Apple: An Innovator or Control Maniac?

iPhone 3GSI don’t make many cellphone calls every day and I am not a salesman who travels all the time, so I always asked myself, “Why do I need an iPhone?” … until recently. iPhone has evovled several generations now. Technically there should be nothing to worry about. Almost everyone has some kind of smart phone, so still using a brick-like cell phone almost make me feel a little shameful. As a result, we bought an iPhone 3GS for my wife about a month ago. We instantly fell in love with it. A new gadget actually enable you to do a lot of things you didn’t do before. Once you wake up, you can look at stocks, read news and check weather without leaving the bed. The design is absolutely elegant. There are a lot Apps to choose from. You can play game, watch video, learn foreign language, read novels, take photos and use it as a GPS, a compass, a level or even a flashlight.

Then, I tried to upload some music. In fact, I cannot just “upload”, I have to SYNC through iTune. Even worse, it didn’t work using my MacBook. It did work with my PC, but it took unreasonably long time to copy a couple of songs. Why do I have to sync using iTune? It is so unnatural. I imagine I should be able to just connect the iPhone to a USB port, a disk will be mapped, then I can copy different media to different folders. The iPhone application can sort them out automatically.

Of course, Apple wants to make money. More than 1.5 billion Apps have been downloaded from Apple Store. Forcing the users to go through iTune is a great way to control users’ behavior and lock them to buy through Apple forever. Apple has a reputation of controlling its software and hardware since beginning. The up side is Apple has the total control of the look and feel of its product; the down side is Apple will charge more, as long as the consumers are willing to pay the premium.

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