Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stop it, Apple. Just stop it.

News article

So apparently Apple is really, really hellbent against people using their property how they want to as opposed to how Apple wants them to. Latest stunt in this iPhone power-struggle fiasco is that they're requiring people to sign up for an AT&T contract before they're given the iPhone (you used to be able to buy the iPhone and sign up later).

I've been a Mac fan for a long time, and I'm still a big fan of Apple's hardware, but their business practices surrounding the iPhone (contract lock-in) and the latest run of iPods (encrypted firmware, meaning it's really hard to install something better than the standard iPod "OS" like RockBox) is pissing me the fuck off. I recently purchased my own cell phone (Samsung SGH-D900) as a standalone device, meaning that I can use it on any (GSM) network I damn well please by swapping a SIM and also have full access to its camera, multimedia functions, system options, and what-have-you without stupid carrier lockdowns getting in the way...Verizon Wireless I'm looking dead squarely at YOU.

I was never that excited about the iPhone. Mostly I was pissed because they delayed a Mac OS X release in favor of getting the phone out the door. I was more excited about the iPod Touch. But now that I'm starting sentences with "but" and making Pat Doyle cry, and now that I also found out about the firmware locks on the 6th-gen iPods (which is the same bullshit Microsoft pulled with the Zune) I'm really turned off by the thought of either of them. Sucks, too, since they encrypted the iPod Classic's firmware, which is the model that has a 160GB flavor. And 160GB of RockBox-enabled FLAC playback that's drag-n-drop loadable by ANY PC YOU WANT (i.e. not one single computer to which you have an iTunes library sync setup) is damn delicious.

But fuck it. My 60GB 4G iPod is fine, and it WILL run whatever I want, and I have yet to fill it totally to capacity. I'll stick with that, and I think I'm only going to be buying Apple's PCs and staying away from their multimedia/comms/whatever line for a good long while until they pull their collective head out of their ass. Because this lock-in business is quite crap.

Of course that's just my opinion, I could be a jaded bastard.

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