Apple Inc.

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Apple Inc. is a U.S. manufacturer of consumer electronics founded in 1976, and also the most expensive world religion[1]. It was innovative in the 1970s and early 1980s by stealing borrowing some of Xerox's unused ideas, largely irrelevant in the 1990s, and returned to relevancy in the early 2000s by the development of OS X and later the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Whether these devices are truly as "revolutionary" as Apple claims is contentious, and even Apple fans will say that much of the hype is due to Apple's mastery of the media.[2] They famously manage to keep customers loyal by means of their famous ecosystem. Their products famously have a proprietary aroma, somewhere between plastic and juniper, when first removed from the box,[3] which some believe to be reminiscent of Bombay Sapphire.[citation NOT needed] In 2016, they pulled the ultimate dick move of starting the trend of removing the headphone jack that other companies such as OnePlus, Samsung, Huawei, and Google followed suit, they removed Touch ID from their new   Apple iPhone  , although they replaced that with FaceID, a considerably more secure method, the iPhone X, and even pioneered the trend of removing the charging brick and earphones bundled with phones when it introduced its iPhone 12Wikipedia lineup of phones. However, they had far worse dick moves via their litigation lawsuits, sweatshop working conditions, and tax offshoring to tax havens so they owe several million dollars to the Irish taxman.

Apple has also trendsetted the infamous notch[4], and non-replaceable batteries, making the mobile phone component with the shortest lifespanWikipedia non-modular, as well as deliberately throttling the processing speed of earlier iPhones.[5]

Apple is known for historically favouring design over functionality and robustness, which lead to the bendgateWikipedia scandal in 2014 on the iPhone 6 PlusWikipedia, as well as the miserable “more than enough, compensated by software efficiency” 1715 mAh battery on the iPhone 6sWikipedia.

Apple was famously headed by Saint Jobs the smelly (except from 1985 to 1997, as the board of directors were fed up with his BS). As of March 2019, Apple CEO is Tim Cook, also famously named and referred to as Tim Apple by Donald Orange[6].

Censorship[edit]

The first Apple computer; a device you could use as you wanted.

Buying a vastly overpriced $1200 Apple device means subjecting yourself to the corporate Apple morality police™ and also making yourself look like an asshole. Notice how people with Apple products refer to them as iPhones and iPads and normal people call their non-Apple products smartphones and tablets. Thanks to the proprietary clamp on the iPhone and iPad from software to hardware, you can install apps only from the app store,[note 1] not to mention that you need accessories made specifically for them (so they're otherwise useless and they cause minor headaches for everyone involved when someone asks for a charger). Apple has some stringent rules on what apps can and can't be in the app store, and this leads to false positives. Examples of things that are not allowed:

  • Disallowing software that utilizes the 3D touchWikipedia touchscreen as weight scale[7]
  • Signing a Curtain declaration ("offensive").[8]
  • Game where you grow and sell weed (no reason given).[9]
  • Nintendo (NES) emulator (no clear reason given, beyond "it's an emulator", even though other emulators still remain in the store).[10]
    • Emulators are as of 2022 banned from the App Store on the grounds that it facilitates piracy through the use of (illicitly downloaded) ROM images, unless if the emulator comes with pre-loaded games officially sanctioned by the original developers, hence why ports of popular console emulators such as PPSSPP and Dolphin are distributed as IPA files or Debian packages, with the expectation that the user owns a jailbroken device or has the know-how to self-sign a (limited) certificate for the app to be sideloaded. Perhaps hypocritically enough, Steve Jobs once gave his blessing to a Sony PlayStation emulator named Connectix Virtual Game Station in 1999 through a keynote in an effort to bolster the rather sparse Macintosh game library.[11][12]
  • The game Papers, Please (bit of pixelated nudity). Apple then changed their minds, allowing the uncensored original game on the iPad store. [13]
  • 1920's comic version of James Joyce's Ulysses (mild nudity).[14]
  • Kama Sutra (can you guess why by now?)[15]
  • Many apps were pulled for displaying the Confederate flag, regardless of context ("offensive").[16]
  • Satirical cartoons ("defamatory").[17]
  • South Park app ("potentially offensive")[18]
  • The Sun (for the famous "page 3 boobies").[19]
  • Satirical game which explores child labor and factory-worker suicides and other ethical aspects of smartphone production ("objectionable or crude content"; conflict of interest much?)[20]
  • Learning app which included some lessons on Android (fuck the competition)[21]
  • Talks from the Chaos Computer Club, for including some talks about Apple security problems (they're criticizing Apple, we can't have that).[22]
  • Asking for charitable donations are removed because Apple can't be bothered to spend 2 minutes vetting the charity.[23]
  • Banning apps that facilitate VPN usage from the iOS store in China, as they violate Apple's policies[24]
  • ...This list can go on for a lot longer...

Some of these apps were later approved anyway, usually following public outcry. If it takes public outcry to view an app depicting a boob or a satirical cartoon, you know something is wrong. It also makes you wonder how many apps were pulled without public outcry, and how much self-censorship is going on.

Right to repair[edit]

Apple has in recent years been criticised for making their devices less modular and increasingly difficult to service, earning the ire of right-to-repair and DIY movements who argued that such practices foster planned obsolescence and electronic waste. The iPhone 5S[note 2] for example has a home button with a built-in fingerprint reader that is serialised to the logic board it came with; replacing it with an aftermarket home button or even an otherwise-identical part from a donor device will disable Touch ID functionality, unless if the fingerprint reader or the logic board is recalibrated with a special device only available to Apple.[25]

This became increasingly prevalent as more and more key components such as cameras and displays have been serialised to work properly only on the hardware it was configured to, reaching a tipping point with the iPhone 13 where replacing the display disabled Face ID.[26] After some backlash,[27] Apple relented and promised a software update which allows display repairs to be performed without breaking Face ID.[28] They also announced an "Independent Repair Provider Program" for qualified cellphone repair shops and ordinary users to be able to perform repairs themselves using genuine Apple parts and tools.[29] This not only gave Apple some brownie points to paint a rosier picture of themselves as in support of the right-to-repair movement (case in point Apple in its early years being forthcoming in disclosing schematics of their computing products through the efforts of co-founder Steve Wozniak, only for that to backfire when the Apple II was mercilessly cloned), it also allowed them to compete with less expensive parts providers from China and elsewhere whose components may be out of spec if not having the potential to damage an iPhone due to improper voltages, such as cheaper LCD units for iPhones which are designed to use lower-voltage LEDs.[30] Not that it kept Apple from breaking functionality from the iPhone 14 when you swap certain parts such as the camera, though.

East Asian workforce[edit]

Apple uses Chinese and Taiwanese factories whose labor standards are significantly different than those in the West.[31][32][33] In fact, at one point, Taiwanese workers petitioned Jobs personally about this.[34]

Some 137 workers suffered adverse health effects following exposure to a chemical, known as n-hexane. They claim that the Taiwanese factory owner has not given them enough compensation. Apple did not offer comment on the letter. Five workers, including 27-year-old Jia Jingchuan, have signed a letter to chief executive officer Steve Jobs, asking Apple to offer more help over the incidents.

Some workers in these sweatshops not only held strikes, but threatened suicide if their reasonable demands were not met. Jobs and his successors' response was that starving them made them more efficient workers than in the US.[35] Being an insufferable asshole seems to be a job requirement both for the Apple CEO and its customers. (And don't complain when your dormitories are found stuffed with the collected works of Karl Marx.)

Jobs then lectured Barack Obama, in person, about how labour standards and unions allegedly stifle economic growth and are the reason Apple outsources manufacturing to China.[36] He also explained, on the phone, that those jobs are never coming back.[37]

Oh, and the iPhone has a profit margin of ... 69 percent[38], and the iPad Air has a profit margin of 45 to 61 percent.[39] And this figure doesn't even include the profits Apple makes from the app store, which are well over a billion USD[40] So it's not like they can't afford to improve working conditions a bit.

Stealing shit through litigation[edit]

We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it ... [We] think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.
—Steve Jobs, a man who made billions stealing the technology of others[41]

Apple is an avid litigator. It sues the ass of any company using "apple" in their name or a logo which resembles an apple[42][43] or even using a lower-case "i" in a product name.[44] This is rather ironic, as the name Apple itself is a trademark violation of Apple Corps, the Beatle-founded recording company. Apple initially settled in the 1970's by agreeing not to enter the music business. An agreement Apple broke without thinking twice by selling music with iTunes, leading to more work for lawyers and judges.

Apple's most infamous suits however, are mostly over stupid non-innovate patents.

In 2006 Apple sued Creative for having a menu structure roughly similar to the iPod, even though the Creative device was on the market a full year before the iPod was.[45]

In 2008 Apple sued HTC over a number of Android features, such as animations, minimizing windows, scrolling a page in a particular way, power-saving features (in a general non-specific way), turning the touchscreen off when holding the phone to your ear, and some more technical patents. Almost all of these patents cover techniques that existed well before the patent was filed, or are the sort of thing that any remotely competent developer will come up with on a daily basis while doing their job.[46] Apple later sued Motorola and Samsung over more or less the same patents.

Eventually, Samsung paid a whopping US$1 billion to Apple over rounded corners (really) and an animation.[47] Apple is still seeking US$2 billion more though, over ... slide-to-unlock, autocorrection, the ability to tap on a telephone number to ring that number, and having a search box. All features any idiot would come up with and are about as innovative as stacking rocks.[48]

Apple also doesn't shy away from some perjury to get their way. It was caught editing some images used as "evidence" that Samsung devices were exactly the same as Apple's on more than one occasion.[49][50]

Ironically enough, a Chinese counterfeiting outfit going by the name GoophoneWikipedia threatened to file a (fraudulent) infringement case against Apple in 2012 on the grounds that their Goophone i5–a counterfeit copy of Apple's own iPhone 5–was released first, and therefore the genuine device infringed on the design of the counterfeit.[51]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Technically, you could "jailbreak" the device and install apps from other sources, but this voids warranty, and has some unfortunate side-effects; it's not a viable solution for most consumers. There are also alternative app stores which abuse enterprise app certificates issued by Apple to institutions and offer hacked versions of apps for non-jailbroken devices, but these aren't as reliable and could also be laced with malware as well.
  2. The iPhone SE is physically identical to the 5S down to most of the internals except for the use of a more powerful processor sequestered from the 6S.

References[edit]

  1. “Apple Stores: So machen sie dich arm | WALULIS” (German YouTube video).
  2. Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple’s Mastery of the Media[a w]
  3. What is that New-Mac smell?[a w]
  4. Cut it out: how the smartphone notch became ‘a thing’, TechRadar, Nov 14, 2018
  5. "iOS9 making your iPhone slow? You're not alone" (in en). 24 September 2015. 
  6. https://www.vox.com/2019/3/11/18259996/trump-tim-cook-apple-tweet-time-and-words
  7. Article “Apple rejects digital scale app that leans on 3D Touch” by MacWorld.com (IDG) (Date:2015-10-28)][a w]
  8. Signers protest removal of Manhattan Declaration app from iTunes[a w]
  9. Apple Pulls No. 1 Game “Weed Firm” From The App Store - TechCrunch[a w]
  10. Apple approves, and then pulls, Nintendo emulator for iPhone - Macworld[a w]
  11. Full Speed PlayStation 1 emulation in 1999 - Connectix Virtual Game Station
  12. Macworld 1999: Steve Jobs shows off Playstation games on Mac
  13. Apple reverses decision, allows unedited Papers, Please on iPad - Ars Technica[a w]
  14. Apple's Controlling Instincts Censor Ulysses All Over Again - Columbia Journalism Review[a w]
  15. More senseless iPhone app rejections tarnish the App Store - Macworld[a w]
  16. Tim Cook takes Apple down the dark road of censorship - CIO[a w]
  17. Apple Rejects Pulitzer Prize Winner's App - PCWorld[a w]
  18. Rejected! 10 iPhone Apps That Didn't Make Apple's App Store - PCWorld[a w]
  19. The Sun's 'obscene' Page 3 girls get iPhone newspaper app banned by Apple - Media - The Guardian[a w]
  20. Apple bans satirical iPhone game Phone Story from its App Store - Technology - The Guardian[a w]
  21. Treehouse Branches Out to the iPad with a New App[a w]
  22. Apple lässt App mit Hacker-Vorträgen nicht in den AppleTV AppStore - Peter Shaw's unthoughted blog[a w]
  23. Apple’s no-donation policy for apps is a cop-out - Ars Technica[a w]
  24. Apple Bans VPNs From App Store in China[a w]
  25. iPhone 7 Home Button, if Damaged, Cannot Be Repaired and Requires Recalibration – Apple Limiting Options?
  26. Apple Broke iPhone 13 Screen Repairs
  27. As a workaround to get Face ID to work on a replacement display assembly involves de-soldering an IC from the broken display and soldering it to the new display, which is by no means an easy feat due to the potential for heat damage on the fragile LED assembly
  28. Apple Walks Back iPhone 13 Display Repair Restriction That Disabled Face ID
  29. Apple announces Self Service Repair
  30. Best Replacement iPhone Screen? Every Type Compared
  31. More workers poisoned by supplier for Apple, Nokia: Nokia responds. Apple doesn't
  32. Employee worked to death at Apple plant[a w]
  33. Apple faces its 'Nike moment' over working conditions in Chinese factories - Technology - The Guardian[a w]
  34. Chinese workers injured[a w]
  35. How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work[a w]
  36. Obama and (Steve) Jobs[a w]
  37. Obama sparred with Steve Jobs over outsourcing[a w]
  38. Apple's iPhone 6 profit margin at least 69 per cent: report[a w]
  39. iPad Air profit margins reportedly range from 45 to 61 percent - Ars Technica[a w]
  40. App Store Now Makes Over $1 Billion In Profits Per Year[a w]
  41. Apple vs HTC: proxy fight over Android could last years - Ars Technica[a w]
  42. Apple sues New York over logo - latimes[a w]
  43. Apple bites over Woolworths logo[a w]
  44. Apple's future won't be brought to you by the letter 'i'[a w]
  45. Creative Technology Takes on Apple - Businessweek[a w]
  46. Apple vs HTC: a patent breakdown[a w]
  47. Apple vs. Samsung Verdict Is In After Epic Patent Trial[a w]
  48. Apple sues Samsung for $2bn as tech rivals head back to court - Technology - The Guardian[a w]
  49. DailyTech - Report: Apple Caught Photoshopping Galaxy Tab 10.1 to Look Like iPad for Lawsuit[a w]
  50. Apple files inaccurate evidence in Dutch Samsung case - ITworld[a w]
  51. Brownlee, John (4 September 2012). "Goophone Claims To Have Already Patented The Next iPhone's Design, Will Ban Sales In China".[a w] Cult of Mac.