Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The 5 Worst Things About Apple

Fascinating piece here, the 5 worst things about Apple. Apart, that is, from the fact I can't use any of their products.

1. The 'reality distortion field'

The infamous 'reality distortion field' refers to Steve Jobs' ability to work onlookers into a frenzy of excitement over the most ordinary of products. Jobs' usual line, that no one does it better than Apple, is all-pervasive in its marketing.

2. The iPod

The best selling MP3 player has taken on iconic status ever since it was first launched in 2001 and today dominates the market, easily seeing off the latest challenge from the Microsoft Zune with a record-breaking quarter of sales.

But the device has long been dogged by accusations of dodgy battery life, defective mechanics, easily scratched or cracked screens and a general lack of longevity. Most of the editorial team have got through at least one iPod each.

3. Style over substance

The translucent Bondi Blue iMac initiated Apple's much-trumpeted departure from the Beige Brigade and a return to good times for the struggling company. The criticisms of style over substance and form over function have followed the company ever since.

4. The iPhone

Some say the latest device to come out of Cupertino is a classic example of 1 and 3. It's a phone that does email, web browsing and plays music. "Three revolutionary products in one," Jobs said to the San Francisco Macworld attendees last month.

It's pretty and it has an innovative interface but a clutch of mobile devices have been offering the same services for the last year or so at a fraction of the price. And it doesn't arrive for another six months or so. And when it does there will be just one operator to choose from. The latest example of Steve Jobs snake oil?

5. Arrogance

Even its fans would have to admit that Apple can often come across as a pretty arrogant company. For instance: announcing the iPhone on a worldwide stage when the trademark to that name is owned by Cisco. Openly scorning Vista at its last developer conference. Jobs putting the Mac clones out of business by demanding much higher royalties.

And let's not forget regularly refusing to comment on most articles other than those that relate to its product launches - a particular frustration to tech journalists.

Seems fair enough to me.


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