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By Thomas Baekdal - March 2011

Apple, Burst The Bubble!

The iPad 2 has been announced. It is beautiful, fast, and generally stunning. But I am not going to buy it, unless someone is offering a good price for my old one. I just don't see myself paying $629 - again.

I actually think Robert Scoble nailed it in his review "no apps, no sale!"

But here is the thing (warning rant coming).

Apple is the most awesome company on the planet. It is the absolute king of the hill. They totally dominate the market and user satisfaction. But they treating the people of the world as peasants.

I love Apple. I do! I own pretty much everything they make. A couple of my friends recently asked what computer they should buy, and I said "buy a MacBook". I would rather pay more for something that works, than half the money for something that annoys me every day.

Another thing I love about Apple, or used to, is how they are always putting their costumers first. Remember when iTunes came out, it was great.

We had a bunch of dinosaurs from the record industry, trying to force people to buy albums on CDs. Then Apple came along and told them to screw themselves. Apple offered a really easy platform for buying every single song you could possible imagine, at a really low price.

They also launch iTunes for Windows, saying that they were willing to support you on every platform. Then Steve Jobs went on his personal rampage and strong-armed the record industry to drop the hated DRMs.

Lets set music free! Now you can buy any song, as a single, and listen to it anywhere.

Apple Jobs did exactly what Amazon is doing today with the Kindle. Create a great product, just the way you want it, anywhere!

But something went wrong when Apple started to make money.

Success is often a life-changing moment. You either turn more human and tolerate of your surroundings. Or, you say, fuck it, and tell that you know what is right and wrong, and you do whatever you damn well pleases.

Steve Jobs? He's a fuck it kinda guy. He has always been like that, and he is really good at it.

You can either join Apple's perfect bubble, or you can fuck off and play with the losers and their Androids. It started slow, but it has been growing ever worse.

Every new Apple product tightens the walled garden. The membership requirements are slowly increasing. The restrictions for proper behavior have gone up. It has even gone to the point where Apple is telling us not to play with the other kids.

If you live inside the bubble, everything works great. The Apple experience is second to none.

But for the rest of us is living in the real world. We cannot afford to shut ourself off from people outside the bubble. We have to play with the other kids. We live in a world where people are using multiple devices, some from Apple and some from others.

When it comes to social skills, Apple doesn't have any. Apple strictly presents, they never, ever, communicate. We saw a perfect example of this at the iPad 2 press event.

Dedicated fans were eagerly awaiting the press event, waiting for the live stream. But it never came. The press site was quiet, and the site was showcasing MacBooks.

No communication, no nothing! They didn't care. They just ignored all their fans.

No other company, maybe short of Google, even get the chance to reach that many people directly. And they ignore them? How arrogant can you get?

Apple, you just don't get the social world. It is not about broadcasting to the media. It is about making sure your fans is made a part of the actual event. We want to see it *while it is happening*, not after it is done. We want to be the first to tweet it. We want to share the excitement and the LIVE discussion.

Apple did understand it in the past. They were the first company to publish their press events as podcast. In a time where most other companies didn't share anything. So what happened?

We want Apple to be great. We want Apple to lead the way. We want Apple to be the king of the hill. But, we also want to be a part of it, and more importantly, we want Apple to do it for us!

It used to be "Look at what we made for you!" Now it is just "Look at what we made, and we couldn't care less if you don't like our rules or way of life."

Apple forget that they must extend our world, not be the world.


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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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