I used to be a big fan of Steve Jobs and Apple. But lately he’s been acting like a bully and a tyrant. Apple’s unashamed embrace of greed and it’s insatiable need to dominate the universe is troubling. Someone should film an expose on him. Where are Oliver Stone and Michael Moore when you need them?
It’s now clear there’s something rotten to the core at Apple. There’s the glaring disconnect between their actual behavior and carefully crafted public image of Apple being a socially conscious, artsy fartsy, “cool” company. Apple used to be fighting against the man; now Apple is the man.
The list of Apple’s shenanigans is legendary and far too numerous to catalog but here are a few that deserve special mention:
Job’s decision to not allow the iPad to run any Adobe Flash is misguided and not in the best interests of the consumer. Never mind that a host of Adobe anchor applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator helped Apple ingratiate themselves with the liberal arts community that have always been traditional supporters of the Mac.
Then there’s restrictive nature of Apple having to approve all apps for the iPhone and iPad. You can create an app and submit it to Apple and there is no guarantee whatsoever that your app will ever get approved. It’s just another example of how Jobs and company is going against the grain in a consumer culture that has thrived in a free and open marketplace of ideas.
Lately there have been rumblings that the U.S. Justice Department is conducting a preliminary investigations on Apple’s questionable business practices. I think this would be a good way to shake up the insect riddled tree at Apple.
Apple’s overzealous and heavy handed reaction to the person that found that new iPhone and the Gizmodo blog that published the story is more evidence that this is not a nice company.
In a March 2008 Wired Magazine article from entitled How Apple Got Everything Right By Doing Everything Wrong the author made this observation:
…Apple is irredeemably evil, behaving more like an old-fashioned industrial titan than a different-thinking business of the future. Apple operates with a level of secrecy that makes Thomas Pynchon look like Paris Hilton. It locks consumers into a proprietary ecosystem. And as for treating employees like gods? Yeah, Apple doesn’t do that either.
Which brings us to the latest tragic story of the workers at Apple’s Chinese factory committing suicide. Here’s what Steve Jobs doing his best Marie “Let them eat cake…” Antoinette had to say about it in piece by the Guardian:
You go in this place and it’s a factory but, my gosh, they’ve got restaurants and movie theatres and hospitals and swimming pools. For a factory, it’s pretty nice,’ he said.
What would Steve Jobs ever know about what it’s like to work in a factory? Is this man for real? He seems to lack even the most basic comprehension of the average life of a Chinese factory worker. These workers don’t have the time to use all these amenities — they are too busy working their asses off on the production floor to make Steve Jobs and his rock-star buddies rich.
These facilities are there for one reason: to make the factory look appealing to potentially new employees. Many companies employ similar deceptions with so-called amenities that the average worker never gets to use because they are working 16 hours a day.
I’d like to see the out of touch Jobs spend a day in that factory doing the job of a worker that makes iPhones. He or any of his precious executive team would not last 10 minutes on the shop floor. You’d think that a man who recently had a liver transplant and claims to be a Buddhist would have a more enlightened understanding and respect for humanity by ensuring that the people that make his plastic toys have better working conditions.
But maybe there is a way to rehabilitate Mr. Jobs. I’d like to see Steve find the courage to sign up for an episode of Undercover Boss, a popular TV show were you guessed it — bosses go undercover and see what life is really like in the trenches as an employee. It would be the perfect way for Steve to begin to repair his tattered image and in the process give him some much needed compassion and perspective.
China has a suicide rate of 10+ suicides per 100,000 people per year. There are like 400k people working at that foxcon plant and they’ve had fewer than ten suicides. There’s nothing out-of-whack going on there. It’s just a press circus. (That says nothing about the conditions in these factories, though, which are pittiful–and the pay is dollars a week, as well.)
Excellent article Wolf, but the problem here is this isn’t a recent development for Steve Jobs, he has basically always been this way. I can show comments and articles that go way back that basically show the man for the greedy Tyrant he has always been. Bill Gates has always been the whipping boy of the anti establishment crowd, and really with Gates what you see is what you get, Jobs has more of a duplicitous slimy gestalt about him. But really At the end of the day it’s not really about one or two people…it’s really is more of an admonishment on how mega corporations are permitted to operate in this and other countries more than anything else I think.
I have always hated Apple, being a PC guy this is just the wolf coming out of it’s sheep clothing, and my throat is sore from telling people “Told you so!”
Working in the web business, most of the people I know are irrate over the fact that the iPhone and iPad don’t suppose Flash. I mean, it’s just plain stupid. Plus I also think it’s tricking the buying public who have no idea what Flash is and think they can still play games like Farmville on the iPad.
Look on the bright side!
China will boom, then bust. Their one child policy was moronic, they will soon have one young person for every five to ten older people.
Why that is a bright side, I really don’t know. But with that and the suicides, China will be going down hill fast within twenty years or so. Even though I don’t like to see the people suffer, at the same time I find it poetic that the corrupt government probably fucked themselves up big time. I really don’t like China because of the fact that they abuse their people and many pathetic Western companies go there for cheap labour….. far off topic…. idk I’m bored…
But yes, I hate mac fan boys/girls. I think they could be the worst kind of fans, even Britney Spears can make a decent album for her fans, but mac fans will be anything they are given.
Well, Jobs was always tyrant and bully… I guess his true nature now ‘revealed’ because they now become a major player. If 1984 gained momentum and continued, we might have seen who was the big boss much earlier.
The abuse of labors is quite common in Asia, even in South Korea where I’m from. Lots of workers lose their future, yet never be compensated their permanent loss properly. Samsung? LG? Hyundai? NC Soft? All the same. Sad thing is, if they pay what they deserve, we may not be able to buy anything with current price. A netbook will cost $1000.
Bright and dark sides co-exists and they will, forever…