Jul 10

The ever-arrogant Apple

Following the Antennagate news conference, certain critics quickly concluded that Apple was acting like its usual arrogant self.

I couldn’t agree more.

How dare Apple think they can make this problem go away with a free case that makes the problem go away. They need to suffer more than that.

This company was practically founded on arrogance. Imagine, two guys in a garage thinking they could out-compute companies like IBM and HP. In later years, they’d tell us to abandon the standard PC interface and use some silly mouse to control our computers. With smug superiority, they’d cut out the floppy disk we’d come to love. Errgh.

If only we thought to stop them then.

Because it wasn’t long after that Apple — a company without any real consumer electronics experience — had the gall to build the music player that Sony or some better-qualified company should have built. This self-appointed savior of the music business somehow seduced the record companies with an online music store that forces us all to go along with “their vision” of how music should be sold.

With iPhone, Apple took its arrogance to an extreme. They marched right into a market owned by big, successful global companies like Motorola and Nokia, believing they could “school them” by reimagining the smartphone. How self-important can a company get?

Then came iPad, where Apple’s arrogantly arrogant take on arrogance was laid bare for all to see. This is pure Apple, telling us they can do what Microsoft and others had failed to do for a decade before. Overnight, they create a new category and expect us to follow their vision for the future of computing? And suck us into making even more purchases at the iTunes Store?

It’s gotten to the point where Apple doesn’t even try to disguise their arrogance. They’re a company that creates devices other companies should have created, follows standards only when it pleases them, shuns research to create only the products they’d like to use themselves  — and then won’t even let outsiders tamper with the platforms they’ve created!

Look what they’ve done to poor Adobe, yanking away their right to spend more than three years figuring out how to run Flash on mobile devices. Look what they’ve done to the world’s developers, telling them to write specifically for iPhone rather than just port over apps designed for less capable phones. Compounding their sin, they have the unrelenting gall to insist that apps meet some basic standards for quality and reliability. With their “our way or the highway” attitude, Apple takes choice away from customers, forcing them to settle for a library of only 225,000 apps.

In my mind, Apple is just another in a long list of companies who make the mistake of following their own vision — like Porsche or Nike. Whatever happened to just fitting in?

Obviously, Apple’s excessive arrogance will be their downfall. Never mind that their market share has been so rapidly increasing for so long in so many categories. Or that Apple’s business model produces vastly more profit than those of other technology companies. Chalk that up to good fortune.

One day all the sheep under Steve Jobs’ spell will wake up and demand that Apple act more like other technology companies. Then at last iPhones can be more like Droids, Macs can be more like PCs and Apple can enjoy the PC makers’ perennial sense of economic doom. Apple shareholders will finally be able to rejoice in an investment that avoids such dizzying heights.

That’s the way it oughta be.

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  • Sara

    I just got off the phone with apple customer service concerning itunes cards that were shipped to the wrong address. The arrogance of apple customer service and the sales department was certainly beyond anything I have ever experienced. I was going to order two macs for Christmas – one for me and one for my son, but after what I experienced today – I would never own an apple product.

  • chris

    well i for one dont own any smart phone of any brand, and unlike you mr reviewer, i have actually found some weaknesses with their iphones. Now obviously the phone will have weaknesses, but you cant moan all day telling them to sort it out because they worked their ass off already making that one model. However, one thing i dont like is the fact that apple dont seem half arsed with the problems. They seem to take so long to register their “clever” brains into the fact that they have to sort something out. Ohh and they cant stop charging us for minor repairs, which were partly due to what they created badly in some senses. why dont you look at other brand of phones and criticise them, then level the bad points up against each other. dont just target apple all day, we wont learn anything. Criticise htc and nokia, then i might not buy a htc (hehe).

  • chris

    apple expects mutual intelligience of technology, and that is not a fair deal. Their job is to assist us in using their complex products, so yes sara i feel very sorry for what happened to you. To not be able to have a polite phone conversation is a basic bog standard mistake on their part. They generate billions every year, and yet they cant spare a little politeness? Guess they need a degree in manners, never mind freaking information technology.

  • Joe G

    If you don’t have an iphone, well, you don’t have an iphone. How arrogant can you get. Love is blind and the world loves Apple right now. Have a fling with old flame Nokia when you get bored of Apple Arrogance

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