My thoughts about Apple's new iTunes update which effectively shuts the door on Pre users.
Okay, full disclosure: I own a Pre that I purchased, in part, because it would sync seamlessly with iTunes. I like iTunes. I love my MacBook Pro. I have owned multiple iPods and still use my Nano with Nike+ on runs.
But I am also one of those proverbial Kumbaya-singing liberals who is perhaps just a tad naively optimistic about our human potential to get along and, one day, become one, giant, well-adjusted human family--if only...and this is where the ironic cynicism comes in...people would just stop being so anti, well, getting along. And by "people," here, I include those who run corporations.
iTunes Version 8.2.1
So I am listening to NPR talk about how Apple's recent attempt to block the Pre from syncing with iTunes Version 8.2.1 (which Apple says, "provides a number of important bug fixes and addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices") might escalate anti-trust allegations, and it's got me questioning why Apple responded as they did to Palm's challenge.
Now, I am not a lawyer and I do not study copyright or competition law, so I can't speak to whether or not this will lead to a lawsuit that Apple should fear or pursue. I am, however, a consumer (make something worth buying that I want or need and can afford and there is a good chance I will buy it) who has been a big fan of the Apple brand image for about 4 years now.
This consumer's response
Not positive. I mean, I can not update iTunes (big deal, there isn't any benefit to consumers in it anyway) and there are obviously non-iTunes options for syncing media on the Pre, but I don't 100% get why Apple decided to respond so predictably to Pre's sticking their foot in the door. Sorry to mix metaphors here, but maybe they saw a slippery slope ahead and imagined the rest of the media-device-making market jumping on their backs if they let this go.
Apple's response kind of makes me wonder, though, if Apple execs somehow forgot to consider seriously that this presented them with a terrific opportunity to increase their customer base and add a fresh, new dimension to their brand image--a dimension that would associate Apple with the forward-thinking ideals of a more open, global economy. Instead, by dedicating themselves to slamming the door (impressively fast) they essentially did the work of propelling Palm into this progressive role and defined themselves as gate-keepers, defenders of the establishment. Doh!
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