Michael Wolf in Newser seems to think we should be afraid of Apple. Why?
Apple is a strange and dastardly company which, sooner rather than later, we’re going to regret pledging our allegiance to.
I’m probably like most of Apple’s customers. I have no allegiance to the company. I like their products, though I’m more of a techno voyeur. I like to watch the company’s antics.
The latest bit of no-good business is its arbitrary censoring of iPhone apps. This may be piddling, but it’s obviously part of the major control-freakishness that has always lurked below the surface in Cupertino, but which has now become broad-based corporate policy.
Except that by exercising such control Apple simply remains Apple. It’s what the company has done for many years. It’s not even news. It’s the way Apple does business. And it seems to be working rather well.
Just weeks ago there was the iPad rollout and its transparent designs on controlling the woe-begotten world of printed material.
If it was transparent then so much for Apple being a secretive company, right? Does anyone really think Apple would control print media with an iPad? What if the iPad gains a 20-percent market share of sub-$1,000 computing devices? Since when does 20-percent become control?
And need we forget, there’s the music business, fully occupied and colonized by Apple.
The iTunes Store has done well. It’s the biggest online retailer of music, TV shows, and movies. Yet, it does not dominate the market for media. If you don’t dominate how can you colonize? Wolff can turn a phrase. It would be nice if he could handle facts the same way.
Microsoft has come to seem eerily benign. Indeed, Apple becomes the poster child for a really sinister corporation. There may not be any corporation as militantly determined to have its way as Apple.
Wolf seems to be talking mind share vs. market share. Microsoft’s Windows remains on nearly 90-percent of the world’s PCs. Apple’s highly touted iPhone owns a tiny sliver of the cell phone market; a larger chunk of the smart phone segment. But control? Are there any facts and figures to back up the assertions, Michael?
Most companies can only dream of building a brand as strong as Apple’s, whereas Apple’s brand has reached a level where nothing it might do seems to hurt it. Apple has become the opposite of what it once was and somehow we don’t know it.
I’ll take that as a no.
Here’s where typical technology journalists—particularly the hit-whoring type—fall on their collective faces. Or, is it feces? That assertion would have been a good opportunity to describe in some detail what Apple was, and compare and contrast it what what Apple is. Somehow Wolff skipped over the opportunity. Why?
It’s all about sex.
After all, why would Apple purge these adult-themed apps? What sense is there to that? And, apparently, it isn’t all sexy stuff. It’s just some sexy stuff, arbitrarily. It’s not even consistent, it’s just weird, unnecessarily, and mean-minded.
Without saying so, Wolff gets to the heart of the matter. For him. Apple has purged the iPhone’s App Store of sexually suggestive apps; clearly some of which Wolff spent his lunch money to purchase. Now, he can’t get his groove on with his phone and a fist, so he’s going to blame the mercurial Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs may be the oddest fellow able to hold a full-time job in America and hardly anybody even makes fun of him. In fact, everybody’s afraid of him, not least of all because he is so strange and mercurial.
Steve Jobs and the Apple story are precisely what makes following Apple so much fun. It’s a better story line than soaps, or Lost, or politics, plus we get to play with all these cool toys and apps. And talk about Apple. But to accuse Apple of being a hard-nosed business, or to accuse them of being secretive or controlling, is to accuse the Pope of being Catholic, or to accuse the sun of being warm.
The iPhone itself is a beautiful tool, locked up tight and full of draconian protocols—with a little AT&T sado-masochistic abuse thrown in for good measure.
Great. Now let’s bash AT&T. I’m game.