When it comes to my relationship, such as it is, with Apple, there's one thing that always gets in the way: Apple's culture of lies. The company is pathological about misrepresenting the truth. It's like they can't help it.
This week, Apple bald-facedly lied to the FCC, in what is probably the most obvious example of why I'll always love Apple's products but loath their culture. A culture, which equally obviously, is aped by its most fanatical followers. You've all seen the smug emails, blog posts, and comments here on this very blog. These guys are just jerks. And they get that 'tude right from the mothership.
But the nice thing about this FCC incident is that the rest of the world--and world in which, yes, the mainstream press actually blamed AT&T for the Google Voice brouhaha before having all the facts because, heck, Apple would never do something like that--is finally catching on. Finally.
Here's a great example, courtesy of Fortune:
I'm sorry, Microsoft. On behalf of Silicon Valley, I’m sorry.
We cursed you, mocked you, labeled you the Evil Empire. Your crime: trying to control the technology world.
Your detractors say you intimidated PC makers, crushed Netscape, and tried to turn the web into an extension of the Windows platform. As it turns out, local darling Apple (AAPL) probably would have done the same thing.
Just look at how Apple is behaving today with a fraction of the power you had.
Apple's iTunes has an estimated 87% market share in music downloads, a beachhead it is using to expand its influence in much the same way you used Windows to expand yours. What has Apple done with its dominance? It has refused to let other media players sync with iTunes. It has tried to strong-arm Hollywood into selling content on terms mostly favorable to Cupertino. It has tightly controlled the iPhone ecosystem, insisting that its own iTunes app store serve as the only way to broadly distribute software.
And now, in the Google Voice episode, we see Apple blocking perfectly good software that competes with its ideas. When you tried this sort of thing, Microsoft, we called you a bully and went to the feds. Now that Apple’s doing it, we’re calling it … well, we’re not sure what to call it.
Allow me to help. I know exactly what to call Apple. A bully.
Of course, some of us have known this all along. So, welcome to reality, Fortune. I assume others will follow.