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Apple, Google, AT&T Respond To the FCC Over Google Voice 326

Posted by Soulskill
from the honest-guys-we-cool-we-cool dept.
We've recently been following the FCC's inquiry into Apple's rejection of the Google Voice app. Apple, Google, and AT&T have all officially responded to the FCC's questions: Apple says they haven't actually rejected the app, they're just continuing to "study it," and that it may "alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging, and voicemail." The interesting bits of Google's response seem to have been redacted, but they talk a little about the approval process for the Android platform. AT&T claims it had "no role" in the app's rejection and notes that there are no contractual provisions between the two companies for the consideration of individual apps. Reader ZuchinniOne points out a report in The Consumerist analyzing some of the statements made in these filings, as well as TechCrunch's look into the veracity of their claims.
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Apple, Google, AT&T Respond To the FCC Over Google Voice

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  • the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @01:59PM (#29164869)

    alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience

    Isn't that the whole point of iphone apps?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:03PM (#29164917)

    Summary of this dupe:

    Apple is the bad guy who is preventing iPhone owners from using the hottest cellphone app, Google Voice. They flat out admitted it in the FCC response. Much gnashing of teeth and hair pulling from the "Apple can do no wrong. Teh iPhone is teh best thing EVER!!! crowd".

    AT&T has nothing to do with Apple's PR disaster.

    Lots of screaming and crying from Apple loonies and all sorts of kooky theories trying to make Apple out to not be the culprit "Apple is lying to cover AT&T to the FCC!!!"

    Android, Blackberry, and Palm owners not caring and loving Google Voice.

  • Dinosaurs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde&gmail,com> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:08PM (#29164977) Journal

    Just like the RIAA, the MPAA, and other such entities, the cellular and phone companies are dinosaurs of an early technological age, and they are holding us back.

    Cellular networks should, just like line-based internet access utilities, be simply network providers that sell access to their network from any standards-compliant device we want to use. Everything would just be another end-point of the Internet on a TCP/IP network, with different applications providing diverse needs: voice, video, pictures, text are nothing but data. Sell your consumers data transfer and connection capabilities and let us choose what we want to do with this access, instead of trying to profit from stupid things like SMS and infinitely complex plans: in the end, the cellular providers would benefit from this kind of system, as more uses would emerge out of the free-market system and would end up giving them more customers. Things would be simpler, access would be cheaper too. Everyone would win.

  • by speedtux (1307149) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:09PM (#29164989)

    What's there to "reverse engineer"? Apple already has a competing product, MobileMe / me.com.

    The difference between Google and Apple's products is that Google's product is free and isn't tied to any particular hardware platform and works well on many devices in addition to the iPhone. Apple doesn't want to offer that kind of product because they want to tie all their products together and lock their users in.

  • by rmdyer (267137) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:12PM (#29165005)

    How could Apple possibly know what "end user experience" best suits me? If I install Google Voice, then that -IS- the end user experience I want! If Microsoft pulled that, they would get dinged for trying to push out the competition. Replace "Google Voice" with "IE" for example in Apple's reply, and "iPhone" with "Windows". This is exactly why the iPhone software environment is poison. Apple should not be allowed to decide what kind of "end user experience" I want on my hardware. Yes, if I purchased the hardware from Apple for the "hardware experience", then that means that I liked the "hardware experience" over other vendors, but that doesn't mean I like, or should be required to use their software! All "computing devices" should be "reconfigurable" using software, thats why software exists! Not to lock you into some Nazi form of "I know best what is for you" mentality. Open the devices up vendors!

    Related: Buy the phone first, then choose your cell service vendor! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! Enough with hardware-cell service vendor tie-up aggreements!

  • Blowing smoke (Score:1, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) * on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:25PM (#29165095) Homepage Journal

    First, let me say that I do like Apple. I have a MacBook Pro (which I'm typing this post from right now), I have an iPhone and love it, but I don't consider myself a "fanboy."

    Having said that, Apple's statement is full of shit. Here's the story in a nutshell, straight from Apple itself:

    There is a provision in Apple's agreement with AT&T that obligates Apple not to include functionality in any Apple phone that enables a customer to use AT&T's cellular network service to originate or terminate a VoIP session without obtaining AT&T's permission.

    How Apple can say with a straight face that AT&T is not a factor in their rejection-by-indefinite-"studying" of Google's VoIP app, and how anyone could actually believe it, is beyond me.

    Apple is trying to Clinton its way out of getting in trouble by stating things that, while technically true according to literal interpretation, grossly misrepresent the state of *ahem* affairs. Did AT&T call up Apple and say, "Please kill the Google Voice app"? Probably not. They were proactive when they first constructed the contract so that they wouldn't have to.

    It says right there in Apple's statement that they agreed not to allow VoIP apps on AT&T's network. Google Voice is a VoIP app. Apple knows that if they allow it through, AT&T will sue them. They don't need a consultation for that. AT&T, in true "screw everyone" fashion, put Apple in the position so that if just such a thing as this happens (as it was bound to happen), it will be Apple that will take the black eye for it, not AT&T.

    Not that Apple is totally innocent, mind you. They foolishly got into bed with AT&T, and now, they are waking up the next morning and hopefully realizing what a nasty-ass bitch she really is. In order to get the iPhone on the market, they sold out their end users. If Apple has a brain cell among the people in charge of the company, and I really do think they do, then hopefully this whole mess makes it painfully obvious that it is not in Apple's long-term best interest to maintain an exclusive contract with AT&T, and that the sooner they can get out of it and sell iPhones that work with other providers, the better. It is the only way that they will be able to grow their marketshare.

  • Re:the point (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:27PM (#29165113) Journal

    Apple does have a "distinctive experience" but at a huge cost, like a Lexus or Acura or Chrysler vehicle. Apple charges me around $100 each year to upgrade my G4 Mac from 10.3 to 10.4 to 10.5, whereas Microsoft charged me *nothing* to upgrade from XP to XP-SP1 to SP2 to SP3. Over the last seven years using Wintel OS has been free, where using Apple's OS has been costly.

    You see:

    Some of us are trying to save money. We care about using aps like Google Voice which help save some cash, and Apple's blocking of this money-saving feature really pi - [bkspc] [bkspc] [bkspc] - annoys me.

  • Re:Dinosaurs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:33PM (#29165165)

    You mean, "US mobile carriers should act more like the ones they have in the rest of the world", right?

    In the last 4 years, I've been to 16 different countries on 4 continents. In every one of them -- except one -- I've had reliable, reasonably-priced access within 30 seconds of turning my phone back on after landing or crossing the border. Even in a village in freaking *Cambodia* where most people didn't even have running water, for cryin' out loud.

    Except one. The US.

    I have a Swedish and an Australian SIM card. Each of which cost less than US$ 10 and included a bunch of minutes and free or nearly-free (international!) texting and cheap and easy-to-get refills. Both of which "just work" every place I've tried to use them.

    Except one. The US... where they want 10 times that much just for the SIM and they can't even guarantee that it'll work in both Florida and New Jersey!

    (If you're curious -- Yes, I was stupid enough to lay out $100 just so I could use my phone in the US for about 10 days. And No, it did not.)

  • Re:babies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekboy642 (799087) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:42PM (#29165217) Journal

    why does anyone have the right to install whatever they want on the device?

    I invite you to study the concept of ownership. If I pay $600 for a piece of hardware, I have every right to do whatever I want with it. It's the whole point of buying hardware, honestly. If I wanted a restricted environment with no control, I'd rent my phone.
    That said, AT&T should have the right to block my use of the network if they don't like what I'm doing on it, but at no point should Apple even slightly get involved. This 'walled garden' concept is harmful to consumers and developers alike.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:47PM (#29165257)

    Android, Blackberry, and Palm owners not caring and loving Google Voice.

    As a G1 owner who happily uses GV on a daily basis, I have to say you're dead on about that "not caring" part.

  • by Reverberant (303566) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:53PM (#29165301) Homepage

    Heh, that's a funny situation for Apple to be in. I guess Apple is no longer interested in just selling you the hardware and a good OS, they want to sell you a substantial number of the applications as well.

    I don't think it's about Apple wanting to see you a substantial number of apps, I think it's about Apple not wanting the core features of their phone to be based on the whims of a third party. It's kinda like the situation of Office on the Mac back in the 90's when MS threatened to kill Office which would have basically ended corporate use of Macs.

  • by Egdiroh (1086111) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @03:00PM (#29165359)
    TechCrunch claimed that apple's claims were untrue. They did this by ignoring the little bit were the purpose of google voice is to replace your existing phone service. So while they are correct that the google voice app does not rip out and replace these features, using google voice logically supplants them. If your phone identity is not your google identity and not your provider identity then the apple apps might as well be removed.

    It's a completely bogus self serving argument. It's like arguing that it's not vehicular manslaughter because you struck a pedestrian, after all they could have not been in the way, so really they just used you as an agent of suicide.

    Apple's position is clearly that by letting google extend their platform to the iphone they would clearly gain converts to it, but without letting apple control that environment they lose the ability to provide distinction, and maintain their competitive advantage.

    whether or not, Apple's position has any validity is not is something that can and should be legitimately argued. But it should be argued at face value, not skirted around with logical fallacies.
  • Re:the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday August 23, 2009 @03:03PM (#29165369)
    Okay, fanboys, stop modding reasonable comments like the above as flamebait ... your bias is showing. Matter of fact, his reasoning is some of the same that I used in deciding to buy an Android phone over an iPhone, as slick as Apple's product happens to be. Personally, I don't care about Apple's endless pursuit of the perfect UI. I just wanted a powerful smartphone that would do what I (yes, I, the customer) want it to do, without having my options limited by a company I don't particularly trust. Fortunately, Apple's not a monopoly and I was perfectly free to choose something else, so I don't really care. It is interesting, though, that it appears that AT&T was not, in fact, trying to suppress an application/service that might cost it money as many first assumed. Not that I believe anything any corporate mouthpiece has to say, just on principle.

    In the end, I suspect that iPhone users will get access to Google Voice: Apple's just taking a little too much heat on this one, and GV is just too cool. Sorry, fanboys, Apple does not have a monopoly on being way-cool. Alternatively, of course, AT&T could offer something functionally identical to Google Voice ... theoretically it would be much easier for them to do it, given that they own so much of the network in this country. If Google achieves nothing else by this, they'll have raised the bar on what millions of people expect from their telephone company. That's a damned good thing: those bloodsuckers have been holding us back for a long, long time.

    The irony there being that the old AT&T was originally broken up, in part, because they weren't offering consumers enough new products and services. It took a Google to come along and start shaking things up, and not for the first time I might add.
  • Re:the point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @03:04PM (#29165383)
    But the updates between 10.3, 10.4, and 10.5 where more like going between Win2k, XP and Vista rather than service packs. Major changes, not just accumulated security updates, were introduced between each, as is my understanding. I haven't had a Mac in a right while, so I'm not entirely sure, but I think that's one of the major arguments. The 10.3.x, 10.4x, and 10.5.x updates were free but didn't introduce major new features.
  • Re:Dinosaurs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jared555 (874152) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @03:23PM (#29165519)

    Unfortunately the best option is probably buying a $10-$20 tracfone (or other pay as you guy) specifically for the trip to the US.

    It shouldn't be that way, of course, but typically at least then you aren't locked to specific towers, etc.

  • by speedtux (1307149) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @03:31PM (#29165569)

    Apple isn't contractually required to ever give an accept/reject answer on an app submission (G)

    No, but the FCC and FTC may require them to, regardless of contract.

    They don't have to reverse engineer it, they can just keep it in limbo forever if they want, it's safer that way.

    If Apple can't compete with Google apps on their own hardware and platform, they have already lost.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @03:33PM (#29165579)

    The agreement with Apple requires confidentiality with regards to the app approval process.

    iPhone developers are bound by contract with Apple not to make information available to the public about communications with Apple over the app review.

  • Re:Dinosaurs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @04:02PM (#29165819) Homepage

    Why should the US cellular companies cater to people that like foreign technology? Foreign cell phones are cheaper, more numerous in options, have less features removed from the hardware via firmware, etc, etc.

    The US cellular companies make their money based on contracts. When they can sell you a $50 phone for $200 without contract, or give it to you free with a two year contract, why should they change? They're extremely profitable right now. It's not in their best interests to change.

  • by g0at (135364) <ben@zygo[ ]ca ['at.' in gap]> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @04:13PM (#29165909) Homepage Journal

    If I was still using the Mac OS that I had in 2002, it would essentially be unusable. QED the wintel OS is cheaper (no money spent in 7 years) versus the Mac OS, because I had spend money to keep my Mac working.

    Since my time and productivity are worth money, the amount I have saved by using Mac OS X over Windows over that same period is orders of magnitude larger than the cost of Microsoft's OS.

    -b

  • by speedtux (1307149) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @04:16PM (#29165937)

    Apple's position is clearly that by letting google extend their platform to the iphone they would clearly gain converts to it, but without letting apple control that environment they lose the ability to provide distinction, and maintain their competitive advantage.

    Nobody is forcing users to install Google Voice. So, what you are saying is that if users have the choice, they will install Google Voice and not use Apple's services anymore.

    So, you are basically saying that Apple's "competitive advantage" is in propping up an uncompetitive product (their services) with a good product (their phone hardware).

    Just thought I'd put that into perspective for you.

  • by phillymjs (234426) <slashdot&stango,org> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @04:20PM (#29165981) Homepage Journal

    Google Voice stands to cost AT&T money. Apple won't lose a thing by offering it-- in fact, they stand to lose iPhone sales for rejecting it when apps for it are available on competing devices. In light of this, who is more likely to be the force behind the rejection?

    As for the argument Apple is putting forward, that is just BS. If I put GV on my iPhone it's because I *want* it there.

    And as for AT&T's argument, "Hey, look, we allow GV on other devices on our network!"-- No, it's not that they're allowed, it's that AT&T simply can't prevent them from being installed and used. Apple is the sole (official) gatekeeper to getting an app on the iPhone and under contract with AT&T, so it's clear they're doing AT&T's bidding here. I don't know why Apple is taking the lion's share of the blame by saying they're still evaluating it, but my guess would be some sort of quid pro quo with AT&T.

    The whole thing stinks, and I hope the FCC realizes it and opens a can of whoop-ass.

    ~Philly

    PS - Please learn WTF Google Voice does before commenting. It is NOT a VoIP application despite a dozen people saying or implying it is in their posts already.

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @05:38PM (#29166541) Homepage Journal

    Then you buy an iPhone and you jailbreak it.

    Since you did not do so, you have other reasons for not wanting an iPhone. But don't pretend they are technical because at the core they are not.

    Perhaps they were legal -- Apple has claimed jailbreaking is against the law.

  • Re:the point (Score:2, Insightful)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @06:09PM (#29166771)

    So to sum up your post.

    Microsoft likes to update rarely. This results in them having horrifically outdated products like Windows XP, while apple has Mac OS X 10.4. Internet Explorer 6, while firefox has 2.0 out, and apple has safari 3 out, etc.

    Conclusion:
    You can pay a bit more to apple, and have reasonably cutting edge, high quality stuff.
    You can pay a bit less to microsoft, and have a bit out dated stuff that mostly works very well, but sometimes is an utter cotastrophe (ME and IE 6, I'm looking at you).
    You can pay nothing to linux authors, and have something out of date that sometimes works incredibly well, and sometimes works incredibly badly.

    Take your pick, and stop bitching.

  • Apple, i.e. Steve Jobs, have always been psychotic control freaks. It's their strength and failure.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @06:30PM (#29166955)

    It should be up to the individual whether they would like to alter their calling experience. If they download the app and want to use it, clearly they don't mind that their iphone experience has been altered! Let them have the app!

  • by GCsoftware (68281) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @06:39PM (#29167047)
    Seriously? Another expense of what, 10-20 USD? Is your time is worth that little to you?
  • by Korgan (101803) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @06:49PM (#29167125) Homepage

    The GV app is still just an app. It doesn't replace any of the Apple apps. They're still there and still fully functional. What it does do is make them redundant.

    Instead of giving people your cell number, you give them your Google number. At that point, all your voicemail is kept on the Google service, all your calls are routed through the Google service to whatever phone(s) you choose to have the calls go to. You are no longer tied to Apple's Visual Voicemail (which by most people's accounts hasn't worked properly in quite a while anyway) nor are you limited to AT&T's network anymore. The same applies to SMS and so on as well. Use your Google number instead of your iPhone number and you can get the messages on any/all your phones rather than just your iPhone.

    The GV app also allows you to make calls out through Google's network. Your phone dials Google, then dials out from Google to where ever. With the apps on the various platforms, this is essentially transparent. You just use the dialer in the GV app instead of the Apple dialer. It doesn't sync your contacts to the Google servers as such. Like all apps on an iPhone, it has access to your contacts directly, so doesn't need to store them on the server. Not that it matters much given you can use Google Sync to do it, or even us iTunes itself.

    Having said all that, the Apple phone apps are still all there and you can use those as well if you want. But if you do, CallerID will show your cell # instead of your Google number. If people call that number, you lose things like voicemail transcription features and so on.

    I am basing this on the functionality in the applications on other platforms such as Android and Blackberry. I doubt the app for the iPhone would be any different in functionality, only in appearance.

    But no, the app doesn't replace the Apple ones. It merely supersedes them and essentially makes them redundant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @07:26PM (#29167347)

    Where I live (USA) these two words are interchangeable.

    No, they're not. An update is a minor patch. An upgrade is a new product. You might use them interchangeably, but you'd be wrong.

    I bought my current Wintel OS (XP) in 2002. I'm still using it after all these years.

    And you skipped Vista and apparently plan on skipping Windows 7, too. Big deal.

    If I was still using the Mac OS that I had in 2002, it would essentially be unusable.

    But you just said you were being charged for "service packs"--clearly that's not the case, then, since so much has changed in the intermediate versions that software is no longer always compatible.

    What you're really complaining about is stagnation on the Windows side--you didn't upgrade because the turd they shipped after four years didn't change anything.

    If I was still using the Mac OS that I had in 2002, it would essentially be unusable

    I'm fairly certain it would do all the things it did in 2002, and it would still run all the software that's on it, and it would continue to operate without demanding that you insert hundred-dollar bills into the CD slot.

    I always look at the bottom line.

    That's a funny way of putting it. Your arguments are contradictory, and your selection is inherently biased.

    Since 2002, there have been three major new OSes from Apple, with a fourth on the way.

    But look at a different timeline of paid upgrades offered by Microsoft: Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows Me, Windows 2000 (if you couldn't tolerate Me or 98 any longer), Windows XP. All of that took place in less than four years. Over the 7-year span of 1995 to 2001, Microsoft released five consumer operating systems, plus NT4 and Win2k, the latter of which was used in a number of homes. Each one was priced as a full upgrade.

    The industry doesn't move in lockstep. New versions come when they come; you can upgrade or not. Your existing machines don't stop working. You may not being able to get the latest and greatest software titles if you don't upgrade, but that's your choice.

    You just come off as whining. Nobody made you pay for any of the upgrades you did. In fact, you could have done just as well by upgrading to Tiger and waiting for Snow Leopard, skipping the rest without losing any major compatibility, and walked away paying scarcely more than the price of your Windows 7 upgrade.

    Facts are pesky things. Comparing a timeline of delayed and cancelled products from Microsoft that "spared" you the need to cough up some cash with Apple's steady releases that you were apparently "forced" to purchase by some black-turtlenecked bandit with a handgun is outright absurd.

  • OMG! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Cisco Kid (31490) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @07:39PM (#29167423)
    [...] it may "alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface [...]

    Oh no! How terrible! But what if THATS WHAT THE USER WANTS?!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @08:08PM (#29167603)
    I hate the arguments that somehow Apple gives you better quality hardware for the higher prices, when the hardware is the same as any Windows computer.

    I hate the arguments that Microsoft is evil for some reason, but when Apple does the same, it is perfectly fine (e.g. activation of Windows vs. activation of an iPhone, or how Intel had unique identifiers in their chips accessible by software, but when they do the same in the iPhone - not a problem).

    I hate the arguments that Microsoft is evil when 10 year old hardware is not supported (such as when Vista was released), but when Apple cuts support for 3 year old printers in Leopard, it is the user's fault for not owning the latest hardware.

    I hate the arguments that problems with 3rd party hardware drivers it is the fault of Microsoft, but when Apple has problems with 3rd party hardware drivers, it is the hardware manufacturer's fault.

    I hate the arguments that Apple never has any problems, but when a problem appears (such as not being able to activate a phone for hours), the user is at fault for not knowing the proper way of using a Mac, just plain stupid, or hate.

    I hate the arguments when Microsoft services go down for an hour or two (such as Zune last week), it is said Microsoft provides horrible service and it is a Engadget front page mockery of Microsoft. But when iTunes goes down (http://www.tuaw.com/2009/07/07/itunes-store-and-app-store-problems/) nothing is said, and it really is not a problem.

    I hate the argument that before the iPhone, the number of applications available for a platform does not make a difference, it is the quality of the software. After the iPhone is released, all that matters is the number of applications available.

    I hate the argument that somehow Apple hardware will last forever, but other computers last only a year or two (this argument is used in this very article). I am typing on a 5 year old Dell laptop, how long does an iPod last?

    I hate the argument that somehow Microsoft limits user choice, when many people use non-Microsoft products. But when Apple limits choice (such as installing alternative browsers on an iPhone), it is in the user's best interest.

    I hate the arguments that Microsoft keeps control over their products, but you need to jump through hoops just to develop for the iPhone.

    I hate the arguments that Microsoft releases poor products that do not work and you need to wait for SP2 for it to be useful, is MobileMe working yet?

    I hate the arguments that Microsoft does not deliver what was promised, Apple is just now delivering push notification - a year after it was promised.

    I hate how some say everything was invented, created, designed, or innovated by Apple first, and everybody creates cheap knock-offs of Apple, when there is proof of it being done years before by other companies.

    I hate the arguments that products such as Tablets, Netbooks, etc. are useless crap, but rumored products such as the Apple Tablet, or Netbook will be the savior of man.

    I hate the argument that somehow opening a store, something that has existed for 1000s of years since somebody found they could trade a basket of vegetables for a chicken, is an Apple creation, and from now on no other company is permitted to open stores.

    And, among the many others (but the last I will list), I hate the argument that somehow Apple is allowed to air commercials that lie about Microsoft and Apple's own products, but when Microsoft airs commercials that are true (a Windows computer is lower priced than an Apple computer), somehow Microsoft is evil and must stop now.
  • Re:the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:17PM (#29168005)

    It is very strange, isn't it? The unashamed Apple bashing continues in true Slashdot style.

    Not really. A lot of us (myself included) don't like Apple very much. Others (myself included) don't really like Microsoft very much. Regardless, when Microsoft is being correctly slammed for yet another gaffe, you don't see legions of Windows users rising up to defend them. So ... is Apple is being bashed unfairly? No, not really. See, Apple needs to ride on its merits (and sink on its failures) just as much as Microsoft or any other company does. The difference here is that pretty much nobody spends an incredible amount of effort defending Microsoft from its numerous detractors and point-blank denying their many screwups.

    Put it this way: Microsoft is a fucked up company in many ways. Nobody with half a brain would argue otherwise. Realistically though, so is Apple is its own inimitable way. Can't hardly be anything else, this being America and given the way publicly-held corporations are required to behave under U.S. law. The fact that Apple's fanbase is so irrational on the subject is more an indication of defects in their character and/or critical thinking skills than those who are doing the bashing.

    Matter of fact, if Apple's user base wasn't so goddamn hypocritical about the whole thing, us non-Apple people wouldn't give Apple a damn. But this eternal state of denial just gets old after a while. Too many Apple users are like the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

    King Arthur: Your bloody arm's off!

    Black Knight: No it's not.

    Truth is, they keep the flames alive because they just won't admit when Apple is wrong.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:29PM (#29168091)

    If you don't like it - don't use it.If you don't like it - don't use it.

    Absolutely correct. I didn't ... so I don't.

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:10PM (#29168405) Homepage Journal

    Well, sort of. This is a document where Apple is arguing about changes to the DMCA and is not a statement of policy.

    That doesn't make any sense. Apple wasn't arguing that the DMCA should be changed to make jailbreaking illegal; they were claiming that jailbreaking is illegal under the DMCA and under plain old copyright law.

    A "statement of policy" would be meaningless here anyway. Legality isn't defined by a private company's policies, it's defined by the legislature and the courts.

    If this is their sole/primary objection, I fault them in the same way I fault anyone who makes a big deal out of some minor thing.

    It's a "minor thing" that in order to run certain programs on your phone, you have to do something that -- according to the phone manufacturer -- is against the law?

    Of course, even if Apple's interpretation of the law is correct, the chances of any individual getting sued for this is vanishingly small. But you could say the same about P2P piracy. I wouldn't fault anyone for downloading a song from Amazon instead of The Pirate Bay because of the legal risk either, even though the risk is negligible.

    That's overstating things a bit much, though.

    Not really: Android and Windows Mobile phones are readily available.

  • Re:the point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mgblst (80109) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:51PM (#29168649) Homepage

    There is a huge back lash against Apple evidenced on this page, so much rubbish being talked, and modded up to 5. The Microsoft bloggers are earning there free laptops today.

    Apple isn't perfect, but a lot of the smack talk being spoken here isn't the problem.

    Apple release a new version of there OS every year, the next one will cost $29 to upgrade. You don't have to, just as you don't need to move from XP to Vista, as many of us haven't.

    So you have your phone that you want, congrats. Who gives a fuck. Nobody here says that the iphone is for everybody.

  • Re:babies (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:55PM (#29168677)

    I invite you to study the concept of ownership. If I pay $600 for a piece of hardware, I have every right to do whatever I want with it.Apple even slightly get involved. This 'walled garden' concept is harmful to consumers and developers alike.

    Note that you only bought a right-to-use-license that came with the hardware.

    He bought the hardware. Yes, bought it. If he doesn't have the right to do with it as he pleases, then he does not truly own it. He can put the damn thing in a furnace and burn it to a crisp if he wanted to, and Apple would have no standing to say anything about it. Nor, frankly, would they care, since they already got his money. However, in that device is some copyrighted firmware that has some license restrictions attached. But we're not even talking about the phone here! We're talking about Apple's policies regarding software submitted to the App Store, and the reasons why they accept or reject specific applications. The phone itself is largely irrelevant to this discussion: it's just the place where the software runs. Whether or not it gets there is the question.

    Would you so blithely accept this nonsense if it was your precious Macintosh that was the subject of Apple's iron-fisted control? Would you like it if Apple has the right to approve or disapprove what software you could run on your personal computer? I suspect you (and every other Mac owner on the planet) would rise up and slay Apple's management if they tried anything like that. Keep this in mind: the iPhone (and any other comparable smartphone) is not a phone. Not any more. They're computers, no more and no less, and telling people what they can or can not run on their own computers is a big no-no. In the corporate world, sure ... the company owns the phone, not you, and if they wish they have the right to tell you what you can do with it. It's even worse in Apple's case since, as I understand it, they require you to purchase the phone outright: it's not like the typical subsidized deal

  • Re:the point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VGPowerlord (621254) on Monday August 24, 2009 @01:40AM (#29169689)

    Microsoft likes to update rarely. This results in them having horrifically outdated products like Windows XP, while apple has Mac OS X 10.4. Internet Explorer 6, while firefox has 2.0 out, and apple has safari 3 out, etc.

    That list of web browsers is, to put it nicely, wrong.

    Browser release dates:
    Internet Explorer 7: 2006 October 18 (Windows)
    Firefox 2.0: 2006 October 24 (multi-platform), 2007 October 18 (OS X 10.5)
    Safari 3: 2007 October 26 (OS X), 2008 March 18 (Windows)

    Yes, that's right, the first Safari 3 "stable" release was a full YEAR after Firefox 2 was released, even on the Mac. Oh, and IE7 was out before Firefox 2 by just over a week.

  • It's a telephone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FranTaylor (164577) on Monday August 24, 2009 @02:17AM (#29169873)

    Didn't the FCC rule a long time ago that the telephone company cannot place restrictions on what a customer hooks up to the phone service?

    Don't tell me it's not a telephone. It is sold as a telephone and it comes with telephone service. That makes it a telephone.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:29AM (#29170451) Journal

    Your numbers are wrong, because if you were truly like me - budget conscious - you would not have upgraded your XP at all. I want to thank you for sharing, because I think this very accurately demonstrates my point, better than of my previous messages did:

    Paid upgrades (list prices)
    Mac
    2001 Mac OS X 10.1 $129
    2002 Mac OS X 10.2 $129
    2003 Mac OS X 10.3 $129
    2004 Mac OS X 10.4 $129
    2007 Mac OS X 10.5 $129

    Total: $643

    -----
    Windows
    2001 Windows XP Home $149.99 (still using this same OS)

    TOTAL: $150

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern

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