Apple: The future is ours

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of Apple (for the record, I'm not a fan of apples, either). I've used their products, I own their products, and I'll be the first to agree that they make FANTASTIC products... but I still don't like Apple. For those fanboys out there...I also don't like Microsoft... though I like their products more than Apple's. Here's the thing though... I truly believe, all hating aside, that more people need to start seriously considering whether their computing future is one they are happy for Apple to control, or not.  Because make no mistake... control is exactly what Apple stands for. To get your application running on the iPhone or iPad computing platforms, you must go through Apple's App Store... which is the most genius invention Apple have come up with, to date. How does Apple ensure quality of their products? They control the variables. Until recently those variables have been predominantly hardware elements, but not any longer. Apple now has the ability to control what software you run on your devices, and you have to through Apple to get it, so they know what you're using. If Apple decides they don't want a third party product that competes with one of their own titles to even be available on their platform... it's gone. Which means you only have the illusion of choice, when choosing what software to run on your device.

Some years ago, Microsoft got itself into trouble for bundling Internet Explorer with it's operating system, thereby making it the de-facto method of browsing the web. Apple, naturally, does exactly the same thing, 0nly they usually don't get the flack for it that Microsoft does. This has always puzzled me... but I suppose with Apple owning such a relatively small market share of desktop computers, regulators haven't really noticed that Apple will have 90 million mobile devices in use by years end, and up to 200  million iTunes dependent  devices by end of 2011.  That's enough market share to do whatever the hell they want... because so many people are so completely sunk into the Apple ecosystem. They could launch a broadcasting network, for example. Naturally as the owners of the network, they wouldn't broadcast anything they didn't like. Though of course, once you've subscribed to your plans and programs... the rules might change a little.

Apple, once the revolutionary, once the kid sticking it to the man... is very swiftly becoming Big Brother. Their market value is now more than that of Microsoft. Do you really want anyone, be it Apple, Google, or your government, controlling your speech, your artistic freedom, or what you do with the tools you purchase? This is not me being a conspiracy theorist... I hate conspiracy theories... but when Apple says that Flash is dead for their platform... then anyone working in a creative industry should be concerned.

Most people don't care, because the computers, phones, media players and so on that they rely on today are just so gorgeous, and work so well. But I care. I don't own an iPhone, not because I don't want one, but because I don't need to be online at all hours of the day and night. My wife and my kid don't need me to be on my work email at 3am, and they don't need me to be updating Twitter when I'm on the toilet. I don't own an iPad because I don't need one... and buying something you don't need seems irresponsible to me.

But for the rest of the consumer public... who are oh so happy with the latest anything... Apple will own the future. If that's fine with you... great, but I'd rather not be the one paying the piper.