points made by all, but the fact remains, as you pointed out, life in Mac-world is – so far at least – virus free. As parent of four net-surfing kids, I couldn’t begin to tell you how much money computer viruses have cost me over the years. When I was finally able to afford a mac, I got two. This meant I could to learn to use the digital arts applications that run only on macs, and advance my career. The mac has long been an elegant and efficient tool for the arts with a remarkably stable operating system. If it were more affordable, I believe it would be the desktop of choice for the business world at large, simply for its resistance to computer viruses. But I too, drew the line at the iPhone, although I hear my son is quite happy with his.

  120. The whole AT&T issue doesn’t exist in my country (Australia). Maybe you need what we have – a law that says you can’t restrict trade. This means that by law, Apple HAS to make the iPhone available unlocked and usable on ANY network in Australia – which it is! I’m not a fan of Government intervention but in this case it certainly works.

  121. Fantastic depiction of what Apple has turned into. Two important points:

    Blocking apps which may potentially affect AT&T revenues, is a practice that undermines million of non-AT&T iPhone users: Why should an O2 customer in the UK,
    a Vivo customer in Brazil or an Orange customer in Israel be offered a mediocre experience to facilitate the monopoly of AT&T in the US?

    Another point is that Apple has invited the general public to join the ranks of independent
    developers. Developers must pay for this privilege and use Apple’s own equipment – before putting a tremendous amount of labor on developing applications with the premise of a marketplace. For apple, to sell the device on the back of 65,000 contributed applications
    under the tagline “There’s an app for anything” and then use draconian rules to decide which content jives with them and which doesn’t – is an utterly unfair business
    practice, if not borderline criminal.

  122. This is such an easy set of issues, and the long-winded and logically-flawed original post is virtually unnecessary. Simply stated, the market will decide whether Apple’s behavior is rewarded or punished. No one cares what I say, the original poster says, or what any of the commenters say (which is probably why the original post was written and why so many have commented). The reality here is that most people aren’t aware of these claim and really don’t care, and this frustrates many of you who just can’t figure out why these seemingly valid criticisms are ignored. Here’s the reason: NO ONE CARES.


  123. Jason, thanks very much for your thought-provoking post.
    It is an extreme pleasure for me to read anything you write 🙂

    It is my belief that much of what has been the strength of
    Steve Jobs and by extension Apple has also been the company’s
    Achilles’ Heel, which can be distilled to a need for control.
    Control of system standards, control of distribution, control
    of basically every element of any product that Apple produces.

    The question for me is whether Jobs’ desire for control
    has been a blessing to the public or a curse regardless of
    whether or not he’s a “great guy” (a view I really don’t
    subscribe to). Let’s take a look at the record.

    1. The Mac OS. I’ve used both Macs and PCs since their
    respective inceptions, and there has never been a contest,
    the Mac OS was and is consistently better. It is more
    intuitive, more stable, aesthetically pleasing, less prone
    to viruses and simpler to use. MS has always been playing
    catchup since the Mac came out in 1984. This is due in no
    small part to Jobs’ obsession with the GUI, its functionality
    and its integration into the hardware.

    2. Mac Hardware. It is expensive. Much more expensive than
    a PC. That said, so is a BMW. To me, buying a Mac is akin to
    a BMW – if cost is relative versus downtime, the initial cost
    of the hardware is far outweighed by the quality of the
    hardware and the level of customer support and the amount of
    time you actually spend using your computer to compute.

    this is in no small part due to the obsession of Jobs’ in terms of
    industrial design and quality of the equipment. As far as
    the inability to tinker with the innards of Apple equipment,
    the company has become somewhat less draconian about plug
    ins… though certainly they are far more restrictive then
    PC manufacturers… so if you want a good, working computer,
    it does meet the need better than a PC.

    3. The App store. It is horribly run – no adult, nothing
    that Apple feels is competitive… certainly there is great room
    for improvement. I think the self-censoring, which is their
    right, is simply wrong, and has to do as much with AT&T and
    protecting the perception of their brand (no adult) as it does
    the desire to keep non-competitive apps off their service.

    4. iTunes and syncing. Why should Apple allow any other
    Mp3 player to Sync with iTunes? They built it, and their
    customer base, and there are a host of other types of stores
    people can use to get their music, and programs to organize
    their music. Their business, and the business of iTunes, is to
    foster the sales of Apple MP3/MP4 hardware. So it makes no
    sense business wise to open the system. That said, I’m all for
    opening the system, though the only fulcrum I can envision is
    if the Music companies and film companies forced Apple’s hand.

    Ok, with my diatribe over, I will give you my opinion on your three questions.

    1. Will Apple be more/less successful if they open iTunes to
    other MP3/MP4 devices? Unequivocally, No. They are a hardware company
    and as such enriching the feature set of any non-Apple device
    is a loss to their core business. I am sure in Jobs’ mind the
    fact there is a PC version of iTunes is a painful concession
    to reality – but when you control 70% of the market, why allow
    anyone else in unless you are forced to do so by partners or

    2. Should Apple face Antitrust action? Absolutely not. They
    are not a common carrier (yet) of media, and despite the fact
    they ban apps and devices from their platforms that they feel
    are competitive, no one should be able to restrict their right
    to do so, unless they are pushed to do so by market forces.
    To say what Apple is doing is worthy of trust-busting is
    ludicrous – they are acting in self interest. As far as
    companies claiming uncompetitive practices, which to some
    degree are valid, I say let the market sort it out one way or
    another – if partners or people want Apple to open up, they will
    like any public company succumb to market pressure.

    3. Do Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their bad
    behaviour? Well, I think that is the wrong question, really,
    and I’m unsure their behaviour is that bad. Certainly people
    competing with Apple think they are behaving badly, but for
    the vast majority of stockholders and consumers, they are
    behaving very well indeed. The products work, the customer
    service is top notch, and they look great. At the end of the
    day, they should allow users more freedom in terms of browsers,
    as well as open up the app store to more adult apps, but for
    the most part, I’m unsure how their acting in their self
    interest is acting badly.

    Apple is a corporation, one that in this day and age is rare,
    it creates value, it innovates, and people like their products.
    The company and its product line are full of WIN. To be sure
    there are points where there is room for improvement, but on
    the whole, attacking Apple for looking out for its corporate
    interests in the name of “open standards and platforms” from
    a bunch of also-rans is farcical. If companies or people
    think Apple is unfair, innovate around them, do better than
    them, but don’t blame them for looking out for their self


  124. I don’t care if Apple is “evil”, just so long as people
    see me with my iPhone 3GS and my awesome new Macbook. The
    reason they are so successful is that they make good looking
    products that are convenient and you don’t have to think about

  125. First of all, great article, I feel almost the same.

    Second, great all comments; I am quite sure that this conflict is only starting. A conflict that has its valid points on either side. For me I am more inclined in favor of Apple (yet) although I don’t agree to have such imperative behavior on the iPhone. Nevertheless I also see why is such thing: it is really a new paradigm for everyone. Maybe they don’t want to lose their golden egg for some smarty rat like did MS years ago when the Mac came along; maybe they are just making slow but sure steps (first no native apps, then some, then a better development environment, then —maybe— google regected apps and others)……

    Anyways, these are my questions:
    1. Should we praise a closed but quite reliable system or a open, free and potentially dangerous one?
    2. Should we put a stop on a company that (as far as I know) has has a very low marketshare?
    3. If we are doing that, is it because is right and fair to do so, or because we just don’t agree with it?
    4. If we force to a company to do the “right” thing, it doesn’t make us exactly the same thing that supposedly we try to avoid?
    5. Finally, are we open and free enough to support (or not) a company with our every-day choices or do we require a closed imperative system that tell us all how to behave?

    Yes, Apple is making some questionable behavior, safari exclusivity on iPhone could be worst than IE on Windows years ago but since no 95% of people use iPhones but merely 1% it should be no concern… yet.

  126. Interesting, really. I can understand this line of reasoning, because I am from Pakistan, and I can see what Jason is talking about. In particular, his comments about MP3 players, and un-understandable rules for the App Store.

    But as Mr. Tangent points out, the reasons are not underlined in cement, and the opposite point of view is equally permissible. The iPhone is locked to AT&T only in the US, and that too at a subsidized price. You can pay a good amount for the iPhone (as the over chic people in Pakistan do) and get an iPhone into which any SIM can be popped. Any network, any time, and no blocks of any kind.

  127. I knew you where brilliant Jason, you just make me crazy with your obnoxious self-centered style at TWIST.

    I wish there were good alternative to Apple’s products, because I completely agree with your post.

  128. You are right, unfortunatly. I am still in love with Apple (macs and iphone) but see the danger you describe. I think apple would not have the chance to grow to this size if they had been mor “open” from the beginning. They protected their thinking as long as they need to make it a compelling total picture. Lets be honest, the early iphone firmware was a great demo ware of how an mobile phone should work and it was finally delivered with firmware 3.0.

    The reason Apple is gathering so much cash right now is that the KNOW that sooner or later government will get to action. If you have to open up your market, you need cash to protect the borderlines and to fill the pump with more products and updates.

    Apple will survive all that, now as they have a big pocket full of cash. They may still be smaller size company if they had opened the door earlier.

    I don’t share your cost calculation, however. 2 years ago I bought a white macbook and I am still happy with it. I will put in a bigger harddisk, thats it. My iMAC at home is just dooing fine and I don’t see any reason to get replacement hardware soon. I actually think mac is cheaper as a windows machine, at least I experienced that the hardware is much more robust and reliable than any PC I ever had.

    Sure, I also maintain a Windows (Vista) machine at work and I am looking forward to switch to Win7. But even so, I am very convinced my WIN7 machine at work will be an iMAC!

    So, I am still in love and looking forward what the future will bring.

  129. Jason, I like you and everything, but anyone who can say, with a straight face that a company they have been paying $3,300/year for 6 years straight “has become too corporate” needs to stop for a moment and take the “douchebag test”. It’s a simple test. Just imagine yourself making this point out loud. If it sounds like you’re talking crap, you are. Apple is and always has been a Corporation. They are compelled, by law, to maximise profits and increase the share price. You of all people should know that. As for the five parts of your “case”….I will give you the App Store stuff as mis-steps on Apple’s part, but the rest of your case is is mere bleeding-heart syndrome. Your argument simply rings hollow. Apple is acting to ensure its products are as good as they can be, as close to their vision as they can be. If you don’t like it, feel free to buy competing products, but don’t start acting like it’s some moral crusade because that is an argument which fails the douchebag test.

    I guess what I’m saying, Jason, is…Don’t be a douche.

  130. For all of those claiming that the author has misused the term “monopoly” regarding the iPhone and AT&T:

    The author DIDN’T use the term “monopoly.”

    Instead, the author used the term “anticompetitive,” which is a broader term in the field of antitrust law. There are many awys that a company can be anticompetitive, such as becoming or maintaining an unnatural monopoly or abusing a natural monopoly position. But many anticompetitive practices don’t involve any sort of monopoly, but rather involve some form of market power tied to a competition-reducing practice. Collusion among competitors to control prices in a particular field is a classic example: no one competitor might exert market control, but all of them together might own and manipulate the market.

    The particular antitrust behavior that Apple is using is called tying – an unfair use of strength in one distinct market to promote its business relationships and profits in a related but different market.

    Apple is very obviously engaging in this behavior in two areas:

    (1) Using dominance in the media sales market (i.e., iTunes) to promote business in the media device market (i.e., the iPod.) And this use is unfair: as Jason correctly notes, Apple has actively engineered iTunes to exclude non-Apple players.

    (2) Using dominance in the cellphone device market (i.e., the iPhone) to promote business relationships and profit stream in the wireless internet service market. Again, this is unfair: many other carriers offer internet service to a wide range of mobile devices, and there is no reason for an exclusive contract (with OBVIOUSLY inflated pricing!) with AT&T.

    Of course, these behaviors fall neatly in line with Apple’s longest-standing anticompetitive practice:

    (3) Using dominance in the hardware market (i.e., Apple computers) to promote buasiness in the software market (i.e., the Apple OS.) The days when Apple can hide behind the curtain of “vertical integration” are rapidly waning – especially with Apple’s machines now running very similar hardware to off-the-shelf Windows boxes.

    I’m actually very surprised that the DoJ hasn’t weighed in yet, but it’s probably taking its time to build the case and see if these practices naturally resolve. But Apple had best tread carefully… it is on the verge of losing its “sweetheart” standing in the industry, with grave consequences.

  131. Jason,
    excellent stuff, thank you very much.
    In spite of myself (and many of the issues you have raised)
    I bought an iPhone a couple of weeks ago. What bugs me particularly:
    You can only use ringtones of songs you have bought via iTunes
    and have to have them convertet into a ringtone by iTunes.
    The American iTunes, that is. The German iTunes doesn’t do
    ringtones, and as I’m a resident of Germany, I cannot register
    for the American iTunes. Talk about control freaks. So I have to
    build my ringtones myself using something like Audacity – which I
    somehow feel way to old for…

  132. Finally an article that is factual and says it like it is, as opposed to either microsoft drones or apple fanboys blindly arguing. I vote for choice.

  133. This is a joke right?

    You are willing to move to a broken, disjointed platform simply because a few Apps got nixed?

    You people need a life.

  134. 1. I don’t agree with you. Apple went through a lot of trouble to get the music companies to agree to support iTunes; no one helped and in my view no one automatically deserves to benefit from all the leg work besides Apple.

    The same is true with other content on iTunes – the education, books, movies, etc. It didn’t just happen, a lot of work went into getting the store rich with content.

    I would agree with your premise that Apple should open things up, if all the others who are now complaining, had actually helped Apple strike deals with all of the content providers. But no one else did – this was all Apple’s doing, and the company (and shareholders) ought to be the primary, if not sole, beneficiaries of this hard work.

    2).I do not believe Apple should be the target of anti-trust action. There is no monopoly. Apple’s arrangement with AT&T isn’t unique in the industry – there are many phones that are Verizon- or AT&T-only. Why pick on Apple?

    3. I disagree with the general premise – that Apple exhibits bad behavior. Generally, they compete effectively in a very difficult marketplace, and compete very well. Why is this bad? To my knowledge, Apple operates within the law, and I don’t see any behavior that needs forgiven, unless you are pissed that the products you’ve made don’t compare or compete favorably with Apple’s.

  135. Great Post Jason. I gotta admit that I never thought I’d be seeing this day. When people actually have the wherewithal to call out our Precious iCorporation. The fact is and you’ve stated this more eloquently that I could is that Apple has been doing this for sometime now but the outrage is suppressed and misdirected by a certain segment in the media sympathetic to Apple based on historical realities that aren’t true today.

    Even now, you, Anil Dash, Peter Rojas(won’t include Arrington) are just a few valley insiders who’re willing to dare say anything critical about Apple and that too with large disclaimers to insulate yourself from inevitable Apple fanboy backlash.

    RDF must be destroyed and it won’t happen anytime soon as long as your the press cheering at Apple PR events.

    I sold my 3G last month and bought a Touch and real smartphone(BB Bold)

  136. to say that the iphone app store policy is Draconian is an understatement. It is absolutely ridiculous. I have devloped almost 3 complete apps and stopped knowing that they would be rejected from the store. Developers have no access to the phone portion of the OS, anything close to the hardware layer and it is forbidden to create anything that even closely duplicates apple functionality.

  137. Note and question:

    Note on the *important note*: Steve probably only has 5 years, the average life expectancy of people who have had a liver transplant.

    Question: why do you use such a light font color? It makes your articles hard to read.

  138. I think you’re missing the point. Yes, there is a cult of enthusiasts around Apple which supports the company’s every move, but they are really a minority and a fraction of the user base. The vast majority, especially of iPhone users, use the product they believe best serves their needs. OK, I’m sure you get that – but the point is, so does Apple. When they make decisions, they do so not because of some cultish belief but because they are trying to walk the tightrope of balancing various competing and opposing forces into the most satisfactory customer experience for as many people as possible. For example, allowing a wave of apps (including browsers) onto the iPhone could have a negative impact on the average user experience, creating more complexity and a less seamless experience (AT&T makes decisions based on the same impact on its network performance, despite your strangely confident assertion about networks never slowing down which ignores the consideration AT&T has to make about how many people use the iPhone simultaneously and for what purpose – I can guarantee iPhones use more data than Windows Mobile phones, and the gap would be even wider if AT&T allowed you to do just anything unlimited; I’m not saying they shouldn’t beef up their network to allow that, but it’s a practical decision and it’s not made to spite you). Does Apple get things wrong sometimes? Sure, of course, just like Google and MSFT and every other company which is searching for the best way of satisfying the most customers and hence making the most money. But developing software (iTunes) to support your device (iPod and iPhone) is really NOT the same thing as forcing people to use that software and device, any more than Windows Media Player/Zunes are the only ways of listening to music via a PC. And as for the iPhone app store – excuse me while I make a list of all the thousands of cell phones which not only restrict which apps you can buy but mostly don’t allow you to install any apps at all. The point about X-boxes not playing PS3 software is right on, too – maybe X-box users should be throwing their arms up in disgust at that. Really, the only analogy which would work for you here is if Apple prevented Mac users from using anything except an iPhone. They don’t. I myself have a Blackberry. Uncompetitive behaviour occurs when companies use their position in one market to enforce a position in another. Like if Ford only allowed you to fill up their cars with gas from Ford gas stations, or have your car fixed by Ford mechanics. Apple is guilty of nothing like that here. In fact, Apple is allowing you more freedom than you have with most products by enabling the application store in the first place. Try installing applications on your TV cable box and see how far you get.
    I’m sorry, but I find your argument completely without merit except from the standpoint that you’d like to see things done differently and are apparently so enraged by not having Google Voice on your iPhone that you’re willing to use a Windows Mobile phone instead (holy smoke, Batman!). Some perspective is called for here…..

  139. If you were a microsoft lover for 20 years, you are automatically a born loser.

    none of the things you rant about bother me at all.

  140. Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in today, but I’m getting tired of all the tech gurus whining about Apple because of the way they choose to do business. With the country rapidly going down the toilet, there are more important things to be concerned with than whether apple blocks Google Voice or allows other MP3 players to use iTunes. If you don’t like Apple, don’t buy their products. Nobody’s putting a gun to your head. I, for one, am thrilled I had somewhere to go to get away from Microsoft and Windows. I love my Mac and iPhone, and both have made my life much easier and more productive. And more fun, too. Apple isn’t perfect, but no company is. Neither is any human (CEO or not). Apple introduces a revolutionary product that gives us capabilities we never had, then everyone cries because it won’t do this or that. I don’t see any of the whiners inventing the kind of things Apple does. They just complain when Apple doesn’t do it the way they would have, had they had the foresight to think of it themselves. Get a life.

  141. Dude, hell yeah! Ive been telling people this for like 5 years alreay!!
    Apple and Steve suck! Woz is still cool though!

  142. If you really believe what you write you should buy a Blackberry now. You say the iPhone is more expensive, so the BB should be cheaper right? Go for it. Also, go buy a PC with a freer Win7 upgrade. I understand Win7 is nice, and you say they are less expensive, which they are, so go for it. Then blog some comparison for us guys with less money to help us make our choice.
    I do have a 3G iPhone and know plenty BB owners of several models. I can tell you that I’ll be keeping the iPhone, without a doubt.
    Put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise, you would something of a hypocrite.

  143. @Tom #2, people were not forced to use Windows/IE to access the internet either, so think for a minute where do you think the basis for an anti-trust action came from?

    (BTW, the comment’s textarea is broken, the right half is hidden in FF3)

  144. I think we tend to forget that Apple is running a business, not some sort of hippie movement. The decisions that have been made in regards to the Palm Pre iTunes fiasco and the Google
    Voice fiasco are simply because they are diverting money from Apple products. For every Palm Pre that gets sold, it means that there is one less person buying an iPhone. If you were
    running Apple and you had a responsibility to share holders to
    make money, would you be giving people another reason to go out and buy a Palm Pre?

  145. If you’re really old (as I am), this is not news.
    I ran my own independent software consulting firm in the
    early 80’s, selling Apple II’s and Microsoft z80 cards
    (yes Woz is a great guy but Bill’s Basic was much better).
    When the Lisa/Mac came out, Steve decreed that one had to
    buy one Lisa and two Macs in order to get the SDX. So it
    was cough up $20,000 (back then it was real money), or go
    to the IBM PC. And that’s the other truth: Bill succeeded
    because he partnered with IBM.

  146. I agree with many posts. The products Apple releases are high in quality because of their control over their own market; however, many of us prefer a different sort of high quality. We want more versatility, the ability to build our machines more powerful for less by customizing hardware/software, and having more software options due to the open nature of Windows and Linux environments.

    I’m not sure I understand the hype over the iPhone in the first place, mostly due to the fact that I am a working professional in the web industry who seems no need for the features a phone like that offers yet. I can understand if someone travels a lot, they’d need constant access to the iPhone’s features and the mobility it provides in the digital world. For us average consumers, we do not need that kind of mobility. Most of my friends feel a “need” for the iPhone when, in fact, they do not need the iPhone at all; they have purchased the contract and the hardware despite the fact that they could get by just fine with a different phone and no data plan. The fact of the matter is the consumers are not smart enough to understand they’re being marketed something that will not be necessary for them for a very long time.

    If anything, this article should be more about Apple’s marketing practices, which has resulted in the creation of Apple “fanbois” and the systematic dissolution of a free market. Marketing and public relations practices like Apple’s have led the average consumer to believe and think in ways that we would not be thinking without them. Were we able to operate in a market free of such advertising practices, perhaps we would do our research ahead of time before spending money unnecessarily and buying something we do not “need”.

    Apple’s objectives are the fault of both consumers, Apple, and trends paved by other large corporations/conglomerates. Everyone is at fault, not just one party.

  147. “Apple fanbois turn on each other, news at 11:00”. Man there
    seems to be a lot of hate in the comments, those fanbois never
    could accept an opinion that was different from their own.

    1: What the hell is I-tunes and why should I care?

    2: Due to each carrier using a different spectrum some amount
    of exclusivity is to be expected, The I-phone’s has gone on too
    long though.

    I am glad for the I-phone even though I will never own one
    because it is forcing badly needed innovation onto windows
    mobile. Also, If I could find an android handset that wasn’t
    built using last gen hardware I’d jump on that as well.

    3: I agree the app store policies are broken in stunning and
    unbelievable ways.

    4: Some people have said that there are other browsers
    available just not the more popular ones, I think this is due
    to their very justifiable fear of pouring blood sweat and
    tears into it just to have apple deny them, or approve them
    and then change their minds later.

    5: Free text messages, gee can’t understand why carriers would
    object to Google voice. I say screw em though, the data rate
    for texting is astronomical. Text cost carriers nothing, and
    this is important! Texting costs carriers nothing! so texting
    plans are pure unadulterated profit to them, literally free
    money falling out of your pockets and into theirs. This is I
    Believe, why Google voice died on the I-Phone.

    Now that I’ve rambled I’ll answer your questions.

    1. Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if
    they adopted a more open strategy (i.e. allowing other MP3
    players in iTunes)?

    Once again I do not care about I-tunes, it is just a program
    there are many others.

    2. Do you think Apple should face serious antitrust action?

    Yes, mostly due to the lack of transparency in the App
    approval process.

    3. Do you think Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their
    bad behavior?

    What is this dexterity that you speak of, as far as I can tell
    apple is doing what it has always done, the word “dexterity”
    implies fluid and economical transition from one position to
    another, All I see from Apple is a rigid and uncompromising
    attitude. Competence, well I guess they do have that, but I’ll
    not be forgiving them nor buying their products.

    P.S. the text box is not displaying correctly for me, Firefox

  148. Furthermore, I thought I’d quickly mention everyone here seems quick to anger and blame when their favorite technology is blasted. Everyone has an opinion on which is the best, and every product works differently for different people. Some people like Windows for certain reasons, others like OS X for other reasons; that’s what makes a free and open market so great, you can choose which one you want. For those of you whom wish to draw attention to the fact that OS X and Windows are only two choices and they’re not very good, perhaps you should remember the hayday of chaos that was the OS market before they came along. If you do not remember such days, then you do not have the experience necessary to comment on the lack of choice.

    Also, sorry to say, Apple hardware sucks in comparison to the items you can build from awesome sites like I can get longer-lasting, faster hardware there that does the job better for one-fourth the price. If your argument is you do not know how to build systems, then perhaps you should learn. Just saying!

  149. Thirty year Apple user here. I love the company and am loyal… up to a point. That point is open source. Open source comes first, Apple comes second. If push comes to shove and Apple positions itself exclusively against open standards and consumer based protection and usage, I will dump Apple without blinking.

    I think it’s very healthy for Apple loyalists to lead this assault against the mothership to not just ASK for innovation and openness, but to INSIST. Apple is not a deity, nor religion. They must be pushed in the proper direction. Apple loyalists and users ought to never forget why many of us came to the platform in the first place: innovation, options, healthy diversity in information access and sharing.

    If Apple strays from that we need to compel them with our dollars to relent. If they stubbornly refuse all efforts to change, we need to leave them and find other solutions.

    If Apple ceases to be Apple, we need to find and support the next Apple.

    This is an excellent article and necessary, Jason. Keep up the good work.

  150. I agree with much of your post, but I feel Google has
    achieved a much more powerful monopoly in the
    internet advertising space than Apple has been able to
    dominate the music player or smartphone market.

    I personally can’t STAND using iTunes – though most
    iPod hardware is delightful. As a consumer I want the
    freedom to choose the best-of-breed in all areas. Companies
    that bundle together hardware, proprietary file formats,
    distribution channels, and interoperability protocols are
    “EVIL” in my book as it limits the choices I want to make.

    No company gets all of these “just right” – and so I am stuck
    with sub-optimal compromises which only server to limit
    competition and benefit companies like Apple that have
    managed to gain monopoly market share for their products.

  151. hey I think you left off the part about how apple has completely ignored the epidemic failure rate of ignored logic board components on products barely a year old and claims to each affected customer that it is something unheard of. just google “mac logic board failure.”

  152. The one key point with regards to anti-trust or monopolistic
    practices is the fact that with the Microsoft case was based
    upon the fact that in order for Microsoft to support various
    PC manufacturers, they, in turn required them to carry and only
    offer a Microsoft-based operating system. It wasn’t until the end
    the antitrust suit that you saw Dell offering a version of Linux
    in their consumer product lines (and in turn, not a tremendous
    amount of “average” computer users opting for paying for an open
    source operating system).

    The issue with Apple is that their products are their own
    products created and sold by them. Take the example of a car;
    you can buy a Ford or you can buy a Bentley, but for the most
    part the parts are not interchangeable. The same goes for Apple’s
    technology. Yes it is based on the same concept and it wasn’t
    until very recently that you could use non-Apple hardware
    effectively. Apple provided this ability thus allowing their
    hardware to be become more ubiquitous. A car manufacturer again
    such as Ford have many brands under their name, but a company
    like Ferrari only sells Ferraris.

    Flame Away

  153. “The truth is, Google has absolutely no lock-in, collusion or choice issues like Apple’s, and the Internet taught Microsoft long ago that open is better than closed.”

    So Jason, Microsoft “owns” the business side of the internet. I’ve been in IT in two big industries (healthcare and broadcast), and the “back end” is all Microsoft, and the word on the street from Redmond is “if it isn’t IE, don’t expect our back-end services to work on it going forward in 2010 and beyond” In healthcare, if it doesn’t run in Windows, it doesn’t get used. I can count the services at my current job that “run” in OS X on one hand, and the application pool at the hospital takes all 20 digits and then some. Microsoft is about as open as the door to a maximum security prison.

  154. Thanks for a great post and some good comments. You had me thinking about it most of the night! One of the more interesting points you raise is whether Apple, Microsoft and AT&T practice anti-competitive and therefore illegal behavior. Of course they do, there are in it for every dime they can fleece the customer for. However in most countries at least, Apple and Microsoft can’t get away with it. The US political and legal system is totally corrupt. Lawmakers are bought and paid for by lobbyists who in turn are paid for my the likes of Apple and Microsoft and you can bet that their legal teams can out-spend anyone wishing to challenge them in the courts for their behavior. You can’t even band together for a class action lawsuit against AT&T according to their latest user contract language. Until the corrupt US political and legal system is fixed, expect more of this kind of thing!

    Oh and as for GM’s ant-trust activities – just look at the way GM, Firestone and the oil companies banded together in the 50’s to close down the public transport system in parts of the US while under the watch of US Federal and State government, all in order to improve car sales! Its happened before, its happening now and it will happen again!

  155. I agree with much of what you said, but remember that Apple is a device maker, not specifically a software vendor. It gives iTunes away for free for use with ITS products. It makes no money by giving away access. I own numerous Apple and some non-Apple products including several non-Apple video products to play my movies when at a hotel…
    I am most upset about the inability to upgrade computers, but even if Apple did allow it, Intel tends to EOL chips relatively quickly and you may not have an upgradable CPU available 5 years down the line when your system became punky, I am currently using 4 OS’s at work – OS9, OS10.4, 2000 Pro, and Vista. For many issues i still prefer OS9 – much speedier on the same hardware, but newer stuff can’t run on it. I don’t change computers every 1 to 2 years. My workhorse is a Titanium 1 Ghz machine that I have had for 8 years. If Apple brought out a moderately priced mini tower with expansion capabilities I would buy it.

    By the way, M$ and App$ are both public companies and as such their fiduciary resposibility is not to society as a whole, but to their shareholders who can sue if they feel that the company is not trying to maximize profit. This is the reason that I feel that healthcare companies should not be traded.

    Please let me know which computers you are planning on selling, I may be interested in taking them off of your hands.

  156. What a steaming pile of B.S.

    Define Open in regards to the Chinese/Korean/Japanese MP3 players, Do they each make their own Jukebox software or do they simply all use Windows Media Center? Could I replace a Sony MP3 player with a Samsung and still use Sony’s Jukebox software?

    I have an iPod, an iPhone and a PSP. Now I don’t expect the $12.95 Sony PSP Connect software I had to purchase separately for my PSP to sync media to my iPod or iPhone. But I can purchase iTunes DRM free songs now and find them in the iTunes Library and get them into the PSP Connect software and load them on my PSP.

    Just because things are not as convenient as you would like does not make them as closed as you say or Apple and Monopolistic as you make them out to be.

    Why should Apple take on any tech support cost if third party’s MP3 player does not sync properly with iTunes in your Open fantasy land?

    iTunes is free to use to rip CDs to MP3 or AAC, you can buy DRM free songs now and take the extra 30 damn seconds to move them to your preferred “open” Jukebox software of simply map the iTunes library to that player.

    Don’t demand Apple support their competitors that is B.S. coming from a lazy ass.

  157. 1. Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if they
    adopted a more open strategy
    (i.e. allowing other MP3 players in iTunes)?

    >>Difficult to answer w/o knowing Apple’s financials.

    More if it were to drive additional customers to the
    iTMS. But I fail to see how iTunes stifles other music player
    innovation. Do you really think all those iPods were sold just
    b/c that was the only way to use iTunes? I use an iPod and
    purchase my music via Amazon. iTunes is simply the
    vehicle to load my iPod. There’s nothing stopping some other
    product developer from building their own application.

    Apple develops iTunes at what I would assume is considerable
    cost, but doesn’t charge users for the license to use it;
    why should they let other competitors benefit from that? For all
    you know, the iTunes development costs are amortized over total
    iPod hardware sales. If some other company is allowed to use
    iTunes but Apple doesn’t collect any money, that potentially
    make them less successful.

    And iTunes is not an OS. Comparing iTunes only working with iPod
    to Windows only working with Zune is not at all analogous.

    2. Do you think Apple should face serious antitrust action?

    >>RE: iPhone, creating a popular product and service does
    not mean Apple has a monopoly or trust. There are
    alternatives available. Just because they’re
    selling a product+service bundled doesn’t negate your
    option to choose something else. Don’t like the service?
    Buy a different product.

    Ditto for iTMS. You can buy your music elsewhere and put it
    onto whatever device you want. You just can’t use iTunes to
    do it. Since Apple pays for the development of iTunes, what
    makes you think you should be able to? iTMS is popular
    b/c iPod is popular; not the other way around. iPod is popular
    because it’s a good product and Apple should not be penalized
    for that — talk about a way to stifle innovation!

    If there truly was a monopoly
    or trust, you wouldn’t have viable options. There
    are certainly many, many other ways to buy and listen to
    music/mp3s, use mobile phones, have a portable ‘pda’-type
    device, browse the Internet, etc, etc, etc. I challenge
    you to name one area where Apple truly has a monopoly, meaning
    you can’t get an equivalent product or service anywhere else.

    As for controlling what software is allowed, the iPhone is not
    a PC. It’s an embedded device. No one promised openness. Just
    because it happens to run a fairly high powered OS does
    not mean Apple has to open it up to whatever you want to do.

    I’ll grant you the app approval process seems rather arbitrary
    and fickle. But again, the product was not sold to you with
    the expectation of openness and unlimited functional expansion.
    Apple did not need to provide an SDK at all. They’ve done so
    and let several thousand apps be developed and sold. And yet
    you accuse them of not being open enough.

    3. Do you think Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their
    bad behavior?

    >>Since when does building a successful business
    imply bad behavior? Don’t like the behavior? Don’t buy the

  158. Thank you. I’ve been writing to Apple every week since the iPhone OS 3.0 update, when several of my favorite apps stopped working. The developers of those apps have submitted updates, but the AppStore keeps denying them, for obscure reasons. I keep writing, because I PAID for those applications, and through no failing of mine, or the developers who coded them, they ceased to function. I could downgrade, but I want to make a point, and/or get my money back. Someone’s got to keep them honest.

  159. Welcome to the social!!! Hey crybaby–why don’t you buy a computer every 3
    years instead of every 2 years? Might save you some money. I’m still on my G5 and I know
    people who are getting work done on G4’s.

  160. Great post! The thoughts brought forth tend to symbolize what many tech enthusiasts are feeling.

    1. Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if they adopted a more open strategy (i.e. allowing other MP3 players in iTunes)?

    They would be MORE successful, but inherit a position of supporting other people’s gear.

    2. Do you think Apple should face serious antitrust action?

    Yes, for Safari and for their dealings w/AT&T.

    3. Do you think Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their bad behavior?

    To a certain extent. Steve’s ego has him believing his own press.

  161. @MP & Kevin: You forget that it works the other way. Nothing stops other developer to build their own application, except that it won’t be compatible with most players out there – iPods.

  162. I’m surprised It took so long for someone to notice.

    Just a question:

    Will Apple put a window to choose the web browser in MacOsX or in the Iphone?
    “Evil” Microsoft will have to do that for windows 7,so it should be logical for Apple to do it too.

  163. In France, the antitrust bureau of the government obliged Apple to brake its exclusive contract with one mobile phone operator and allow other operators to sell the iPhone. It makes the client happy and apple sold more iPhones than ever.

  164. Excellent article. Amazed at Apple’s hubris. I stay in India, one of the largest mobile markets and yet the official Iphone is priced at twice the rate of the US!! Funny no one talks of open source and shared platforms for Apple.

  165. Converted my two Dell PowerEdge servers, four desktops and two laptops to Linux, the heck with MSFT AND Apple! I expect Apple is doing more to drive folks to Linux than they can imagine.

  166. And another thing… the Amateur Radio Service and especially ARES, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service which provides emergency communications when infrastructure fails is the backbone of disaster relief communications, yet to my knowledge Apple’s Apps store has blocked every ham radio program so far submitted. When disaster strikes iPhone users will be out of luck, and that’s a shame.

  167. I think apple has done a good job producing products to fit a specific customer niche. This base wants a streamlined computer experience, with a single software choice for each computing function. They want things screened for them by the company so they don’t have to “waste” time comparing options. The original business model was setup to not be cutting edge, but rather to be simple and aesthetically pleasing. This hasn’t changed since back in the II+ days, they have just gotten better at it. Ironically, this concept became so cutting edge that all the cutting edge folks flocked to it. The problem is, they now realize that the company does not encourage user-based innovation. This isn’t a bad thing though. It is exactly why apple appeals to a certain segment. This segment doesn’t want multiple software choices; they want a single option that works. They are actually willing to pay more to avoid the hassle of extra options.

    So what’s a techie to do? Find the truly cutting edge hardware/software. Are you really that special if you are using the same ubiquitous MP3 player that 7 yr olds get for Christmas? Is it impressive that you are running the same OS your grandmother would prefer? I don’t know what the next cutting edge item will be. I do know that the answer is not to bash apple, but to search out the next big thing.

  168. i’m not a big fan of apple nor ms, but i could say i totally
    agree with your point. a little openness will never hurt apple.
    plus, it might probably brings smtg good to apple. who knows.

  169. Your blog read my mind for the iphone. The app store approval process that AT&T has been obviously allowed to mess around with is the most evil part of all. Apple: We ownz your devices. You are all assimilated. So sick of Apple fanbois calling their platform freedom. And before anybody accuses me of it, I am not an MS fanboi. Just check my post history at dslreports =) I am a user of one of several truly open platforms. Linux specifically(the most supported, but yes, there are actually several others) Apple might make higher quality goods, but they are no better than MS. I am glad to see someone who sees that.

  170. Ironic post to be sure. The author’s ego would be a fair compeitor to Mr. Jobs.
    7 iPods?? Really?? I’m not sure I would have admitted to that in public.
    Nice try, but the veritas shines through. As others have stated…you would like to kiss a boy and that boy’s name is Bill Gates.

  171. Yes you are allowed to submit a browser! What is wrong with you. Do some research. There are many apps in the app store that have a built in browser and one of my friends has an app that has a built in browser (iLPS)

  172. @Ricardo: The original argument was that iTunes is destroying
    the mp3 player hardware market, not that iPod is destroying
    the music management software market. Other mp3 players could
    survive just as well *if they do better than Apple, including
    their management software*.

    I might be inclined to agree with you that the widespread use
    of iPod has certainly limited the use of other music software.
    I myself have experimented with Songbird, Banshee, Amarok, etc,
    but ultimately abandon them because they either don’t support
    iPod at all or do so under constant threat of someday suddenly
    no longer doing so, or worse wiping out my iPod’s files.

    Having said this, I still don’t see how this means Apple is
    misbehaving. They are under no obligation whatsoever to allow
    other software to muck around with their hardware. Like I said
    about the iPhone, the iPod is not meant to be an open platform.
    It’s an embedded device and Apple is likley doing what it thinks
    it must to protect its business.

  173. Some people are such huge fans of Apple that they will respond negatively to anyone saying anything bad about Apple or Jobs ever. I used to be that way. I lost my way and went over to the dark side and started using Microsoft in the late 1990s, before OS X came along and revitalized Macs.

    I do have an iPod, but I do not use iTunes because Apple never bothered to make iTunes compatible with my 64 bit Windows OS. Even if I wanted to use iTunes I couldn’t, and sometimes I do want to buy music.

    I have stayed away from Apple for various reasons, however the reasons listed in the article above are definitely factors in my decision. My initial problem with Apple was with Jobs’ design philosophy, but that has since become irrelevant given all of these other things Apple is doing.

    As far as I can see all of my issues with Apple are symptoms of one big problem that Apple has: namely that Jobs’ singleminded obsession with his “vision” for a product eclipses everything else, including usability. While I have a lot of respect for what Jobs has done, I definitely think it’s time for new leadership at Apple and I do not think a new CEO would do wise to stick with Jobs’ strategy of locking the user in to Apple-only products and restricting the user from being able to do what they want.

    Most of my tech savvy friends have abandoned their iPhones and moved to Android, I presume because of it’s open nature.

  174. And don’t forget ATT’s blocking of tethering the IPhone. I (am forced to) pay $50/mo for their 3G service, but can only use it on the IPhone. That’s just whacked — I would be pissed if I could only use one device on my home network. I am very much looking forward to the conclusion of my contract with ATT.

  175. I’m a recent apple convert and have converted most of my electronic experience to apple products. While I will agree that the software restriction in the app store go beyond the behavior of a reputable company. As the original author stated he switched to apple gear for the user experience, no viruses and the seamless operating environment, this is not easily achievable in an open environement, If Itunes worked with every mp3 player around eventually you would come across many that did not work as advertised and certainly some of the blame would be rightly or not attributed to apple. This I believe is why apple so jealously guards both hardware and software control.

  176. It’s strange that you would consider Jobs a hero, because he’s been playing the anticompetitive card for years. Power Computing was building Mac compatible hardware that was both cheaper and faster (due to high bus speeds) than Apple hardware–then Jobs came back to Apple in 1997 and ended the days of Apple clones. Their support for developers was a joke–the ‘toolbox’ did not allow developers to take full advantage of the OS and Apple refused to publicize certain details.

    Meanwhile, Windows exploded in popularity partly due to cheap hardware, and while their support for developers wasn’t exactly open, it was far better than Apple. Eventually it reached the point where Microsoft committed to developing software for Apple to help prop the company up and (it was hoped) stop some of the antitrust lawsuits from developing. (Oops.)

    Now Apple is continuing down the same road and people think they’ll get better. Maybe they will, maybe once Jobs is out of the picture. Until then they’re as anticompetitive as anyone and that’s too bad because they’ve done some really good things with UIs.

  177. The one thing that you, because you’re a self proclaimed Apple junkie, refuse to admit, is that these are not new problems. Apple has always been harder to crash because they don’t let you crash your computer. They are anti-freeware, anti-choice (because they know what choices are OK, and won’t let you make bad ones and blame them on their product), always have been.

  178. I blogged about Apple’s declining quality in April ( and was attacked by
    irate Apple defenders. It’s true, folks. I’ve been Mac since 1984 and Apple has lost the
    three attributes that made it special: quality, customer service, and integrity. In the
    era of social media, arrogance won’t cut it. A lot of loyalists are unhappy.
    Watch the word spread.

  179. When Microsoft bundled IE with Windows 95, the anti-Windows
    forces went nuts and declared this to be proof that MS was
    operating in a monopolistic manner.

    iTunes will only load music onto ipods and iphones and no one s
    says a single word. Like it’s supposed to be that way. What
    I purchase on itunes must be used only on my ipod, if I have
    another mp3 player, forget it.

    I believe this constitutes monopolistic practices.

    Good on you Jason for revealing the total hypocrisy of Apple
    and the slavish obedience of Apple fanboy.

  180. apple gets to control what browser is on the iphone because the hardware is THEIRS.
    if you want opera, then don’t get the iphone.
    it’s that simple.
    i don’t want any garbage on my phone.
    apple make me proud!

  181. 1. Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if they adopted a more open strategy (i.e. allowing other MP3 players in iTunes)?

    They would be less successful as they are relying on complacent, apathetic masses and using reverse advertisment attacks on their competitors while doing the same thing. If people won’t do their due diligence to to see through this then the people deserve to be treaded on. Apple knows this, and so do the politicians of our country. It’s more than a double standard on both fronts, it’s an outright slap in the face to logic.

    2. Do you think Apple should face serious antitrust action?

    Absolutely, why one company and not the other? Two reasons why it isn’t happening, first mindless advertising beliefs of both politicians and the masses (as in, “of course they can’t be doing anything wrong, they are the cool mac guys who were against oppression”). The second reason is there is a lot of behind the scenes pay-offs (note, not BRIBES, but actual legal pay-offs because no one gives a sh*t to differentiate the two anymore) to keep antitrust action from exploding.

    3. Do you think Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their bad behavior?

    The laws of nature do not, nor does common logic, but the people do apparently. You give the people the right to vote for their freedom and they will vote their freedom away applies here. Complacency and apathy are on thing, actually saying they are allowed to do bad things because of some other good things is just an outright crime against the laws of nature. A lot of people I know like me, and I do a lot of good things for them and help them out through life, so should they be ok if every now and then I kick them in the teeth or do the same things to them that I helped them protect themselves from from? This should not even be a question, the fact that it IS being considered by some is proof that de-evolution is at hand.

  182. Good post. Kudos for putting it out there given how many fan-boys
    react to this sort of honesty.

    As for those who are of the opinion that Apple can do on their
    platform just what they like – then so should Microsoft and IBM,
    but those 2 have both gotten into trouble, and often with Apple
    being one of the loudest voices of complaint.

    For those who say “well, Apple make the conditions of the iPhone app
    store available from the start” – yeah – for developers. As a
    potential USER, I’m not going to go and check the DEVELOPER
    requirements. But I still want the right to install whatever I want.

    Apple’s ad: “There an app for that …” … lies. That’s what pisses
    me off the most. Don’t tell me you’re giving me the gates to heaven,
    only to cast me into the fires of Steve Jobs servitude hell.

  183. love affair with microsoft? did you have a thing for bill gates?
    please come up with something better like your couldn’t afford a mac.

    i buy mac because it works, it looks better but for the most part
    for better customer service.

    from a user standpoint who cares about these problems you mention.

    the lesson to be learned here and the responsibility Jobs takes is t
    is to make it right. And for the most part he does. He deserves
    higher prices.

  184. A couple of the points here have merit and are arguable, but a couple of points are so absolutely absurd that they make me question the entire argument.

    1. iTunes.
    Just no. Your example of the outrage that MS would cause by making Windows only compatible with the Zune is flawed, because the equal would be Apple only allowing OSX to work with the iPod. THAT would be outrageous, but that isnt the case. You are not tied into any specific MP3 player by using OSX, any more than using Windows ties you into any specific MP3 player. You can transfer all your non-DRMed (read: all of it now) music from your iTunes library to any MP3 you see fit, just not via the iTunes software.
    MP3 player software is typically designed to function with the device it was made for. It was not explicitly designed to keep out other products, but to work for a specific device. It’d be silly for Apple to code in support for all their competitors products, and take a lot of coding ability on their part. At the same time, it is NOT remotely difficult to transfer any song stored on your computer to another device, unless the device itself makes it difficult.

    2. Telecommunications
    You have apparently no idea how the telecommunications industry runs either. You know Apple is under contract with AT&T right, and they legally cannot allow the iPhone to run under any other carrier in the states? Believe me, they’ll open it up as soon as they can, but they aren’t legally allowed to right now. Expect the next iPhone to be open to more carriers, as Apple no longer remotely needs help to get the iPhone out the door. Don’t try to make this sound like Apple’s fault when they are under contract with AT&T. Who knows if they offered Sprint or Verizon the phone first, only to have it turned down?

    3. App Store
    This one has some more merit, but I have to disagree. I don’t think you are inherently wrong here as with the first two points, but I personally disagree, and I’m an app store developer myself. I don’t really see what’s wrong with controlling what apps get put onto the app store, and controlling adult content. If they don’t want that content on their device, they shouldn’t have to.

    Do you have much familiarity with the game industry? Nintendo exercises similar rights on their consoles, not allowing adult games for the Wii or the DS. Do you think that’s absurd too? Because if Nintendo doesn’t want their console to be seen as a sex toy, that’s frankly what they have to do.

    Sure, you could allow non-approved applications, but I think that’d actually get Apple more media flak than they get for this. Viruses galore, compatibility issues, quality-control issues. The quality-control is what makes OSX a better experience than Windows, and I’d like it to stay that way.


    I agree, but I don’t think these are half as big issues as you make them out to be. They are basically the same issue, and if that’s the entirety of what Apple has done wrong in your eyes, then they are basically a huge success compared to most companies.

    Other commentary:

    Why do you keep trying to hammer in the opinion that everything Apple makes is overpriced? You’re a business man, have you actually checked the price differences for PCs with the same load-out, software and hardware. They actually are usually the same, if not cheaper for the Mac (Especially if you look at machines like the iMac, which is hugely cost-efficient). You repeat this every chance you get to mention any Apple product, like it’s some fact that everyone knows about.
    Some parts of the market, like buying RAM, they are overpriced. But as a general rule, I don’t think most of their devices are overpriced at all. How do you make this claim without any proof backing it?

    I don’t think this is some epic downfall of Apple, I don’t even think this is a moderately big deal. You have 2-3 valid points here, and they are essentially the same point at its core. If you only have one major issue with a company, I don’t think that’s a very solid ‘case against Apple’. There ARE issues to be had with Apple, there are plenty. You just didn’t list any of them here.

  185. Jason
    Just a few thoughts about your post,

    1. Destroying MP3 player innovation through anti-competitive practices
    Simple answer is don’t use iTunes – there are other hardware and software applications to play mp3’s for the mac that are free! heck you can even build your own mp3 player if you want and work with it on your mac
    – from what I can see the issue is lock down and dealing with the recording industry that is what apple seems to be dancing with, at the expense to the consumer.

    2. Monopolistic practices in telecommunications
    I found it interesting to read this. I’m from Australia and things are little diffrent hear with the iphone – in that a number of the big carries support I phone
    and we do have choice. There may be a histroriccal issue in regard the At&T thing in that apple probably needed a big carrier to launch the iPhone and got manovered into a deal.

    3. Draconian App Store policies that are, frankly, insulting
    Yep some strage cool aid is being drunk at the App Store – but the issue with the iphone is that is a computer that can also be a phone.
    you don’t wwant that getting a virus

    Seems most of your problems are iphone / mp3 related – If you do go back to a PC good luck it will involve pain!

  186. I would urge ahilal and others who have said that the App Storeonly limits a few apps to take a look at jailbreak iPhones, whichturn it into an open platform allow you to do SOOOOOO much more with your iPhone.

    This simply is no doubt that Apple is holding back.

  187. Too right mate, As a IT admin i broke the Windows cliche of my proffesion and gave Mac a try, at first it felt like love at first sight, the sounds the looks even the smell seduced me. 6 months later some annoyances arouse but i said to hell with them our love is stronger. 12 months later (my regular hardware upgrade) i was torn now the new Macbook Pro was so alluring with a sexy new SD card slot something i know everyone has been doing for years but Apple as usual was tasefully late.

    However there was another light in my life, a newly released Windows 7, which turned my concept of the Mac statement everything just works. Windows 7 truly lived up to this, My old Macbook always had some trouble getting my offices Image Runner printer working and certain 3G dongles. Windows 7 without hesitation found an IP based Printer, a quick query online an insanely small download and i was printing in all of 25seconds. A similar story with those 3G cards

    I now write this on a Dell Latitude E4200 with Win7 Beta (apple could never trump the portable PC market well not without being fashionably late) and my macbook has been replaced by a Dell Studio XPS 16, dwarfing the macbook on Specs and specifically as im a photography, Apple always pledged itself to the photographers and graphic artists but i ask you Apple, Where was the SD slot when we needed you? The second issue i had with Apples photographer statement was the screen a 15.4″ screen with such a low resolution and Apple claiming it was a 8 bit display when in fact it was a 6 bit display with a special upscalign engine or something (I assume Apple burried that story?) so my new laptop features an amazing 1080 resolution and a true 8 bit display.

    I can live with Windows short falling albeit in recent years my experience with Windows XP through to Windows 7 prooves those are non existant. However profesionally im better off, financially i saved alot of money $500+, and technically i have superior hardware.

    Just as a final note I love my Iphone, it’s the best phone i have ever owned sorry i’ll amend that it’s the best mobile system i have ever owned. It has short commings but so does every other phone on the market, yes they limit our freedom but i based my needs around what products provide out of the box and this phone did it all at a reasonable cost. My phone has been jailbroken however not out of a need to exploit but a need to be creative and add my style, why didnt they just let us have a nice background black is tacky.

  188. @ahilal

    Amen to that. I choose not to let my hardware vendors tell me how to use my hardware. That’s why I stay away from Apple and the like.

    Think about it sheeple. They are telling you what to do and think and you’re eating it up.

  189. Jason, Apple and Steve haven’t changed. They’ve always been ruthless, monopolistic and self-serving. It’s just now that they’re bigger it’s more obvious and affects a lot more people.

    You might think Apple was the freedom fighter in years past, the chick throwing the hammer at the Big Brother screen, but they were a wolf in sheeps’ clothing. In their own little pond, they’ve always been Big Brother. Now they’re in the big pond it’s become obvious.

    It’s easy to play hero when you’re the little guy, even doing exactly that which the big guy is being crucified for.

    The same Apple that is controlling the iPhone platform is the same Apple that controlled the Mac platform.

    The same Apple that is not giving you full bluetooth on the iPhone or not providing matte options on all computers is the same Apple that refused to provide a two button mouse.

    Nope, Apple hasn’t changed. It’s just your honeymoon with them has ended. It happens to nearly all of us eventually.

  190. This is an insightful analysis of the dark side of Apple, a company that holds a sacred status in the minds of many people, who blindly worship Apple as their champion and saviour which can do no wrong.

    I strongly agree with every argument put forward in this case against Apple. The corporation has indeed become anti-competitive, and now selfishly acts against the interests of its own customers. Many people still picture Apple in the shining armour it wore when it promised to do battle with Microsoft, seeing and exploiting the business opportunity in public dissatisfaction with the monopoly. That once clean armour has long since rusted, a museum piece consigned to the display cabinet.

  191. Your arguments are all against the iPhone, not against Apple.
    I use Macs because their OS is far superior to Windows. But I
    don’t, like a lot of my friends, go out and buy something just
    because it’s Mac, so I don’t have an iPhone, mostly because
    I don’t want to spend that kind of money on something that will
    likely crack in an unwarranted way in my pocket, but also because
    I don’t want to switch to AT&T for my cell phone. Just because
    one product irks you doesn’t mean you have to buy it, and doesn’t
    mean that the whole company is out to get you.

  192. I love the guy who says Apple doesn’t allow Flash to run in Safari because it will drain the battery.

    No, they don’t allow Flash because people can use it to make web apps.

    Why would I pay $.99 for a crappy game when PopCap is at my fingertips? ” 🙂

  193. After many years of being a super fan of Apple, and actually having converted most of my family, and a lot of my friends into Apple I am a little done with it. I actually did get rid of my iPhone mostly because I hate AT&T and I believe they are abusing their customers with iPhones with their pricing, it’s just not worth it. I’ve had several iMacs, iBooks, MacBooks, etc. Honestly they all die within a couple of years for one reason or another. Do they crash? No. They run beautifully, but one day BOOM, it’s gone and you have Apple Care telling you to send it in and that all your memory may be wiped out (has happened on at least 5 laptops/imacs for me). That is another thing…AppleCare and its almost $250 price tag. Do they really believe in their products when you purchase a $1,000 MacBook where you need to extend the warranty that costs 25% of its price? I often find myself wondering at stores looking at PC’s and don’t cease to be amazed at how much cheaper they are! A lot of true Apple lovers helped Apple re-emerge but now they are quite mainstream and I don’t supposed Apple cares much about what I think (or me switching back to PC) because they are selling their products like crazy.

  194. What really fries me is the lack of an integrated Inbox where all of my email is delivered. I used Snappermail on my Treo and would love to use it on my iPhone – but of course I cannot. And why isn’t StyleTap’s Palm emulator available on iPhone yet so that U can run some esoteric apps that still force me to carry my Treo?

  195. I have never liked any of the technology companies, but Apple I have always disliked. In 1990, repairing computers, a Seagate ST413 cost 130$ to put in a PC, 490$ to put in an SE30. Same exact bit of hardware cost over 3x as much to put in an apple computer. It has always been the way of Apple to charge more up front, then nickle and dime you to death once you are in. At least with non-apple products you can purchase what you want for a competitive price, then do what you want with it.

    If Apple products were not overpriced, closed source, nickle and diming every step of the way, Microsoft would not even exist. The fact that nothing changes with the company is not a surprise. It wasn’t until 1993 that you could even get a monitor for a mac that was not made by apple (and cost 3x as much as anyone elses), and then it was only through Radius, with Apple dictating price. Always the same.

  196. Some of this is utter smeg. Apple creates iTunes and the iPod and there is no reason for it to be compatible with all mp3 players. That would be a stupid business move and Apple’s job is to be a good business company, not supply love. Also, Apple single handedly created the mp3 market, not destroy it. The AT&T relationship is not Apple’s problem. They are contractually obliged to do certain things and people are coming to them with complaints when the complaints should be headed toward at&t. Finally, Apple may be anti-competitive but leaving and going to Microsoft won’t solve the problem and will make you a hypocrite.

  197. Hello,

    You sound like an insane conspiracy theorist. Microsoft must have paid you something. You said open and Microsoft in the same sentence which is insanity. They are the most closed company in existence and their antitrust case was different. They had 95% of the desktop market and thats why they were a monopoly. If the Iphone had 95% market of the cell phone industry I would agree with you but it does not and it is not a monopoly.

    2. The Iphone and Ipod are the most innovative MP3 Player/Phone out there so I do not see how you can say the stifle innovation when they are the innovators and everyone else has not even caught up to them in the past two years. What phone is more innovative than the iphone. The MyTouch 3g is close but no headphone jack and no multi touch come on.

    3. You cannot blame ATT, they have had 14 million data heavy Iphone users added to their network in the past two years, any cell phone provider in the USA would have issues if this happened to them. We as a country are very behind in infrastructure than the rest of the world and this should be governments fault not companies because the reason other countries are ahead of us is becuase their governments see this as a priority as it should be.

    4. Apple can do what they like with the software they create, if the do not want other MP3 players syncing with Itunes then they do not have to. We live in the united States not the Soviet Union.

    To sum up just because you do not like a few things a company does does not mean they are a monopoly. They build the best products so I use them plain and simple. The Iphone is the best phone, the apple computers are the best computers. To even compare Microsoft is like trying to compare Wal Mart (MS) to Nordstoms. A ridiculous comparison. We live in a country that allows choices so why instead of ranting about something you do not like go and use something else, I am sick of hearing you complain about Apple because of these stupid reasons, so get a life and go and buy crappy Windows 7, have fun buddy!!

    Also I do not understand why everyone cares about the google voice app rejection, you have a cell phone which is called an Iphone why do you need google voice? Use your cell phone and make a call and shut the hell up!!!

  198. Listening to Leos comment on MBWeekly about how Apple should of sold the iPhone unlocked and the panels answer was that you wouldnt have had the market penetration without exclusiveness showed to me the naivety and brain washing Americans have suffered from carriers over the possible options in the mobile space.

    The problem in Europe has long been the eroding power handset makers had over networks to control the software on the handsets and its taken a strong stance by Nokia to stop complete dictation of what software can and cant be run on handsets. VOIP and Tethering was greatly frowned upon. Even this year alone, the N97 was originally supposed to ship with a native Skype client, the carriers were up in arms, saying theres no way they would carry the device if it came with Skype. On the whole, Nokia capitulated and removed the app for certain providers but stood firm at the request to stop the app being side loaded. Thank you Nokia.

    So here we were, a few years back with Apple and the iPhone, the hype was so high it could dictate almost any terms it wished to carriers, if they wanted the phone, they had to do Apples bidding. The opportunity here was not to sell the phone unlocked only through apple stores but to say to carriers ‘you can stock the iPhone but we have control over the software’

    Having control meant the iPhone would run a standardised UI as it does now and it will run any app we see fit, tethering, streaming and VOIP couldnt be blocked as an app, not happy with this arrangement? Fine dont sell it…

    If 2 out the four main carriers initially picked up the iPhone and it was the raging success that we now know it to be, the you can bet that within months the other carriers would have to eat crow and stock the device ahead of all others wanting in on the cash cow.

    At this point consumers wouldve seen through their vale and Apple would have been even more of a Messiah than it was then, not only dictating to the carriers, pushing them back to the dumb pipes that they really are but also setting a precedent for other handsets makers to ride on. Market penetration wouldve been huge, rapidly eating into Nokias global marketshare and almost putting smaller handset makers out of business overnight and we know how much Jobs likes revenue and market share.

    Competition between the carriers would bring lower cost plans and by now the base handset would be most likely free, setting another precedent in the US market and the monthly cost of plans would constantly be under review as the carriers court for you business.

    Savvy users who didnt want to be tied down to a long term contract could walk into an Apple store and pick up an unlocked iPhone and Apple wouldnt have had to deal with this activation hassle theyve had to endure, pop in a SIM and be free to use as they wish , another first for the masses of phone buyers in the US, Nokia at this point would be very happy campers indeed.

    So this brings us to today and rather than Apple being the savour of the mobile market, instead we have this predictable situation where Apples good name is being dragged through the mud with constant software approval battles at the behest of AT&T, consumer backlash over the ever increasing monthly plans just own this game changing device and the carriers network wouldnt be swamped by data hungury users empowered by the ease of use.

    All in all, an opportunity missed and you cant help feel that Apple now realise the mistake they made throwing all their eggs into one basket and are rapidly trying to finding ways to break their agreements. One can only hope they succeed.

  199. Excellent article.

    It sums up pretty much every my thoughts on recent Apple products.

    The amount of open source code in Apples own apps – they are walking a fine line between creating a very costly court appearance.

    Practice what you preach eh Apple?

  200. I really like Jason and he always makes good points on the shows he appears. However this point is just garbage.
    Asking Apple to open their system is like asking Ford to set up their cars and trucks to take Chevey
    engines also. Using Apple stuff we enjoy certain things, like calling for support. Apple knows whats
    in our machine, its not hit or miss like it is with other systems. Everything in the Apple system is designed
    to work together to provide the best user experience Apple can provided. I.E. some buys an mp3 player
    and hooks it to their iTunes and it doesn’t work. So they go to the Apple store and the genius says we can’t
    help you so a customer walks out right passed all the Apple hardware unhappy. This would not be
    good for sales from that customer in the future. Open is not always best, I don’t know of any operating
    thats open and used by the public more the Windows or OSX.

    Also you might think Googles stuff is open, browser, OS, phone and search. Remember Google
    is in advertising, use all their stuff and they know everything there is to know about you. Google scares
    me more the Steve and his control behavior.

  201. Great article.

    Like yourself, I was also a Windows user for a long time. I never cared much for the OS wars; Windows did what I expected and that was all that mattered to me. Over the past few years, however, I gradually started buying Apple products, starting with the iPod. I have gradually acquired a number of iPods, two iPhones, etc. and lately took the major step of getting a mac laptop and desk tower. For the most part, I have enjoyed owning the computers; the extra difficulty of finding software for them being offset by a greater enjoyment of the OS.

    I have also watched with consternation as Apple locked down more and more of its products. The last straw for me came when Apple blocked the Google Voice application. This is exactly the kind of behavior that got me angry enough at Microsoft some years ago to persuade me to buy Apple products instead. I have no intention of supporting it. My next desktop this Christmas will have Windows 7, and I am never going to buy an Apple product again, unless Apple changes their ways and specifically allows Google Voice on the iPhone.

    I think you’re right about the changing demographics. So long as Apple was a niche product supported by fanboys who groveled at the altar of Steve, they could get away with anything. Now they have expanded into the wider world, and are faced with users who have no loyalty to Steve and who are not accustomed to such behavior. This is a big step for Apple to expand their userbase, and it seems to me that they are shooting themselves in the foot by treating the whole world as one big Apple fanclub.

  202. I just wanted to say that this post has been an amazing source
    of some great through and some even better writing. Jason, I
    think you bring to light a lot of very common frustrations that
    a lot of Apple customers experience, but I think to the same
    effect that commentors like @ahilal bring to a similar light
    the true way of the world. I first has the pleasure of enjoying
    the post itself as an email and am now even more satisfied that
    I took the time to read the comments above. Great stuff from everyone!

  203. Apple has been using a double edged sword for years now,
    ever since Steve Jobs came back to the promise land. He controls
    application and harware to give his customers and users the best
    experience he can. There is a cost to that though, Openness.
    He will not allow anything that does not meet his high standards
    to make it to his “vision.”

    I understand why Apple does what it does if you let any programer
    just write whatever they want you run the risk of systems crashing
    Look at all the complaints of the early windows CE devices, they would
    crash and not sync correctly.

    Can you imagine if people were paying 400 bucks for a phone
    (and yes I know that the 3G is 99 bucks now but i’m talking
    about when the phone was full price)that crashes every other
    day, you can’t sync correctly becuase an app is incompatable
    with the sync software?

    We deal with it with Windows Mobile devices because they phones were
    cheeper and we figure Microsoft will crash anyways, we live with
    BSOD’s every day for 10 years. I have not had a BSOD with Vista
    in the 2 years i’ve had it. I still see BSOD’s on XP though.

    Apple’s Quality Guarentee is in their closed system, like I said
    before it’s a double edged sword, it’s great that they make rock solid
    devices but they control it all, so we can have the experience
    that we do with Apple products.

  204. I understan what you say, I abandoned Apple laptops & Desktops
    more than a year ago beacuse I found that their products were not worthy of the premium. They have decreasing in quality.

    I still use an iPhone, and a Mac for sincronizing it at
    home. I think the market is still open for innovation, and
    Apple’s strategy is good for them. Apple is not hurting
    innovation in any way, shape or form. And there will always be
    the open vs closed debate.

    But in economics, there will always be more value in
    asymetric information for the one who knows something vs the
    one who doesn’t know it. Even open markets (stock exchanges)
    uses asymetric information to profit.

    So, even Apple is tough, they deserve to choose any strategy
    they see fit. Microsoft is also a closed company, which
    is changing because there is a feeling that they now are
    the underdog. But, profits and openess do not always are
    hand in hand, even a lot of people disagree with this idea.

    Just ask how open is the second or third richest man in
    the world (the owner of America Movil, Mr Carlos Slim).

  205. Jason, you need to realize something… you CHOSE to buy into
    Apple’s all-in-one/tightly-integrated philosophy.

    Such a policy has its share of pros and cons. In particular,
    it allows Apple to provide a high level of quality assurance;
    they can simply claim (and guarantee) support for only their
    products (hardware and software) and explicitly refuse support
    for (compatibility/integration with) non-Apple products.

    Such a policy is not anti-competitive (Apple just don’t support
    compatibility/integration of other products with theirs unless
    it’s under their terms; they don’t prevent and/or reduce
    competition in a MARKET) since you knew you were
    giving up your freedom of choice by signing into their
    tightly-integrated/all-inclusive deal (“you can’t bring your
    own drinks, we will provide our own Kool-Aid.”)

    To help put the above point into perspective consider this:
    Graphics card manufacturers BFG and EVGA exclusively use
    nVidia graphics chipsets even though AMD (ATI division)
    provides comparable chipsets with similar functionality, cost,
    and performance.
    Are BFG and EVGA being anti-competitive by not using ATI
    graphics chipsets? No!
    Similarly, Apple is free to choose the product or service of
    whoever they would like to associate themselves with.


    So ironically, Apple is exercising their freedom of choice
    at the expense of your freedom of choice!


    To further emphasize the point that Apple is not anti-competitive
    consider an analogy at the level of an individual:
    Anti-competitive can be considered anti-social behavior.
    However, Apple prefers to remain within its comfort zone and
    only interact with others when necessary.
    Thus Apple is reclusive.
    (Is there an equivalent law that prevents companies from
    being ‘reclusive’?)

    On another note, if a hardware error or software (OS) bug causes you
    downtime then that’s the vendor’s fault, but if downtime was
    caused by “‘getting’ a virus from a downloaded file” then that’s
    just plain user ignorance.

    And while I’m at it, if Mac users only understood the
    technical (and thus practical performance) differences between
    a Mac (eg. Core 2 Duo, GeForce GT 120 (or Radeon HD 4850 upgrade),
    proprietary hardware (eg. motherboard), etc.)
    and a custom built PC (eg. Core i7 920, Radeon HD 4870 X2,
    multiple brands (freedom of choice) for each component, etc.)
    for the same price, they would probably become PC evangelists.

  206. Jason, you’re way off on #1 and #2, and while I agree with you on #5, I think you’re misplacing the blame. On #3 and #4, you’re right. More detail below.

    1. Destroying MP3 player innovation through anti-competitive practices
    No, there is no technical reason for it. Apple developed iTunes as the support software for the iPod and later as the interface to the iTunes Music Store. Apple spent a lot of time and money developing this software, there is no reason manufacturers of other music players should get a free pass to use it. They should either pay a license fee to Apple for using iTunes with their player or develop their own software.

    Whether or not Apple will offer other manufactures the option to use iTunes by paying a license fee is Apple’s business decision. If they choose not to allow other device manufacturers to use iTunes, tough. Other manufacturers must develop their own software or license software from someone who will sell you a license. My opinion is that Apple should license an iTunes synchronization library to other manufacturers, but I don’t run Apple so….

    BTW, Microsoft does EXACTLY the same thing with the Zune software. No one complains because no other manufacturer wants to use the Zune software. Whether you like the practice or not, they’re justified in doing so.

    2. Monopolistic practices in telecommunications
    Apple designed the iPhone to be used and sold worldwide. The only cellular phone technology supported worldwide is GSM. Apple would have been foolish to use CMDA or another technology for a cell phone they wanted to sell worldwide.

    In the US, that limited their carrier selection to AT&T and T-Mobile as the only two nationwide GSM carriers. AT&T has far better coverage than T-Mobile and AT&T was willing to make changes to support the features like visual voicemail. AT&T wanted a (U.S.) exclusive to make those changes. Like it or not, Apple made the right choice for launch, hopefully the exclusive will end soon.

    Verizon and Sprint use CDMA, if the iPhone used CDMA, the worldwide market would be 1/5 the size. Sprint doesn’t support CSIM/UICC cards, the phone is tied to the Sprint network. In a quick web search, I was unable to determine if Verizon supports CSIM/UICC. Even if they did, your example of having your phone on one carrier and your data plan on a separate carrier is impractical, the carrier’s pricing plans would make it prohibitively expensive.

    The carriers do try to lock you in, but you can’t blame that on Apple, it’s the carriers.

    A momentary diversion: I don’t have an iPhone. I want one, but the AT&T exclusive has been an obstacle. You see, I’m with an AT&T reseller (everything is on the AT&T network, but the reseller handles all billing and support). I get the same rate plans that AT&T offers, free M2M to/from all AT&T customers, etc. I get great customer support, unlike the horror stories on AT&T, however, the exclusive means the reseller can’t sell the iPhone, even though it would still be on AT&T’s network. I haven’t been under a contract since before the original iPhone was introduced, so I could switch any time I choose. The only thing that would change is the company name on my bill and who I call if I have problems. So, I have to choose between getting an iPhone and dealing with AT&T directly, or the great support I get from my reseller and no iPhone (for now). The iPhone 3GS is really tempting, but I’ve listened to my girlfriend deal with AT&T Wireless for her phone, and I’m not impressed. For the record, I don’t have a problem with AT&T for my land line and DSL, customer support has been very good, but that’s a completely separate division.

    3. Draconian App Store policies that are, frankly, insulting
    Apple does need to clarify their policies for approving App Store applications, and provide developers with specific reasons why an application was rejected.

    4. Being a horrible hypocrite by banning other browsers on the iPhone
    I agree completely, allow other browsers, mail applications, etc. Just because it competes with one of the built-in iPhone applications is no reason to deny an application. Apple, if your users want to pay for a third party app (with you keeping 30% of the price) or install a free third party application because that they like that third party app better than the built in one (that users have already paid you for), take the money and let them buy the application. If the bandwidth for downloading free apps is a problem, then modify the terms so “free” apps cost $0.25-$1.00 to download. I think “Duh” applies here.

    5. Blocking the Google Voice Application on the iPhone
    I don’t know for sure, but I’ll bet AT&T is behind this one. AT&T doesn’t want users to have any application that will reduce users phone minute usage. If users use fewer phone minutes, they might drop back to a lower cost plan or have fewer overage charges, either way, it costs AT&T money. Likewise, AT&T has had trouble keeping their data network handling the volume of growth from iPhone users, so anything that might significantly increase usage of “unlimited” data is not something AT&T will be happy about.


    1. Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if they adopted a more open strategy (i.e. allowing other MP3 players in iTunes)? A: More!

    2. Do you think Apple should face serious antitrust action?
    A: Possibly over blocking Opera and apps that compete with the built-in apps on the iPhone, but that’s the only area I can think of that might be covered by anti-trust law.

    3. Do you think Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their bad behavior?
    A: The behavior isn’t that bad, but every one loves to bash them anyway. You don’t like that you have to buy Apple hardware to use Apple software? Tough, that’s the way it is, get over it. You think Apple charges too much? Don’t buy it. If you bought it, you apparently thought it was worth the money. Don’t complain about the price afterward, Apple didn’t force you to buy it.

    Whiny users and critics aside, Apple gives away a lot of their technology, but it would be foolish of them to give away too much. They make some great products, and like any for profit business, they’re out to make money. Go take a course in running a business, or better yet, run your own successful business, then we can talk about pricing and strategy.

  207. As a software developer, Windows is the platform of choice because of the shear size of the user base. When the iPhone took off, it looked as though it would be the mobile platform of choice from a developer standpoint (or at least this deveoper’s standpoint). Now, I could never justify a business decision to put resources into the development of an iPhone app, regardless of marketshare or mindshare, when Apple can decide for any reason that an app is unacceptable. Long term, Apple is stiffling innovation on their platform and pushing developers to other platforms.

  208. Nice post I must admit, even that I love my iphone so much. Girls like it so im gonna keep it. It will come soon the time when i will shot my iphone maybe, but not right now.

  209. You act as if you are somehow entitled to own an iPhone. As if Apple created something
    so essential to life that access by all should be guaranteed like water, electricity, and
    phone service. Note that last one… phone SERVICE. The device you use to access the phone
    service is irrelevant. Any additional tricks the iPhone can do are irrelevant to your right to
    have phone service and are in no way life essentials.

    Please get off your entitlement high-horse before you fall and hurt yourself.

    PS: I would love to own an iPhone, but I hate ATT with a passion so I won’t be getting an
    iPhone until it’s available on another service. But that’s my choice, and I’ll continue to
    complain about it and beg for the iPhone on another carrier. But I would never be so
    foolish to suggest that there is any sort of monopoly issue that the government needs
    to step in and deal with.

  210. Very well written and true. I live in Europe and we have
    telephone companies that actually allow us to use mobile
    internet but Apple/AT&T stops us due to restrictions that
    are not motivated of technical reasons. America is the new
    communist state. If a Apple approves use of Google Voice,
    Skype on 3G and Spotify, they will likely sell ten times
    more than today. If AT&T has a problem with this, it is up
    to them to forbid such use but please allow non communist
    states to use their Iphones to its full potential.

  211. I didn’t proofread my comment or think it through properly. Let me try again;

    1- iPod/iPhone’s are not the only MP3 player compatible on Mac. It’s silly to ring up support for your ideas by saying “Think for a moment about what your reaction would be if Microsoft made the Zune the only MP3 player compatible with Windows.”. Steve Jobs did not get a ‘pass’.

    Why should Apple support other MP3 players in their own software? If there is such a market, why not write a MP3 library manager and sync system – and sell it for $5 a copy. Microsofts’ Zune’s software isn’t compatible with any other MP3 players, or did you not want to point that out?

    3- LOL – It’s Apple’ fault that you think AT&T is a monopoly? Please… Maybe the whole ‘cell phone revolution’ did it… And Apple is successful. Make a better phone to compete – Nobody is stopping you, and there are 4 major cell phone companies in the market. Hardly a monopoly. Don’t like the way Apple and AT&T run their network? Don’t buy a phone on AT&T’s network, vote with your dollars, not some stupid attempt to nationalize Apple’s technology. Hell, didn’t you read Atlas shrugged?

    4 – Again… Apple can ban anything they want; It’s their software and ecosystem. Stop whining.

    5- This is under investigation, but see #4 for now.

    Answers to your Questions;
    1- No
    2- No
    3- If they did have bad behavior, yes.

  212. Dear Mr.Calacanis.

    I am also a PC’s fan although I am a Multimedia designstudent. In my faculty, most of students like to use iMAC or MacBook. They usually laught at me and consider I as a fool guy.However, when they took the course of Imaging and animation they must use 3DS Max which only run on Windows PC and they realize that PC is the best. Moreover, a lot of my friends usually face to the trouble of hanging and crashing when they use Adobe Flash on MACOS X while Windows PC does not face to those troubles.I also hate MACOS-based products because the OS does not support many devices driver and it does not notify me when a device is connected (for example: digital camera camcorder on i.Link)

  213. Ever since the Mac vs PC ads, I have suspected the non-open
    nature of apple. The PC was not just Windows, it was everything
    non-apple. They were slamming Linux, BSD (who they stole part
    of their code from due to lax licensing), and any other OS.

  214. @Adam: it’s “their software and their ecosystem” until you realize that millions have aspects of their life tied to their practices. Companies are not free from social responsibilities. And you can’t just “leave” ’cause there is a (huge) cost involved.

  215. Bottom line: when people can’t get what they want from apple, they’re going to find an alternative. Since apple will not support functionality that people want in order to protect their empire, it’s only a matter of time. The trendiness has/will put this off for a while, but a closed system demise is inevitably secured by an open system with more/better functionality.

  216. A man ate celery every day, for every meal, for 20 years.

    A prophet came along and offered him the most delicious gourmet meal anyone had ever tasted.

    The prophet made this offer every day and the man accepted his delicious meal for years.

    Then one day, the Celery-man saw another man eating a piece of cheesecake.

    Celery-man confronted his prophet and dubbed the wise-one evil for not offering cheesecake with the gourmet meals.

    The prophet never returned and the man went back to his daily portions of celery.

  217. Questions:

    1. Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if they adopted a more open strategy (i.e. allowing other MP3 players in iTunes)?

    2. Do you think Apple should face serious antitrust action?

    3. Do you think Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their bad behavior?


    1. I think that it’s hard to say. With the iPhone, they probably get a shitton of money from AT&T for exclusivity that might make it more profitable for that route than to go to all companies. And they certainly would be making less money off of iPods with more open policies. That said, success shouldn’t be quantified just in money, and I think with more open policies they would be more technologically successful.

    2. Probably; yes. At least with music stuff.

    3. It has forgiven their bad behavior, but it won’t for long. Now that Google is going to make an operating system, and in response Windows is probably upping up their game — Macintosh will no longer be our only cool/viable option. At the rate things are going, though; I’m betting I buy a netbook with Chrome as my next computer.

  218. Well argued but why did it take you so long? Apple is a
    disease affecting the IT world. This world should revolve
    around interoperability and open platforms, not closed
    solutions. And no, Apple is not going to be hit by any
    investigations because it is a “darling” and still a
    small player

  219. 🙂

    You’re somewhat right, and somewhat wrong.
    I think they can’t afford to open their products (yet ?).

    What Apple did is building a coherent suite of devices and software, each interfacing with each other.
    There is just no other offer as for now that is as easy to use as Apple’s line of products is.

    But, just ask yourself, how did they do that ?
    Answer is simple. They did it by mastering every single piece of the puzzle. Would they have allowed any third-party piece they do not control, they take the risk that the whole building collapse.

    Syncing iTunes with other MP3 players, you would end up with errors, incompatibilities and so on, leading to reproduction of PC’s driver hell… and blow the user experience, the only real Apple’s added value.

    Locking everything was just technically necessary to get where they are now.
    Now, they are stronger than they have never been… They may afford to unlock here or there.
    They did it when allowing third party’s app.

    My vision, is that they will open, wisely and step by step, as soon as they have no choice, as the frustration grows … and that open source solutions and open standards are on the way to mimic and achieve same consistency.

    Who said Google ?

  220. Questions:

    1. Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if
    they adopted a more open strategy (i.e. allowing other
    MP3 players in iTunes)?

    2. Do you think Apple should face serious antitrust action?

    3. Do you think Apple’s dexterity and competence forgive their b bad bad behavior?
    bad behavior?

    These questions are easy to answer…

    1. As far as I’m concerned it’s totally immaterial. Apple lost
    me as customer well over 20 years ago when they royally
    screwed their loyal Apple //e customers with their execrable
    Apple IIgs replacement for the Apple IIe. I haven’t bought an
    Apple product since then, and have absolutely no intention of
    doing so now or at any time in the future.

    The IIgs had almost no support in terms of followup software
    or hardware, making it _very_ obvious that Apple had no
    intentions of doing anything with IIgs other than making the
    basic unit available. Once the IIgs hit the market Apple
    basically put no resources at all into supporting the product,
    a lot of promises, but no action.

    Couple that with its badly overpriced selling point of $1,500
    and it was no wonder why people, including died_in_the wool
    Apple fanatics, left Apple in droves and bought IBM (or
    equivalent) PC’s instead.

    Actually, I doubt if not having an open strategy is going to
    be Apple’s main problem. So far as I can tell, both by news
    reports, and personal knowledge of friends problems with the
    iPhone, I’d say the lack of quality control and/or bad design,
    is what is going to come back and bite the company in the ass.
    It’s no secret that the iPhones, including the new one, have
    hardware issues with the battery and overheating, to the
    point where some have actually exploded or partially melted
    down (most likely due to the battery). To say that one
    solution Apple proved to both of those problems, which was
    to use the phone less on hot days, or not use some of the
    applications for extended periods of time, did not go over
    all that well with those folks I know that have the phone.
    Gee, I wonder if those people bought the phone with the
    intention of only _sometimes_ using it?

    Add to that the companies seeming inability to admit there
    might be a problem, and quite often making difficult for a
    customer to get warranty support and/or item replacements is
    a colossal amount of arrogance on Apple’s part. Apple tended
    to get away with that when it was just their computers, but
    now that they’ve gone mass consumer market with the iPods and
    iPhones the company is going to find out the hard way that
    once the consumer public catches on, the payback to the
    company will most likely be truly brutal, and also well

    2. No, not really, not unless something different from what is
    known now shows in the discovery stage of the investigation.
    Unless, of course, this just another case of political
    grandstanding, in which case Apple really doesn’t have much to
    worry about. Actually, the governments time would be far
    better used if they investigated the current phone and cable
    TV companies, as they well deserved to be slam-dunked for
    their anti-competitive practices. It won’t happen, too many
    lobbyist dollars, but it should.

    3. Not hardly! If Apple had been in any other industry,
    besides the computer industry, they would have long since
    gone bankrupt. Most people I know won’t put up with companies
    who think the only thing customers are good for is to shell
    out money for whatever the company decides is best for them.
    Contrary to what many top level executives seem to think, the
    average American consumer are intelligent and probably just
    as smart, or smarter, than said executives. They’ll take their
    dollars elsewhere. People buy because it’s something they see
    value in, and want, if it’s priced at a reasonable level.
    Forget that and a company has big problems in their future.

    When a company quits paying attention to what the customer
    wants, and instead basically tells them that they’ll get what
    the company says they can have, well, that’s a company on its
    way out of business.

    You’d think Apple would know better because they came close to
    going under once already for this same kind of crap.

    If you’re going to charge top dollar for a product than it had
    better be a high quality product. If you expect consistent
    repeat business you don’t tell the customers how, or what
    with, they are going to use that product. If you expect to
    maintain high volume “first time” sales, then you’d better
    spend time fixing problems instead of trying pretend they
    don’t exist.

    Apple has made a major move outside of the computer market
    into a high volume consumer market. Their problem is that the
    company and/or Steve Jobs seem to think they can do business
    as usual and what worked in the past will continue to work
    now. Well, that won’t work, and if Jobs/Apple doesn’t change
    their outlook on the dynamics of company/consumer relations
    then the only direction Apple will go is down.

    To be honest, even if the reasons mentioned above to not buy
    hadn’t existed for me, I still wouldn’t have seriously
    considered buying an iPhone. I took a look at the AT&T
    service contract when a friend bought one, and basically
    asked him how he could have been such a dunce (but I said it
    nicely ;-). He could have gone with several other phones just
    as good as the iPhone (yes, they do exist, even if they aren’t
    trendy), and paid less for both the phone AND the carrier
    service contract. Talk about Rip’em and Gouge’em pricing!!!

    God that was long winded…

  221. I am neither a fan of Jason’s or blogging, as well as not not a fan. How is that for double negatives. however I found this very insightful. Nothing new here, though I sure do believe that the clean sheen/always perfect mentality associated with Apple is not completely warranted or true and a fair opinion has to be given to these very serious acts and business behaviour. I am not a Mac hater, you all know we have an iMac and for the most part love it, as well as the Apple TV, and iPods. I am 1 for 3 on our Mac experience:

    1) Apple TV has been rock solid and does exactly what I want it to do. It could do more, such as play online radio like iTunes does and who knows why it doesn’t since it directly interfaces with iTunes. This is the kind of stuff that makes you scratch your head, but not a deal breaker just an eye opener.
    2) iPods are awesome. They could have more features to them that the article points out, but not a deal breaker either.
    3) iMac has been good. Very disappointed with how many updates have broken things and the ongoing wireless issue which is well documented and Apple’s only response after years of it being an issue is buy new OS. You mean I paid for something that is broken and I have to pay to get it fixed? Sounds Microsoft like but Apple gets away with it.

    I also like some of the comments, especially regarding Apple behaving like Wayne Gretzky.

  222. I think it’s about time that Apple is questioned about actions if Microsoft did, they would be sued by every competitor,company, nation, etc. They are the most monopolistic company I can think of. Everyone who defends Apple says that people don’t have to use Apple products. That’s not the point. People don’t have to use any products, but they still need to be held accountable for their actions when it comes to business practices, openness, etc. Apple touts themselves as a hippie, artistic, peace and love company. Yet, their actions show that Steve Jobs is a control freak and Apple refuses to let others play in their sandbox. They’re the clique in school that need you to want to be them, but refuse to let you join their club. Any attempt to break into their group is met with lawsuits or changes to their software to stop you from doing so (example: Palm Pre.). They lock people into their ecosystem, then block anyone who tries to give those people another choice. I just hope Apple and Steve Jobs don’t gain any more ground. I can’t imagine what his ego would allow him to do if he had more market share. I’m glad that people are finally talking about a subject I’ve been pondering for years.

  223. “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware”. An original Alan Kay quote often used by Steve Jobs.

    Within this quote lies most of the answers to Apples behaviour. Apple firmly believes in something that no-one else in the software or hardware industry does.

  224. Apple is not at fault, it is our current cultural crisis. When children are raised to hate and fear their own individuality via the atrocity that is the public education system, this is the inevitable result. Without any sense of individuality to guide them, a herd mentality develops. Instead of wanting the best product for the best price, they buy without question whatever mediocrity Steve Jobs and co. feed them, for whatever price they ask.

    “And then we (Betas) are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children.”

    The above quote is pulled from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and this concept has been used with startling efficacy by Apple’s advertising people. Do you want to be younger, thinner, and smarter? Or would you rather be chunky, blundering, and pretentious? These are the only options you have according to Apple. Microsoft realized it was getting slammed by the sheer effectiveness of this base form of marketing, and followed suit with their “I’m a PC” commercials.

    Never yield a single moment of your life or a single ounce of your effort or wealth to someone who claims he can provide you with your identity. It is parasitism, come to the realm of the mind.

  225. My reasons exactly for dodging apple. Altho in this part of world most of phones are not sold with operator contract. Phone is being bought separately, and operator contract separately, although connecting the two isn’t forbidden either. Apple’s iphone is the only phone available only with operator contract exclusively (and being locked into it).

  226. We all should be proud of Steve Jobs and Apple Inc, bringing the BEST PRODUCTS IN THE WORLD. Instaed attcking them. If there was no Apple, there would not be a PC or Microsoft to begin with. IBM and Microsoft are opportunist people. There is mimnimal amount of pride goes into their products. It is all about money with them. Do not let them CORRUPT YOU and YOUR Column listener or Reader.

    I simply hope that MP3 totaly dies and Micrsoft looses atleast 50% share of the world’s software market. They are getting the dose of their own medicine. Apple is innovator Microsoft is scavenger. I used to love Microsoft and what they have done in PC arena. They do deserve crdit. But remember if Stupid Scully was never hired at Apple, we would have seen Apple probably way on the Top above everybody else. As for the Google Voice App., Apple has similar function available on 3GS iPhone, that creates a problem. Apart from what media says, Apple and Google go hand in hand.

    Hope you all get it. JUST THINK!!!!!!!!!!

  227. John John John. Consumers have the right to buy what they want to buy, use what they want to use, invest in what they want to invest in. Apples is simply a company that just sells a product, a service and an idea. If people want something else then they need to put their money where their mouth is and design it, create it, and market it. You and every other consumer has the freedom to buy or not to buy just as a company has the freedom to produce or not to produce. Countries where government dictates life for the consumer and the manufacture is called a police state. I am not an Apple “Fanboy” but a consumer that wants a product of quality and apple has satisfied my want for 22 years. Apple hasn’t changed and has always held control of their product and devices but they have not attempted to control the products or devices of other manufactures. In fact Apple has pushed them to better their products and software. Is there maybe a tint of jealousy in your post?

  228. Jason,

    Apple has no more lock than Google. Or, for that matter, GM. My brother’s Chevy has OnStar. I love it! I want it! GM won’t install it, or allow me to install it, on my Honda! Whoa! Do you think the government needs to investigate this obvious anti-trust violation? Nor will Microsoft support my Mac for a Zune! Man. All these companies think they can just make their products any way they want!

    If you don’t like Apple products you can just choose not to buy them. You can’t tell Apple how to make them. Sorry.

    Incidently, Apple products are not overpriced; the attention to detail on my Macs is well worth the price. I’d say they are a bargain compared to the inflated price of the inferior Dell or HP product.

  229. As far as the general philosophy goes, I would have to agree that wee Stevie has gone a bit daft. As to opening Apple up to the mischief of third-party apps, I have to agree with others who state that it would most likely break the seamless nature of the Apple operation that is one of the main selling points. When it comes to the iPhone and AT&T however, I am with you. AT&T bites the big one, at least in Southern California. Dropped calls, crap reception, you name it. That is a marriage in desperate need of a divorce. Two SIM cards – more mischief. But choice of carrier? That should be a no-brainer. Keep us thinking, though. It is necessary, however painful!

  230. One more little note. Apple makes the hardware and the software and warrants them together. Windows makes software. Other folks make the other stuff and the software that goes with it. Most of the comparisons were not valid. Everyone has the right to request features, but that does not mean Apple is obligated to provide them if it will compromise the integrity of the fiinal product that they are wholly responsible for.

  231. You Apple apologists make me sick. Just because you like a company’s products does not mean you have to make excuses or defend when they behave like controlling, anti-competitive A-holes. They’re a company out to make the most money possible and they can, will and have ripped off and lied to as many of it’s “fans” as any company has, maybe more. Those who apologize for these practices are nothing more than accomplices and ought to be locked up along with those who make the policy.

  232. I read the first 10% of the postings, so pardon me if I appear to be “Yeah, me too’ing” someone else’s comments…

    As a network support professional who has used a variety of hardware and software over the years, I use WinTel (or WinAMD…) because it’s CHEAP and it does the job… ***HOWEVER *** Apple products, being engineered software and hardware-wise by what amounts to the same team are so much more tightly integrated that there is (almost) no other way BUT to be a smoother and more cohesive user experience.

    Does anyone remember Apples foray into Macintosh Clone systems? The concept was (or at least appeared to be) valid, but the resulting minor glitches degraded the overal Macintosh computing experience (not to mention degrading Apple’s profit margin)and so the program was terminated. Sort of reminiscent of the “mostly IBM compatibles” of the 80’s…

    I like MacOS. If I could (legally) get it to run on my PC platform with full hardware support (like Wireless, Fingerprint Reader, TPM, etc…)I’d switch right now (and yes, I’ve played with the Hackintosh platform… I said “legal”…)

    I’ll stop rambling now and crawl back into my hole…


  233. How many of the comments point out that you are an idiot?

    Yes, apple products cost more because they are worth it.
    The quality of the physical product exceeds any PC I ever owned
    and I have owned a lot.

    It’s called capitalism if you have heard of that.

    But after you buy, everything is cheaper. Software, when it
    isn’t free, is less. Maintenance is less. Frustration, if you
    want to place a value on peace of mind, is less.

    Like so many people, you cannot seem to understand the
    difference between price and value.

  234. apple needs to open up. My only gripe with them is their
    ruthless control over the end user.
    I can use any MP3 player connected as a mass-storage
    device with a single exception of the ipod. I can install
    any application I want even on a 20 dollar phone thats five
    years old. But not on the iphone.
    On any other operating system I can access an API to
    control hardware directly, even patch the kernel if I
    feel like it, and install pretty much any
    piece of hardware that fits in a slot. Not on OSX.

    apple treats me like they know whats good for me,
    like I’m a child, and I’m getting sick of it too.

  235. Can’t you people just stop whining about how this or that company bases their strategy (surprisingly) not on your personal happiness but on how they believe they will make the most money?
    If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Don’t tell me you didn’t know all this before buying…

    The way I see it, as far as evilness goes, I’d say weapons manufacturers and oil companies are quite a notch above. Why most people find it a better use of their time to complain about their cellphone manufacturer will always amaze me.

  236. Excellent, but why criticize Apple when you can just use others? Like
    you said, in Japan there are hundreds of mp3 players. You could pick up
    a Nokia for 1/3 the price of an iPhone and it will run Opera (my
    favorite) as well as resolving all of your other points. The world is
    large and full of opportunities/choices, you just need to look beyond
    that ‘from sea to shining sea’ thing…

  237. I love JW’s statement:
    “…It is Apple’s platform – they can do whatever they want…”

    This is the definition of what happened to Microsoft… how is it different

  238. Very good post!

    BUT, the consequence mustn’t be to destroy your iPhone! You should rather get involved in the free and open-source jailbreaking community around projects like the iPhone Dev Team or Cydia.


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