The hypocrisy of anti-Apple bandwagon jumpers

Mon, Aug 17, 2009


For whatever reason, it’s recently become chic to hop aboard the Apple bashing bandwagon, and while Apple has its faults just like any other company, Apple seems to be held to an entirely different standard relative to other companies who conduct their business in a similar fashion.

But why all the hate?

Is the recent Apple backlash a function of the high expectations people levy upon Apple?  In other words, are Apple’s missteps newsworthy precisely because people hold Apple to such a high standard?

Or, is the Apple backlash the natural reaction of the masses to a company who for so long has been painted as the purveyor of cool and hip products?

The answer, if there is one, most likely falls somewhere in the middle, but one thing we’ve noticed over the past few months is the hypocrisy that some of the anti-Apple bashers engage in on a regular basis.  For as much as people like to exclaim that Apple fans reflexively and instinctively praise Apple no matter what, it’s the anti-Apple crowd who, more often than not, blindly stick to their pre-conceived conclusion that anything Apple does is bad for consumers, and the result of some maniacal Jobsian plan to take over the world.

On that point, LowEndMac has a brief but interesting chronology of events which highlight some of the hypocrisy from Apple critics that has shrouded the company ever since it first announced the iPhone in 2007.

Initially Apple didn’t want to open up the iPhone to third-party applications. It wanted people to develop web apps instead. The funny thing about web apps is that they are cross platform – you just need a web browser and the Internet. (Can anyone say “cloud computing”?)

No, this wasn’t good enough! Apple was evil for restricting free access. People started jailbreaking their iPhones.

Then Apple relented, distributed a Software Developer Kit, and opened the App Store. Apple not only allows for propriety native applications; it they opened a store to help developers sell their wares.

Everyone should be happy, but that doesn’t stop the complaints.

When Apple forced developers to use an open platform, it was wrong, and if Apple controls a proprietary platform as a responsible business, that is evil and controlling. Sadly, every choice Apple makes turns out to be evil.

Right on the money, and this “Blame Apple first and ask questions later” mentality was most recently seen in the aftermath of the removal of all Google Voice apps from iTunes.  If Apple in fact removed the app, then that’s undeniably worthy of criticism, but with all signs pointing at AT&T, why are people all up in arms and smashing Apple when all the facts aren’t yet available?

In any event, you can check out the entire article from LowEndMac over here.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Think Says:

    One thing that critiques should think deeply about is this:

    put yourself in Apple’s shoes and ask what would you do in “x” situation given the current conditions. And, if you decide to perform “y” then if “y” actually viable? What are the consequences, limitations, and problems with “y”.

    In other words, people very easily criticise because after all, nothing is really ever perfect and anything and everything can be criticised down to the micron-level. However, if we actually try to put ourselves in another person’s shoes, it might become harder for us to imagine what actually are viable (keyword: viable) actions to take.

    We’re all critics of everything–ourselves and others–so that is in part why we see a flurry of criticism going on.

  2. Dale Smith Says:

    Once again thank you for this link.
    Why is that the Palm Pre is widely praised for using the Web App model and Apple is considered to be stifling creativity when it does the same?
    Why is it that when Apple opens up the pearly gates and allows access to the pot of gold, it is slammed for trying to protect it’s partners? (although I believe that Apple should drop the hammer on AT&T for MMS and tethering)
    When I look back at the 2007 introduction of the iPhone, it is not the fact that the device was an iPod or a phone, the revolution was the the fact that it was an internet device in your pocket. At the time no one realized the power of that statement and now with the explosion of the App store the iPhone has become an ubiquitous computing device.

  3. Peter Says:

    “Why is that the Palm Pre is widely praised for using the Web App model and Apple is considered to be stifling creativity when it does the same?”

    Bzzt. Thanks for playing.

    Palm supports local applications–local webpages, if you will. With Apple’s model, if you wanted to calculate a tip, you had to have Internet access. Also, originally, there was no way to put a web page on your home screen. So you would have two classes of apps: Apple’s which used a real API and were conveniently accessable anytime and everyone else’s, in which you had to have Internet connectivity.

    Also, considering that the iPhone used EDGE when it first came out, it could be seen as limiting. “I need to calculate my tip. Let me start Safari, look in my bookmark for the tip calculator website, connect to it, wait for the page to load…”

    Besides the whole user experience of having to connect to the Internet, there is a speed issue running JavaScript. You wouldn’t have nearly the collection of games that you have in the App Store.

    “Why is it that when Apple opens up the pearly gates and allows access to the pot of gold, it is slammed for trying to protect it’s partners? (although I believe that Apple should drop the hammer on AT&T for MMS and tethering)”

    Spoken like a true fanboi.

    The idea is that Apple should not have partners in need of protection. Take a silly example: AT&T offers a navigation service on the iPhone. Does this mean that Apple, in an effort to “protect” it’s partners, should not allow TomTom into the market?

    Heck, I’ll toss out another one for laughs: Ringtones. Apple’s partners in the music industry believe you should pay for ringtones. I don’t think anybody could successfully argue that they’re right. But Apple, needing to “protect their partners”, decided that you should pay $1.98 for the right to use a snippet of a song that you already own as a ringtone.

    I’m one of those people who believe that Apple should have sold the phone unlocked. Those thousands of people who lined up outside the Apple Store back in 2007 weren’t there for AT&T service–arguably, they were there in spite of AT&T service. By selling the phone unlocked, you’d’ve had competition between AT&T and T-Mobile (and other smaller regional networks) to attract those customers which most people believe is a good thing.

  4. Terry Says:

    Apple always said there would be a full SDK and that web apps were a temporary stopgap.

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