Why iAm not an iDiot!!

22 Jun


What do you think of when I say the word “Apple”? Long gone are the days when it was just our beloved red fruit which induced Newton’s moment of glory. Now you have all sorts of mental images coming up –  iPod? iPhone? iPad? iMac? Steve Jobs? Such is the brand value and influence of Apple that it has changed the way consumers think, buy and even live. With Steve Jobs at the helm, Apple has grown from strength to strength financially and in every other manner imaginable with only a few blips in the journey.  But then it has changed in so many ways too.

The above advert is considered to be one of the best till date, mocking IBM and its policy to control the market and consumers themselves. In his 1983 Apple keynote speech

, Steve Jobs made the following comment:

“It is now 1984. It appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money. Dealers initially welcoming IBM with open arms now fear an IBM dominated and controlled future. They are increasingly turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom. IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control: Apple. Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right?”

Now think of what Apple is doing today!  Do you not see the hypocrisy stamped all over? Apple in today’s age does not allow platform freedom and tries to control the whole user experience. Its products refuse to work with products from any other companies and also it has this ludicrous forced process of syncing everything, every time and you are not even allowed to disable it. Apple’s products are an engineering feat, they are beautiful and each one is piece of art. But Apple never sells you one product; they try to sell you a whole ecosystem.

Apple’s marketing strategy in the last two decades has been to suck consumers into a nice little Black Hole. When you buy an iPhone, they always have some features in it which specifically work only if you have a Macintosh. You start off innocently and before you realise it, you are surrounded by everything ever manufactured by Apple, i.e.  iPod, iPad, iPhone, Mac and everything else they will release next time. Almost all the videos and animation you see on the web is made using Flash and Java and yet iOS devices are not compatible! Why? Because Flash is reluctant to conform to their restrictive Rules and Regulations. Apple have this egoistic aura about them, they force people to conform. It seems Apple is doing the same thing they were fighting against some 27 years ago. It’s some full circle thing. This time too, like IBM found out, Apple will start to get stale if they don’t bring about a change.

Now with introduction of the iCloud service, they are taking this closed system to a new level. Being a new service you can be sure it is going to make your experience with the iProducts more “seamless”. What that really means is that you cannot really use one of their iProducts without buying rest of all the iProducts so that you get to run the iProduct you originally bought. So now you need an iPod, iPad, iPhone, iMac and you need to be an iDiot who derives erotic pleasure by excessively obsessing over the same kind of products to sink in the iCloud rain.

Leaked images Apple's iFruit! According to Rumours it's EDIBLE!!

What iCloud does is nothing new, yet people react as if its dawning of a new era. iCloud basically wirelessly lets you sync all your files, photos and music  across all the iProducts. One of the most controversial features of iCLoud is iTunes Match. iTunes Match scans your entire music library and lets you download those songs on any other device by matching them on iTunes Online Store so there is no need to upload them (unlike Google and Amazon). There is no way of knowing if the song is purchased or acquired legally or otherwise, so all the songs will be available for download nonetheless. Apple has thus provided an amnesty scheme to legalise all your pirated and illegal songs at one go. iTunes Match costs $24.99/year –  the price to legalise all your songs!! Rejoicing aren’t you? Think about the music industry for once!!  Talking about iOS 5, boasting of 200+ features yet it is actually just playing catch up games. All it did was integrate functions which were provided by some popular third party applications and other OS’ (i.e. Windows Phone 7 and Android). iOS 5 has not really brought anything new to the table, which in itself is not a very bad thing, the only problem is that Apple is seriously late. Yet now that it has released iOS 5 it allows Apple a window to work on the new iPhone, till then they have satisfied the consumers with functions they should have had a year ago. This is one of Apple’s favourite policies, rather than doing something new and groundbreaking, they starve the consumers of some basic things. Like not allowing video recording with the original iPhone (this is really frustrating, you have a camera, but you cannot record videos), not having a front facing camera in the first or the second generation iPhone, not allowing transfer of files over Bluetooth (this angers many Indian mobile users for sure). These are some of the basic minimums you can ask from a phone you pay around $550-600. They leave out some basic functionality so the consumers will want them, badly. And then they either include those functionalities in the next Software update or the next Hardware update. In this manner Apple does not give you features for granted, they make you want it and then when you get them you get the long awaited orgasm; you get to chant “Hail Apple” and paint the town white.

These are the manipulative practices which make me dislike Apple. Yes, their products are really well made, yes their Operating System is good, yes their user interface and consumer experience is unmatched for. Yet it does not give them any power to control, manipulate and dictate the market and consumers the way it does. Being a market leader they are actually entrusted with added responsibility to be liberal and have fair consumer policies, yet they keep retracting from the other companies and try to build an iLand of their own. This is the reason why Android was taken to by people like fire takes to fuel. People do feel the need of an ecosystem which does not bind them into anything. People do like the freedom. History has taught us that all kinds of tyrannies do come to an end eventually. Apple eventually will have to change its policies otherwise its iLanders might begin to migrate. iChoose to stay away from the iLand, iChoose to not be an iDiot.

                                                                                                                                                                        

 In his free time Tushar Chhajed  bites nails, tries to not bite nails, maintains and attempts to improve upon his scoreline of 7-0 with a certain section of the society. To know more about his ongoing battle with nail biting, scoreline and about the blog you can follow him on Twitter or email him at tusharchhajed@gmail.com . He also writes on http://tech-rest.blogspot.com

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10 Responses to “Why iAm not an iDiot!!”

  1. Kunal June 22, 2011 at 5:46 am #

    “What that really means is that you cannot really use one of their iProducts without buying rest of all the iProducts so that you get to run the iProduct you originally bought. So now you need an iPod, iPad, iPhone, iMac….”

    Can you back this up?

  2. Badal June 22, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Yes. Totally Agreed. Though i swear by my ipod, i still manage to stay from the iLand. Not sure about the future though. Apple still might make too much money for too long.

  3. Aniket Potdar June 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    well, that’s the way they sell. hypocritical, maybe, but they’ve adopted rightly to the market. their basic focus is on the US & Europe where people want a streamlined end-to-end communication utiliity for all their daily needs. basically, Apple as a complete brand is meant for people who can afford – like you rightly mentioned – one iOS device to another.

    and the fact is, when you do have an Apple device, you don’t really feel the big need to ‘connect’ to devices from other manufacturers. yes, Bluetooth file-sharing is one of the biggest failing on the device, but do people really care much for it in Apple’s core markets. people need a song – they drop a dollar and download it. file sharing – they make use of ample other utilities like dropbox, box.net etc – no one’s really complaining. handsfree – quite smartly supported by the bluetooth functionality.

    and yes, for the first time Apple IS playing catch up with their latest version of iOS. but can the fact be ignored that they have been the trend setters for the past three years or more. android – despite going through four iterations in less than one and a half year – still can’t compete with the user-experience provided by iOS.

    android is catching up, but at least for the next couple of years, there is no catching apple. quite simply they sell beyond expectations.

    • Tushar Chhajed June 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      Aniket,
      Firstly Sorry for the late reply. Secondly the problem is not that they have adapted well to the markets, the problem is now they want the market to adapt to them!! You know the whole Adobe-Apple saga and its just getting messier if am not wrong. You say people dont feel the need to connect to devices from other manufacturers, but does that give them the right to force the people in not doing so? Why cant they have an open mind and an open policy? Rather forcing people into loyalty, why dont they have people buy their products out of choice and admiration?

      I agree with the point that Apple’s core markets dont really care much about bluetooth file sharing, the drop-a-dollar technique and habit to iTunes is again a core market characteristic. Breaking into new markets with the same strategy is going to be different. In other markets, iphone is treated as a high end phone and not seen so regularly as in the western countries.

      I agree with the fact that their OS has been leading for last 2 years, but i have also always felt its a lil lackluster. I find iOS boring to be honest, the whole grid view is generations old. But yes the app Store is miles maybe even galaxies ahead from others. I think Metro UI from windows phone 7 is really unique and is the way forward. And with Nokia joining hands with Windows Phone 7. I am really holding breath for 2012, because it hangs the whole market in balance. So i dont think Apple will rule the market for another 2 years. Though iPhone 5 will also be something to look forward to.

      • Aniket Potdar June 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

        that’s Steve Jobs right there for you. Apple is basically Steve’s mind. his character is reflected through the company and it’s policies. he, and therefore Apple, don’t want the customer to be independant. true that it’s not really ‘an open policy’ but still, in the end, they sell. and that’s what making Apple stronger. they are yet to feel the pinch from Android yet.

        “Breaking into new markets with the same strategy is going to be different.” why would they even bother when they don’t even intend on focusing in these regions. their step-motherly treatment to Indian and most Asian countries proves the fact that they do not intend on directing any of their resources to these places. maybe, just maybe they do realise the potential in these markets (note the instant ipad.2 launch here in India right after the International release – which also came pretty close on the heels of the ipad.1 release) but do not have any short-term plans.

        however cliched the ‘grid view’ and simplistic (yet brilliant) iOS be, in the end it was Samsung that adopted the core aspects of their OS in most of their recent devices to try and beat them. and hence the legal battles & patent wars. talking about windows phone 7 – it brings nothing new to the market & whatever it does is already stale. no wonder they’re naming these phones the Zune phones. Microsoft has a long long way to go to establish themselves in the portable device market. the Zune all but tarnished their non-existent repute in the portable market – and windows phone 7 has done nothing to make amends either.

        and why i feel Apple is going to reign the market for two years, in fact i feel more, is cause of this – after five years, Apple finally overtook Nokia as the largest handset seller in the world. five long years. no single manufacturer is going to come close any time soon. Android as an entity will surely outsell iOS within the next year or year and a half – simply due to the large number of manufacturers adopting Android. but, like i said, no manufacturer is going to end Apples run pretty soon – not samsung, not htc, not nokia, not RIM, not LG.

  4. anushreejazzz June 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    I do not agree with everything you said. First of all I think Apple has too many barriers in India, for users to get most out of their IExperience. Secondly here an iphone is not very expensive IPhone 4 =$299, IPhone 3GS is $49.

    Here Apple is a huge community of the youth, like everyone in colleges have macs, professionals all use macs, etc. coz of the wonderful inbuilt features and the very cool OS mac offers. Simple things like fonts, are above any other OS I have seen. It is a cult that deserves to be a cult.

    The only thing I hate that you mentioned is the new models introduced every year with really simple basic upgrades, making it impossible to remain happy with your IProduct for long, and live in a constant complex as to when you will be eligible for a free upgrade.

    But I stand by Apple as value and class for money.. .

  5. Aniket Potdar June 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    iPhone, $299 you say, but you’re ignoring the two year contract out there. $299 upfront + a minimum of $39 (plus excess for data) over 24months takes it over 40k INR. cheaper?

    one main reason why the Macs don’t work here in India is secondary software. neither is it easy to find cracked softwares & applications for those devices. indians & their computers thrive on piracy. INR 60,000+ for the mac, & then shelling out more for programs. not quite a luring offer.

    “The only thing I hate that you mentioned is the new models introduced every year with really simple basic upgrades, making it impossible to remain happy with your IProduct for long, and live in a constant complex as to when you will be eligible for a free upgrade.” that’s exactly what apple wants. they want customers to come back for more. ever wonder why apple offers free engraving on your idevices when selling from the store? to reduce the resale value. hence urging the second-hand buyer to go straight to apple to buy a device. Apple do just enough to please the customer till they are out with their next iteration, then leaving the customer wanting for more.

    Apple is absolute value for money. had a ipod video that lasted four years without a visit to the service center – until i lost it. have a ipod mini brought in 2005 that still works just as good as then. a third gen ipod touch that still doesnt have a scratch on the surface even after rough use for over a year and a half. QUALITY.

  6. anushreejazzz June 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    The data plan is actually only $15 for 200MB, since you can use wireless almost everywhere otherwise. Most folks I know unlock the iphone, (opensource still rules everywhere) to get free app downloads and you pretty much only pay around $40ish a month if you choose your plan wisely. That means it is still cheap to keep it here. Not to mention google maps apps actually work here.. 🙂 Plus its not upfront payment, like in India it is over a duration of a year.. People at povertyline here can actually afford to have an iphone come to think about it.

    With Sprint taking over 4G networks, I wonder if Iphone will work out even cheaper, I always feel At&t is sort of overpriced in family plans.

    Plus think about the sheer mobility. I never really use my laptop except for extreme circumstances like work, I basically watch entire movies on the iphone..

    Nice observation about the engraving I never thought about it that way..

    • Aniket Potdar June 24, 2011 at 8:28 am #

      read a post just today that said the Verizon network has over a million unlocked iphones. so yes, more and more people are going in for unlocking, but not for free apps. from what i have read, people in the US prefer to unlock their iphones/ipods/ipads mainly for customization, esp for the innumerable springboards available on the jailbroken market.

      the spread-out payment option is really cool, and it’s getting into india too as EMI. but not for the iphone, currently for the SII and the Sensation. but Apple will give in-depth consideration to such options only if they consider the region as a major market. and India, and major parts of Asia do not fall under that category.

      ditto about the movies. possibly seen the last two seasons of all major sitcoms etc only on my ipod. i have literally given up tv except for live sports. you simply cannot ignore or undermine the usability of these idevices. it’s just their company policies that people detest.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. iPod, iOS & iPhone – All you need to know from last night’s Apple Keynote! « As We Think Is… - October 5, 2011

    […] The new feature here is My Friends. You can share your location with any or specific number of friends for a limited amount of time. You can direct your friends to reach your home by just re-routing from your iPhone. They are obiovusly parental controls, so no freaky stalking allowed. Of course there is iTunes Match too.  The service which allows you to have all your songs on the cloud in a legit manner. The whole iTunes Match is explained in much debated detail here. […]

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