With the flurry of accusations going back and forth between iBrick users and Apple, I figured it is time I put my two cents in. First off, I did not buy an iPhone because I knew Apple was a company of control freaks who would enforce every term like the old Chinese dictatorships. Second, I knew that company would have a serious price cut right after its first go on the market. And yet, I completely sympathize with the iPhone consumer for a variety of reasons.
1. Bricking a product is a pretty extreme solution to a “violation” of a T&C (terms and conditions agreement). If for example, Apple is sued and they lose, they face either replacing every bricked phone with a new one (a huge financial lose) or writing a lot more code to fix these phones (if that is even feasible). Bricking is an end all solution.
2. People are saying the iPhone users need to stop whining and suck it up. J. Noah Funderburg, an assistant dean at the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa, said: “We have a free marketplace,” he said. “Buy a product, including using it on the terms accompanying the purchase, or don’t buy it. And learn to live with not always getting everything you want.”
It’s not about getting “everything” you want, it is about getting to own your product. Apple is imposing as many rules as it can to create a consumer base of slaves. These users have no rights, they just pay for the phone and every cost associated. If I spend, $400, $500, or $600 on a phone, I would like to use it in a manner I see fit. That does not mean throwing it off a building, installing malicious programs, or installing programs that changes the database structure, it means getting to personalize MY phone.
3. Apple’s stubbornness to control every aspect of the iphone will eventually backfire. Consumers will realize they wasted $600 on a phone and either: 1) they buy a new phone; 2) tell Apple and AT&T to go fuck themselves and buy from another company.
I own a T-mobile Blackberry. T-mobile is a sensible company because they know many of it’s customers travel abroad and they allow customers to unlock phones. I have never had a problem unlocking my phone and the customer service reps are very helpful.
Additionally, I installed the Zagat Restaurant guide on my phone. I had some problems so I called T-mobile for help. Sure enough, even though they didn’t write the program, the CS rep went online to see what could be the issue (we eventually resolved it). No problems, no questions.
4. Apple is fighting a losing battle. Every new technology is tested to its breaking point and then pushed forward to make the next generation. Because Apple is trying to control every aspect of the iphone and the phone service agreement, everyone who does anything to the phone is considered a hacker. Seriously, most customers just want to add some bells and whistles and most “hackers” want to see how strong the coding is and what can be done to make it better. It is a win-win for everyone. If Apple let hackers play with the phone, they would be creating softwares for the next generation (and that is R&D money Apple doesn’t have to spend) but if Apple wants to scare everyone, the iphone will truly become an iBrick: worthless, old, and outdated.
Apple always claimed to be on the cutting edge and open to new source codes. Isn’t that why Apple fought with Microsoft for years? The company did not want to be a dictator to its consumers. Apple began on the platform of open source and working to make things better. They wanted to be sleek, sexy, and ahead of its time. They were, until now.
This week, Apple set itself back twenty years and is behaving like a dogmatic dinosaur. In the Apple world, I will call them an iAsshole.
And we thought Microsoft was bad…