So, has this become the most polarizing debate in Apple's history?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Unspeaked, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #1
    Is it official now?

    Is the iPhone controversy the biggest debate in Apple's history?

    Given the volume of threads and posts in these parts, it certainly looks like it.

    In recent memory, the next largest issues I can think of are the switch to Intel, the whole moving-into-consumer-electronics thing, the move to Mac OS X and maybe the death of the clones if you want to go back to the 90s.

    And most of those - even the death of the clones, which had a lot of people complaining and upset - had the majority of people supporting them because it meant things were moving forward for Apple.

    I can't think of an issue that even comes close to upsetting as many long time Apple loyalists as this whole firmware update has. We're not seeing just new members complaining, we're not seeing just Microsoft fans that like to troll these boards starting topics, a good deal (50%?) of the complaints are from people who truly love Apple, want to use Apple products, knew they wanted an iPhone to moment it was introduced at MacWorld and couldn't imagine not having it (and an iPod, and a MacBook, and iLife...).
     
  2. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #2
    what else are we going to discuss -- wifi itunes?

    yippee it works.
     
  3. nikhsub1 macrumors 68010

    nikhsub1

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    #3
    Perhaps as I have never seen more cry baby threads in my life. If people want to hack a phone so bad get a Windows Mobile OS phone, they are simple to hack.
     
  4. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #4
    uh nope...the most contention was the switch from powerpc to intel chips I thought.
     
  5. nikhsub1 macrumors 68010

    nikhsub1

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    #5
    But that was a very SMART move :)
     
  6. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #6
    According to the poll on this site almost 80% don't care about this stuff and would still buy an iPhone today. I think it is a debate in the minds of the hackers. Most iPhone owners don't know what a sim chip is and think of hacking as bad thing, like a virus.
     
  7. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

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    #7
    No.

    Please do not confuse a vocal minority on blogs and discussion forums (which do NOT represent the typical user as a whole.) with anything approaching a controversy.

    But I'm sure people like Leo Laporrte will give it a try.
     
  8. PDE macrumors 68020

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    #8
    I've been using macs and Apple products since 1992 and this, to me, has been the worst and most polarising issue ever. It's also the nastiest discussion I've encountered, with people attacking each other aggressively for voicing dissent against apple's practices (legal arguments aside) . I've never felt this worked up about anything related to Apple before, and I'm really surprised at how so many people are passing judgement on those who have used third party software or unlocked their phones, implying that somehow those that didn't obey Apple are wrong or doing something lacking in integrity.

    The discussions seems to be more about corporate vs. consumer rights than about the actual iphone or Apple, with people either defending consumers' rights or arguing that Apple has the right to do whatever it wants, and if the consumer does not agree they can go elsewhere, totally neglecting the fact the people who are complaining are Apple-lovers and that's why they're upset: because they really really want to use an Apple product and Apple is actively trying to stop them by imposing rules and penalising dissent. It is the most loyal of users who are upset, those who love Apple products but for various reasons do not fit into Apple's present business model. Forget about the legal issues and well-argued counter points: Is it really wise for Apple to alienate these people? It's not the first time they've done it, but is it really a wise decision?

    Anyway....it's all been said before so I won't continue rambling.

    Polarizing? Yes, absolutely.
     
  9. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #9
    I think the debate is much deeper than the iPhone. It has to do with the view people have on personal responsibility and entitlement issues which is a very polarizing national debate that takes many forms.
     
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #10
    It's certainly caused polarisation here and if that's any larger indication of the Macerati's feelings then the answer is yes.

    But I now have colleagues at work who say they're Apple fans, yet they don't own a Mac. They own iPods and want iPhones. I doubt they're too worried about this issue.
     
  11. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #11
    I hope not, because it's silly IMHO. People hack their iPhones, Apple breaks the hacks with a firmware update. Should they test all their firmware updates to avoid breaking hacks? That would be something fresh. :rolleyes:

    Even if they deliberately broke the hacks...Apple never supported or even officially allowed third party development of the iPhone, so it's not like this should be a massive surprise.

    I would think people would be more up in arms about the price cut than anything else.

    I also think the clones were just as big of an issue. The flaming PowerBook 5300s raised quite a ruckus in their day too. The iPhone controversy just seems big because anyone with access to the internet can come to a forum and whine about it.

    If it was up to me, I would like to see the iPhone opened up to third party develoment. But Apple has a right to control it's product as it sees fit - if you don't like that I suggest going and getting one of the new Nokia iPhone lookalikes that Nokia promises will have a robust third-party software library. Vote with your feet.
     
  12. gceo macrumors 6502a

    gceo

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    #12
    Why is this a controversy? Didn't they say before it was released that it was locked to at&t and no SDK?

    Sure I'm mad it's not open, but this isn't a controversy. They didn't go back on their word, or lie like some big companies (MS).

    I'm a fanboy, and I think that this time Apple's image is getting tarnished a little unfairly, and their are getting targeted because of AT&T's efforts to keep Apple locking the iPhone down.
     
  13. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

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    #13
    not just new users complaining?

    I am not sure what you are basing this statement on, I know that none of us (myself included of course), really have any statistics to back us up.

    My personal take on it is that it is mostly new users doing the complaining here. There is an additional category of complainers I have referred to as "the hackers," and a lot of them are certainly long-time Mac users, but I don't see the average (non-hacker) long-term Mac user complaining at all.

    All the complainers I read or hear seem to be taking the tack that "Apple is just like Microsoft now" or that they are "just as evil as any other corporation." They also seem to be enmeshed in some kind of fantasy world that has no basis in fact wherein Apple is actively seeking to "punish the hackers" or "trick us" or any number of other ridiculous scenarios. The fools at Gizmodo have even gone so far as to characterize it as a "noble war" (a la Star Wars) of hackers against the evil empire of Apple.

    These are not the arguments of a long-time Mac user. Apart from being juvenile fantasies, they indicate users with little history in the Apple universe, and little knowledge of Apple in general. These people sound for all the world like the kind that have never used an Apple computer and outside of the occasional iPod, jumped on board when the iPhone was announced and Apple seemed to be the "next big thing." A two percent uptick in market share allows for a *lot* of new users on the train.

    They certainly are people without any kind of brand loyalty or faith in Apple, and for that reason I disagree that these are not essentially "new users."
     
  14. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #14
    I can't see the issue.

    People broke the iPhone's SLA, Apple warned them the update would disable the hacked phones. Apple were right.

    People bitch that the iPhones they knowingly messed with got disabled.
     
  15. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

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    #15
    I think this is "spot on." :)

    In my mind, I always end up referring to those upset about recent events as "juvenile" or "whiny babies," but aside from the fact that it's probably rude of me to put it that way, I think I do it because to me the difference really is in the type of person who is reacting, not the events they are reacting to.

    The very attitudes that I am finding "juvenile" are probably not so much related to chronological age, as they are to the exaggerated sense of entitlement that many people display these days.

    It's a certain type of person that feels put out by the things that Apple has done. A type personified in the extreme perhaps, by those few that have actually filed law-suits. :)
     
  16. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #16
    I'm not talking about taking sides on whether or not Apple was right in releasing a locked Phone, causing damaged to unlocked phones (intentionally or not) or whether the "hackers" were within their right to release third party apps and SIM breaks for the iPhone. That's been discussed at length in the iPhone forum.

    I'm saying that now that this *has* all happened, are we left with the most segregated Apple user base ever? The locked vs. the unlocked? The hackers vs updaters? The AT&T users vs the world?

    Yes, the Powerbook 5300 battery issue was huge. But I think EVERYONE was on the same page with it (it was a bad thing!). No one was really saying it was cool that a battery could catch on fire, and Apple solved the problem pretty amicable.

    With this, we've got two very different opinions, and two sides that feel very strongly about what they believe in. We've also got Apple, which has taken a hard line that a lot of the people who buy their products aren't happy with.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that the iPhone topics have taken on the same tone of the Mac vs. PC type threads we see every now and then - only the only company involved is Apple! And that's a little weird/crazy/unprecedented...
     
  17. badtzmaru macrumors 6502

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    #17
    i think the most polarizing debate was getting rid of slot expansion cards in the IIc!
     
  18. Dagless macrumors Core

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    #18
    As it has already been said - it's just a vocal minority (20%) with entitlement issues is all.
     
  19. MikeTheC Guest

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    #19
    *walks over to megfilmworks, pulls 'em up out of their chair, points to them and says to the rest of the class...*

    "Ok, folks, megfilmworks just hit the nail on the head so hard and so dead-center you need to stop talking and start paying attention to what this person just said."

    *lets megfilmworks sit down again, then walks up to the front of the class to continue*

    Alright, boys and girls, let's take a look at this situation. When you buy an iPhone, there's nothing morally or ethically wrong with doing anything you want to the thing. Certainly on the face of it, I don't think anyone here will question that. The exception, of course, would be using the phone for purposes of fraud, or to defraud any company or other person. But short of that, hey, it's your phone.

    Now, having said that, let's also take a look at what's really going on out there, since it's a fight and a battle far beyond the scope of merely any one company. And, Michael Vick notwithstanding, I think it's fair to say when it comes to being the "awful evil Big Brother", Apple doesn't even have a dog in that fight. Can we agree on at least that much? Alright, so, what does that leave us with, exactly?

    What we're talking about is the notion of what a person's legal liberties and freedoms actually are versus what any of us think they should be. And what megfilmworks so succinctly and brilliantly articulated is that a good portion of the debate isn't even about true liberties, but rather the growing entitlement mentality here in the U.S.

    The truth of the matter (and I've pointed this out in one of the threads) is when you buy an iPhone from Apple, given that Apple has marketed the device as a phone specifically for use with a certain carrier, and then secondarily given that Apple has taken steps to deliberately limit the phone for use with that carrier, when you buy one of these phones you are responsible for knowing what you're getting into. If you think that an iPhone and a contract with AT&T is the correct solution for you, then that's fine and well, and no harm done. If you feel it isn't, well then, don't buy the thing.

    I mean, if you want to talk about true liberty, then a necessary part of any such discussion would mandatorily include talking about Linux.

    However, in my opinion I don't think that's what's first and foremost on many (most?) peoples' minds here in the myriad discussions we're referring to. I think what it's about is people wanting the cool toy, but then want to go cheap and weasel their way out of the other associated expenses. When I worked for Sony, and now and before when I've worked in regular retail, there have been times innumerable wherein someone approaches me and wants the better result, but wants to cheat and shortcut the process at every step of the way.

    So many people think they can just shuck-n-jive their way through life, and it's really disgusting to me, as well as a number of others. It's becoming endemic to our national psyche, and I'm getting tired of living with, in and amongst a bunch of whiny, petulant, cheap little snob-noses who act this way.

    /rant
     
  20. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #20
    Bottom line: if you hacked you iPhone and now it doesn't work because of a firmware update, it's your fault, not Apple's or anyone else's.

    Also, you do not have the right to hack your iPhone and expect Apple to cover the costs of replacing/repairing it with regards to damage/malfunction brought on directly or indirectly by any hacks you may have installed.

    None of this means you can't hack you iPhone to your heart's content. But it does mean that Apple is not obligated to support iPhone owners that knowingly violate their warranty. It's that simple, people.

    This isn't about fairness or Apple being mean and evil. It's about personal responsibility, and, as others have discussed at length, a false sense of entitlement on the part of a bunch of hacked iPhone owners.
     
  21. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #21
    You know, even if it was 20% (and I think you're a little low - I certainly don't think it's 50/50, but it seems closer to 30-40% of people would like to see Apple play nice with the unlockers and hackers, even if they're not doing it themselves) that's a pretty big number.

    There's other "controversial" issues that pop up in Apple rumors sites where maybe 1 out of 20 people is upset, and that's the typical response to things.

    Generally speaking, Apple can do no harm in the eyes of a huge majority of their users 0 nearly everyone.

    This is the first issues I've seen in a while - at least since the Intel switch - where a substantial portion of long time customers are feeling unhappy.
     
  22. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #22
    There's a distinction that needs to be made though - while I would like to see Apple be less uptight about the hacked iPhones, I find the whining about it nauseating and feel obliged to come down on Apple's side if only on principle, since I believe people feel Apple owes them something it does not. So which side do I fall on? I'm less than thrilled about the hacks beiong broken but I don't think what Apple did was wrong.

    Also, let's not forget that none of us know whether the firmware update

    1. Was written at least in part to deliberately break hacks.
    2. Was written without regard for hacks (either for or against), but has broken them.
    3. Same as 2, but after internal discussions it was decided not to modify the update to allow the hacks to function.
    4. Was written without regard for hacks (either for or against), but after internal discussion it was decided to deliberately break hacks.

    I get the feeling that the loudest whines are coming from the iPod rather than the Mac crowd - people who are relatively new customers and do not feel much attachment to the brand other than as a fashion/status symbol.
     
  23. calculus Guest

    calculus

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    #23
    The truth is that almost no-one cares about this...
     
  24. sananda macrumors 68020

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    #24
    i'm whining a bit. and it's because i have total attachment to apple. i've never had a windows pc only macs. and i'm 39. as soon as i saw iphone introduced i wanted one. but, like the majority of uk residents, i'm strictly pay as you go. i had a t-mobile contract for 10 years but as i started to spend large amounts of time abroad, it was no longer cost effective to have a contract. i'm whining a bit because i'd like to be included. and i'm whining a bit because, from my perpective living in a country where most have pay as you go phones, it seems anti competitive that the customer does not have a choice of phone network and contract/pay as you go. it also seems unnecessarily expensive that with iphone i cannot pop in a thai sim card when i'm frequently there to save hundreds of pounds per month. i realise that for a lot of people the contract works out great. and three years ago when i was looking for a new contract, if this were available, i would have leapt at it.

    i know people will, and have frequently, said if you don't like what's on offer get another phone. but i would really like an iphone because i'm an apple man. i just can't justify paying hundreds of pounds a month when i am abroad. i'd gladly pay more for an unlocked phone to account for the loss to apple of call revenue.
     
  25. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

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    #25

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