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Technology (Apple) Businesses Apple Technology

Apple Platform Lock-Ins, A 3rd Party Dev's Opinion 411

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-sir-i-don't-like-it dept.
Iftekhar writes "Wil Shipley, of Delicious Monster fame, has written a very candid essay on what he perceives as Apple's growing trend toward platform lock-ins. He writes: 'Why is the iPhone locked to a single carrier, so I can't travel internationally with it? There's really only one viable reason: Apple wanted a share of the carrier's profits, which meant giving AT&T an exclusive deal. Which meant, we get screwed so Apple can make more money. It's that simple. [...] As Apple gets more and more of its revenue from non-Mac devices, they are also getting more and more of their revenue from devices that simply exclude third parties. Consumers suffer from this. We suffer from increased prices and decreased competition and innovation. We suffer so Apple can make a few more bucks, when Apple is clearly not hurting for money.'"
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Apple Platform Lock-Ins, A 3rd Party Dev's Opinion

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  • by ZipR (584654) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:43AM (#20719465)
    Apple is a company that's trying to maximize its profits? Wha????
    • by weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:47AM (#20719505) Journal
      It could be argued that alternatives (some being less "harmful" to consumer) would actually be better at maximizing profits, than using lock-ins.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 16K Ram Pack (690082)
        It's not just about profits today as profits tomorrow. Treat customers with contempt and you might be able to get a few more bucks out of them this time, but next time, they'll go elsewhere.
        • by joto (134244) on Monday September 24, 2007 @01:41AM (#20725503)

          It's not just about profits today as profits tomorrow. Treat customers with contempt and you might be able to get a few more bucks out of them this time, but next time, they'll go elsewhere.

          Actually, modern business practices are exactly the opposite of what you preach. The important thing is the bottom line. Money you earn now can be accounted for, and are proof to your stockholders that you are successful. Money earned later is hypothetical money, and must be viewed just as any other investment. If banks wouldn't lend you money for such an investment, there's little reason to assume stockholders would.

          Also, if you treat your customers good, you are wasting money on already satisfied customers. What you should do, is to treat your loyal customers like crap. If some customers are getting so dissatisfied that it's likely they switch, you throw them a bone or two, as long as it's not more than what you would loose if they switched. Thus, paradoxically, the worst customers gets the best treatment, which feels "wrong", but quite certainly maximizes what's important: profit!

          Apple has understood this for a long time. Apples loyal customers, or "fanboys" aren't loyal because they get good treatment from Apple. They are loyal because they (a) actually like the products, (b) see Apple as a fashion statement, (c) prefer to vote for the underdog, or (d) are graphic designers.

    • by Divebus (860563) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:51AM (#20720037)

      Customers are suffering? I've been suffering under Apple for many years and intend to continue, if you call that suffering.

      iPod: Show me another company that develops an enormously popular product then continuously replaces it with major functional extensions and increasingly sexy devices in the face of almost no competition.


      Show me another company with this kind of popular product that doesn't try to leverage the RIAA against its customers. If it was up to any other company, we'd be paying between $2.50 and $4.50 for legal music downloads and be able to listen to them three times - just like the RIAA wants. Oh... wait... no, we'd be getting music from all the torrent sites instead. All of it.


      If anything, Apple is holding the prices down for mainstream music and allowing fair use of music like no other company - and at the same time showing the music industry how to keep EVERYONE from stealing from them. Apple is helping the artists in spite of the RIAA "cut open the golden goose" business model. They even host buckets of indie labels on ITMS.


      However, the original model of encrypted music downloads is now harming the ability to move directly to other music playing devices. That's changing too - if only the record labels would lift the contractual requirement of encryption. Meanwhile, exercise your ability to move the music around with the pathways supplied by Apple in spite of the RIAA protests.


      Even sticking to their guns in the computer industry, Apple is slowly getting noticed as a better choice than Windows. They could have sold out to the mainstream Lemmings but OS X users are almost universally much happier with their machines than Windows users. It's all about principal.

      Customers suffering indeed.

      • by drcagn (715012) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @12:59PM (#20720563) Homepage
        Note: I am a huge Apple user; my music player is an iPod, my laptop is a MacBook, and I've stopped building custom PCs so I could buy Apple hardware.

        The iPod is a great mp3 player, but the reason Apple continues to innovate (which it hardly has, except in the case of the iPhone) is not from the kindness of The Steve's heart. Apple does have competition: itself, and if Apple wants to keep selling iPods, it has to innovate against its last generation of players. Oh, and trust me, if we were still stuck in iPod generations of the past, such as before the photo/video support and color screen, there would have been a real "iPod Killer" already.

        Apple has kept prices down and the MAFIAA at bay because its in their advantage if they do. They would prefer to sell a lot of cheap music and make less money per song than they would to sell expensive music, make a little money, pay off the MAFIAA, and then have their music store bomb because of the prices.

        Apple in my opinion is a much better choice than Windows or Linux. I've been on Windows since 3.11, I switched to Mandrake Linux and Gentoo Linux for months, and I had used OS X for months. I eventually switched to OS X and I think OS X makes it worthwhile to stick around with Apple's little annoyances. Yes, Apple is expensive, but if you pay, it Just Works, and that's something I haven't seen anywhere else. But I'm not going to defend some of the shifty shit that they do to make us pay more or lock us in.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851)

        Customers are suffering? I've been suffering under Apple for many years and intend to continue, if you call that suffering.

        iPod: Show me another company that develops an enormously popular product then continuously replaces it with major functional extensions and increasingly sexy devices in the face of almost no competition.

        They don't have a choice, if they were putting out rock solid devices the way that their competition does, they'd have no way of continuing to sell more iPods each quarter. Presently they have around 70%, I believe, of the mp3 player market, if they were to only focus on selling to new customers, they would only have 30% or so of the market to deal with.

        On the other hand, a manufacturer with 20% market share, can make a good product that is solid, reliable and requires little servicing, and still be able t

        • by DECS (891519) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @02:53PM (#20721441) Homepage Journal
          "If you think that people would pay $2.50 for a track, you would be wrong."

          Ever hear about the multibillion dollar ringtone business? Sprint charges $2.50 for a song CLIP that expires after a few months. Verizon charges $3 for the same thing, but they last for a whole year. Verizon uses Microsoft's DRM to accomplish this.

          Had the music industry not been blindsided by Apple's iPod, your Creative Zen and the rest of the Microsoft PlaysForSure players would have weened the world off MP3s years ago and made certain that all commercial popular music was only available in WMA format, which expired at the content providers whim, and was offered for sale at whatever price the high end of the market might bear.

          As for comparing the Mac to the Zune, go back to math class and learn about how percentages are not comparable between numbers. The Zune claims ~3% of the US retail MP3 player market. Apple has 3% of the worldwide market for all servers/desktop computers, a market that is 70 times larger. That's why Apple still makes more money from its 3% share in PCs than its 70% share in players with the iPod.

          Also notice that Apple just grabbed 1.5% of the smartphone market in its debut month, outselling every other model, eclipsing Palm entirely, nearly matching RIM, and biting out a chunk roughly half of Microsoft's entire Windows Mobile licensee pool.

          You might like your Creative Zen, but the company is only a follower behind Microsoft, and supported the plan to homogenize the world being one absolute DRM dictator. It's in your own interests that Apple kicked Microsoft's ass, because otherwise your CDs would have WMA files on them and the only download stores would be Urge and Walmart and other MediaNet supplied DRM subscriptions.

          Forbes Prints Insanely Self Serving Attack on iTunes by MediaNet CEO Alan McGlade [roughlydrafted.com]
          Forbes, best known to many readers as the soapbox Daniel Lyons used to promote--perhaps unwittingly--a pro-Microsoft agenda backing SCO and vilifying Linux and open source, has taken another opportunity to present outrageously false information serving the interests of Microsoft: an impassioned outcry of rage over the success of iTunes.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Kalriath (849904)

            You might like your Creative Zen, but the company is only a follower behind Microsoft, and supported the plan to homogenize the world being one absolute DRM dictator. It's in your own interests that Apple kicked Microsoft's ass, because otherwise your CDs would have WMA files on them and the only download stores would be Urge and Walmart and other MediaNet supplied DRM subscriptions.

            Oh bullshit. In case you weren't aware, there are TWO versions of the Firmware for the Creative Zen. One supports DRMed files, the other does not. If you don't like DRM, choose the "non-PlaysForSure" firmware and your Creative Zen will happily play MP3, UNPROTECTED ONLY WMV, and whatever else it supports (I can't find two places that agree on what the supported formats ARE).

            Apple is not the be-all-and-end-all of everything. Quit posting your bullshit. Apple is a semi-decent company that makes some awe

            • by DDLKermit007 (911046) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @08:57PM (#20723735)
              Yes, because the general populous knows how to flash their DAP to a 2ndary firmware (that should have been there in the first place) to make their current music library work. Guess how many people have to do that for the iPod? ZERO...It, just, works!
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by FLEB (312391)
            You might like your Creative Zen, but the company is only a follower behind Microsoft, and supported the plan to homogenize the world being one absolute DRM dictator. It's in your own interests that Apple kicked Microsoft's ass, because otherwise your CDs would have WMA files on them and the only download stores would be Urge and Walmart and other MediaNet supplied DRM subscriptions.

            This makes no sense. What's the incentive for Creative, or any other hardware-maker, to omit easily-implementable, ubiquitous,
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by DECS (891519)
              Why would Creative omit support for open standards? Because as a licensee to Windows Media hardware and software, Microsoft would have the leverage to demand it.

              You might as well wonder out loud why PC makers don't offer free operating systems on their PCs, since it would please customers and offer attractive options to Windows.

              Have any PC makers worried too much about alienating consumers? No, they're only worried about pushing whatever Microsoft sells them. Look how many failures they've trotted out with
        • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @02:58PM (#20721481)

          I suffered through your (possibly anti-Apple) ramblings which had a premise that Apple makes inferior products and therefore must lock-in their current market share while trying to attract new converts. I digested your made up statistics and your conspiracy theories, but quite frankly you keep contradicting yourself. Either Apple has a lock with iTunes OR there are alternatives that are available. You even mention Zune which is another alternative to use.

          So just when I thought that you are a person that thinks Apple products are junk, you blow me away with the following:

          While I do agree that Apple computers are of great quality, the fact that I went with something else rather than a Mac should speak volumes about the way this competition is shaping up.

          So basically you like the "great quality" of an Apple computer, but you are too cheap to spend money on one and you disregard Apple's growing market share and assume everybody is as cheap as you are.

          So let me try to decode your comments above:

          1. You are happy with your current MP3 player, and see no need for any of the bells and whistles that an iPod may have.

          2. Since you have no need for those additional features, you assume no one else desires them either.

          3. You have the personal opinion that Apple makes an inferior product or at least imply that Apple products are inferior.

          4. People other than you buy an iPod and are happy with them, but since you question the quality of an iPod, you assume some lock-in or at least mind control exists.

          5. Price per song is important to you, and you feel comfortable with the fact that price is important to everyone else.

          6. You acknowledge that Apple knows that price is important to everyone, since this is why they try to keep prices at $0.99 per song.

          7. You acknowledge that Apple is not alone with its iTunes services. There are alternatives for independent musicians and you even mention Microsoft Zune.

          8. You discovered that, just like iTunes, Microsoft Media Player allows you to burn CD tracks.

          9. That Apple has a market share inverse proportional to Microsoft. Being that Apple has great market share of music players and a small but growing market share for desktops, and Microsoft has a great market share of desktop machines and a small market share for music players.

          10. Despite your feelings expressed in #3, you really think Apple computers are great but you are too cheap to buy one.

          11. You have the opinion that others are as cheap as you are.

          Did I interpret everything correctly?

    • But "vision" does. Shipley touches on this before he gets lost in some other details.

      A lot of commentators seemed to have missed this part of the article:

      I know Steve Jobs; he's actually amazingly like my old business partner Mike Matas. They both love closed systems, for a simple reason -- they both know they're smarter than anyone else on the planet, and they don't need anyone else mucking up their systems.

      A kinder way of phrasing this point of view might have been to say that Jobs probably thinks as much

  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:43AM (#20719467) Homepage
    What an astute essay! Of course, it's about 20 years late, but hey, better late than never, huh?

    Apple has been actively engaging in hardware/software lock-in for 20+ years. Nothing has changed other than this one particular person has started to remove his head from his ass. Yippee.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695)
      So does most any other company in existence. This isnt an 'Apple thing'.

      The good news is that Apple has always made good products. ( well the Apple III not withstanding, everyone gets to make a mistake every so often :) )
    • by krbvroc1 (725200)
      Yeah, like this is supposed to be new? Apple has always been like this. It is their model, it is how they operate, it is their corporate culture. I remember back in the day when Apple was suing clone manufacturers and it was the same mentality. At the time I had to decide where to spend my money and how to get the best value. I ended up going with a clone manufacturer called Compaq. It allowed me to buy ISA cards or modems from multiple vendors versus the proposition of high priced single source lock-in wit
    • Having your own hw/sw ecosystem is different from lock-in, so I'd agree with you but only for the latest developments with the ipod, closing back the kernel, getting rid of openfirmware (which booted linux very fine even from firewire which is cool) and some not very nice behavior in the past (like sherlock being a rip off of some 3rd party apps with no recognition).

      Apple seems like Fiat: a good model, then years towards bankrupcy, then another model that saves the day, then back to sleep. The one time a mo
  • Still... (Score:5, Informative)

    by fyngyrz (762201) * on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:45AM (#20719483) Homepage Journal

    ...it's Apple's choice. No matter how dumb or greedy it seems. As consumers, we get to vote with our wallets and optionally grumble. Where I live, there's no AT&T, so Apple makes no iPhone sales here. I'd love to buy for my family — that'd be 5 units — but without a carrier, it's just a glorified iPod and there's no point.

    It does sting a little... we've got a lot of Macs between us and consider ourselves loyal Apple customers... oh well.

    • Re:Still... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:00AM (#20719627) Homepage
      It's true and Apple has always sold itself on the premise "buy this thing with the Apple logo and you will be a happier person! And you will have friends too!"

      For many people, the attraction to Apple ends when they find out that they can't easily do something that's important to them. For some, like those people who wear "Abercrombie and Fitch" t-shirts and never realize that it's just an ordinary t-shirt, are happy because someone told them they would. [Think placebo effect] (Yes, there is a tiny minority that actually use Apple because they are actually more productive in what they do with it...)

      But by and large, too much of the digital world out there depends on being inter-operable with the larger world which is basically Windows and software written for Windows.

      (FWIW, I don't fit into any of those general categories... I'm a Linux-primarily user... I work with Mac and can hack on it pretty good... I work with Windows because I have to. But when it comes to doing the things I want to do, Linux simply works better and safer for me.)
      • Re:Still... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by reidconti (219106) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @12:54PM (#20720543)
        Actually, I think it's the exact opposite. 99% of the population would be better off using Apple products, because they simply work better than the alternatives. Your perceived "lack of functionality" (which I would dispute, but that's another story..) doesn't bother Joe consumer because he's not an uber-geek. The very real lack of Windows headaches alone, makes the Mac a better choice for almost everyone out there.

        That would only leave the very confused Geek Squad-style geeks (you know the ones, who think they are computer geniuses because they work in the helpdesk) to muck in the registry.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mdwh2 (535323)
          99% of the population would be better off using Apple products, because they simply work better than the alternatives. Your perceived "lack of functionality" (which I would dispute, but that's another story..) doesn't bother Joe consumer because he's not an uber-geek.

          The 99% who aren't uber-geeks would not be better off - they simply wouldn't care, and would do fine on any platform, for that reason. A BeBox would do the job. Of course, then you take into account other factors, such as cost.

          (My parents recen
      • Re:Still... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Penguin Follower (576525) <TuxTheBurninator&gmail,com> on Sunday September 23, 2007 @01:30PM (#20720841) Journal

        For many people, the attraction to Apple ends when they find out that they can't easily do something that's important to them.

        Hard? Since when is a Mac hard to use? If you've been doing it the Microsoft Way for years then I can see where things might seem backwards to you at first. I've been using MS products since DOS 4.0. So when I "switched" to MacOS X there were a few things that I thought were strange. Looking back on it now I actually prefer the Apple way of doing most things. I keep a PC around to run MS products on though (of course I have to, my job is supporting the MS Windows). So I haven't completely switched, I just prefer to do things on my Mac.

        This isn't to say I have always agreed with Apple's products. While the interface of MacOS has always intrigued me, the underpinnings of the OS were lackluster in the Classic OS. That was one of the things to keep me from switching for a long time. MacOS X changed that (for the better) for me. I get a UNIX layer underneath a very usable GUI, and plenty of software at my disposal.

  • You know what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Icarus1919 (802533) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:45AM (#20719489)
    You know what? I'm sick of this sort of thing. Guess what guys, Apple is in it for the money! They're not running a charity here. Yes, they locked in with another company, it's their prerogative. When you create a product you get to decide if someone is going to exclusively sell it, that's the way it works. No one is forcing you to buy the iPhone. Yeah, it's a create phone, but other phones get the job done just fine.
    • *Cough* I meant great phone. Need to use preview more often.
    • Re:You know what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by astrashe (7452) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:05AM (#20719675) Journal
      That was pretty much my reaction to it as well.

      If you want freedom, go with open source. Write code for linux phones, support that ecosystem, make them better. But don't whine about Apple being what it is.

      • Re:You know what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by p0tat03 (985078) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @03:25PM (#20721701)

        I'll support Linux phones as soon as FOSS figures out how to design a good UI. I'm serious, instead of getting some halfway-decent Photoshoppers to make your icons, why don't you involve some real usability specialists? I really despise the attitude that some FOSS supporters have - the whole "well, the button's right there, n00b" mentality is what keeps Linux an arcade black box that no mainstream user will voluntarily touch.

        Linux needs to stop being feature upgrades and start becoming more cohesive. Why is it called "Synaptic" when it can be called "Package Installer"? In every distro I've used the OS has always felt like components glued together. This doesn't help Linux marketing, especially when a mainstream new user is supposed to magically supposed to figure out that "GIMP" = "Image Editor", and every freaking app has a "K" attached to its name. While I appreciate the need to allow developer freedom for each component, Linux will not be usable until there is a unifying body that can dictate UI design guidelines, icon design guidelines, etc, etc, for all parts of the OS.

    • by Vellmont (569020) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:21AM (#20719797) Homepage

      You know what? I'm sick of this sort of thing. Guess what guys, Apple is in it for the money!

      The problem is there's a lot of Apple fanboys who are slowly coming to that conclusion, though fighting it tooth and nail. These people believe Apple exists to make them happy, not to make money.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Frosty Piss (770223)

        These people believe Apple exists to make them happy, not to make money.

        I don't think so. I think they believe that Apple products are better than the rest and fill their needs perfectly, and they are are willing to pay the premium for what they consider the superior experience. More power to them if it makes them happy.

    • Re:You know what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:33AM (#20719913) Journal
      It's not about Apple making money. We all know Apple is a company, and companies like money, and I don't think many here would claim that's a bad thing. The point is how Apple is going about it. I use a Mac, and a large part of the reason for that is code written by Wil Shipley and his former employees. Without OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner, I would have a lot less reason to use a Mac. OS X is nice, but it's third party software that makes it really superb. Take that away, and you have a much less useful platform. The more Apple locks down their devices, the less useful they are. My Nokia phone lacks a few features, but I've been able to get third party software that makes up for that. If I replaced it with an iPhone and found it lacked features I need (actually, the iPhone lacks pretty much all of the features I actually use on a phone beyond making phone calls, but that's not the point), then I have no way of adding them. This means that I will not be buying an iPhone, irrespective of how shiny it is. This means that Apple has lost a potential sale due to their lock-in policy.
    • The problem is that people think Apple is their friend. This is no doubt a testament to their marketing skills, but the fanboy crowd really needs to get their collective head out of their collective ass about this. Apple is a publicly-traded corporation, with all the financial responsibilities that entails (i.e. they are obligated by law to act in the best interest of their profits). The sooner people get it through their head that Steve Jobs isn't going to stop by their house and do a couple bong hits with
  • by Oz0ne (13272) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:47AM (#20719501) Homepage
    Apple when dealing with third parties loses some control over the experience of using their devices.

    They want to minimize this. It's bad enough they have people perceiving the iphone to have problems because of cell service outages, ridiculous billing from at&t, awful customer support at AT&T, etc. Imagine if they were having to fight that battle on more than one front?

    It's silly, because it's not apples fault, but everyone (average consumer) will relate the bad experience to apple even if they are one of the more clear thinking ones.

    Since their inception, they've kept control of their hardware, ensuring a consistent and good experience on their computer. This is their strength over microsoft. This is their strength over Dell. They can give you a good experience and manage it. They don't have anyone else to blame!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by s4m7 (519684)

      It's bad enough they have people perceiving the iphone to have problems because of cell service outages[.]

      Right, because I blame motorola for my verizon service sucking.

      they've kept control of their hardware, ensuring a consistent and good experience on their computer.

      Silly me, after paying $1500 for the damn thing, I was walking around under the mistaken impression it was my computer.

      come on, fanboys. you can do better.

      Eloquence. [thebestpag...iverse.net]

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bemopolis (698691)

        Right, because I blame motorola for my verizon service sucking.

        Of course you don't — but you can blame Verizon for your Motorola sucking, once they've decided what features in the phone they will and will not allow you to have access. But that's not the approach Apple is taking with the iPhone (or really, any of their stuff.) It's the difference between the manufacturer saying "Here's how the phone could work, depending on what the provider will allow" and "Here's how a phone should work, and only

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Right, because I blame motorola for my verizon service sucking.

        Not to take away from your valid point, but maybe you should blame motorola.

        I thought T-Mobile sucked because they kept dropping my calls, then one day my Motorola phone died and I replaced it with a Nokia (whatever was free at the time) and I haven't experienced a drop call since.

        Just food for thought...

  • So don't buy it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by forsetti (158019) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:48AM (#20719515)
    'Nuff said.
  • by noewun (591275) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:51AM (#20719541) Journal

    There's really only one viable reason: Apple wanted a share of the carrier's profits, which meant giving AT&T an exclusive deal.

    Oh, Lord. Please point out to me the place in the U.S. where it's easy to buy an unlocked phone and take it from carrier to carrier, cause I'd like to live there. Then maybe I could cancel my contract without an early termination fee and sign up to another carrier without signing a contract. Look, Apple does some stupid shit, but blaming them for the terrible and non-competitive state of the U.S. cel phone industry is just plain stupid. We have, IMO, a de facto telecommunications monopoly in this country, and the reasons for that are a whole lot more complicate than 'Apple is teh sux0r!' The whole essay reads like someone who lives a fair distance from logic. And then there's this:

    But recently, well... the generous view would be that Apple's screwing up. . .

    No, the view among a small percentage of Slashdot posters and some people with blogs is that Apple's screwing up. The view of most rational people is they're doing just fine. Why didn't he just call the essay "I Hate Apple"?

    • by kamapuaa (555446) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:07AM (#20719691) Homepage
      In the US, you can easily buy an unlocked phone (Amazon [amazon.com] or EBay [ebay.com] are good places to look), and any carrier will sell their services without a subscription plan, although they won't advertise it - it's mandated by law. It's also mandated by law that you can hold phone numbers when switching between carriers.

      When I'm in the US, I use an unlocked cell phone bought in a foreign country, and a local GSM card, it's easy. The only thing to watch out for is that the US uses 850&1900 Mhz GSM, most countries use 900&1800. So make sure the phone is at least tri-band, or better yet quad-band.

      Really there's nothing difficult about getting an unlocked phone in the US, it just isn't well advertised. And really it's not a bad deal to get the phone bundled with a long-term contract, if you're going to have to have a cell phone anyway.

      • by noewun (591275)
        Thanks, dude. I didn't know how easy it was to get an unlocked phone.
      • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:32AM (#20719901)
        In the US, you can easily buy an unlocked phone

        Precisely what I have done with my last few phones and I've never had any problems using it on AT&T/Cingular. I also used to have a RAZR that was locked with AT&T but needed it unlocked when I went to New Zealand & Australia. There are two things you can do to get your phone unlocked. Simply call your carrier and lean on them a bit and they may simply send you the unlock code. Or you can spend $20 or so with a service that will unlock your phone for you. It's typically a matter of having a cable that will connect your phone to your PC and some software that you run. You can find all sorts of unlock services on the internet - just search for your carrier & phone model.
    • by tsa (15680)
      The problem is, they pull off the same prank in Europe now, and people don't even find that strange! Is Steve's reality distortion field really that good? I will never buy an iPhone if I can't get it without a SIM-lock and use it with the provider I chose.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Scrameustache (459504)

      Look, Apple does some stupid shit, but blaming them for the terrible and non-competitive state of the U.S. cel phone industry is just plain stupid. We have, IMO, a de facto telecommunications monopoly in this country, and the reasons for that are a whole lot more complicate than 'Apple is teh sux0r!' The whole essay reads like someone who lives a fair distance from logic.

      Right on the money, let's quote from our electronic freedom prophet:

      A more common phenomenon

      Locked cellphones have become common in North America as carriers claim that they sell "subsidized" phones in return for an exclusive commitment and long-term contract from consumers. While many consumers may like the opportunity to purchase a phone for a fraction of the full retail price, others would presumably prefer the freedom of an "unlocked" cellphone that would allow them to easily switch between carriers.

      Th

  • by User 956 (568564) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:53AM (#20719561) Homepage
    As Apple gets more and more of its revenue from non-Mac devices, they are also getting more and more of their revenue from devices that simply exclude third parties. Consumers suffer from this.

    I wouldn't refer to anyone that can afford a $600 phone as "suffering".
  • Translation (Score:4, Informative)

    by Yurka (468420) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:56AM (#20719595) Homepage
    Apple maliciously wants to keep all the money from their products to themselves, instead of giving some of it to me, the struggling developer. Those filthy rich bastards.

    Look, every purchase, be it a loaf of bread or an iPhone, is an exercise in weighing potential benefits of the thing acquired against the sum of money needed to acquire it. If for you the lock-in is a deal-breaker, don't buy. When enough people do that, Apple will listen. Before that - I wouldn't bet on it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Vexorian (959249)
      Yeah, although I would say MS just lost a huge legal battle to the EU for doing much less than what apple is doing right now with the iphone and most importantly the ipod, we are locked in a single music store, music manager, etc. It is monopoly abuse.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)

        with the iphone and most importantly the ipod, we are locked in a single music store, music manager, etc. It is monopoly abuse.

        You are not locked in to a single music store, you can use any music store that provides DRM-free MP3 or AAC files (e.g. EmuSic or Magnatune). You are, however, locked out of music stores that choose to use a format that provides music in a format owned by a single vendor which is Apple's direct competitor in several markets.

        The lock in to a single music manager didn't used to be the case; MusicMatch also worked on Windows. You could probably argue that it is the case with the newest iPods, however. Ev

  • by IANAAC (692242) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:57AM (#20719609)

    Why is the iPhone locked to a single carrier, so I can't travel internationally with it?

    It's called roaming, and you certainly can with the iphone.

  • by ArchieBunker (132337) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:58AM (#20719615) Homepage
    You mean the company's first priority is to make money? Say its not so! All this time I thought Apple was around to make people feel all warm and happy inside.
    • by bentcd (690786)

      You mean the company's first priority is to make money? Say its not so! All this time I thought Apple was around to make people feel all warm and happy inside.
      It appears to me that Apple is trying to make money, by making people feel all warm and happy inside :-)
  • by mfender9 (725994) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:58AM (#20719621)
    I'm surprised the essay doesn't even mention the worst part, which is how Apple is forcing people at gun point to buy their products, so even though there are all of those other options on the market, you have no choice but to be locked into Apple's platform decisions against your will.

    Wait...

  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:03AM (#20719657) Homepage Journal

    There's really only one viable reason: Apple wanted a share of the carrier's profits, which meant giving AT&T an exclusive deal.

    How does Shipley know this? It could just as easily have been that no mobile carrier would agree to allow the iPhone on its network (and to incorporate features like visual voice mail) unless it was under an exclusive license.

    I'm not saying that's necessarily how it went down, but it's well known that Jobs cares little for the mobile carriers.

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:04AM (#20719665)
    Because.... ???

    Look. Go whine somewhere else. You've made your bed, go lie in it.

     
  • by LehiNephi (695428) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:05AM (#20719671) Journal
    If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you're a 3rd party developer, then don't develop applications for it. Vote with your wallet. Nobody is forcing you to buy the iPhone. Go buy a different smartphone that allows 3rd-party apps.

    "Consumers suffer from this. We suffer from increased prices and decreased competition and innovation."

    This might actually make sense if this were a necessity of life, but this is a luxury item we're talking about. I give this a big fat "SO WHAT?" What Apple decided to do with the iPhone was a business decision. Business decisions are made based on the potential to make the company money, either in the short- or long-term. Making customers happy is only important to a company when doing so will help the company make money. If a company makes its customers happy but doesn't make a profit, its competitors will drive it into the ground. This is the whole basis for capitalism: if you don't like one company's product, take your money elsewhere. Besides, everyone was warned well in advance that the iPhone would be closed to third-party apps. There was no surprise. Now, if the iPhone had originally allowed 3rd party apps, and then through an update removed that ability, then you would have a cause to complain.

    But the whining I hear day after day about "oh no, the iPhone doesn't do [insert pet feature]! Woe is me!" has long passed the point of "annoying". Face it, even if all the current complaints about the iPhone were resolved, we'd find something else to complain about.

    The instant I heard "We suffer so Apple can make a few more bucks, when Apple is clearly not hurting for money," the article lost all credibility. Nobody is making you suffer. And so what if they have money? Do you know where that money goes? Let's see...it goes to paying all the people who work for the company. It pays the CEO a big fat paycheck, which he then spends on yacht, which creates jobs. Or he invests it, which means that the money goes to fund some other project or initiative which gives other people jobs. Money sitting in a pile does a company no good.
    • by DaveCBio (659840)
      It's the same cry for any "must have" product. If people feel some sense of entitlement and ownership of a brand/product they get emotionally invested. The 2 worst groups I have seen on the net for this are gamers and Apple users. Go against the flow with those 2 groups and be prepared to put on your asbestos jumper.
  • by also-rr (980579) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:07AM (#20719689) Homepage
    On powerbooks and macbook pros the wireless card is locked to channel 1-11. This is fine for the US but, unlike other cards, there is no way to unlock it when you go to Europe (where channels up to 13 are used). This can be a major PITA on a customer site... but at least a spare wireless card is cheap, unlike...

    Apple are about the only company that ship the very restricted form of DVD drives. Most will let you read the _data_ from an out-of-region disk, meaning that you can use VLC or another libdvdcss2 solution to play the DVD. The drives that ship with Apple laptops (since late revision powerbooks) totally block reads for out-of-region disks so VLC won't work.

    This sucks as it means that my legally purchased region 2 DVDs won't work. There is now a RPC1 de-region crack for macbook pro drives but it requires a copy of Windows to install.

    So much for it just works. You would have thought their testing would have involved taking one over the pond for a week of business travel.
    • by Wordsmith (183749) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @12:00PM (#20720105) Homepage
      So what you're saying is, it's only in America that ours go up to 11?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ratbag (65209)
      On powerbooks and macbook pros the wireless card is locked to channel 1-11. This is fine for the US but, unlike other cards, there is no way to unlock it when you go to Europe (where channels up to 13 are used). This can be a major PITA on a customer site... but at least a spare wireless card is cheap, unlike...

      My MBP (2.33Ghz Core2Duo) goes from 1-13 just fine, thanks (just clicked Airport, Create Network, Channel, 1-13 are offered). Can't comment on the DVD drive.
  • by CharAznable (702598) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:11AM (#20719719)
    As an iPhone owner, you are not Apple's customer. You are the product. The iPhone is a device that uses a shiny interface to deliver subscribers to AT&T, who is Apple's true customer in this deal. I've been an Apple user since 1986, but this time I think I'll pass.
  • by ErikTheRed (162431) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:27AM (#20719851) Homepage
    ... if you plan for it. I bought an iPhone for my wife (I kept my trusty Treo 650) and we went to Germany about two weeks later. Of course, I did call AT&T to discuss International rates and set us up on an appropriate plan for while we were there. I put us on a $6.95/month plan that dropped our per-minute fees by over 60%. I canceled it when we returned. Was still it expensive? Of course - our bill was a couple of hundred bucks when we got back - but that's no worse than with any other phone. We did know what we were getting into, though, and had planned accordingly. And more importantly, we could both send and receive calls while we were there - we both own our own companies and people have to get ahold of us. Ironically, her phone worked perfectly while my Treo had all sorts of problems (but to be fair, I'm pretty sure it's because of some frigtarded AT&T setup issues).

    If you really need to cut costs when you travel internationally, buy a disposable phone or rent one or use the old phone you've got lying around when you're in the country you're traveling to. Otherwise, remember the Law of the Seven P's - Proper Previous Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance (not to mention sky-high phone bills).
  • by Eponymous Crowbar (974055) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:30AM (#20719875)
    Apple took a risk with the iphone by releasing an expensive device with extra features that not everyone would consider essential. By taking the deal with AT&T, they probably reduced some of their financial risk. They also reduced their available market share since people may not be able or willing to switch to AT&T. I don't necessarily like their decision, but I don't think it was motivated entirely by corporate greed. As for the ipod, we all know the argument about controlling the end-user's experience in order to guarantee that everything works well together. Apple is extending that formula to the iphone. Like the ipod, there will be more and more ways to get around the limitations as time passes. It's cool to continue to call for the opening up of these devices because the payoff for a techie is huge, but it will take time. I don't think it will speed things along to resort to conspiracy theories or dismissal of Apple's motives in this case.
    • Reduced Features (Score:3, Insightful)

      by meehawl (73285)
      Apple took a risk with the iphone by releasing an expensive device with extra features that not everyone would consider essential.

      Apple took a risk with the iphone by releasing an expensive device lacking features that most people would consider essential.

      There, fixed that for you.
  • by Jeremy_Bee (1064620) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:33AM (#20719907)
    I find this article and the associated thread fascinating in that I am not a developer and until this moment, had no idea who Will Shipley was.

    Coming at it from that angle, I found him to be a childish potty-mouthed sort of fellow who seems to be crying "Sour Grapes" really loudly. I imagine that he has some kind of techie internet-based fame that allows him to write this kind of thing and come across as insightful? As an article on it's own however, discovered without reference to background or source, it reads like a bunch of juvenile whining.

    At best it seems only to state some very well-known "wrongs" and then just add a (mostly unspoken) OMG! at the end of each point.

    I am guessing that this article is really a developers expression of personal frustration, that a lot of folks here (also developers) can identify with and thus nod your heads in unison, but to the uninitiated it just reads like a bad rant.
  • We suffer so Apple can make a few more bucks, when Apple is clearly not hurting for money.

    I don't suffer ... I don't own a single Apple product, and haven't since I retired my Apple //e decades ago. Suffering is relative. Now, if Apple had a de facto monopoly on cell phones I might feel differently, but there is such an incredible array of competing equipment out there I just don't see the point in whining about one vendor. Consumers will decide if the iPhone survives or not: obviously Apple is hoping fo
  • "growing trend"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by m2943 (1140797) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:38AM (#20719957)
    MacOS was very proprietary, and Apple went to court protecting whatever proprietary aspects of it could.

    OS X may use some open source components and command line UNIX interface, but the administration tools, graphics libraries, development tools, primary scripting language, and user interface are entirely proprietary.

    Apple likes to create the impression that this is because their tools are better, but there is little concrete evidence that Quartz, Cocoa, AppleScript, Xcode, or Objective C are better than their open source equivalents. The main areas where Apple clearly wins are design, marketing, and out-of-box experience.

    Apple's strategy seems to always have been, and continue to be, to be as proprietary as they can get away with. Nothing wrong with that--they are a for profit company. But don't you forget that they are a company and do what maximizes their profit, not what maximizes your benefit. And don't you forget that companies are very effective at marketing and creating addictive products--Apple products feel good, but so do lots of things that aren't good for you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JMZorko (150414)
      "...but the administration tools, graphics libraries, development tools, primary scripting language, and user interface are entirely proprietary."

      ???

      Um, gcc is proprietary? LDAP is proprietary? gdb is proprietary? Apache is proprietary? Yes, XCode isn't open-source, but anyone can write Mac apps with just gcc / gdb and a bash shell. Regarding Netinfo and stuff, that's open-source as well. Aqua and AppleScript are not open-soure, true, but you don't have to use them (as if using them somehow makes you
  • As Apple gets more and more of its revenue from non-Mac devices, they are also getting more and more of their revenue from devices that simply exclude third parties. Consumers suffer from this. We suffer from increased prices and decreased competition and innovation. We suffer so Apple can make a few more bucks, when Apple is clearly not hurting for money.'"

    It's plain simple: Don't buy or let the Chinese or othe electronics manufacturers clone the iPhone then people like you will be happy. Shhesh!

  • Rules of the road (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grumling (94709) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:51AM (#20720035) Homepage
    He who owns the road sets the rules. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you want to play in Steve's sandbox, you better do what Steve says, or he just might smite you. If your business model depends on the whims of a tyrant, you'd better have some cash on hand to weather the storm.
  • by Quixadhal (45024) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @11:55AM (#20720057) Homepage Journal
    Back in the good old days of mainframes, people (companies) used to invest a large chunk of cash into a single powerful mainframe system. They were then obliged to spend even more cash to buy peripherals for that system, which usually were only available from the original vendor. Some folks grumbled about this, but those were mostly bean counters and management (who listened to the bean counters far more often than their technical staff).

        The technical staff generally were happy with this arrangement. Part of the cash going to the vendor usually also paid for a nice fat service contract which meant if your disk drive walked a bit too far and bent the pins on the connector, they'd happily wander out and fix it for you. Sure, it might take them a little time, but generally speaking they'd eventually get it right and things would work properly.

        It also meant that the developers could learn how the system worked in a few months and then be productive for many years to come. No need to relearn the OS every few years because an update was just that, an update -- not a whole wad of new stuff lumped in and a big chunk of old stuff ripped out. No need to write code to handle 5 billion possible combinations of hardware from vendors who can't even read an English spec sheet when they design their chipsets. You wrote code, it worked.

        Then the microcomputer arrived and the PC got the attention of the bean counters. Not only could you buy dozens of these little boxes for a fraction of the cost of that big lump of iron in the basement, but there were no service contracts to sign... and no need for super-specialized support staff. The company could hire the VP's grandma to do tech support.

        Thus the industry went through a total reversal of operating standards. We went from having single-source products which were well tested, reliable, and backed by support from the folks who built and designed the systems, to cobbled together bits of duct tape and bailing wire that needed to be kicked every few hours to keep it running. But, it's cheaper.

        So, you'll forgive me if I don't take you guys very seriously when you say how much you love Apple because it just works, and because everything meshes together nicely, but you hate Apple because you can't add anything you want onto it and make it into the kind of frankenbox a typical PC is.

        Apple made the decision to sign a deal with AT&T for the money. Duh, they're a company trying to make a profit. They probably ALSO figured if they only had to deal with ONE vendor, they wouldn't have to worry if their new iPhone gizmo looked horrible when Bob's Budget Cellz decided to write their own GUI to slap on it for their customers.

        In short... make up your mind folks. You can have it done cheap, done right, or done quick... choose two.
  • I mean, just because Apple makes a product, that doesn't mean you need to get one. If the iPhone provides what you need better than the alternatives, and you don't need what it doesn't provide... go for it. If it doesn't... get something else.

    There's no "platform lock-in" to the iPhone. If there was an iPhone SDK, there would be, but as it is if you don't have an iPhone you can get another phone that can still use all the same third-party content you could if you had one, and if you do you aren't locked into it. This is a different kind of lockin-in, and it's got nothing to do with developers.

    On the iPod...

    Now we see that iPod owners who upgrade to a newer iPod must re-buy the games they've already bought, because the new iPods are incompatible with the old. No credit given for having already bought an identical game.

    Is he talking about games produced by Apple, or games produced by third parties? I don't know, I never bought games for my iPod. I never even considered buying games for my iPod. Why? Because it was obviously a closed system from the start.

    But I did buy some software for my Palm, and had to re-buy some of it when I got a newer PalmOS device, because the older games didn't handle the new screen size. That's not Palm's fault, and I don't blame them for that (and not just because there's enough well-earned blame landing on them as it is).

    And I'm certainly not going to *create* a platform lock-in for them by buying an iPhone and crack into it.

    What should Steve do? Well, for starters, give up on trying to control everything.

    Oh, I can only agree, but Steve isn't going to do that, so my recommendation is to stick to the Mac, ignore the 'appliance' products, and have an exit strategy so you can jump ship if Apple decides they're going to get serious about making the Mac an appliance again. That way we'll never have to put up with 1984 being just like 1984.

    In the meantime, be picky.

    Apple needs to be able to say, "Look, NBC, you want to be dumb-asses and try to sell people crap they don't want, fine -- we're still going to sell iPods that'll play your programs, we just won't sell your programs on the nicest internet store in the world. Your loss, suckers, call us when you change your mind."

    I don't think Apple can say that. Because you will only be able to download those videos to your iPod on Windows: We're Sorry the requested download is unavailable. Downloads are only available to users located in the United States that have a Microsoft operating system and Internet Explorer web browser. Please check back soon for other offers.

    Now *there* is your *platform* lock in.

    I don't write programs for Apple because I worship Apple. I write programs for them because they have the best development environment

    Don't write programs for Apple. Write programs for Macintosh. You can't write programs for Apple's appliances.

    I agree with you, they should make it possible, it wouldn't even be that hard... it'd just be another target option for XCode.

    But Apple's decided they're not interested in selling iAppliances to me, so I'm not going to get one.

    • by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @01:22PM (#20720759)

      There's no "platform lock-in" to the iPhone. If there was an iPhone SDK, there would be, but as it is if you don't have an iPhone you can get another phone that can still use all the same third-party content you could if you had one, and if you do you aren't locked into it. This is a different kind of lockin-in, and it's got nothing to do with developers.


      His complaint is that developers are locked out, and thus customers are locked in to whatever Apple deigns to produce. Perhaps that's not quite the same as lock-in to Windows, but it has the same effect - a slow erosion of rights until you realise you don't even own your device. The same can not be said for OS X on the desktop.

      The real fear here (and this is voiced in the article), is that in 10 years, when the OS X platform is mostly about mobile devices, and there are 10 million iPhones to each 1 million macs (this day will come), only Apple will control everything about these phones, and all the 3rd party developers will have to find some other platform to use, and customers will have to take what they're given, or look elsewhere. That would be a real shame, and a disappointment for many mac users. People would desert the platform in droves. Apple has done a good job up to now of balancing their need for control with the needs of their customers, but the iPhone, with no promise of being open at all, isn't looking good.

      Oh, I can only agree, but Steve isn't going to do that, so my recommendation is to stick to the Mac, ignore the 'appliance' products, and have an exit strategy so you can jump ship if Apple decides they're going to get serious about making the Mac an appliance again. That way we'll never have to put up with 1984 being just like 1984.


      All it would take from Apple would be a simple statement that the SDK is coming next year, and people should be patient till then. That would calm a lot of nerves. As it is it's starting to look like hubris on the part of Apple, perhaps the thought that they can do it all themselves so much better (when they patently can't). The iPhone is the future of the mac, it *is* the future mac, and Shipley doesn't like what he sees, as far as software support goes. This is what Jobs said before he came back, I believe he meant it :

      Steve Jobs (1996): The PC wars are over. Microsoft won a long time ago. If I were the head of Apple, I would milk the Mac for all it's worth and then move on the next big thing.


      I think Shipley rightly feels if no-one speaks out, then Jobs will think it's fine to continue down this path - perhaps even try to switch the entire OS X platform to a closed one like the iPhone, and to hell with the developers (they've said that enough times : ). I disagree that Apple has necessarily made an irreversible decision on this, and feel with enough pressure they could be encouraged to change their mind. Pressure from people like Wil Shipley and potential customers.

      The main problem is - there is no device like this out there, and no prospect of one in the near future, so we have nowhere to jump ship to if Apple gets worse.
      • OpenMoko looks nice, but is severely crippled and doesn't yet work well as a phone, let alone incorporate things like a finger operated touchscreen and wifi support.
      • Palm OS is a joke which is no longer funny
      • Windows Mobile Edition or whatever it's called now is also crap, *and* is made by Microsoft [robweir.com].

      So for those who see this as a great device with huge potential, the attempt by Apple to lock this down so that they control it completely is foolish, disappointing, and short-sighted. Apple have not tried this on the desktop, so why do it on the phone? That's what he's asking. In short, this is a new departure for Apple (contrary to most of the comments on this thread), and as potential customers, we should speak up if we don't like what we see - it could be a defining moment for Apple.
  • by hhlost (757118) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @12:01PM (#20720111)
    Apple's just Microsoft in cooler clothes. Where does the personification of Linux fit in those clever commercials? Oh, right -- it doesn't fit in a 'commercial' at all.
    • by Bemopolis (698691) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @02:22PM (#20721193)

      Apple's just Microsoft in cooler clothes. Where does the personification of Linux fit in those clever commercials? Oh, right -- it doesn't fit in a 'commercial' at all.
      Sure, if by 'cooler clothes', you mean a shirt with the proper number of sleeves, and on opposite sides of the shirt; pants that don't have a hole in the crotch, so you aren't a virus magnet whenever you use a chair; and shoes of the correct size that, when you try to put them on, don't ask 'You are trying to don footwear. Cancel or Allow?'

      And, as for where the personification of Linux is, sadly those commercials were not shot in someone's parents' basement.
  • by nick_davison (217681) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @12:31PM (#20720363)

    As Apple gets more and more of its revenue from non-Mac devices, they are also getting more and more of their revenue from devices that simply exclude third parties. Consumers suffer from this. We suffer from increased prices and decreased competition...
    And this non-Mac situation differs from the Mac situation how?

    How many OS-X machines have you built with cheap parts you can get at Frys? How many run on low price/bulk volume Dell or Gateway hardware?

    If you want to use OS-X, general* consensus is that you pay several hundred bucks more for your locked in Apple hardware than you would for a comparable third party's hardware. (*note: Yes, there are arguments against this but it's still a very, very common belief)

    Have you ever installed the superior iPod interface software on a cheaper MP3 player? OK, so that's trickier than an OS install... So how many non-Apple MP3 players have you bought that have licensed the iPod interface, plug in to iTunes and can read your iTunes store purchases?

    Again, for access to Apple's prized world, they lock you to their hardware and then bill you $50-$100 more than the equivalent MP3 player from Creative, Sandisk or whoever.

    In short, Apple has always increased revenue by refusing to even consider competitors, meaning there's decreased competition and increased prices.

    The only difference this time is they've partnered with someone to do it because there's an area they have no existing business strength in. It's still the same basic premise... they just have funkier TV ads now that have made most of us think they're our cool friend and not the same business that's always wanted to maximise profits from us through a model of non-competition.

    On the flipside, they do get to keep using the [somewhat arguable] phrase, "It Just Works" because, unlike Microsoft's open approach to other hardware vendors, they don't get a reputation for putting out buggy systems when product X completely fails to work with product Y and product Z was never tested properly in the first place.

    By that rationale, they could equally argue, "Had we openned it up, we'd have to rely on carriers for testing as we couldn't test with every one of them. The moment Sprint or T-Mobile had a glitch where everyone's emails disappeared or a virus got in to the system that we couldn't lock out by forced updates, news stories would tar the iPhone's name as well as just the guilty vendor, people would see the iPhone as buggy and we'd lose our market share through something that wasn't our fault. We'd rather stay locked to something we can control, sell a few less but maintain our reputation."

    Whether for profits or for quality, it hardly matters. One has always been the claim against Apple, the other has always been their defense. Nothing's changed in far longer than the iPhone's lifetime.
  • by theolein (316044) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:33PM (#20722163) Journal
    Given how this thread has become an anti-Apple bitch fest, as opposed to an anti-iphone bitch fest:

    I have three Macs, one PPC Powerbook laptop with Adobe CS2 on it for compatibility with work, where they still use CS2 and two Intel Macs with all my development tools and my Adobe CS3 suite. My Macbook dual boots into Windows where I have Office 2003 pro for compatibility with our customers. I also have a Windows machhine at work with XP, Adobe CS2 and a host of other stuff that is very modern, but which I am using less and less.

    Why? I personally am happy with and use Windows, Linux and OSX, so why do I go with the most expensive option?

    Mainly, because OSX is, in our design business, the easiest to use, has the least downtime and is technically optimal for certain things. In terms of ease of use, Mac OSX is very simple compared to XP (or Linux). The configurational options are much easier for the majority of our workers, most of whom are designers, compared to Windows. There are many things in OSX that make a designers life easy, such as the Expose feature, the Zeroconf networking, drag and drop in almost every application, built-in spell checking in all text apps, decent built-in font managment and color sync. Added to that is that fact that modern Intel macs run Windows just fine for those of us who need it for office use or 3D work, and Apple's workgroup servers are many more times easier to use and configure than Windows or Linux machines.

    Another thing is OSX' memory managment and multi tasking. Linux is excellent in this respect as well but Windows really suffers when RAM is almost full, and page swapping begins, and multitasking in Windows is much less smooth than it is in OSX.

    Another thing is that almost all of our fonts are still in the old resource fork format, and although we have some very good font conversion utilities, those fonts often don't work properly on Windows.

    I really prefer Windows XP for smaller tasks as the application startup time and general responsiveness of that OS is generally better than OSX in that case.

    Winodws Vista, however, is a non starter at the moment, even though it improves many issues, including color synchronisation. Its terrible responsiveness on brand new hardware reminds me of OSX back in 2001. It has a whole load of a way to go.

    Linux is still, sadly, a non option in a design agency. Inkscape, the GIMP, Scribus, Blender et al are improving, but until CMYK and color handling are integrated and synchronised, there is no way that they will be of much use there.

    If I were doing anythng else, however, I would probably be using Linux and Windows, although even in major development houses, OSX is starting to become mainstream. Apple's Cocoa/ObjC tools are just as propietry as Microsoft's .Net. There are OSS versions of both (Mono and GnuStep), but neither are of production qualiyt which means that in realiyt, if you want to do cross platform stuff you either go with C++, Java or one of the scipting languages like Python.
  • by cypherz (155664) * on Sunday September 23, 2007 @09:20PM (#20723859)
    While I'll agree that Apple isn't perfect etc., and there have been some egregious mistakes on Apple's part etc., I'm starting to get tired of all these "Apple Sucks" articles, blog postings and internet comment rants. Why? Because most of the Apple Sucks stories, articles and whatnot are written just to get the page hits. The saying used to be "bad news sells". For the internet, computer and gadget intelligentsia, slamming Apple or pointing out a new Apple product's shortcomings sells.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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