In the classic and historic Apple Super Bowl advertisement a women runs down an isle of transfixed people, throwing a sledge hammer into the face of a 1984 style big brother. Symbolizing a break from the computer technology that had dominated in years before, Apple has since come to embody the big brother they destroyed in 1984.
It all started off alright. The original Macintosh computer and all the hardware and software innovations that followed were a step in the right direction for computer technology. When the iPod came along the world rejoiced, Apple had perfected the pocket-sized music player that could hold your entire music collection. Apple’s OS X was leaps and bounds better and simpler than Microsoft’s competing products. It was so simple a child could use it.
But this is where the wagon broke loose of the tractor. Something snapped inside “the great” Steve Jobs’ brain. Instead of developing technology that surpasses that of any of his competitors he focused on brewing, and I’m quoting straight from the 1984 ad here, a “garden of pure ideology.” Apple has become less about the technology is offers than the social stratus is portrays. You have a MacBook pro? Good for you, do you feel good because it’s a good machine or because when you open it up in class you’re apple logo glows out, reinforcing the fact that you’re cool enough to own an Apple product.
This anger of course stems from something other than America’s identity crises. The root cause of this is in Steve Jobs’ (pretentious asshole that he is) belief that he has complete control over the future of the Internet and the players in it.
When Apple released the original iPhone 3 years ago, they left out a very specific player in the web. Adobe, whose Flash Player technology is installed on over 85% of computers around the world, found out that this very same Flash Player would not be allowed to display on the iPhone’s safari browser. To me this was a strictly statistical move. At this time Flash Player was slightly buggy for mobile browsing and probably wouldn’t have run well on the iPhone’s particularly weak processor.
Earlier this year Apple continued to block Flash Player with the release of its substantially more powerful iPad and iPhone releases. During last week’s release of the iPhone 4.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) a clause in the terms of service stated that no outside computer programming language could develop for the iPhone App Store. What this meant was that Adobe’s new Flash CS5, [[[[released this past Monday]]]], which had an iPhone app builder included would not be able to submit application to the Apple App Store. A particularly large blow to one of the biggest new features for Adobe Creative Suite 5.
Steve Jobs countered the uproar against said new TOS with a quick email to a key opponent, “Intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.” I would argue that sub-standard developers product sub-standard apps. Opening the development of applications to multiple code sources would only increase the quantity and possible quality of competing apps. Of course Apple already has this locked down its app store in an unparalleled, inconsistent, and ambiguous screening process (Opera’s iPhone web browser which is quicker, lighter and uses less bandwidth than Safari has still not been accepted) so whatever is said goes.
In recent years, Apple has pushed Adobe out of the online streaming video market. And, as of this week, out of the application market and the advertising market with the launch of iAd. So I ask you Steve Jobs, what part of this is in competitive spirit? Because from this angle, it’s your face I see on that cinema style projection, and I’m with whoever’s swinging the sledge hammer. Simply put, Apple is evil.
(the picture is taken from dashes.com, i was going to make one myself but i found this instead)