Apple's transition from good to evil
A particularly insightful essay on Apple's transition from good to evil was published yesterday. Posted by Jason Calacanis, CEO of Mahalo.com, on his personal blog, it describes his own experiences with Apple, and how behind the scenes the company has changed beyond recognition over the past two decades.
Apple will face a user revolt in the coming years based upon Microsoft, Google and other ... companies, undercutting their core markets with cheap, stable and open devices.
Calacanis sets out a very clear case against Apple, divided into five main parts which for brevity I will consolidate into these four points. This list of Apple's sins isn't exhaustive, for example there is no mention of policies on Mac computer hardware and software, it but it covers some of the most infamous evils.
- Anti-competitive policies on the iPhone, for example banning other web
browsers on the device -- an outrageous hypocrisy
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.
- Anti-competitive practices in MP3 player technology, impeding innovation
There is no technical reason why the iTunes ecosystem shouldn't allow the ability to sync with any MP3 player ... save furthering Apple's dominance with their own over-priced players.
- Anti-competitive and monopolistic practices in telecommunications
Telecommunications choice is gone for Apple users. If you buy an Apple and want to have a seamless experience with your iPhone, you must get in bed with AT&T [similarly e.g. O2 in the UK]
- Anti-competitive and draconian App Store policies
Exercising "draconian" control and even censorship, wielding the power to reject software and content at the company's sole discretion without even offering an explanation -- infamously banning Google's Voice App.
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 ... Once again we've enabled Steve Jobs' insane control freak tendencies. This relationship is beyond dysfunctional–we are co-dependent.
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.*
This blog post offers a profoundly insightful analysis of the dark side of Apple, a company that still holds a sacred status in the minds of many people, who blindly worship Apple as their champion and saviour which can do no wrong.
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
I would 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 take on Microsoft, seeing and exploiting a business opportunity in public dissatisfaction with the monopoly. That once clean armour has long since rusted.
07 August 2009
Tags: apple evil corporation anti-competitive case against jason calacanis mahalo mac iphone anti-trust antitrust steve jobs google voice app steve gillmore capitalism cydia competitive intelligence business analysis