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.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with anything said here and I am a loyal costumer of apple so please ... just sign in with your name, not apple loyal costumers.

And maybe see what they have done, not what you want for your personal interest.

Anonymous said...

You are a whiny little bitch.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed, a whiny little bitch.

Anonymous said...

I own a good amount of stocks from Apple and I would have to agree. Steve, you need to Think Different again... And no, I don't have a bricked iPhone.

Anonymous said...

I believe that a company has a right to make profit (200 dollar discount for more customers) and that is infact what its purpose is. But punishing customers for taking the iPhone out of at&t's scope is ridiculous. In addition, I believe it is not up to one person posting the letter to Apple's board.

Anonymous said...

Poor sniffly baby. Suck it up, princess, that's capitalism. You don't like it? You shouldn't have a) bought then b)hacked your iPhone.

And when you DID hack it - you really shouldn't have installed a LEGIT update. Moron.

Anonymous said...

Apple didn't punish anyone. Grow up. Then we'll be known as fanmen instead of fanboys.

Anonymous said...

Shut up. What Steve Jobs and Apple did was do what every company wishes they could, release a smokin' hot product, sell a ton of them, then slash the prices only 2 months after release after recouping the costs of their product development. Then they went and protected their product, they were nice enough to say "seriously...this will break if you use third party apps" then people get shocked when it's broken. you are a whiny little bitch.

Anonymous said...

Bravo. Impeccably well-written. I spend alot of money with Apple and have never used anything else but Apple. Jobs, look at AOL when they turned their backs on their customers. Where are they now? Whodathought a major corporate entity could take such a nose-dive?

So go ahead and hang the "whiny bitch" sign on me too. I've spent enough money on Apple products that I earn the right to bitch.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another whiny person who got their iPhone bricked by an update. I'm sorry buddy, but if you're doing something illegal, don't expect any mercy from Apple. This coming from an iPhone owner and user, your argument holds no ground in my mind, because you knowingingly agreed to the contract agreements, and proceeded to hack the product you purchased, and then expect sympathy from a company? Yeah.... that'll work...

davidba said...

Give this person his due. He has spoken up and laid it on the line in a way nobody else has. Perhaps we should all send letters/emails/messages from our iphones giving Jobs are true feelings about what has been done. Like any large organization (Like the US Goverment) losing vision can only be countered by shining a bright light to lead them back to the right path. Treat Jobs like you would your congressman (Yeah, I know, you don't write to him either) expressing your views. You have a right to be listened too, and they have a responsibility to hear it and react or respond to it. If you don't tell them your mad at their actions or lack thereof, they will never know, and take steps to make changes.

My Name is David B. Alford, and I am a very
displeased Apple Customer, who is not afraid to give my name, and tell everyone my true feelings about this situation.

Ben said...

omg how whiny. please don't speak for me - sign it yourself, not on behalf of apple customers.

basslineshift said...

I have been a loyal Apple customer for all of my life. I was 2nd in line in my city to buy an iPhone, I've purchased more laptops and desktops than I'd like to admit. I've converted my entire office to Apple and have been tagged the "Apple Missioary". I understand the want... or need even, for cohesion with the hardware and software. What I don't understand is the seemingly purposeful sabotage of your loyal customers. The ones that only want to do what Apple recommended in the first place, to think different.

To Apple I ask, please consider what you are doing to the people who have supported you and defended you, even at the cost of personal ridicule.

Anonymous said...

I could never understand why some people hate people they don't know on a personal level. I would believe if you hate a company, but it;s also stretching it. Anyway, If you know him personally and he has done something bad to you, it's ok. But to hate someone you don't know, for a flimsy reason; there are far more bad things happening in this world. I think we are given free will in this world; you have an option to choose and choose wisely. In this world where nothing is what it seems, everyone should have a bullshit detector on high alert; we should actually take responsibility for our choices. We are after all adults.

Anonymous said...

1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014

Mr Jobs,

I'm writing to express my recent disappointment with Apple Inc. I'm disappointed with the bitter attitude towards third party development on the iPhone. As I'm sure you're aware many methods of unlocking and developing software for the iPhone have surfaced. Instead of embracing this progress and development Apple has chosen to stomp it's foot on developers and hurt the very people that want to give you money. I can understand your desire to control the phone but there is something most companies don't realize. The ability to unlock hardware and develop applications for it makes it MORE desirable in the eyes of a consumer. This is something I would expect Apple to understand.

I implore Apple to release a mature SDK for the iPhone and not release firmware specifically for the cause of closing doors which allow unlocks.

In a corporate playing field littered with selfish and cut throat businesses I look to Apple as a beacon of reason and sanity. Please don't let me down.

Thecompkid said...

First and foremost, my iPhone is a completely legit 100% unhacked (obviously) 1.1.1 phone that is functioning fine. So this is not me getting all pissed off about the fact that my phone is bricked. There you go making assumptions again.
Second of all, and this is the point that no one seems to ever get, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT APPLE STOPPING PEOPLE FROM UNLOCKING PHONES OR RELOCKING HACKED PHONES. I know that AT&T would beat the living crap out of Apple if they let that go by.

And the third thing. This is not exclusively about the iPhone. This is about Apple locking developers out when they did nothing hazardous to the iPhone brand. This is about Apple installing chips in their video out cables to make sure you can only buy the most expensive ones. This is about the direction that Apple is going as a company. It's time for you people to take your heads out of the sand and realize that Apple is becoming the next Sony at an alarmingly fast pace.

Let me just leave you with this: not even Microsoft puts chips in it's video out cables. Not even microsoft. This is the direction that the once-innovative Apple is going. If you don't give a shit, then that's fine too. I'm not forcing you to agree with me. But if you still feel the need to flame me, then the comment form is right down there.

PS: While I wrote the letter, it is posted and being revised on the Hackint0sh forums, so i'm not alone in this.

Anonymous said...

You just want be dugg...pathetic...

No digg...buried for lameness.

Anonymous said...

itty bitty baby, itty bitty boat itt

Anonymous said...

What was steve jobs doing in the '80's....anyone one know? He was one of the first "phone freakers". What all these people are doing is what he did back in his younger days. He once cost companies money...now that the shoe is on the other foot he is being an ass about it.

Nice letter..agree 110%!!

Anonymous said...

"17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1) requires that the Librarian of Congress issue exemptions from the prohibition against circumvention of access-control technology. Exemptions are granted when it is shown that access-control technology has had a substantial adverse effect on the ability of people to make noninfringing uses of copyrighted works.

"...Computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network. (A new exemption in 2006.)"

Well said. And my iPhone is not bricked, nor hacked, but it is my legal and lawful right to do so, should I choose another provider and wish to connect to that network

Bryan said...

I'm with you. I agree with everything you said. Being an Apple fan for over 10 years, I may not be the longest running of them, but I've been loyal long enough that I see change for the worse coming again. Greed was the same thing that brought Apple to it's knees a decade ago, and time is a wheel.

Anonymous said...

Too bad you're not as angry and passionate about our current federal government (the executive branch in particular) and the blatant attempts at violating your constitutional rights as you are about a widget maker. Your anger is so misplaced its frightening. Your asleep at the wheel and you think you're only problem is a gadget you want to tinker with but the gadget make won't let you? Stop whining about material goods, and wake up to the real violations occurring to your civil rights. Get your priorities straight little boy.

Anonymous said...

The real question is: Will I buy an iPhone after this Firmware Update - I think the answer will be: NO

Anonymous said...

its all good and fine that your calling him out, but the last thing you deserve is to call yourself a loyal customer. it was just good buissnes smarts. everyone went to go see star wars for $10.00 and $15.00 popcorn. everyone knew in 3 months it would be in the dollar movies, and noone complained... so suck it up and stop being a**holes

Anonymous said...

I agree with both the post's author as well as those who call him a whiny bitch.

The way to go about sticking it to Apple is not by buying an iPhone then complaining. See, I didn't buy an iPhone. Why? Because of the AT&T crap and the lack of 3rd party support. If Apple wants to pull its "you either buy ours and play into our shitty scheme, or don't have one", then I'll gladly not have one.

If Apple's gonna sell its soul to the corporate world, then at least save yours (and $400 + $20/mo).

PhatJack said...

I think the problem is this. The iPhone is a convergence of three different demographics. The iPod crowd, the cellphone crowd and the handheld crowd.

I think the iPod and cellphone crowd are pretty much used to enjoying whatever's handed to them. I dont think they're of a mindset that would be inclined to customize.

The problem here is with the handheld crowd. If you've ever owned a Palm or Pocket PC device then you're quite used having a vast library of third party applications to delve upon. (Almost 50,000 apps for Palm alone!) Virtually anything you need to do, you can do it on a Palm or Pocket PC.

This is why it feels so restraining to move from one of these platforms to the iPhone. Sure it looks amazing and we're all dazzled by the aesthetics and design. But does it really do what we want it to do? Can I go to a site like pocketgear.com or handango.com and find the app that suits my individual pourposes? No I cant. I have to wait for Apple to write an app and then I have to give Apple my money.

I'm rather disappointed in Apple's decision to lock the iPhone. I'm reminded of the "dark ages of Apple" when their software and files could never be opened or edited on a Windows machine.

I think the iPhone has a good start. However locking the iPhone so that only one company can write apps for it is the one thing that will hold it back from becoming a great handheld platform and standing head and shoulders above Palm or Pocket Pc.

But golly it sure looks neeto!!!

Cipher said...

Don't worry, Steve knows you don't really mean it.

You're not really an Apple customer until you've had your heart broken because one of their products disappointed you. It happens to all of us sooner or later.

Mine was broken 3 times starting in 1996 - a Performa 6300, then it was broken again when my Beige G3 was obsolete for X, and then I had a snow iBook G3 with a logic board that fried twice, the second time out of warranty.

But Apple is Apple and as crappy as it can be sometimes, it's still so much better designed than all the other crap, and the operating system is so much better that you're going to be hooked forever.

Anonymous said...

Guys, you are overreacting.

Apple didn't prevent people from hacking the iPhone, though they made it difficult.

The update wasn't mandatory. No one was forced to install the update. If you all were happy with their hacked iPhones THEN DON'T INSTALL THE UPDATE YOU IDIOTS.

Apple gave people fair warning that their update might disable people's phones if they'd been hacked.

If I go into my OSX code and hack it, then I install an update from Apple that wipes it out, is it fair to say Apple is responsible?

I feel bad for people who got bricked, but really what were you thinking when you installed the update after being warned repeatedly that the hack might cause problems on your iPhone.

Jim said...

Anyone who describes themselves as a "loyal customer" deserves everything that this loyalty brings them.

Anonymous said...

I'd bet that those of you who think this article is a whiny cry for attention are:

a) Whiny bitches yourselves
b) AT&T bitch customers
c) Bitchy Windows users
d) Bitches who if are indeed Apple users, have been for a very short time and don't understand how Apple prior to this ridiculous update functioned as a company. (trust someone who has followed, invested and religiously used Apple since System 7)
e) Clearly have not read the DMCA which legally authorizes anyone in the US to unlock their iPhone.
f) All of the above

And for those who have iBricks, you are in your right to have your iPhone replaced. Apple did not have an Use Policy prohibiting 3rd party apps before iTunes 7.4.2. So if you bought your iPhone before that, tell that junkie ass, zit faced, sexually deprived Genius to fix or replace your iPhone.

The crime, and I mean CRIME here, is that Apple intentionally bricked perfectly working iPhones and then turns customers away that bring them back. (And trust me, that weak statement Apple released about 3rd party software causing "irreparable damage to the iPhone's software" is a crock of shit. Nothing more then a notice from Apple legal to muzzle the analysts before the update. The iPhone runs OS X. So I suppose all my 3rd party apps on my Macbook Pro have damaged my "software")

I'm not from America.
We don't have AT&T (thank God),
and I deserve to do whatever the fuck I want with the shit I buy. I hope this bits you in the ass Steve.

Anonymous said...

I'm also a loyal Apple customer and don't appreciate your making yourself a spokesperson for all of us. Please use your name on the letter so that it appears what it is, the opinion of one individual.

Anonymous said...

First, you should have pointed out the gritty details in the first post. Second, Apple is doing some of the lockouts to prevent bad equipment from hurting the products.
With that said I must agree that a chip the in the video-cable is greedy.

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