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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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self inflicted
By invidious on 6/27/2009 9:32:33 AM , Rating: 1
I believe Apple's censorship is really only a result of their proprietary paranoia. If they didn't take so much pride in every app being stamped off as "Apple approved" they could let the porn apps and the religious apps fly by. And ultimately I doubt their stance is so much anti-porn or anti-religion, they just don't want to appear to condone any specific beliefs.

If they let in topless photo apps what happens when the next guy wants to post his beastiality app. Then Apple has to draw a line somewhere and no matter where they do it the line is going to anger someone, so instead of making a choice in the grey region they make one in the black and white region and stick the cutoff line right at the begining, no porn.

So I don't really think its about imposing morality or passing judgement, its just about saving face. But they insist on being 100% propreitary and this is one of the byproducts.




RE: self inflicted
By sxr7171 on 6/29/2009 3:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
It has parental control pal. So basically they can hide apps from people who aren't old enough. There's no excuse here.


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