Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Video: The Case Against Apple

Here, in two minutes and 41 seconds, is a roundup of everything there is to dislike about Apple.

57 Comments / Post A Comment

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

That isn't everything there is to dislike about Apple, but in comparison, my complaints about form-over-function interface designs do seem pretty petty.

GailPink (#9,712)

Have you ever had to use a PC (i.e Piece of Crap) after getting used to a Mac? There is no comparison. Mac, Baby!!

allyzay (#321)

@GailPink Yes, like virtually every living human being, I have used both computers extensively, and there's really not much of a problem switching back and forth…?

heroofthebeach (#2,280)

@GailPink I used a PowerBook as my primary computer for years, and let me tell you, it was a breath of fresh air to get a PC again. Things are a little better now, but using a Mac still means you're an afterthought when it comes to software. And if you care about what your computer does under the hood, using a Mac means endless struggle. I was glad to leave.

brianvan (#149)

@GailPink That's mature of you. So, despite the video's suggestion that Apple's corporate practices are leading to sick and dead workers, you're still firmly in their camp, eh? Nothing they need to change? PC's not a viable option for moral integrity?

SeanP (#4,058)

@heroofthebeach: like a lot of folks, I use both Windows and Mac machines, and I don't see giant quality difference between them any more. But some of your Mac complaints seem, well, kind of weird. "An afterthought when it comes to software"? Seriously? What software can't you get for Mac? My own experience is that there are a few packages I want that I can ONLY get for Mac. And "what your computer does under the hood" for a Mac – is Unix. Sure, it's a struggle – if you don't learn it. Just like Windows.

Can't view the video for some reason, so I can't weigh in on the actual subject of the article.

grandpa27 (#804)

My Apple stutters when using Vimeo.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@grandpa27 Lionel Logue can help you with that.

BadUncle (#153)

Nicely animated. No doubt on a mac.

br_add (#10,639)

@BadUncle i hate this animation style with the voiceover and the words… seems so trendy now, it's just annoying with this text popping up in random places and the WOW zoom out and it fits into a 'larger picture' ugh
I'd like to think a Mac user would have better taste than to use such a cliche animation style ;)

Uh, so the central argument here is "All Big Companies Act Like Big Companies, But Apple Is More Evil Because They Used Gandhi In Their Advertising"?

I anxiously await the takedown of Google's "Do No Evil" mantra.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@Clarence How is that point not valid? I found Apple's co-opting of 20th century greats to sell neon gadgets ethically murky when they did it, and I think I was 15 at the time.

saythatscool (#101)

@DoctorDisaster It's not that it isn't a valid point, it's that it pales in in comparison to all the other evil that corporations do. It's a failure to pick your battles properly.

allyzay (#321)

@saythatscool This video isn't really a good example of "murky shit Apple does" (sorry Choire!) – taking profits off of iTunes is hardly a big deal compared to some other things. Sigh sigh sigh if I wasn't able to get Macs for so cheap I would give up on them at this point.

saythatscool (#101)

@allyzay Agreed on your first point. I use PC's anyway.

@DoctorDisaster Sure, and STC captured the idea I was trying to express.

As an Apple consumer who is generally pleased with their products, nothing turns me off of Apple as a company more than having to do business with them as a developer/publisher. They are fucking awful from a B2B perspective.

But this video does nothing to make Apple any more odious than Google or GE or General Mills.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@saythatscool I see your point. I mean, crude oil isn't spewing into the ocean or anything. But in terms of what a mere marketing department is capable of (at least without actively breaking the law), it's actually fairly high on the "evil" scale.

carpetblogger (#306)

So apple is evil because it invoked gandhi to get you to buy their shit, which you gleefully did? Sounds to me like apple isn't the dumbass in this scenario.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

@DoctorDisaster Marketing campaigns are annoying, not technically "evil" in my book.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@carpetblogger I didn't buy their shit, actually. So Apple kind of is the dumbass!

@Lockheed Good point. That's why I put "evil" in scare quotes (although now I see it doesn't come across very well). It's more than just annoying though — tasteless, deceptive, and craven at the very least.

barnhouse (#1,326)

Hate 'em and always have. But I'm not about to short the stock, unfortunately.

Jryhzkidz (#627)

Nice video…except the expectation that Apple would be an exceptionally good corporate citizen because they evoked MLK and Gandhi is pretty damn naive. I always mistrusted them more because they very tackily evoked Gandhi and MLK, not less. Also, not as a defense, but 30% is a lower cut than standard for some distributor charges. My educational film distributors, for example, take 40% of my gross.

djfreshie (#875)


Exactly…actually, I think it should be a defense – that's a terrible 'negative' point. That 30% cut for worldwide digital distribution is nothing and, music business-specifically-speaking, a pretty minimal fee considering itunes' brand value, and the fact that there is absolutely no retail space or distribution deal required. Take 50% for all I care. I can direct traffic to a hundred other sites where I earn 100% from song and album sales. But if fans I wouldn't reach otherwise, and couldn't have reached at all 10 years ago, want to give me 70 cents on the dollar through iTunes, because it's all they know and they have a gift card, or whatever reason, then holy crap, let them! Unless you're U2 or the Red Hot Chili Peppers, you should have absolutely no issue with that rate.

allyzay (#321)

@Jryhzkidz The problem is that a lot of their fans DO feel that Apple is a "good corporate citizen" and go on doom rampages across the internet if it is ever suggested otherwise, despite mounting evidence that Steve Jobs et al are awful fucking people. So yeah, you and I *makes eye-to-eye gesture here* but try reading some Apple thread on Gizmodo sometime. Yikes.

gumplr (#66)

@djfreshie For comparison, does anyone know how much Bandcamp takes off the top?

gumplr (#66)

@chrs oh word, thanks. good to know

djfreshie (#875)


I just put my album up for preview on Bandcamp and it's amazing. It's also great that I can set the price, per album per song, give discount codes, et cetera. 15% is nothing to me if I'm setting the prices. It's something to the consumer for sure, but again – I set the prices. Then I take 100% for physical sales and anything off my website. 30% for iTunes is more than most, but man, does it not really matter at all for most regular people (when compared to the business models for musicians in the 20th century who are still in debt to their labels for recoups,), and surely this is not something a one would consider a case against apple. Not that I'm some Apple booster. I'm just sayin' – leave those facts out, maybe?

SeanP (#4,058)

@allyzay: yeah, but strictly speaking, that's a problem with Apple fanbois, not with Apple.

gumplr (#66)

@djfreshie Word. I had already bought a couple of Lord Huron EPs off the iTunes store before I noticed that the same EPs are available on Bandcamp for the same price (give or take 3-4 cents.) Good to know for future use that Bandcamp is likelier to give the artist a bigger cut of the proceeds.

TheRtHonPM (#10,481)

Up next: The guy who said "Yes We Can" turned out to be a politician.

Bryan Keller (#3,804)

I did not know "suicided" is a word in British?

s. (#775)

Australian, I think. And that word marked the precise moment they lost me.

ssv (#10,786)

Uf, I hate when companies can decide to stop voluntary charitable donations! If only there was some way they could be compelled to share some portion of their profits for the public good, in exchange for doing business in a safe and stable country…

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@ssv But …

"General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010. The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion."

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

This video is basically a mess. Apple is the "largest tech company" based on market cap which is more reflective of the hedge fund bubble in Apple shares than the actual size of the company. In terms of market share of tech products sold or number of employees, Apple is far from dominant except in online music sales and the nascent tablet market. The rest of the criticisms are valid, but are basically true of every other tech company unfortunately.

All corporate ad campaigns are manipulative lies, that is hardly a groundbreaking revelation. Lastly, nothing is worse than an (admittedly rare) snooty Australian.

BadUncle (#153)

@Lockheed Ventura All corporate ad campaigns may be manipulative. However, I'd ask you to point to a single ad campaign for a major corporation that lies. The FTC is fairly vigorous about enforcing claims, network standards demand proof, and the threat of class-action lawsuits keep legal departments attentive to any piece of marketing. The last actual major lie I remember was a Scali, McCabe, Sloves ad for Volvo, in which a r-enactment was somewhat deceitful. Within a year, the agency went out of business.

LondonLee (#922)

But, but… Apple are cool and hip! Surely they don't do stuff like this!

As someone who works in the magazine biz I'm disliking them more and more these days. He said while typing on a Mac with an iPad on the desk next to him.

CaptBackslap (#10,313)

The video left out the dictatorial control they exercise over the App Store, the way they essentially lock you out of your own products (other than Macs), and the absolutely raunchy profit margins they command. I mean, $6 billion net earnings on $24.7 billion revenue? That would make an oil company CEO blush.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@CaptBackslap That's a 24% margin. MSFT had a 30% net income margin in 2010. ADBE's margin was 20%, and GOOG's was 29%.

KenWheaton (#401)

"Suicided" … and that's when I clicked close-tab.
(So I don't know if she acknowledged that every other damn PC, laptop or what have you is made in factories similar to Foxconn's)

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

Jobs was a hippie, and Gates was a nerd. That's why I stick with my trusty TRS-80.

saythatscool (#101)

@SidAndFinancy It's "The Shack" now, you know?

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@saythatscool So you got rid of the van?

saythatscool (#101)

@SidAndFinancy No, I'm still cruising Berkeley for Asian women, Sid.

Slava (#216)

Ok… nooooot to be defending FoxComm here – any of these factory cities are sure to be human-rights hell holes, BUT. Judging from the number of employees and number of suicides that I found on wikipedia, that turns out to be about 4.5 suicides per 100,000.

The low-ball estimate for Chinese average is 6.6 and USA is 11.1 per 100,000 (Japan: 24!!)

But it's entirely possible that my math is waaaaay off.

Astigmatism (#1,950)

@Slava: Wired had a pretty interesting piece on FoxConn a month or two ago, and pointed out the 1-million-employees thing, which is just insane, but does throw a giant statistical wet blanket on the employee suicide hysteria.

MikeBarthel (#1,884)

Are we really having a Mac vs. PC argument? It is 1998? Are we on Usenet?

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@MikeBarthel Hahahaha yes.

Screen Name (#2,416)

What Analysts and Fund Managers are Saying About Apple's Quarterly Earnings Report

"To say it's extraordinary doesn't do it justice." Ryan Jacob, chairman of the Jacob Internet Fund

"Their products are being embraced wholeheartedly by the entire world." Michael Walker, portfolio manager at W.P. Stewart & Co.

"As a company, as a stock, no, as a lifestyle, Apple has reached a permanently high plateau." Allan Furrow, analyst, M.C. Mumford & Sons

"I saw their numbers and literally just shit myself." Bryan Carpenter, analyst, J.T. Marlin

"I want an iPhone, I want an iPad, I want one of those iPod things that clips onto my Apple iHelmet, I want, just, all of it. I want all of it." Terry Brennen, Portfolio Manager, Fairleigh Burnside Sigma Fund

"I am raising my ratings on this stock from Strong Buy to Mortal Lock. Seriously, this stock is a Mortal Lock." Phillip Quinn, analyst, Barclays Capital

"The best part is you can download this chicken and dumplings recipe directly into your iPhone and at the same time follow the price of Apple stock while waiting for the vegetables to soften." Sandra Lee, Host, The Food Network

"I can't feel my face." Kathryn Bachman, analyst, Piper Jaffrey

"It's not out of the realm of possibility that by 2012 Apple will merit a bajillion dollar valuation. That's a real number, right? Bajillion? Pretty sure that's a real number." Michael Rogers, analyst, RBC Dain Rauscher

"For Q3 I'm raising my EPS estimate from $5.47 a share to an estimate of great advantage but nobody to know what it is." Darren Schultz, analyst, Bentley Broadbent Securities

mrschem (#1,757)

Batteries. Bolivia. Planned obsolescence. When people tell me they love their Kindle and will never carry a book again, I mention those. Apple scares me. Like Google scares me. Hold me. I'm scared.

Natzzzzzz (#7,318)

I call shenanigans. How can you take a video like this seriously when the smug Mac users don't even warrant a mention?

SeanP (#4,058)

@Natzzzzzz – you said it. My favorite characteristic of Apple fanbois: you mention on an Apple-related site that you wish iProduct had feature x. You get 5000 responses stating that not only are you stupid and wrong to want feature x, but you're an actively evil person for even bringing up the subject. Because Steve loves us and knows what's best for us. Why do you hate Steve? You should turn in all Apple products and kill yourself at once.

God, it's enough to make me puke.

bshep (#746)

@SeanP and then when the iProduct upgrade is released 6 months later with feature x, they all stand in line to buy it and talk about how great it is that it has feature x now. As if feature x had been excluded up to that point for any other reason than to ensure annual sales of the overpriced iProduct.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

I may be a little late to the party but is anyone else sick of the cookie-cutter documentary music, e.g., plucked violin strings closely mic'd? Just go ahead and pay Andrew Bird, maybe Owen Pallett.

BoHan (#29)

I went from an Iphone to a Droid, and I am strangely content with this new smartphone, its awesome camera, and how much crazy stuff I can do. Like watch flash video (the free porn, oh lord the free porn!), and download songs from anywhere. I can even talk to my friends on the phone. It's like 2005 all over again! There are bugs to be sure, but I do feel like I've been released from the Big House. Also, the MacBook Air is the biggest scam unleashed ever. Oops, that has nothing to do with the video. So what.

sarahbee (#11,692)

Can anyone verify the line, "It was calculated last year that if iPads were built by American workers they would retail for $14,970"? This seems really wrong. I tried to find this information but just came up with a lot of internet forum speculation, not actual calculations…

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