Monday, July 12, 2010

The New Toyota, Part 2

After last week's entry, I received a fair amount of flack from readers complaining that I was anti-Apple and that the company's products really don't deserve the constant tongue lashing that the haters keep delivering. I can relate to their viewpoint: nearly 20 years ago I was berating the Windows lovers for hating OS/2, which was obviously a better operating system. It was frustrating because I was right on the technical points but I missed the bigger picture, which is that a company has an obligation to its user community to do the right thing. (IBM let the OS/2 user base down considerably back then, but that's a story for another day.)

I'm not going to rehash last week's story, but I find it ironic that accusations have been leveled again against Apple after it appears that several iTunes accounts have been hacked. The Infoworld article describes how several hundred accounts have had unauthorized purchases made on behalf of the account owners, sometimes vaulting the purchased applications into Apple's Top Picks section of the App Store (according to something I read elsewhere regarding this).

Is Apple responding to the problem? Yes they are, but they are doing it Ostrich-style: they are putting their head in the sand and pretending that the problem doesn't exist. Or at least that's what they are publicly telling the world. "iTunes is an impenetrable application store architecture!" is the feeling I'm getting from Cupertino.

Am I being too hard on Apple? You tell me.

At least Apple - with regards to the iTunes situation - is reacting to a situation they did not initiate. Dell apparently initiated the situation and pretended that they did not know about it. From 2003 to 2005 they intentionally sold computers with faulty parts to resellers and customers alike. Ironically, the law firm defending the company from the ensuing lawsuit owned 1,000 of these computers, which Dell refused to fix after they stopped working.

What is wrong with these companies? I'm at a loss to explain it. Am I suggesting that all companies should be altruistic or at least have good intentions behind everything they do? I'm not naive - I know that'll never happen - but there are certain companies that represent more than just capitalism, e.g. Apple with its never ending pursuit of elegant and sleek design; and Dell with its exceedingly high standard of product quality and customer service.

Are these companies now relegated to the stable of companies that have made headlines for the wrong reasons such as Enron? Certainly not. But one can't help but feel a tad disappointed at the way companies that used to be untouchable (at least in my eyes) have fallen from grace just a little bit when it was quite preventable.

No comments:

Post a Comment