Why your products should be yours

📅 13 Dec 2021

This isn’t some post that’ll win debate competitions. I have found most of my conversations with hardcore apple users to be disarming - they think much faster than me and have read every counter-argument to why xyz is not true. But I’m old enough now that I don’t get bothered anymore when people are smarter or think quicker on their feet than me.

**Full disclosure - I have a iPad mini 3, iPhone 6s, and a 2017 Macbook Air.

When I was in high school I hated Apple. My parents always had a Dell or something similar running Windows and the kids who had Apple products were rich snobs (they probably weren’t but that’s how I remember them).

When I started college, every student was given a Macbook Pro (we paid for it, but we didn’t have a choice what we got). This was the start of my adventure with Apple.

Initially, it was a bit of a learning curve, but I grew to love that Macbook Pro.

On the phone front, it wasn’t until 2019 that I got an iPhone. I also got the iPad that year. Both were given to me as gifts and were used - my type of gift. Again, a little bit of a learning curve, but it was fine.

Now that I have become more interested in privacy and security, I find Apple’s stance on both issues somewhat hilarious. In fact, I think it is genius what they have done.

Basically, the schtick is this: We care about your privacy and security, therefore we have made our devices as secure and privacy-focused as possible.

I’m not sure half-truth is the right word for this, but it is certainly misleading. I have no doubt Apple cares about those things. If they didn’t, I don’t think they would sell very many devices. Just like Mark Zuckerburg cares about connecting people - kind of.

Apple, who knows when (maybe some Apple historian can point me to a general timeline), made the genius decision to make their closed-ecosystem even more closed. Never, I think, in the history of something you buy, has that something felt less and less like it’s yours.

Take my iPhone for example. I’m now being prompted to accept the new iCloud terms. I don’t use iCloud on my iPhone. But that doesn’t matter. I’m being told that unless I accept the new terms, “DO NOT USE THE iOS DEVICE OR DOWNLOAD THE SOFTWARE UPDATE.”

OK, so now my phone is sitting in a potentially unsecure state because I don’t want to use a product that shouldn’t be required on a phone. Why is it required that I use iCloud for storage? I do back-ups to my computer/hard-drive thank you.

I venture that it is only a matter of time until Apple extends this to Macbooks. When will it become nearly impossible to dual-boot another operating system on a Macbook? When will I have to accept the iCloud terms on my Macbook?

All of this is very clever. The reason Apple has such a closed ecosystem is to “protect us”. Protect us from what? We all know there are bad actors out there. But guess what? I bought the device. They aren’t protecting themselves from litigation - no judge in their right mind would find Apple guilty if someone hacked my iPhone because I side-loaded some apps. No, they are increasing switching costs and ensuring they are the only ones who have access to our data. The only one who loses if I do something stupid on my phone is me (they might get a few other peoples phone numbers).

This is all very frustrating to me. In the name of safety, they say. Well guess what? I can change my own cars tires and go barreling down the road at 80 mph.

But have an iPhone without iCloud enabled? NO! IT CAN’T BE!

Day 79: #100DaysToOffload

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