Fuck you, Apple: You've gone too far
I would like to preface this bit of rambling with a disclaimer: broad strokes, I like Apple. As a company. I also like Microsoft. And Google. These three companies, together, represent some of the finest innovation I've ever witnessed. The three of them, as a whole, are beacons of what progress should be. They all have their missteps and they all have their problems, but they never stop. Each of them is responsible for this amazing future that we live in today.
But Apple? Your unrelenting assault on anything that you perceive as being derivative of your baby has gone beyond acceptable. You have moved past being the underdog, being the troubled artist, the downtrodden genius. As a company, as an identity, you are now the spoiled rich kid that got told to share. And just like that spoiled brat, you've raised a fuss that is entirely disproportional even to your imagined wrong, much less reality.
For those who haven't heard, the Galaxy Nexus is a phone that was available for sale in the US that is built by Samsung, but designed in tandem with Google. The purpose of the device is to be a model, a symbol of what Android is and could be, straight from the heart of Google. And it would take all of 5 seconds holding one to tell that it is not an iPhone.
I say that this device "was" available because at the moment, it isn't anymore. Because of a lawsuit with Apple. A lawsuit over a few patents. I don't care to go over the details. The short version is, Apple found a few tiny things that Android does the same way iPhones do them. Ergo, they are infringing Apple's patents. Ergo, the Galaxy Nexus is an illegal device. Ergo, Google murders babies and should be wiped off the earth.
This is shit. This is complete and utter horseshit. Google is currently in the process of hurrying out an OTA update to fix the issue so the device is no longer infringing Apple's patents. This means that, among other things, avoiding the infringement is trivially
easy to do. If Apple really only wanted Google to not infringe its patents, this could be sorted out easily without banning devices.
It could also be sorted out with money. Apple has refused to substitute damages in exchange for injunctions because it feels it has that right. This, too, is borne of the feces of farm animals. Apple has no interest in peace here. Apple wants to end Android. Apple wants to prevent as many Android devices from being sold to end consumers as possible, and accomplishing this by being better
isn't enough, it seems.
The argument could (and will) be made, by the way, that if it's trivially easy to avoid infringing a patent, why didn't Google just do this in the first place? It's simple: because making mobile devices requires, necessarily, hundreds of thousands of little features that may or may not infringe on someone's patents somewhere. Whether it be standards-related like Nokia's recent claims, or just a clever idea that someone had and didn't realize someone else's product already does. This further raises the questions of whether such patents should even be legal, but that's beside the point. The point is that what these companies are arguing over is less like intellectual property theft and more like arguing over which one of them exceeded the speed limit by a single mile per hour. It is virtually impossible to drive a vehicle at exactly
the speed limit 100% of the time. Leeway is granted to drivers who can't maintain a perfectly OCD adherence to the law. This same sort of leeway is not being granted to the players in the mobile industry. Instead, the law is being used in the way closest to the letter and furthest from the spirit, in a chess game that is more about market share dominance than it is fair competition.
I want a nice phone. That is all I want. And both Google and Apple (as well as all the OEMs) work incredibly
hard to grant my wish. In exchange, of course, for my money. Which I will happily surrender. This is the deal we consumers make with companies: you make a product I like and I will give you money for it. However, wonderfully, at the end of the day, I have a choice: if I don't like a product, I can choose not to spend money on it.
Apple would have none of that. Apple wants to believe that Android, as a whole, is a rip off in every way of iOS. Despite the litany of differences, despite the veritable cornucopia of essays and comments and blog posts and books
, oh the books
, written to the contrary. Despite the fact that the most uninformed, mentally slow observer to hold an iPhone and a Galaxy Nexus in their hands could tell that they are very different devices.
If Apple wanted peace, we would have peace now. The opportunity has been presented, on more than one occasion, to settle these relatively minor disputes with money. Apple does not want money. Apple wants bans. Apple has succeeded
in getting bans. This maneuver would almost make sense if Apple were still the underdog. Apple wanting to halt the sales of a big bad company "stealing" its ideas would be reasonable if Apple weren't the richest fucking company in the god damn world
. Seriously. No one has as much money as Apple. No one has Apple's power. No one has the reach Apple does.
When Windows came out, Apple's fear was rational. Comparatively few people knew about Apple, and even fewer could afford their products. If Windows could copy the basic idea of the Mac's GUI wholesale and face zero repercussions, it would not be impossible to imagine Apple being wiped from the face of the earth (and in fact it nearly was). However, that is not the case anymore. Apple does not face extinction or irrelevance if it loses this new patent war. It faces only an equal. A fair fight. A competitor of a caliber to rival its own.
This is why Apple wants bans. This is why Apple won't settle its disputes. This is why Apple sues manufacturers because you can tap a phone number or because scrolling locks into a certain axis, yet will rip off the idea of a pull-down notification shade wholesale. It's not because Apple lacks the clarity to realize it also borrows features and ideas from other OSes. It's because Apple truly believes, in the minds of its leadership, that Android is a pale shadow of itself and deserves to be removed from the earth by any means necessary. These patents are not the ends, they're the means.
And it's disgusting. I want to use Android. I love
Android. I can't get enough of Android. I respect iPhones and I'd like to see what happens with Windows Phone, but at the end of the day, Android is my platform of choice. And after six versions of iOS, it is ridiculous to believe that I, an informed consumer with high demands of my mobile device, could be satisfied by something that is little more than a rebranded knock-off of an Apple device.
This is my
choice, Apple. I will make it no matter what you do. I could care less if you're bitter about what may or may not have happened in a board room, or if you truly believe your product is better. I want to make my own choice about what device and OS I use and you are doing nothing but getting in the way. You don't get to make this decision for me. You don't get to decide that customers shouldn't have access to Android. This mentality is precisely the sort of reason I don't use iOS devices to begin with. On iOS, if I want to run an application that wasn't directly approved by Apple, I need to jailbreak my device which voids my warranty. If I want to run an application that wasn't directly approved by Google, and even if I ignore that the Play Store is not policed, I can check one setting to enable third-party apps and voila. The internet is my oyster. This is something I treasure. It's also a key difference between Android's approach and iOS's.
But you would have that option taken away from me, Apple. And that's not okay. I really don't care if you want to hang on to control of your ecosystem. Some people prefer it and I'm all for that. Choice is great. Personal freedom is great. But the day you start telling me what devices I can and can't have, that is the day we start to have a serious problem. If you had just settled for some money, if you had tried to make peace with Google, or any of the OEMs, we would be in a different place. But today I was told that I am not allowed to buy a Galaxy Nexus if I want to because Apple said no.
So, I say again: Fuck you, Apple.#zeroediting #endrant