I haven’t said much about all things Apple on my blog thus far… and maybe I should have. The “curated” application experience has many hidden consumer pitfalls including loss of privacy, but loss of control over our own computer devices is palpably the most important. Many science fiction writers have written volumes of the time when machines will control us, but does that start with the “singularity” or simply the purchase of technology that works against us quietly?
Apple has been leading the charge with it’s curated application experience. This started with the iPhone’s “app store” and has since migrated to the desktop and tablet. Certainly with Steve Jobs at the helm, Apple could do no wrong, but since he left, there have been several notable falters — although some, like the treatment of workers in China were well handled, some, like the launch of the new iPad 3 may not be so easily turned.
According to the New York Times (who also quote Consumer Reports), the iPad3 can reach 116 degrees Fahrenheit, takes more than 6 hours to charge (and may not charge if you use it plugged in), breaks much easier, has weak WiFi and has no Siri. The latter is not a feature that competing pads bring to the table, but one that was expected to be a reason for upgrading.
I’m not specifically cheering for an Apple failure. I once thought Apple was developing into a good alternative to the Microsoft juggernaut, but I no longer think Microsoft is as much of a threat as it was. The real threat, it appears, are corporations themselves. The interests of the corporations have never aligned with the people they count as customers, but the divergence in interests have never been so vast as they are now: Technology Amplifies Everything.
In Apple’s case, the curation of it’s computer products (the fact that you cannot run applications that are not “blessed” by Apple) is the thin edge of the controlling wedge aimed at consumers. It may be a happy coincidence that Apple’s faltering of late allows other entrants the time to catch up and surpass Apple’s latest offering.