Thanks to the hard work and vision of Steve Jobs, Apple has managed to evolve from a mere cult to a mainstream phenomenon. Fanboys, celebrities, politicians and geeks who adore their products have exalted the billion-dollar company to a technological pseudoreligion. A silent witness to Apple's magnificent ascent from failure to stardom has been Microsoft.
Though Microsoft has been the traditional bad guy of the Silicon Valley, Apple has stealthily usurped that spot by its recent actions, most of which are a bit on the dark side. As a FOSS enthusiast I believe that Microsoft is overly competitive but so is Apple.
If you think that Apple is much less evil than Microsoft, read on as we give you 7 reasons that will make Redmond look slightly better than Cupertino.
1. Thou shalt not install any external apps
Apple has been busy building a walled garden with big white shiny walls. The Cupertino-based company makes sure that you buy or download apps only from their store and not from anywhere else. Yeah, we know there's an app for everything, but you can't get it if it's not sold by Apple.
2. Thou shalt not jailbreak
Jailbreaking is magic pill that helps you evade the claustrophobic App Store and lets you do everything you wanted to do with your phone. Despite the fact that jailbreaking is legal in many countries, Apple insists that doing so will only void your warranty. It's as if you can buy any device from Apple but you've to use it the way they tell you. So, play by Apple's rules or else...
3. Thou shalt not talk about Apple
Let's say you are a popular celebrity, and you point out some of iPhone's faults on national television, just to poke fun at Apple. Guess what, they don't like it; they'll call you up and ask you to apologize. The same thing happened with Ellen DeGeneres when she did a parody of an Apple ad on her show. Later, she got a phone from Apple accusing her of making the iPhone look hard to use. I hope they've heard of the term 'sense of humor'.
On another incident, Apple reproached someone for talking about one of the much-publicized features of the iPhone 4S. The guy who recorded the male voice of Siri got a phone call from Apple telling him not to talk about the recordings. I guess working for Apple must be like working for a secret government project where you have to be tight-lipped about everything that goes on in the facility.
4. Thou shalt not have the name Apple in your product
If you're a small-business owner and happen to have an apple – yep, it's also a fruit -- in your company's logo, Cupertino's coming at you. Recently, Apple threatened Apfelkind ( “apple child” in German), a family-run cafe in Bonn that has an Apple in its logo. The logo, which is quite different from Apple's own logo, has a child's face inside an apple. According to Apple, Apfelkind infringes on Apple Inc.'s trademark.
5. Thou shalt not find out flaws in our system
In the FOSS world, a developer who finds a security bug or a critical flaw is revered as a hero. In fact, Google even gave out prizes to users who found out critical flaws in their browser. In Apple's case however, finding a bug in the system means that you'll be disqualified as a developer.
6. We reserve the right to reject your app for any reason whatsoever
Apple seems to reject apps from their app store for the smallest of reasons. A Print to PDF app was removed from the store because it used AirPrint as a way to print documents to PDF. Moreover, Kindle, Sony and Kobo reader apps were removed too as they used an in-app payment system. While this doesn't affect big companies like Amazon, it does, however, make a hugely negative impact on the lives of thousands of independent developers who make a livelihood out of making these apps. This is also one of the reasons developers flocked to Android instead of iOS. Recently, fearing lawsuits, many app developers have started pulling their apps from Apple store as Google welcomes them with open arms.
7. We fire our employees for the smallest of reasons
A test engineer at Apple couldn't believe his bad luck when he was fired by the company for prematurely demoing a prototype of the iPad to Steve Wozniak. Wozniak, who happens to be one of Apple's founders, expressed his disappointment at Apple's behavior. The test engineer, however, still remains unemployed. On the other hand Gary Powell, who lost an iPhone prototype is still a proud Apple employee. Need I say more?