I Leave For Just Three Days And Apple Catches Hell.

appl-in-hell.jpg

Oh brother. I take a small trip to Vegas (the team I rooted for won the football game, thanks for asking) and look at all the stuff that goes down. I’ll just touch lightly on these because it’s all old news:

Never has $200 meant so much…

dsc_76991.jpgApple agrees to give a $100 Apple store credit to early adapters of the iPhone. Many (most?) of those complaining about the price drop are satisfied by this, and think Apple did the right thing. Of course, there are many who aren’t satisfied, and the whole thing has gotten nuts:

  • Wall Street hates it and drops Apple’s market cap another $1.5B.
  • Thurrott says it’s not enough; Apple should have given a real $100 rebate.
  • A Wired article says it proves Apple’s hypocrisy because they bad-mouthed rebates in 2003 in relation to Microsoft’s antitrust settlement, when any rational person believed Microsoft should return the money they essentially stole. How this even remotely compares to the iPhone situation Wired doesn’t attempt to explain, because they can’t. The article is monumentally stupid.
  • Cringely says the whole thing was planned by Apple from the beginning. He also becomes the one millionth person to psycho-analyze Jobs because, for some reason, he thinks he knows. As is always the case with these types of articles, Apple’s customers are generally considered mindless zombies. They have to be, because if you admit the truth (i.e., Apple customers are well aware of the alternatives, and choose Apple products because they’re better) the psyho-analysis and everything else just fall apart.
  • Naturally, Thurrott drools all over the Cringely article and agrees with him.
  • Gizmodo says Apple’s action is no good because $100 doesn’t buy you enough at the Apple store (WTF?).
  • And many whiners — including the old standby Rob Enderle — are saying it’s just a ploy to get us to Apple’s store, and blah blah blah.

Sheesh. To those of you still complaining, my suggestion to use eBay is still open. You can get your $200 back, plus another $100 in cash, plus the $100 Apple Store credit. Just do it and end your misery already, OK?

IDG says Apple is the new Microsoft…

applesoft.jpgOne of the stranger articles written, if only because it ultimately OKs the Apple “monopoly” it builds. The article is silly because the reasons given for the comparison with Microsoft are weak or bogus. It’s been dissected already by Macworld and major bloggers, so there’s no need to do so here.

Personally, if I was Microsoft I’d be pissed. Think about it. If Microsoft wasn’t deemed so ridiculous, out of touch, unable to innovate, incapable of producing anything but a crappy OS and complex office suite, etc., then there’d be no reason to label anyone else the “new” Microsoft, would there? The fact that IDG wants a new bully in town is their way of saying that the old one is a pushover and no longer a threat.

As for me, I disagree, and think the old Microsoft is still there. Look at their recent ballot stuffing attempt for the fast-track ratification of their OOXML “standard”. They have billions to piss away, and are buying support with it. They still deliver an OS at a ratio of about 9 to 1 to anyone else because an illegal monopoly they built was never stopped. Their Exchange server is still a ball of proprietary standards that act as if email standards do not exist. Their browser is still on 80% of all desktops despite the efforts of the DOJ, and the list continues.

Hey IDG, stop being so damn complacent and go after the “old” Microsoft (if that’s what you want to call them). They’re still as bad as ever. Please don’t be like the DOJ and not only stop, but also assume that you had any hand in the condition Microsoft is in today. You humped their leg for 20 years. Why not join in to help reform the beast instead of inventing a new one?

Ringtones and iTunes…

apple-beat-event-14.jpgSo the new iTunes disables other ringtones (they’re illegal, you know). So iToner issues a change that gets past it. So is this how it will go from now on, Apple and the iToner folks going round and round with new releases?

I think iToner is cool, but it doesn’t change the fact that ringtone use is not allowed in the TOS for the iTunes store (or any other online store that I know of). The record labels do not consider ringtones “fair use”. Never have.

As for Apple’s implementation, their 30-second make-what-you-want for 99 cents (or $1.98 if you don’t own the song) is cheaper than the three tones I was foolish enough to buy from Verizon. And Verizon’s were Muzak-style remakes of the songs I wanted.

Personally, I think the labels should pull their head out, get real, and allow ringtones to be made from songs you own. Until then, however, Apple is too big a player and too predominant in the market to simply flout how it currently exists today. Rather, they did what they could by negotiating the ability for you to legally make your own, and get it for 99 cents. They also got a half-million songs on board. I call that progress.

(Some images from Engadget’s live blogging of Apple’s 9/5 keynote.)

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