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Apple's Profits are Immoral!

Credit cardsAmong my friends and acquaintances it is no secret that I loathe several big players in the proprietary computer field, including Adobe, Oracle, Microsoft and Apple (among others). These corporations have created business models that allow them to extort ever-increasing profits from their myopic customers. Of those noted, I consider Apple to be the worst offender, by far. For a current example of Apple's unabashed efforts to rake in even more outrageous profits, check out this CNET article by David Carnoy. Has Apple no shame?


Friends also know that I'm a hardcore Linux fan. I long ago left behind those BSOD Windows crashes, repeated demands to verify one's copy of the OS, and regular releases of costly upgrades that seem designed to break earlier applications, requiring further new investments. I've actually built a separate mid-tower computer with legacy hardware and Windows 98 just to be able to play a few older games I paid for and learned to love.

As greedy as Microsoft may be, Apple seems a clear winner in the race to extort money from customers. Whether it's their proprietary hardware requiring special converter cables to connect them to the rest of the world where standards rule, or their over-the-top prices for everything they manufacture, or expensive add-ons and expansions such as the referenced article describes, Apple is never shy about reaping every last penny from their zombie customer base.

I think the saddest aspect of this greedy mania is what it says about their customers. These are not people with technical expertise who are buying Apple products because they are somehow getting better technology—because they're not! In fact, Apple has frequently boasted about how easy (supposedly) their devices are to use for total ignoramuses. I think they got the characteristics of their core target demographic just about right. With the uncanny and well-proven ability of their customers to ignore fact and technical data in deference to commercially choreographed hype about "social status," it should come as no surprise to learn that:

…the more money you earn, the more Apple products you’re likely to own.—see article by Jodi Gralnick.

Where money is no object, Apple products tend to do very well. Thorstein Veblen had something to say about that peculiar phenomenon in his Theory of the Leisure Class. Meanwhile, people around the world, especially outside the USA, will gravitate toward Linux, a free operating system that is less vulnerable to hackers, much less likely to crash, much more compliant with international standards, and capable, with thousands of free add-on software programs, of doing everything that Apple and Windows machines can do.

If your primary concern in life is to make a good impression with goochy friends at the local Starbucks then, by all means, buy Apple devices—they're sure to do a better job of complimenting your $150 designer sunglasses and—given their stature among the fashionably knowledgable—what a bargain at only three or four times the price at which they should be.

On the other hand, if you simply want dependable, completely functional and affordable computing capability at a reasonable price, avoid Apple products like the plague—unless you're a Republican!