Aug 10

Agitated over arrogance

Didn’t realize I’d strike such a nerve with my recent post about Apple’s arrogance. The flood of comments gave my database a pretty good workout.

I thought a number of responses were comment-worthy in themselves. A few of my faves:

No one forces you to purchase an iPod, iMac, iPhone or iPad if you don’t want one … Purchasing one means you understand some of the constraints and some of the liberties inherent in the device. — Steve516
Right you are, Steve. We all get that Apple exerts more control than other technology companies. We also get that for most people, the result is a more satisfying, liberating experience. Lapel-pin versions of this comment should be distributed far and wide.

In 2008, Steve said iPhone don’t need multitasking and video chat. In 2010, these are main features. All fan boys just followed him 2008, just said hey why do you need multitasking in iPhone. — Vijay
Score one for the anti-Apples. Steve Jobs does have a history of dismissing an idea, only to embrace it later. “Nobody wants to watch movies on an iPod” is a famous one. And yes, many Apple enthusiasts blindly follow. (One day we must learn to speak without getting the script from Cupertino first.) However fun it may be to talk about the sheepish flock, it has nothing to do with the merits of Apple products. So this complaint falls under the category of “I hate Apple users” rather than “I hate Apple products.” Argument dismissed.

What is undeniable is that Apple evokes strong emotion. In my experience there are very few people who have a neutral standing on Apple’s methods and products. And that is part of their success. If you try to please everyone you produce policies and products which evoke no strong emotion, no attachment. — Haight Moar
Bingo. Both of these points capture the essence of Apple. Apple ignites passion, be it love or hate. It’s a level of public interest that is incredibly rare, and almost impossible to achieve by calculation. I’ll go out on a limb here and say you probably reacted differently to iPhone 4 than you did to the Microsoft Kin. Apple is open about the fact that they don’t try to please everyone — they try to please themselves, believing that what gets them fired up will get customers fired up too. It might sound cocky, but it produces better products than a focus group.

Hack your phones until they scream. Nobody cares. Just leave mine alone. It works fine. You can draw a moustache on the Mona Lisa, but that wouldn’t improve it. — Notablogger
Just as Antennagate is a far bigger deal for tech bloggers than it is for customers, so is the notion that Apple is manically restrictive. Customers fall in love with a beautiful device that does amazing things, period. It’s hard to convince people they’re being deprived when they’re staring at a library of 225,000 apps.

[Edited for English] The lens in your observatory is of colored glass, rather than a pure glass lens. It shows everything painted in some color, say red, and u see everything as reddish. You cannot see the truth. And worse, sometimes your observatory becomes blind! — kabeer
Damn, you caught me red-handed. There I go seeing things through that annoying lens of my own experience. Surely things would be simpler if I could suppress my time working with executive teams at Apple, Dell, Intel, IBM, Compaq and others, or those long days toiling on both PCs and Macs. Maybe then the truth would be revealed!

Just because a business practice makes stock prices go up does not mean it is the best practice. There is far more involved in the thriving of the human race than profit-making. — Barry
Very true, Barry. But you direct your criticism at the wrong company. Any self-respecting Apple detractor will laugh at the notion, but Apple does have a different philosophy about profit. They’re guided by the belief that if they focus on making great products, profit will naturally result. Most companies find it impossible to move profit down a notch in the priority list.

What do you haters want? … You want us to admit Apple isn’t perfect? I admit, they screw up sometimes. — Vent
Yep, Apple has made mistakes. Some have been whoppers. But if you live in fear of making a mistake, you’ll never do anything great. Most companies are so constrained by processes set up to prevent failure, and so unwilling to accept risk, they rarely create world-changing products.

There is barely anything new – Just bringing everyday technology to the unaware masses. So yea, I kinda agree that they’re a sales company, not really a leading tech place. — Raghav
How many times have we heard this one before. How simple it is to do what Apple does. They don’t invent anything, they just—

Hey, wait a second. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before. If Apple can make billions of dollars simply by bringing everyday technology to the unaware, why don’t we just start a company and do the same thing? How hard can that be? We’ll be rich! Who’s with me?

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  • Would we have it any other way? What would the tech world be without the Apple haters’ cantankerous spittle?

  • daniel

    if this continues we will reach the singularity…comments on your comments about comments directed at you…

    on vijay — look at the numbers of iPhone purchases by non-Mac users. That shows a large number of non-sheep

    on raghav — can you please work on bringing the stuf DARPA is doing to the masses? those new quadcopter things would be awesome for my morning commute

  • seweryn

    @raghav – everyday technology is by definition one that is being used by the masses, otherwise it’s not “everyday”, unless you consider only tech-saavy users as the population of interest.
    +1 for the quadcopter from DARPA.

  • I wouldn’t say Apple fans “blindly” follow.

    It’s more like the technology won’t work AT THAT TIME at a reasonable price. Otherwise, why aren’t the feature and spec based companies making any money?

    It’s like saying we can’t build a portable hologram into the iPhone right now, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible IN THE FUTURE.