The real reason I dislike Apple

It’s not because Apple make bad products. Mostly they don’t, and in any case, anyone can make bad products.

It’s not because they’re overpriced. They are overpriced, but there are plenty of overpriced non-Apple products too.

It’s not even because their fanboys are smug, pretentious gits. Which they are.

It’s because, deep down, Apple is no longer a technology company. They are first and foremost a marketing company. Take this report from yesterday:

iPad fails networking 101 – Ars Technica

“Soon after the first iPads started showing up on Princeton University’s network earlier this month, the university’s network admins noticed strange behavior from Apple’s tablet computer: some iPads kept using an IP address after its DHCP lease ran out.”

Long story short, the iPad software developers made a staggeringly dumb mistake in the networking stack which means it doesn’t correctly implement DHCP, a fundamental networking protocol that was standardised in the god-damned 90’s. This frankly idiotic oversight is exactly what happens when you value your marketing over your product. Apple develop their products in such clandestine conditions that few people get to actually test the stuff before marketing reveal it in a blaze of hype and shove it on sale a few weeks later. The result is that schoolboy errors like this one slip though testing because they only become apparent with normal, everyday use.

Both open source products, and products from real technology companies like Microsoft, do not suffer from this. When Microsoft develops products, they let both partners and members of the public put pre-release versions through their paces for free, months in advance, giving them access to mass-user testing that they could not possibly achieve using only company resources. The result? Better products, but less marketing clout. Everyone who’s in on the beta knows what’s coming. For Microsoft, that’s OK, because it’s more important to have better products.

Not so for Apple. Marketing comes first, and the product comes second. The most depressing thing is that they can (and will) get away with it. They know that their marketing is so good they could almost sell polished turds if they were shiny and added “Sent from my iTurd” to every email you sent. (If they didn’t, how would people know you have one?) Apple are happy to put out inferior products at release, then fix them later. Apple customers won’t even care because they’ve bought into the conceited Apple lifestyle that their marketing department have so lovingly sculpted.

The real losers here? Princeton University’s IT administrators, who have no doubt got stick from iPad owners because they “hate Apple and banned my iPad, just because their network doesn’t work properly”. This is the world we live in, my friends, and it’s people like Apple who make it harder for no good reason.


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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

14 responses to “The real reason I dislike Apple”

  1. Mr M says :

    I always find myself writing huge long rebuttals to such posts, then deleting them completely (as I did in this case).

    Suffice to say I believe MS are full of as much hot air as any company. And it’s not like we can’t find a single gaping hole in any MS product at launch, right?

    Anyway, such debates are never-ending.

    But you really should check out iPhone OS 4….

    • AngryTechnician says :

      I’m not saying they’re perfect. I’m just saying things would be worse if they took Apple’s approach.

      Conversely, Apple products would be better if they put development first. The only point I’m really trying to make here is that it annoys me that they aren’t willing to do so.

  2. _techie_ says :

    Hmmm….there are problems with both methods of putting any device/software/os etc.. and is something that is just part of IT in general (how about the massive amounts of fixes in those supposedly better product MS Office Applications?). Whilst I agree with the fact that Apple have in this instance made a complete mess of the iPads first release software platform, surely this is something we all know about with ANY new product/software that when they are first released, they all have bugs/oversights?

    At the end of the day, its not the device itself fault, merely the fact it was designed/developed/created by HUMANS, who make mistakes, get tired etc etc, and is something that will not go away!

  3. Another Angry Technician says :

    Apple is repositioning into the ad serving market with the recently announced launch of iAds.

    Why would I buy an iPad or iPhone whose latest iterations have been designed to deliver adverts I don’t want on bandwidth that I pay for?

    Apple is becoming more akin to Google than Microsoft.

    Great blog BTW.

  4. Lukas Beeler says :


    I own an iPhone, mostly because i think it’s still the best mobile phone on the market right now. I’ve recommended Apple computers with OS X to many people i have to give free IT support (parents, siblings), because it keeps my time down. And they do work well.

    Apple’s first-gen products have always been shitty (just look at the first gen iPhone – it was a complete POS – no UMTS, not EAS, no Apps), because they’re essentially that what others would call a Beta.

    For this specific iPad issue, i can understand your complaints, but i don’t get why this is a issue for Princeton. Enable conflict detection on the DHCP server, make the lease short enough (should be standard on Wireless anyway) and there won’t be any impact.

    • webman says :

      So you think it’s OK that organisations have to change their network and configurations because Apple can’t do something the correct way as defined by standards?

      Each previous incarnation of a new Apple product is crappy, because they add even the most basic features gradually over a long period of time – this is the marketing over function.

      • Lukas Beeler says :

        No, i think the network design at an university should be resilient to devices not behaving properly, especially if it’s such an easy fix that makes sense in many, many other scenarios.

        It boils down to this:

        Apple never should make such a blunder when implementing DHCP on the iPad.

        The Universitys network shouldn’t have a problem with Apple’s broken implementation of DHCP.

  5. Claudio says :

    Concerning the over-marketing and less-technical proven application: Microsoft made the same mistake some years ago with announcing Vista as best Operating System ever. Few people could actually test it before and the marketing for Vista was H.U.G.E.!
    But Microsoft learnt from it, released a great Beta version of Windows 7 which could be tested for months, to be continued by a Release Candidate which also could be tested. That makes it why Windows 7 is incredibly stable for a new Operating System.

    As you correctly say, Apple has become a marketing company which sells technology.

    • AngryTechnician says :

      The public beta of Vista, released 6 months before release, was downloaded more than 5 million times. I’d say that a few people did get to test it. Vista may have had its problem, but they weren’t down to a lack of testing (and they also weren’t nearly as bad as the vast majority of people make out).

  6. matthew pearson says :

    Microsoft make better products than Apple..

    That’s the funniest thing I’ll read on a blog all week. Microsoft’s products are sometimes quite good, but the idea that they always make better products than Apple is just pure fantasy. Fantasy of course as it is presented with the single piece of evidence that there is a problem with the iPad as if the iPad was wholly representative of Apple’s total offering.

    Most of the ‘features’ which people are raving about in Windows 7 (not a bad OS at all but not as good as many people think) have been standard in Mac OS X for years. (list available on request)

    Of course Apple fan boys can be pretentious and smug and Apple do market themselves as a cult so these are fair points, but attacking Apple technology as being in a perpetual state of beta testing is not tenable.

    • AngryTechnician says :

      I never said Microsoft’s products were better than Apple’s. I said they are better as a result of the more thorough testing than they would be without it.

      In my view there’s very little point in discussing which is ‘better’ out of two, since the vast majority of people who have used them will have already made up their mind one way or the other, and are incredibly unlikely to even consider changing it.

  7. roach says :

    Apple simply sux but i didn’t discuss with appleinos, because they have already choosen to stop learning or even thinking in most cases. It’s simply sensless.
    I’ve got a lot to do with Apple and Adobe products in the moment, because we start in Application Virtualization. And there’s where you see if a application has been programmed crappy or genious. I’ve to say sorry, but these two companies are really bad… you feel it in the first minutes of sequencing, they are Mac programmers and never had to mind about security restrictions etc. because Apple just shits on thier Mac OS security.

    @Mr M: i can feel with you, i’m also a person who write really long comments and then delete it completely. :) Yes, this is a short comment ;-)

  8. _techie_ says :

    Personally, I can see Application Virtualisation, helping to make OS’s incredibly stable, secure, applications to be much hard to steal/use etc etc…

    I hope that MS can bring out a better method than MDOP 2010 in which to create virtualised apps, as I was extremely disappointed with the product compared to vmware’s thin app offering….

    Anyway off of my sandbox ;-)

  9. genericstudent says :

    Hang on – why isn’t this bug present in the iPod touch and iPhone? I thought they all ran iOS, with mildly different features for the different platforms (3G transciever etc)

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