Friday, September 28, 2007

An open letter to Steve Jobs

Dear Steve Jobs,

Let me ask you something, Steve. What happens when a company is confronted with a problem too large to patch up with an open letter and a gift card? Who gets hurt when the focus shifts from loyalty to profit? Why should anyone support a company that can't even stand up for itself, let alone its customers, in the face of monopoly and greed? I don't know, Steve, but I want to know why you're begging to find out.

Why does a company of such expressed defiance of the status quo have to make excuses instead of a difference? Why do customers of no threat to a revolutionary, but imperfect, system get punished for their curiosity? Why do those who line up to purchase the pinnacle of Apple's success get a sharp stab in the back when the frenzy has become profitable enough for you?

What becomes of a company that uses money as its sole motivation, Steve? Who protected the reputation of Apple when even the fruit itself was more popular? But, perhaps most perplexing, what have the loyal done to warrant such rejection?

We know you have answers. You could write a book, perhaps several, refuting every single one of our points in painful detail. We ask not for such elaboration, just a simple honesty. But ask yourself first, Steve, are these answers, or just excuses? Do your counterpoints explain our misunderstandings, or justify your actions? Answers don't justify, Steve, the truth needs no justification.

We are sure you are aware of the fan club that has formed around you. Mere months ago, a new member couldn't fit in edge-wise. Mere weeks ago, any one of those countless devotees would have sold their first born son to meet you. And now, as of mere hours ago, they wouldn't spare you a casual hello if they saw you on the street. Don't take it personally, Steve, it happens to every CEO at one time or another. The power comes in being able to think your way out of it. Inaction will get you nowhere. An open letter and the proverbial juicy steak won't work twice. There is a third choice, obvious to anyone who is smart enough to choose it. It does not involve succumbing to the record companies. It does not involve becoming an extension of AT&T. It's different, it's radical, it's Apple as described by yourself, it's the natural progression of a company set to change the world, but it's being ignored by a company not mature enough to step up to the plate. It's all around you, yet it's not within you, therein lies the issue.

But it occurs to us, the formerly loyal, that perhaps you don't want change. Perhaps you're right where you think you want to be. That's fine, and better in a sense. We feel no need to stand by a company that does not stand by us.

We apologize, Steve, for asking for mutual loyalty. We apologize for connecting the dots looking forward. And we deeply apologize for being so naive as to assume that the company that taught us to think different, actually would.

If you want to talk, you know where to find us.

--The iPhone Development Community.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

We need to talk...

As time progresses, it is becoming more and more obvious that Apple is not entertaining our tireless efforts to do what we should be allowed to do in the first place: install 3rd party applications on the iPhone. If we sit here and allow the iPhone to become a closed platform, we will inevitably get what we're waiting for instead of the outcome we want. If there is one thing that common sense will tell you, it's that a business is supported by its loyal customers. Well, it seems that Jobs has forgotten where his interests are. He seems to care a hell of a lot more about how many iPhones/iPods/iMacs he sells daily than about us, the ones who were waiting in line on launch day, the ones who take every opportunity to sing the benefits of a mac to a family member or friend, the ones who pushed Apple from the edge of death to the unprecedented success it takes for granted right now. He is going to close the iPhone with this next firmware update, and for what? To stop people from unlocking it? Fine, Steve, you can do that. I understand he is contractually obligated to do it with at&t. But why, oh why, would Apple decide to come down on the iPhone Dev Community like we did something wrong?

If we don't do something to get our point across, our iPhones will become worthless, proprietary pieces of crap in the snap of a finger, and Apple will still be raking in the cash. If Apple closes the door for all 3rd party apps, they will have no one to compete with, and no motivation to improve the phone. I honestly think that they're not even going to update the iPhone with flash and iChat. Why, you ask? Well, why give it to us for free when they can come out with iPhone 2.0 and get us for even more money.

I know what you're thinking. How can we, the minority, stand up against a huge corporation like Apple? I don't know. But we need to think of something now. If we don't try now, we don't have a chance once the iPhone is closed for good. So, instead of just hitting the back button and blowing this off, or calling me an idiot for trying, please just try with me. I can't do anything alone, but if we stand together, we can do it.

Check out the post on hackintosh to reply: