Steve Jobs Sucks

January 17, 2008 at 5:51 am | Posted in Apple, Communication, Companies, General, Marketing, Online marketing | 6 Comments
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Steve, I think we need an intervention. You’re acting all crazy-like.

Brief history: Apple debuts their new touchscreen on the iPhone and iTouch and people are really happy. Some creative developers code their own applications to use on the devices (“third party apps“), but to use them, they have to “jailbreak” the iPhone/iTouch. Steve gets mad and Apple’s next firmware update has the potential to brick your iPhone/iTouch. However, Apple promises that apps similar to the most popular third party apps will be unveiled in early 2008. Now, the decision is between jailbreaking the device to use all these cool (and free!) third party apps or comply with Apple and wait for the upgrade.iTouch 300

On Tuesday, Steve announced that the new apps were ready. Except there are only five apps. And it’ll cost you $20. And new iTouch and iPhone buyers will have it already installed.

Here’s the crux of my anger and the part that really chaps my ass: Apple is charging for functionality rather than products. This is not a media item that is of definite size, length, and value. Instead, this is an upgrade in regards to how the iTouch works.

So, what message does this send to Apple customers? Here are a few off the top of my head:

  • Screw early adopters – Anyone who buys an iTouch from this point on gets the upgrade installed. Early adopters, true advocates, and Apple cultists who bought the iTouch earlier need to chuck out another $20. Hmm, where does this sound familiar. I seem to remember a company selling a bunch of fancy phones and then knocking the price down $200 much to the chagrin of the folks who had already shelled out their hard-earned cash.
  • We know you’ll buy it even if it sucks – The hubris of these types of business decisions is amazing. Despite anticipated customer push-back, they did it anyway. Because they can. It’s almost as though they thought it was a privilege to use Apple products.
  • We’re willing to nickel and dime you – What a big “screw you” to the customer who plunked down almost $500 for an iTouch. Can you imagine if I bought a stereo and then had to pay a little extra to get the “Stop” button? It’s part of the user experience!

So what’s the lesson from all of this? That Steve must be trying to get more bad press in a couple months than Apple has gotten in years? That he fired all the marketing guys? That he’s off his rocker (or drunk with power)?

The lessons are these:

  • In terms of not allowing third party apps, we know that open systems (Google, Facebook recently) thrive and that closed systems eventually wither. Apple is among the closed-est. From Fast Company: “Jobs may have to accept that Apple’s next wave of growth–or energy, as Einstein might have put it–depends on syncing up his products and platforms with those of his competitors.” Facebook opened up their system to third party apps and business is booming. In order to do this, one has to accept that it is not possible for them to think up (and make) every apps possible, ever. This humility seems beyond Jobs.
  • In terms of the $20, know that it’s not the money. It’s the principle.

I realize this issue is literally biblical, but come on. Apple has built a reputation as the cool, sleek, uber-designed, arty, rebel computer manufacturer (not difficult if Bill Gates is your competition). But they seem to be forgetting that these days. The cult they’ve built is not going to stand for this crap forever. For this snub, Steve, you can go iFuck yourself.

But this isn’t a totally negative post, Steve. I can thank you for one thing: you made my decision about whether to jailbreak my iTouch really easy. For a couple of minute’s work, I’ll have a ton of apps all for free. And next time I’ll remember this when I think about which mp3 player to buy. Thanks Steve!



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  1. I am outraged that Apple is charging early buyers of the iPod Touch $20 for a system update that ought to be free.

    While I understand Apple’s decision to charge money for the new applications the new $20 “application pack” also includes a SYSTEM UPDATE in the form of the home page editing, web clips, and lyrics features. All of these are updates to the currently existing iPod Touch software and NOT new applications, which means that they ought to be free to all users of the iPod Touch.

    Adding insult to injury these applications are all hidden in the 1.1.3 system update, a whopping 104.4mb file that all users must download if they want to fix bugs in the system. These applications can only be used when you pay Apple $20 to “unlock” them, but even if you decide not to buy them they stay on your iPod taking up precious space that could be used for songs, videos, or photos.

    Apple is normally wonderful when it comes to providing system support and updates, but having them shaft early adopters and loyal fans like this is offensive and shows that Apple has absolutely no regard for the iPod Touch community.

    I was not planning on jailbreaking my iPod Touch, but after this outrageous behavior on the part of Apple I probably will.

  2. […] And I’ve had good success with the tech crowd, despite not being an expert. This quote is third on my all-time list of referrer (38 people) and this one on Engadget a bit further down on the list with 7 people. Both of these directed people to my search-engine friendly entry, “Steve Jobs Sucks.” […]

  3. You are so right, this issue and thesimilar one with itunes plus made me truely hate Apple. I’m almost looking forward to my new imac needing replacement, then I’ll be going back into the arms of Bill.

  4. […] don’t normally do hit pieces. I am usually positive about how marketing/PR/advertising can make the world a better place (no […]

  5. […] don’t normally do hit pieces. I am usually positive about how marketing/PR/advertising can make the world a better place (no […]

  6. I went the local Apple Store this morning. No one on line waiting to get an iPhone, expect a guy with a notepad who took some info from me, handed me a ticket, and asked me to wait… I waited for at least 15mn, with employees passing by, joking each other, having fun (I mean Apple Fun naturally!!).. By the way I witnessed the disgusting attitude of the leader of the turquoise t-shirt gang when a Asian man showed up:” You’re back!! I thought you were just the driver!!! You want to get your toy??”… Classy the guy!! Apple culture!! Anyway this is not the point now.. Finally a kid came to pick me. Blablabla.. 16g only available. I want black. He comes back. Do I want the extra year coverage for $69.00? Why not!! Total is $500 something.. Hold on kid!. How much is the iPhone?? $299.00 if you are eligible and $499.00 if you are not. I am a stupid ATT customer for more than 6 years, 2 accounts, 3 lines, hundreds of $$$ every month on my bill. I call them to check if I am eligible.. I am not. Can you do something for me?? No sir. Sorry. “The CEO of ATT himself set up the rules for the purchase of an iPhone: no exception!!”. Right! How much did HE pay for his iPhone? No answer naturally. Not only I get zip as a long term ATT customer, but zip as a good Apple customer (4k or 5k in the last 8 months spent on this brand)!! I always found absolutely crazy that some people can stay on line the entire night to be the first to get a product (no matter what it is). PEOPLE!!! Stop this insanity. Let’s make these companies roll down the red carpet for us in order to get our business. WE SHOULD BE SETTING UP THE RULES!!! Be the BOSS of these bosses.. Apple is great. The seed Job sucks!!

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