Friday, January 19, 2007


Steve Jobs said that there will be more iPhone applications by the time it is released. Apple will control what applications make it onto the iPhone. He said "You don't want your phone to be like a PC. The last thing you want is to have loaded three apps on your phone and then you go to make a call and it doesn’t work anymore. These are more like iPods than they are like computers." While I believe that they have the best intention of providing better software, this strategy is totally a double edge sword. The reason why PC is still the dominating platform is not because Windows or the software that runs on it is so much better than those of Mac. It's because everyone can make PC hardware and the OS/software can be easily pirated. What's my point here? Openness. Although I am in no way demanding Apple to let everyone pirate their OS/product, but being open is absolutely important to a product like smart phones.

The example Steve gave could happen. But bad software will be eliminated by natural selection. Is Apple implying that smart phone users are not smart enough to make the selection so that the smart people at Apple will make the selection for the 10 million customers they anticipated to have? My phone is a Windows Mobile 5. If you press the on/off button, the touch screen will shut down and all inputs are locked. However, what they fail to do is to let the music continue being played when everything else is locked. I had to turn to a third party software. If Microsoft employs the same strategy, this software will probably never see daylight. It makes me wonder if Apple will reject a certain software because it will cannibalize its profit elsewhere (e.g. iTunes), hurt its beloved partner Cingular Wireless from AT&T (e.g. VoIP software like Skype), or some small utility that will expose iPhone's deficiency (like my personal example above).

Apple's lawyer team is cracking down blogs that provide links to screenshots of Windows Mobile skins that look like iPhone's in the name of copyright infringement. (another report). First, it is already questionable to take action against the skin. It is like McDonald's taking action against a small mom and pop's burger shop because the wrappers look too similar to McDonald's (while the burgers taste differently). Please, it is just a skin. Second, it is just beyond absurd to threaten a blogger who simply reported the thing. The blog doesn't even provide the skin itself.

If this is not for chilling effect, then what is it?

In addition to Cisco, LG is considering suing Apple for similar design. Now we know who has the habit of copying!

Taste your own medicine, Apple! (The same proverb in Chinese is "a taste of your own fruit" (自食其果), which gives it an extra pun!)

This is like when Intel tried to register a well established acronym (was it RAM, DRAM, or SDRAM, I don't remember) as a trademark so that everyone else can't use the name anymore (in favor of RDRAM). They tried to win by law instead of better products. Nobody uses RDRAM nowadays.

If you know me for years, you will know that my criticisms on Apple's products have been technical. From time to time, there are appraisals too. Now Apple just falls into the "uncool" category in my book.

I was contemplating buying an Apple's laptop. (In case you haven't noticed, I didn't use the proper product name because I'm afraid of legal trouble about trademark infringement!)

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