Shame on Apple!!

Shame on Apple. As a huge Apple supporter, I am shocked and dismayed by today’s news that Apple will be “bricking” – or fatally breaking – iPhones that are either unlocked or contain third party applications with their next update.

Even more shocking is the comment section of this article on tuaw, where Apple fans are actually supporting Apple on this matter!

I can understand entirely Apple’s decision to break unlocked iPhones. Apple probably gets a nice cut of at&t iPhone plans, for one, and they cannot be expected to support your iPhone as you move it to another carrier by changing the very nature of the hardware.

However, by voiding the warranty of those who have installed “Installer.app” and third party applications, they are making a very silly move. For one, Apple is biting the hand that has fed them so many users and in all actuality, market viability. OS X is only truly useful because freeware and shareware development has really ramped up and brought us an amazing array of Mac apps, enough to complement OS X and provide that elusive “Google it and you’ll find an app that does that” level of prevalence. In the meantime, they taut the iPhone as running OS X. So when developers – often the most loyal of fans – extend the functionality of the iPhone the same way they’ve done the desktop version of OS X, they have added value to the iPhone.

Steve Jobs, who runs Apple with an iron fist, is understandably mad about third party apps, but it’s fruitless to spend his tears. Developers have rapidly put many things on the iPhone that should have been there to begin with! Where the heck is iChat? Even Verizon includes AIM compatible apps now! How about a dictionary or games or themes or GPS… all now doable in a few finger taps via Installer? An Apple product ought to provide for users, not work against them. Apple – learn from Google – “don’t be evil!”

Apple missed the boat on the iPhone went Jobs decided to exclude an SDK from the plans. When he told us that “AJAX” was the SDK, I threw up a little in my mouth. Notice my comment from back in January… even then we knew that the lack of an SDK was bullshit.

If Apple decides to truly brick iPhones with third party apps, they are doing a tremendous disservice to all iPhone owners. They are removing capabilities from a device that really ought to have extendable capabilities; well, that or admitting that Windows Mobile or Java platforms are superior. I suspect Jobs is locking it down so he can resell it to us in iPhone generation 2, which is so Microsoft-ian is scares me that maybe Apple is becoming just as evil as Redmond.

An unintended side-effect is that Jobs will birth a new hacking community, one that will certainly rival Apple in what they provide. It may be that all 1st gen iPhone owners decide to stick with 1.0.2 firmware and let hackers extend the functionality, which I glibly believe today will offer more than Apple foolishly will ever allow. To their own peril, I guess. I suspect that Apple’s limp effort to contain iPhone hacking is going to backfire as the people who make a difference forsake them in favor of a community firmware, or maybe just community added functionality.

Frankly, I think the solution is to quickly organize a massive “Do Not Buy Apple Products” day before the new firmware comes out. Maybe October 1. Send a message to Apple that they enjoy success at our pleasure, and that a second rate iPhone experience is not acceptable and not what we’ve come to expect from Apple.

So on October 1, do not run Software Update. Do not buy an iPhone. Do not buy Mac apps at all, including shareware or third party OS X stuff. Let’s piss off Apple, let’s piss off small developers who will have no one to complain to but Apple. Let’s make them open up the iPhone, which has the potential to be great, but may perhaps be, at the very wish of Jobs, destined to remain just a fancy phone.

Update: A few things for those who emailed me —
1) I am a very loyal Apple user, all of the computers in our house are Macs. I do not hate Apple, I do not hate Steve Jobs, I’m just pissed that they are condemning my iPhone to death if I want to actually use the “OS X” on it. Their over-eager rules actually prevent me from doing things I can do on a comparably priced Windows Mobile phone.
2) About the “boycott just shifts the spending to another day” argument – no one is trying to hurt Apple financially, just send them a message: that we won’t stand for the half-assed “SDK” they have provided when hackers have already demo’ed better capabilities the phone inherently possesses, but can’t access due solely to …a EULA?!
3) I am still in love with my iPhone, I just will love it much less if Apple decides to make me restore it, and I’ll love it A LOT less if they destroy it. Oh, and I will NOT replace it. They will simply lose me as a customer on the iPhone. There are some awfully nice Nokia sets out there that allow me to download Java applications like Gmail that really extend the phone as a platform rather than cripple it on purpose, which sounds a lot like Vista and its ridiculous “editions.”

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18 thoughts on “Shame on Apple!!

  1. lucifer says:

    ah … so this is how a apple zombie sounds like when it whines …

  2. V. says:

    ah … so this is how a apple zombie sounds like when it whines …

    …says the microsoft zombie, while waiting from bugfixes that never comes.

  3. anormal says:

    Apple?
    Keep crying …

  4. BlackTigerâ„¢ says:

    Sometimes seems like SJ sold his solve to Devil…
    He is so much greedful and sometimes doing so moronic things.

    Apple will be killed by greediness and arrogance.

  5. Dude says:

    How can you state either in private or in public (as you did here) that Apple will Brick Phones?

    This is not true, you have not a single proof that they are doing it intentionally, they just said that because people have messed up their phones (something that voids warranty for your information) they might even stop working (as they have observed during the SQA of new releases) with future upgrades.

    Users voids worranty and then blame apple?

    Apple should sue you and ask damages for this.

    If you hacked your phone … blame yourself. Everytime it is always the same story people hack it because they want to feel geek and cool and they do it just to do it and not even because they really need it and now if something .. later on … goes wrong thay want to blame apple with is guaranteeing that the phone will work taken for granted the factory conditions .. not the hacks

  6. Thomas says:

    by Thomas tkronlachner]at[gmail . com
    I completle agree with you. What made apple big in my eyes, is the loyal customer base, Steve is spitting on now. I owe a mac and it is the best PC I’ve had so far. So what Steve is doing right now is destroying his own brand. For me, apple is on the way to become the new microsoft. I don’t think that Steve, then can rely on the customer base, to follow him when he fullfills this move. The customers are much more aware of what is going to happen. So for me until they calm down, no more apple products.

  7. Thomas says:

    Could you please remove the doubled comments? There was an error each time, I didn’t know that this is published each time. sorry

  8. Art Vandelay says:

    I agree. I am in the process of selling my MacBook while I wait for my ThinkPad R61 to be delivered. I am sick of Apple and drinking Steve Jobs’ Kool-Aid. They have become what they used to abhor – a monopolistic, greedy bunch of thugs that screws its most loyal customers.

  9. Adam S says:

    Apple should sue me? Yeah, because that would make a lot of sense. Also, I’m sure they could demonstrate actual damages.

    Pshaw.

  10. Shempdogg says:

    Listen up PC and Mac users(I have both). We are all screwed in the long run with this type of [email protected] going on. Steve Jobs has already lost me as a “long time” loyal mac customer. I have my original quadra sitting in my garage with the Original photoshop 4 that are collecting dust. I bought the 8gig about 1month after they came out and was [email protected] in the @ss by apple when they dropped the price by $200. That means if I wanted to sell my 8gig iphone now I could only sell it for maybe $325 if Im lucky. I have had the worst experience in my life with this phone and att. My phone actually doesnt even work inside my house. ATT said they think a new cell tower is being installed somewhere in my area but not sure.

    So, the article that this dude wrote is 100% correct except for the fact that he still likes apple after being butt [email protected] up and down by them.

    http://www.thanksforfuckingmeapple.com

  11. Lopez says:

    Hi, I agree. When the iPhone was announced, at first, I was enthusiastic about it. When I heard that it will be sealed down like this, and that the only “software” allowed would be “widgets”, I was sad. Exactly for the reasons You name: I love the mac since years, and Apple’s way, because with Mac OS X they put together what no one else could: An elegant, stable workhorse which is at the same time open source to a great extent, and very modular. It can be extended and enriched almost anywhere. With the iPhone and iPod this has radically changed. The days of “Think Different” sound sadly far, far, far away from today’s Apple and today’s Steve Jobs. I wonder sometimes how he can talk about Karma and buddhism and then act this way. When I saw the podcast at D5 between him and Bill Gates, I thought, maybe he got some advice from him? The iPhone and most of the hardware iStuff is so extremely proprietary and profit-oriented, in its philosophy, that they made me lose much of my love for this great company. For now, I’ll keep my macs, I love them too much not to, but I *hope* this iTrend does not flood the macs and OS X. BTW, I’m keeping an eye on OpenMoko (http://www.openmoko.org and .com). It looks like a viable alternative to the sadly crippled iPhone. I agree on the boycot, for my part at least I’m not going to buy any Apple product or start any Software Update app on my macs…
    Lopez

  12. Michael Fisher says:

    Apple only stated that the new upgrade may brickphones, becuase the update assumes that it is a plain unmodified iphone. Know if theses hacks changes certain things that break compatibility with apple its the owners risk. Know yes the iPhone should of allowed third party apps, but i guess apple did not separate the radio from the main hardware. So a condition imposed by carriers is that no unauthorized 3rd party apps are allowed as they can bring down the network accedently or purposely. Most phones that allow for 3rd party apps have the radio hardware completely separated and isolated in hardware, allowing 3rd part apps as the risk to bringing down a mobile phone networks is averted.

  13. ken says:

    Why should you be crying at Apple, if you are the one modifying the iPhone((writer of the article, Shame on Apple). Go piss in Mt. Dew and call pepsi, because it doesn’t taste right anymore, because you effed around it.

  14. Adam S says:

    Wow!!

    Congratulations Ken on writing the dumbest comment ever!!

  15. dude says:

    It is pointles to post here this is not an open discussion.

    People hack the products they buy and expect support for the vendor it is so evident that It makes no sense to complaint … if you want an hackable phone buy one of those developers kit running linux and not an off the shel product .. buy a developer toolkit..

    The Iphone is a consumer product and here people does not even seem to understand what the hell this means and bold enought to put shame on apple and start this stupid libelling

    Apple only stated that the new upgrade may brickphones, becuase the update *assumes* that it is a plain unmodified iphone. Know if theses hacks changes certain things that break compatibility with apple its the owners risk. Know yes the iPhone should of allowed third party apps, but i guess apple did not separate the radio from the main hardware. So a condition imposed by carriers is that no unauthorized 3rd party apps are allowed as they can bring down the network accedently or purposely. Most phones that allow for 3rd party apps have the radio hardware completely separated and isolated in hardware, allowing 3rd part apps as the risk to bringing down a mobile phone networks is averted.

  16. Mark Piz says:

    Shame on YOU, and every other interface junkie who subscribed to the notion that a corporation will make their life better. Apple essentially wants to own your ass by selling you some pretty toys that lock you into future purchases. Just look at the lack of portability into the itunes / iPod line.

    By buying an iPhone you only proved to the world that you are as fundamentally stupid as Apple wants you to be.

  17. Adam S says:

    By buying an iPhone you only proved to the world that you are as fundamentally stupid as Apple wants you to be.

    Yay, very constructive comment, there Mark.

    All the apologists who defend Apple for releasing the iPhone as is, and all the people who harp on about Apple locking down the iPhone are easily dismissed clowns. The iPhone runs OS X (not Symbian or QNX) for a reason – because they *will* make the platform extensible at some point, and Apple supports its frameworks. The question really is: will Apple’s as-of-yet-unannounced iPhone “SDK” actually compete with the hacked 1.0.2 firmware and Installer.app?

  18. Adam S says:

    Apple essentially wants to own your ass by selling you some pretty toys that lock you into future purchases.

    By the way, Mark, how are Windows and Internet Explorer treating you? 🙂

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