Anyone who knows the geeky side of me knows that I hate Apple with a vengeance. Usually, it’s to do with the kind of people buys Apple products. People that are more concerned with style over substance. The kind of people that you would usually find at overpriced coffee shops arguing about why other operating systems are crappy when they themselves don’t know how to work the more advance features on their Macbook Pros.
However, there is another side of Apple which I have always despised, one that for the past few weeks have been cropping up all over the news of late. It’s not so much the fact that Apple products are usually overpriced proprietary hardware which can be found at any PC shop for half the price. That’s more the fact that it has become increasingly apparent that Apple stands for everything that’s against the freedom of choice and that people are buying the idea with much hypocrisy. Let me explain.
Before this, there was a company called Microsoft whose plan was to make an operating system that everyone could use. Of course that was successful enough and as a result they were used by the majority of PC consumers out there. Of course, they were then accused of violating anti-trust laws which was due to them bundling their own internet browsers with the software and as a result forcing other browsers off the market because everyone would choose to use Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer by default. It didn’t matter that Microsoft didn’t force you to use their browsers or hinder the use of third party programs. It just mattered that they had the majority market share and everyone was gunning for them.
Fast forward a few years and you see Apple’s domination over the portable music industry. Consumers, frustrated over the lack of innovation and user friendliness of a widely used operating system that’s full of security loopholes, slowly buy into Apple’s “hip and cool” marketing campaign. The only catch is, because you’re buying into the brand, what you buy into is much more expensive than the usual parts. At the same time, because what you’re buying is solely owned by Apple, they call the shots on what you can or cannot do with their products.
Guess who gets more flak?
That’s not just all. Apple has been known to try and buy off consumers who report defective goods with “standard” non-disclosure agreements. While I’m not too clear on this corporate-type arrangement, it’s pretty clear that Apple doesn’t want word to spread that their products are anything but perfect. After all, when a company whose reputation is built upon the image of its products and not the quality of it, its success hinges upon the marketing. If word gets out to the general masses that you can buy better goods from other brands at a cheaper price (preferably goods that doesn’t explode), that would spell bad business for you.
Apple is also known for its (formerly) DRM music in iTunes as well as it’s insane and often unreasonable selection criteria for its iPhone app. Such examples of Apple’s control-freak like nature include turning down the use of alternate apps (such as the Google Voice fiasco) because it duplicates (and some say do better) the functions that are offered by default on the iPhone and censoring a dictionary (I am not making this shit up).
It just seems like there is no freedom to do what you want when you buy into Apple products. Sure, from a distance, it would seem like Microsoft pulled the same shit off years ago and I’m not trying to defend that, but Microsoft still gave people a choice. You still could install third party programs and run them off your system without problems. Yet, people seem to get some crazy idea that because they control the majority of the home and business operating system software, that this is a bad thing. The EU wanted to have all their version of Windows 7 come without Internet Explorer. How catatonically blind-sided do you have to be to take out the only browser in the system where you can download other browsers? Thank God they changed their minds about that.
Yet when Apple pulls the same thing with more lethality and control, people turn a blind eye. While normal consumers have an excuse in that they don’t know anything better, there are also people willing to defend Apple’s actions to death for reasons that defy common sense.
I stand by my hatred of Apple and its products with a militant pose, but I draw the line at being evangelical about it. I can understand why some people would want to use it and I have no beef against these people because it works well with them and you can’t duplicate the same things on other operating systems. But I will not stand by and watch an overcommercialised, overpriced product take credit for what it does not rightfully deserve. I will not stand by and watch friends be swindled and conned by a product which can be replaced by something better for half the price. I will not stand by a company that tells you what you can or cannot do with a product that you rightfully bought with your own money.
You’d think with so many compelling reasons, more people would see the same light I have. Then again, most people are easily swayed by a shiny pebble than a well argued point. It’s why Apple will always be here to stay, and the secret geek war, will burn until one side wins, or every one is dead.