Thursday, 20 December 2007

Is Apple becoming evil?

Okay, so we all love at least something about Apple. It seems to be one of if not the most successful company at creating customer loyalty that brings big-spending clients back into its stores on a consistent basis. How consistent? So consistent that a good percentage of customers are ready to disregard Apple's electronics' flaws or past failures.

Have you tried Apple customer service if you've not purchased extra servicing time? Not a good idea. The ubiquity of white headphones is startling, especially when going through the metros of Western cities. We've backed away from radio, watching news, and other things - now all you have to do is carry an iPod - a personalized collection of just about anything you may want to hear or watch right in your pocket. Having sold over 90 million of these babies, they've made it a standard device to have if you're into music or just about any other form of cultural entertainment. From blogs to webpages and review sites you can read about how these fry time and again, about battery life expectancy issues, and other tricks they play, yet people just keep buying them. Just to give you some of my personal moan history: my first iPod fried after 2 years, my last iBook's combo drive passed out and the screen ended up having a red line running across the screen. I know two people who've had to send back their batteries and one who's hard drive died.

The iPhone - do we really want to talk about the iPhone again? With only selected network carriers and incredible prices, people still have more than hots for these. My flatmate is still thinking of somehow buying an iPhone in France (as they seem to have a policy again sim-locking) and then bringing it over to the UK. Some more to read here if you like...

Now, I don't really mean to go on ranting. I'm writing this off a Mac myself and can't say I'm not one of the people who spread the word. Despite being a little evil, it's still probably the best thing out there. We can moan all we want - like we did with Google, but the truth is that there isn't much to replace it with. Just to give you some more media coverage on Apple's part in the lawsuit against Think Secret...

Apple Forces Rumors Site To Shut Down

For a few years now, there's been a legal battle going on between Apple and Think Secret, a very popular Apple rumors site for publishing certain rumors. The lawsuit had many people up in arms, as they pointed out that Think Secret should be protected in the same way a newspaper is protected (and noting that Apple would never sue the WSJ the way it sued Think Secret). It made sense to go after whoever leaked the info to ThinkSecret, but going after the publication was ridiculous. While the case has dragged on, unfortunately, Apple won some of the legal battles. Now, as sent in by Jon, comes the news that Apple and Think Secret have "settled," but that settlement means that Think Secret needs to cease publishing entirely. The guy behind Think Secret notes that he never gave up the source, and calls this settlement amicable -- but it sets a horrible precedent for plenty of sites, and may create quite the chilling effect on reporters and bloggers alike. It's really a shame that Apple even decided to pursue this vendetta, and the fact that it ends with Think Secret being shut down completely is a travesty.

More just appeared in Wired...


Anonymous said...

Why is it that Apple is demonized for wanting to protect it's intellectual property and the timing it chooses to release its new products? In essence, Think Secret is compromising a legitimate and successful company and encouraging (even paying for?) industry espionage, why? Because like tawdry journalism, it seeks a scoop. And unlike something the WSJ would report, this is not in the public interest. Part of Apple's success and part of its business model is its mystique, its perennial reinvention, its just-you-wait-and-see-what's-next promise to its users (and competitors). Undermine this and you undermine the products and ethos Apple users so dearly love (whether users realize it or not).

And would any other company tolerate an outfit dedicated solely to foiling the company's business strategy--esp if this could adversely affect its marketing, sales, or even stock price? Forget not that this is a corporation, out to innovate and to profit. It boils down to this: a bunch of geeks have nothing better to do than to stay glued to their screens in near-sexual anticipation to discover what's-what before the rest of us patient geeks. Good for Apple Corp.

mark said...

Much worse...Apple is now intimidating Fake Steve Jobs (Dan Lyons, Forbes journo), who I think can look after himself.

Big mistake by Apple

Dan said...

Apple has become amazingly egocentric (stands to reason that the followers have inflated egos too) and has mentally replaced "customer" with "sucker/mark." It's quite sad, because instead of leading the pack and actually "BEING different", they're following the business practices of the greedy who have come before them.

I've said it repeatedly... if Apple spent 1/10th of the money on Customer Support and Quality Control that they spend on Marketing to 13-year-old girls then they'd be providing the world's greatest customer support and have an uber-quality product. In fact, their Customer Support costs would likely drop significantly if they baked in some Quality Control.

I hate Apple even though every now and then they release a product that's sex-on-a-stick that works for longer than a few weeks.