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Apple and being selfish

Apple blocks rival smart phones

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8155795.stm

The Palm Pre smartphone is seen by many as a direct rival to Apple's iPhone because of its innovative interface and web based software.

Marketing for the new Palm Pre touted "seamless" synchronisation with iTunes, because it appeared as an Apple device.

Palm called the move a "direct blow" to Apple's users.

While many devices can, through intermediary software, connect and synchronise with iTunes, the Pre was able to do so because it identified itself as an iPod.

In June, Apple issued a note stressing that it "does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players" and warned that "newer versions of Apple's iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality" with them.

Now, the latest version of iTunes, 8.2.1, has patched the hole through which devices could masquerade as Apple products.

Apple said in a statement that the update, in addition to other bug fixes, "also disables devices falsely pretending to be iPods, including the Palm Pre".

Palm said that the Pre would work with previous versions of iTunes.

"If Apple chooses to disable media sync in iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience," the firm said in a statement.

The statement added that "there are other third-party applications we can consider" and that users could simply choose not to update iTunes or could use a USB cable to directly transfer files.

Well, insofar as I am concerned, Apple are particular culprits when it comes to this. I bought my new iPod Nano (the latest generation) only to find that both my sets of speakers and my iPod charger are now all qualified as "unsupported devices" and although the Nano will play music on the speakers, it will no longer charge off them, nor will it charge from the wall-plug charger (which is actually Apple brand). Unlike iTunes, I can't just download a previous version of these things :D

The question is, to what extent do you think these companies should be allowed to try and force a market monopoly? Monopolising a market, technically illegal (so I believe - they have big institutions like Ofcom to try and regulate them) not only is irritating but also dampens down innovation. The technology industry, something particularly important as the economy teeters dangerously on the brink of being 100% solid crap, can be negatively affected by these sorts of selfish moves.

Technology is one of those things which is meant to be collaborative and progressive, right? Soooo, what're people's opinions on this sort of thing?

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Apple is free to regulate the use of their own software. After all, iTunes is not Palm's software. Emulation of a device may also be illegal since I think that Apple copyright a lot of their innovations.

With regards to your wall plug charger, take it back to Apple if it has stopped working. Or it may be busted :D

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With regards to your wall plug charger, take it back to Apple if it has stopped working. Or it may be busted :)

It still works - it charges all my old ipods. Just not the new stuff! :D

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With regards to your wall plug charger, take it back to Apple if it has stopped working. Or it may be busted :(

It still works - it charges all my old ipods. Just not the new stuff! :P

Back to the apple store with that! Or email Steve Jobs :P

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With regards to your wall plug charger, take it back to Apple if it has stopped working. Or it may be busted :P

It still works - it charges all my old ipods. Just not the new stuff! :P

Ask them to "fix" it. If they can't, demand an updated replacement that works.

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Hands-down, Apple's iPod is a monopoly in the MP3 industry, and I agree that they are slightly forcing this monopoly. However, regardless of whether they boost their monopoly or not, other companies can't really touch them either way since they keep creating new generations of the iPod and iPhone.

It is slightly disappointing that Apple is orienting their iTunes around profit as opposed to sharing artists' music for everyone's enjoyment, but it's understandable since they have probably invested lots of money into developing the software and essentially want to charge a fee to pay this off (the fee being the price paid for the Apple device). It was a pretty big deal in 2005 when Apple was unable to obtain a patent on the iPod interface, so I'm not sure if they actually have a patent on the iPod software, although they do have one on the scroll wheel, so it makes sense that they use iTunes as their "patent".

Technologic advancement which is collaborative and progressive is a great prospect, but profit is always a huge factor for these companies, and such competition is a great fuel in itself for progression that has variety.

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There's no law preventing them from doing so, because, well, America is as capitalist as you can get, practically. To put a ban on this sort of behaviour would, well, deprive the country of some of its yummy capitalism-ness :)

But to be honest, Apple is risking unsatisfied customers here. Although it's not a big of a risk anyway, because the iPod is the MP3 player and it doesn't really have any proper competition ATM. But if it continues doing more selfish acts of this kind, then customers may actually drift away, especially if out pops a competitor :P

And then Apple will have to start being nicer.

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I agree with Caustica.

There are actually much better alternatives to many of Apples products, such Sansa Devices, the Zune (to some extent), ect. However, Apple recognizes this and tries to keep competitors out of Apple's "designated" product territory. Eventually, I believe, Other companies will come to or even overtake Apple's success with MP3 and Touch products. However, as of right now, we just have to bear Apple's selfishness.

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Although I do find it a bit paranoid of them, I have to admit that it makes sense and is perfectly legal seeing as iTunes is Apple software and furthermore Palm obviously didn't go and make a deal with Apple about its software beforehand.

What caught my attention, however, was your statement about monopolies and innovation:

The question is, to what extent do you think these companies should be allowed to try and force a market monopoly? Monopolising a market, technically illegal (so I believe - they have big institutions like Ofcom to try and regulate them) not only is irritating but also dampens down innovation. The technology industry, something particularly important as the economy teeters dangerously on the brink of being 100% solid crap, can be negatively effected by these sorts of selfish moves.

Technically, a monopoly should allow technology to develop even faster than in perfect competition, because thanks to its economies of scale (the company is so big it can make things more cheaply and otherwise lower its costs). Because of this, more funding would be available for research to further the firm's products. Also since all the research would be done in one unified lab there'd be less redundant experimentation and the research programs should be more efficient. A monopolist would have plenty of incentive to pour funding into research, because of the idea of a contestable market (new firms could come and steal market share).

Also, in many cases monopolies are perfectly legal. Microsoft itself held a monopoly on computer OS's for a long while but now competitors such as Apple's OSX and the open source Linux have arisen. Sometimes, it is legal barriers that allow monopolies to exist: patents give the right to be the only producer of a product for a certain amount of time after it has been invented. Apple is known to be very liberal with its patents; if you follow a tech blog you will probably see a lot of posts about the latest funny new Apple patents, as they are usually quite ludicrous and over-the-top. Another thing: if monopolies were illegal, many large and well-known monopolists should already be shut down, or at least heavily taxed to the point where the market is no longer a monopoly, by the law.

/econnerdery :P

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Apple is getting worse and worse. It is wide-spread knowledge now that the iPhone 4 that they just released has horrendous signal, especially for left-handers who hold the phone with their 'death grip'. I remember from an article that Steve Jobs was quoted saying "then just don't hold it that way" or something, and apparently Apple are now selling cases that prevent the bad signal form occuring, but charging extra money for them, when this problem was their fault in the first place. As for the selfishness, they dropped the price of the iPhone 4, to gain more market share, which probably wouldve worked, if the new phone didnt have such bad signal. Nevertheless, despite the bad publicity, Apple does have good repair services, that will replace your Apple device if it has extensive problems, or if you ask 'nicely'.

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And thats why I support ANDROID!!!

Iphones great but ONLY after being jailbroken...btw visit

www.jailbreakme.com

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I agree with Caustica.

There are actually much better alternatives to many of Apples products, such Sansa Devices, the Zune (to some extent), ect. However, Apple recognizes this and tries to keep competitors out of Apple's "designated" product territory. Eventually, I believe, Other companies will come to or even overtake Apple's success with MP3 and Touch products. However, as of right now, we just have to bear Apple's selfishness.

I don't think it's true that there are 'much better alternatives'. As far as I'm concerned, the iPhone is the best phone on the market available today, just as the iPod touch is the best MP3 player. There are a lot of variables, of course, so if you think that space or price is more important than ease of use and functionality then maybe you aren't an Apple fan, but my opinion of the Apple vs. World wars is that there is an asymmetry of wants between consumers and people who work in tech companies. People in tech companies want more features, faster processors, etc., people in the real world want something to be so easy to use they don't have to think about using it. Apple, and, I think, Steve Jobs, brilliantly perceived this and decided to make products that were expensive but worked so bloody well. I'm used to PCs and I hate Macs, but iPods and iPhones are just amazing. Nothing else comes close. It would be nice if the market were self-righting and perfect competition was in place and so on, but neither is, and instead there is this.

The thing about the Palm Pre was a mistake on Apple's part, I think. The iPhone has no serious competitors, except maybe Android. The Palm flopped because the iPhone had a larger screen, was less cramped, and worked better. It was a good business move, though, and a bad PR move. They made a choice. Apple, though, like Windows, has profited frequently from bad PR and good business moves.

Edited by Daedalus

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