Apple Faithful May Not Be So Quick To Upgrade In The Future
I have one more point to make that Apple may not have considered, and then I am going to try to leave this iPhone thing alone, at least unless I am provoked again. I was listening to the TWiT podcast, and they were talking about something generally unrelated, the crappiness that is Microsoft's UAC and the problems people were having with Vista.
Well, the conversation turned to the fact that the software and hardware development communities are just not ready for it. Then it was brought up that Apple has pulled off entire system architectural changes that instantly rendered their user's systems obsolete, yet they still kept buying, even if it meant going into debt, they were convinced that whatever Apple was giving them was in their best interest.
That made me think about what the aggressive moves toward Apple's 3rd party developer community has done to my in the way I think about Apple. Much of the reason Apple has been able to pull off these huge painful upgrades is that the Apple loyal has always had blind trust in Apple that what it was doing would be better for them in some way. I think many people had that trust when updating to 1.1.1. That Apple must be doing this for some good reason, something that was a good reason to the end users. But from what we are seeing this doesn't seem to be true.
I now have changed the way I think about Apple so that I need to question their motives before I upgrade or make a new purchase. It is clear that this move was not in the users' best interest. It is commonly accepted that 3rd party application development validates a platform and increases the pace of innovation, as well as value to the device or software owner. With Apple, so abruptly limiting the value of the iPhone by stifling 3rd party development efforts, and providing no clear guidance as to if or when an SDK is coming out to restore the iPhone's value, it will be difficult for me to justify, for example if I were still using a PPC Macintosh, upgrading to an Intel mac. Is it really better, or is this just another way to limit my use of the device? I think this will play out when they release, not Leopard, but Mac OS X 10.6 and they kill off PPC.
Will the Mac faithful still blindly upgrade to Intel Macs with OS X 10.6? If they were truly faithful and bought the iPhone for $600, just to have Apple immediately devalue their purchase, and then castrate it a month later to make it an overglorified video iPod, with a bad speakerphone, tied to a slow data network, with the potential to be rendered useless with any update, I am not sure, I mean the iPhone doesn't even allow normal headphones to be plugged into it. Normal, unmodified iPhone should never be disabled, even if the users do only have to go to the Apple store to get it fixed. When that happens, it means that you have done something wrong.
Your “legitimate” users should never have to pay for a company being stuck in a bad deal with an awful company. For those who say I am bitter, I have been an AT&T customer, since before it was AT&T Wireless, then Cingular, then AT&T again. My iPhone has not been bricked. I feel that Apple is truly harming its loyal user base. But I suppose their 2009 earnings will bear out if this is true or not. It won't hurt Apple short term, but long term, I think most Apple users will think twice before they upgrade.