In spite of the marketing coups that Apple is making again and again with the younger people, I have no love for this company. It doesn’t matter just how cool or even how ‘technologically advance’ and ahead of the times their products might be, it also doesn’t matter if their products is more superior or that it beats competition hands down, I simply couldn’t tolerate the long history of Apple’s one dimensional, anti-market, anti-choice, anti-competition and monoplistic business practices and the hypocrisy.
A lot of people considers Apple as an innovator and a choice against Microsoft, but the fact is, Apple is as monopolistic (and even more so) than Microsoft. It is also anti-choice. Here’s the list of some of Apple’s anti-market, anti-choice, monopolistic actions (found in Google):
- a. July 1, 1999: Apple filed a complaint against Future Power and Daewoo for illegally copying the industrial design of Apple’s award-winning iMac computer. The complaint was filed in U.S. Federal Court in San Jose, California, and seeks to enjoin Future Power and Daewoo from distributing computers that illegally copy Apple’s designs, and asks for actual and punitive damages resulting from such illegal conduct.
b. Aug 19, 1999: Apple Computer has filed a second iMac-inspired lawsuit, this time against low-cost PC maker eMachines, alleging that the company has wrongfully pilfered the design and feel of its popular translucent computer.
Maybe Ford should sue all the other guys – Benz, Honda, Toyota etc – for pilfering the design and feel of the automobile too. What is there for Apple to fear from FuturePower or eMachines, unless Apple’s products is all just hype, and is just full of style and lacking in substance? Or perhaps, Apple just realized, that other than the design and the hype, that’s really nothing it is offering to users? Why is Apple afraid of letting the market decide on what they want to pay with their own money to put on the desk?
- February 4, 2003: A number of Macintosh dealers are suing Apple Computer, charging the computer maker with a host of business wrongs ranging from overbilling to poaching customers to stocking its own stores with new gear unavailable to resellers. Three suits have been filed in recent months by Apple dealers, including San Francisco-based Macadam Computer, Los Angeles-based Computer International, and Oregon-based MacTech Systems. The resellers charge Apple with breach of its contract and fraud, saying the computer maker hurt their business by failing to pay them for repairs they made under warranty, by overcharging them for parts, and by disparaging the dealers to potential customers in an effort to gain more direct sales business.
And did I mention monopolistic? Here we see an attempt by Apple to drive ‘competition’ out of the business with the above practices. It seems, not only does Apple not like users decide on which product to spend their money, Apple also does not like where users would spend their money after they decide to buy a Mac product! And if you think that’s the end to it, you haven’t seen nothing yet.
- December 14, 2004: Apple Computer has quietly updated its iPod software so that songs purchased from RealNetworks’ online music store will no longer play on some of the Mac maker’s MP3 players. The move could render tunes purchased by many iPod owners unplayable on their music players. Apple responded to the announcement of Harmony in a public statement, claiming that Real ‘adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod.’
RealNetworks issued its own statement in response to Apple’s accusations. The company contends that consumers, not Apple, should be the ones controlling which music files can be played on their iPods. And the DMCA is not applicable to Harmony, RealNetworks said, because the antipiracy legislation ‘explicitly allows the creation of interoperable software’.
Here’s yet another anti-market, anti-consumer action. No wonder one of the MacOS is called Leopard. A leopard definitely doesn’t change it’s spots. Apple would want users to believe that it cares about the users and is giving them what they wanted. But here it is attempting to limit where user want to buy their music from to put into the iPod. The message: iTunes, your only source of music for iPods!
Is it a surprise RealNetworks released Harmony? It was simply an inevitable outcome because RealNetworks has been trying to get Apple to license it’s Fairplay DRM technology to them for a long time. Apple has continually rebuffed the efforts, and Steve Jobs, while talking out of his ass, says that licensing Apple’s DRM to competitors will make it less secure. The fact: “Microsoft’s Windows Media DRM 10 (marketing name PlaysForSure) has not had more security breaches than FairPlay despite the fact that it has been licensed to dozens of companies”.
- January 06, 2005: Thomas William Slattery has filed a class action suit against Apple Computer Inc. in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging Apple is guilty of violating federal antitrust laws and California’s unfair competition law by requiring users who buy music from the iTunes Music Store to use an iPod if they plan to take their music on the road with them. Slattery’s suit cuts to the heart of an ongoing issue related to Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology present in commercial downloaded music.
Well, well, well. Are there so few people who realize just how evil Apple really is? That is why I hardly bothered with all the hype surrounding Steve Job’s keynote about the iMacs, iPhone, and iPods because in my considered opinion, Apple is a company which will become far, far worse than Microsoft ever will be if it should gain dominance in more fields. And just look at what it is already doing when it had dominance in just one field – digital music?
In fact, Apple has been screwing consumers from behind without consumers even realizing it. And surprisingly, by the number of blogs and articles hyping about Apple products that consumers are actually loving it! Victory for one-dimensional thinking!!
- February 6, 2007: Steve Jobs published a memo about the music industry, iTunes and DRM, the technology used to lock iTunes Store music to Apple’s iPod and iTunes Player. In the memo, Jobs said that ‘DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy’. and offered to embrace a DRM-free music-sales environment ‘in a heartbeat’ if only the big four music companies would let him.
* YAWN * Yahoo’s Dave Goldberg has long urged the labels to remove the restrictions, and Real’s Rob Glaser said that ‘DRM-free purchases is an idea in ascendance and whose time has come.’
So wow. Suddenly now Steve Jobs becomes the champion for anti-DRM. Then what was that all about several years back with Harmony, huh? And that’s not mentioning, Steve Jobs has a pretty obvious double standard when it comes to DRM. Jobs has made it clear that when he talked about the death of DRM we’re really only talking about the death of DRM for music. Of course, being the shareholder of Disney, he needs to keep DRM for videos. Just don’t expect Steve Jobs to start railing against DRM for video any time soon.
Plus the fact is, record companies have lost faith in DRM long before Jobs starts raving about it. And if you need evidence, you only need to see how fast EMI ditched DRM by announcing it’s launch of a DRM-free superior sound quality downloads across its entire digital repertoire less than 2 months later on April 2nd, 2007.
MacFreaks might forget Job’s transgressions or even eat his shit and say that it is fragrant, I just won’t. And I couldn’t because it is the duty of DGDD – Darth Grievous Dark Domain – to report this.