Thursday, 14 May 2009

Taking a bite out of Apple

I may not be alone, but I must certainly be in the minority when it comes to hating Apple. Of course, there is a twinge of jealousy when I see the wonderful apps people can buy for their iphones, and the cool sticky notes on Mac desktops, but for me buying an apple product involves the rejection several morals I have about music, business and consumerism.

Take Microsoft for example. Globally labelled as an evil, multi-national conglomerate bent on world domination via computer desktops, it is hard to find someone that would use windows given a viable alternative. So why is it that Apple are regarded as revolutionary, conceptual and enterprising? They use exactly the same tactics to squeeze money from the hapless customer - releasing dated software that needs updating, creating file formats specific to its programs and releasing similar rehashed products year on year to keep sales ticking over.

Apple accounted 73% of the MP3 player market in 2007 and I can't imagine that figure has dropped at all if we allow for iPhones. They celebrated their 5 billionth dowloaded MP3 track (or should I say AAC) just under a year ago. Now Apple enjoy a monopoly on music downloads and to a lesser extent players, and have have none of the related
backlash. But they deserve it - its tracks can only be played on Apple mp3 players which essentially means that once you have an iTunes library you can only ever buy an ipod if you want to listen to it outside. Imagine if Microsoft developed windows to only work on their own brand laptops. We would all be forced to buy them so our programs would still run.

Of course there is an alternative - Amazon have just slashed all their prices in a bid to get in on the downloading market and in some independent research proved either equal too or considerably cheaper than iTunes. Other advantages include no crappy iTunes, and if this really matters to you try, who dont require any kind of downloading software. (check out this excellent Guardian post -

Whether you are an apple lover or hater, you owe it to yourself to check out the alternatives. All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to stand by and do nothing.

I still want an iPhone though.

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