The real issue about Apple maps

The key thing in the maps situation is what this move says about Apple and the kind of company it has become. As Roger Kay points out on Forbes:

Does Apple care that its naked self interest is showing? Not at all, near as I can tell. Apple has always had disdain for what others think, even — no, especially — customers.

However, for a potential customer on the cusp of deciding whether to buy an Apple or an Android phone, this blatantly dishonorable move — to take away from consumers something that they liked and put in its place a home-grown but inferior substitute — is likely to push them definitively into the Google camp.

Speaking of “blatantly dishonorable,” there’s also the price gouging, the threats to cut back on retail, the shoddy treatment of workers at Foxconn which is driven by Apple’s relentless squeeze on its suppliers, and — finally — the patent trolling. Instead of competing in the marketplace, Apple is using lame patents and deep legal pockets to try to diminish competition. Apple doesn’t want to collect royalties. Apple wants to eliminate competition. This also hurts customers, including the Apple faithful, who benefit when Apple is forced to keep up with hungry rivals.

All’s fair in love and war, as Jethro Tull once said. But is this the kind of company you want to support with your dollars? Sure, most Apple customers are regular folks who sleepwalk into the Apple store and ask for the WiFis and the bigger gee-bees. They’re not even aware of any of this stuff. But if you’re reading this, you’re not one of those people. Why support this kind of behavior? Why spend money to take a step backward? Why do business with an organization that holds you in such contempt?

19 Responses to “The real issue about Apple maps”

  1. Used Them All For Decades

    Really a silly bunch of observations, in my opinion.

    Disdain for what customers think? I feel far more respected by Apple, even with their quirks, when my machines work beautifully, basically every single day.

    Was respect being shown to you when your Windows boxes arrived, brand new, laden with junkware? Or when you were fixing drivers?

    I’ll take a bit of arrogance, with the excellence.

  2. Bob

    Yeah, unfortunately the tendency for those who climb to the top is to start defending what they have versus honoring what got them there. And I don’t know how anybody can claim Apple “respects” them, like the “used them all for decades” shill above, when their marketing messages are total hyperbole that cannot be construed in any other way than that Apple thinks their customers are both ignorant and gullible. The most striking thing about Apple isn’t their tactics per se, although their marketing is the most arrogant and false of any company I can think of. It the gulf in popular perception between how they’re seen and how they really are. They make 40% margins in an industry that averages less than 10%, and their adoring fans say “but they need that for R&D to citninjue making such magical products”, except of course that Apple spends far less proportionally on that than their major competitors. Anyway, it seems to be slowly changing and people are starting to get a bit more objective about Apple, which is healthy.

  3. Phil

    It’s funny that you are so reflexively anti-Apple, just as you accuse others of being overly pro-Apple (shills even). You used to crack me up as FSJ, but now you are so full of it that this will be the last article I ever read of yours. So partisan. So quick to ascribe dastardly motiviations when what Apple has done here will ultimately be much better for customers. Google knew this was coming and could have built a stand-alone app. Google has purposely been degrading the user experience relative to Android for a while now. Apple needed to have a native Maps app to move the platform forward. The app will ultimately be much better than Google’s and you could certainly argue that waiting until it was ready for prime time would have been better but all companies sometimes make mistakes.

    And your disdain for folks like me who really enjoy Apple projects and your scorn for most Apple customers is really disappointing.

  4. John

    I love how Dan Lyons, shameless Apple-hater and troll, can’t help but lumping ramdon crap like Foxconn, etc into every single article and issue he writes about, and proves that he really cares little about objectivity and only to viciously attack Apple at every possible opportunity without a shred of perspective. The guy is a troll and a click-whore, and has basically made a living solely out of bashing Apple- there’s an Apple-hater online economy, and Dan Lyons is at the forefront.

    Foxconn? I’m glad Dan throws the same kind of critisim agains, oh I don’t know, every SINGLE other company in the industry (including all of Apple’s competitors) that also manufacture in China. Oh wait, he doesn’t. Where’s Dan’s outrage towards that? Crickets. It goes to show how intellectually dishonest this guy is. I’d like Dan to name some companies that are doing MORE to alleviate worker concerns in China/Foxconn besides Apple. Come on Dan, just name ONE to prove that you’re not the shill. As far as I know, Apple is the only tech company that has requested independent audits to its suppliers, that releases monthly reports, that let the media into the factories (that it doesn’t own), that has gotten positive marks from the FLA by implementing changes and seeing significant improvements based on recommendations since the audits, etc. There’s not a single major tech company that DOESNT manufacturing in China, but I’ve read nothing about any of them putting the above effort into their suppliers as Apple has- but obviously Dan couldn’t care less about this, as his goal is lazy, cheap attacks against Apple, not actual worker concern.

    Patent trolling? What patent trolling? Again, Dan is either deceiving his readers, or he clearly does not understand the definition of this term. Apple protects patents it actually USES in products it SELLS. This is NOT patent trolling.

    Price gouging? What price gouging? If people felt they were being ‘gouged’ would they buy the product? Historically, Apple’s products have been ALOT more expensive than they are today, and you used to get much less for your money. Most of their products are very competitively priced. Look at the iPad- the screen quality and build quality is unmatched- this isn’t my opinion, its based on numerous reviews. Yet, it competes with garbage like the Galaxy Note 10.1 that reviewers have skwered for having horrible build quality, UI, and subpar screen- again, priced identically to iPad. If you make an effort to compare honestly, spec by spec, including build quality etc, you can’t honestly say any of their products are ‘price-gouging’ compared to products of similar quality from the competition.

    But Dan Lyons dishonestly vomits out all this stuff, without subtlety or real analysis, and combines it together (as always) to push the “Apple is evil” narrative, because something-something- anti-competitive- something-Foxconn-something-patent trolling- something something. But hey, this is the guy’s job, trolling Apple, and he gets a paycheck for it. You can gauge his objectivity by looking at this past article, where re refuses to give Apple a shred of credit for anything and has a mountain of prediction proven wrong higher than Mt Everest. Just don’t take this guy as anything approaching a real journalist. He pronounced the iPhone 5 a massive dissapointment before it was even unveiled- just think about that.

  5. Gabriel

    If the Audi had used a weaker Blaupunkt audio system instead of high-end Bose would you have bought a VW with the Bose?

  6. Darwin

    More nonsense and linkbait from you and Forbes and dishonest at that..
    I didn’t use Google Maps because they were so limited. I used Mapquest or Garmin instead. Garmin is better than Google Maps on Android.
    There were no “threats” to cut back on retail. Thats just a lie.
    Many other companies use Foxconn as you know. Including Google which can apparently do no wrong. Even though they have the rubes hoodwinked oh so easily.
    Price gouging? Really? Is the iPhone more expensive than leading Android phones? No. In some case they are cheaper.
    Is the iPad more expensive than leading Android tablets. No.
    Are Apple laptops or desktops more expensive than similar quality PCs? The few that exist? No. if you think they are then you are not up with the latest prices.
    Google sues companies over Android. Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and others have too. Microsoft makes more money per Android handset than any Android manufacturers due to patents but somehow you never mention Microsoft.
    Samsung is practically a criminal syndicate if you know anything about the lawsuits against them in Korea and elsewhere.
    Apple is the only company that does not allow carriers to screw their customers, that puts painstaking detail into their products, and provides an amazing level of service and support. Sound like a company that holds their customers in contempt? No. That would be Google with their stealing of personal information to sell, their bogus don’t be evil lie, their claim to be open source when anyone knows what open source is knows its a lie. How about their shutting down of Acers Android handset mere days ago? Where is your article on that?
    So what is your issue with Apple dan? Do they not invite you to press conferences? is your failed journalism career gnawing at you? Something in your childhood? Because your hatred is weird, immature, and just bizarre. The fact that you blatantly lie to support your hatred is even more pathetic.

  7. Darwin

    You don’t know anything about Apple. Their margins on mobile devices are not and never have been 40% and their computers are no longer that either. And so what if they are. You are also wrong, laughably wrong, that 10% is the average margin in electronics.
    I suppose you think Google respects you when they allow the carriers to screw their customers at every turn unlike Apple.
    I could go on but you don’t know anything anyway so what difference does it make. Jump on Dan’s bandwagon if you want to be a laughing stock like he is.

  8. Vince

    Don’t you think Dan Lyons and Gawker were just made for each other?

    It’s like the E!Online of tech reporting, but with much more frothing at the mouth.

  9. Edwin

    Apple is a freaking creep show. The control over and exploitation of their customers makes them seem like they’ve all got Stockholm syndrome. The really tragicomic part is that the guru that cast the magic spell isn’t even around anymore.

  10. Edwin

    Just wanted to add, part of the reason the flock is so agitated by the decline and fall of Apple is that they are not just devoutly committed to the shiny products but the hyper-inflated stock as well. So I guess if your portfolio has much Apple bought in the last few years and you’re watching your life’s savings rot away, I feel your pain.

  11. james

    @bob: that’s neither hilarious nor is it much of a takedown. it just reads like some a-hole foaming at the mouth. @edwin: so true, dude.

  12. Justin

    I’m just saying I won’t get an i-whatever because you have to learn apple’s special code!!! Just my two cents…

  13. Guy

    Contempt? Apple, in its products, shows the most respect to its client, the user.
    Their relentless aspiration to create the most frictionless computing experience is to be commended. They do not do this for the love of people, but because they truly believe that this is what differentiates them from the other companies.
    And guess what? It does.

    Do they screw up? sure. Everybody screws up.
    Are they selfish? Of course.

    But at the end of the day, looking at the whole picture, I know where my money is.



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