Before I turn the tempreature up on this post from typical Australian barbeque to Tokamak burning plasma let me get this out of the way: this isn’t targetted at all fans of Apple or users of their products. There’s a good place to be had for the tech that they pump out and I’ve gladly recommended Apple products for people who desire functionality yet can’t/won’t deal with the nuances of other (possibly better) products available. More this is aimed at those who brandish themselves as tech savvy people who have devoted themselves to the church of Steve Jobs and all his wonderous gadgets. You people have no love for tech at all, and I’m going to tell you why.
Apple as a company prides itself on being an innovator and in some aspects that’s true. Their minimalistic design principals coupled with a dedication to user experience has produced some pretty innovative interfaces. OSX, whilst still being a relatively decent OS for those who, has contributed immensly to the world of open source (at it’s heart its a BSD variant) and is a good choice for the creative amongst us. From a technology point of view however Apple is far from an innovator and they are in fact scared to do anything that might sour their reputation for appearing to be revolutionary. Consequently their portfolio of work, whilst firmly rooted in good fundamentals, smacks of a company scared to be a real technological innovator.
To get my point you have to push past their big ticket items and look at the very few examples where Apple tried to innovate and failed. Take for instance their Apple Xserve line of products, which is squarely aimed at the enterprise. Now before you go off thinking I’ve just Googled some of their lesser known products to bad mouth I’ll have you know I administered a stack of their RAID arrays back when I was working for the National Archives of Australia. Apple got their foot in the door at a trade show that one of my colleagues attended and we bought 3 trays of disc. Unbeknowst to him they were really only good as large external hard drives since they had no intelligence in them whatsoever. To enable technology that was on par with the EMC array we had bought we would have to purchase at least 2 more Apple Xserves plus additional software. For a company that was supposed to be innovative they produced a solution that was kind to call a joke and we sent them on their way promptly.
That’s not the only product they’ve brought to fruition that they’ve decided to keep on the down low. Their Apple TV range, if you ask any of their executives, is still a hobby for Apple. As such you’d think they’d take risks in trying to develop new products for it but the Apple TV remains the same as it was 2 years ago. Even back then it was struggling to keep up with its competitors in terms of features only adding things in after they had been field tested by others. Any innovator would be the first to push a new feature to its users but Apple, even with its massive amount of resources, failed to provide even simple things for the AppleTV before its competitors.
I’d probably let this all slide if it weren’t for the latest round of diatribe that Jobs keeps spouting about the iPad and it being “magical“. Now I don’t feel so bad every time I refer to the Apple fanatics as a cult as really, who calls an overgrown iPod touch magical. It’s nothing of the sort and it’s just more indoctrination rhetoric from a man who is the physical manifestation of the term hipster(bloody hell even the wikipedia link is pretentious). It’s those kind of people who sit in extoll themselves as bastions of technological know how because they’ve chosen the superior device of Apple. I hate to break it to you kid but if you think anything from Apple is the be all and end all of technology you’ll be firmly stuck at least 5 years in the past whilst Apple tries to figure out how to implement something that came out 3 years ago (I mean seriously, how could you not put MMS in the iPhone until the middle of last year).
Now I’m not against you buying and enjoying Apple products, far from it. They have their place and I’ve gone on record saying they’ve made the best mobile phone I’ve had to date. However should you ever come and talk to me about how much you love tech and only ever cite Apple products I will promptly tear you a new one and burn your blue jeans and turtle neck in a bonfire topped with an effigey of the almight Jobs himself. Apple is not a technical innovator because if they were they would be taking massive risks with their brand and in all honesty, that’s the only thing they’ve got going for them. Apple without its marketing department would just be an over priced version of Dell.
Oh and if you’re looking for anyone to blame for this rant, check these idiots out. I think I vomited a little when I saw that site.