Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Apple-apore - If Apple were a country

I’ve been tempted on several occasions to buy an Apple product. My wife used to work there and I have a relative who works there so I have some personal connection to the company but I never make the move. It’s not because they don’t have nice products with great industrial design, etc. I finally realized why I don’t make the leap. It’s because the way they treat their customers, employees and the industry reminds me of my experience visiting Singapore. At first, it can be very appealing when you visit Singapore. It’s very clean, well-run, etc. but there’s the level of control that they dictate to their citizens that runs counter to my desire for independence and can be very stifling. Likewise, Apple/Jobs can be very controlling and vindictive. There is the well publicized move to ban any Wiley books (see Wikipedia article for more) since they published an unauthorized biography and then the time they sued a blogger. I also have read accounts of their DRM that has scared me away from iTunes/iPod. I also don’t like how they force iTunes on you when you download the QuickTime viewer. Finally, in an age of transparency, they operate as a closed society with only their emperor (Jobs) allowed to speak. Thus far, I’m willing to deal with some of the headaches associated with the Wild West that comes with the PC world as opposed to living in “Apple-apore”.

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