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Apple's Steve Jobs and Chinese President Hu Jintao share a penchant for censorship and a thirst to enforce morality upon their subjects. Both also share a fear of a truly free market, one which might escape their control.  (Source: BusinessWeek and SkyParliament, respectively)
Apple has Macs, iPods, iPhones, and your daily censorship fix

Apple has the perfect opportunity to transcend the bounds of a niche small-market-share company and become a market leader in the hot smart phone industry that threatens to replace the MP3 player market -- the only market which Apple currently dominates.  However, Apple is pulling a China and ruining this golden opportunity.

Looking at Apple's iPhone App Store and China's internet, the comparisons are eerie --a massive user base, an exploding economy, egocentric leadership, and a governing body that thinks it can legislate morality for its users.  China's Green Dam firewall software and the nation's central firewall ban porn, pesky Tibet websites, religious materials, and other subversive content.  Apple's App Store bans porn, pesky third party browsers, religious materials (like the Me-So-Holy-App) and other subversive content (like South Park applications).  One would almost think Apple's iconic logo had turned from gray to red.

Ironically both Apple and China claim no religious stance, yet they could moralize with the best fundamentalists.  And both do so with a warped idealistic naiveté that is comical and tragic all at once.  Do Apple and China really think they can block their users from adult content?  Do they really think that they can block their users from taking religious stands?  And ultimately, do they think they can block millions of educated people from having freedoms of speech and expression?

The answer is obviously, no.  And yet neither seem to get that. 

These are not isolated incidents, either.  Both have been repeat offenders for the past few decades.  China runs over protesters.  Apple sues Mac cloners out of house and home.  China fights to jail bloggers.  And Apple fights to brick iPhone unlockers.  Mysterious attacks which down Tibet liberation websites originate from China.  Not-so-mysterious legal takedowns of Apple fan sites originate from Apple's legal counsel.  And both have long fought the good fight against a market that might escape their control and fall into (gasp!) capitalism.  Heavens no!

As a result both will suffer, as will their users.  For China it means a slower route to its eventual position as the world's wealthiest and most productive industrial nation.  For Apple it means that its potential to become a serious player in the computer industry will be minimized, and while it will dominate the smart phone industry, it will be a weary reign as it will never dominate as fully as it could and be forced to constantly fight off threats.


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RE: Death
By pixelslave on 6/26/2009 11:49:33 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry, I disagree. Other companies can do that, but not Apple. Why? Apple has been selling the image of freedom of choices, freedom of thoughts for years. It's 1984 commercial illustrated PC users as soulless people controlled by a Big-Brother like figure. It's "Think Different" campaign encouraged people to ... well, think differently. But even Microsoft in its peak power never had the power to control an user's desktop. On the other hand, the iPhone platform today is a total controlled environment. If Apple doesn't approve your app, you can't sell it even if there are millions users who want to buy it. Now, because it's a cell-phone, people tend not to complain so much. But your cell-phone today could well be your personal computer in the future.


RE: Death
By TomZ on 6/29/2009 1:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like maybe they didn't have a meglomaniac at the helm when some of those advertising themes were first developed. Now that Jobs is back, they've gone into "lock-down" mode.

Really, Apple thinks they are maximizing profit by controlling their platforms, but in the end, it opens an opportunity for other vendors to win out over them by providing a more open, customer-friendly environment. The Draconian approach to technology only works for a short period of time.


RE: Death
By Regs on 7/2/2009 10:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
They're trying to keep apple, apple. They know how to distribute and segregate their products from everyone else’s even if it does the same thing. They make their products with the "elitist" in mind. The Apple products are always in one place in the store, on in one store in a mall. You know where to find them and you know what they do.

If I would like a phone made my LG or a PC made by HP, I would have to look in a section with 30 varieties from several brand names.

When you think about it, what's the real difference between a Dell and a HP? They both use the same hardware, offer a variety of configurations, 3-7 day delivery, promo offers, customer service, support...etc..etc.. Now take a Mac? What's the real difference between a Mac and a Dell,HP, Acer, Gateway, Sony, Toshiba.

I'm not supporting Mac in anyway. Like you said, they like to control their product as much as possible to keep them diversified enough from the other brand names. This includes a hefty price tag with the same performing hardware. Though as you notice, their software is highly protected and proprietary. They'll never be Windows licensing OS's and software to every brand name, and they'll never be cross platform. If they lose that competitive edge, that might as well be bought by HP.


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