From Cory Doctorow’s “Against the Cult of Apple: Hostile to customers and in thrall to China, the beloved company doesn’t deserve a pass” posted Wednesday:
Apple’s alpha and omega is control: The App Store is designed to ensure Apple gets to decide who provides code to Apple customers, and the company has used this power to block apps on capricious and political grounds, from a dictionary (it had dirty words) to an app that told you whenever a U.S. drone strike killed a civilian to an app used by Hong Kong protesters to evade the city-state’s police forces during pro-democracy demonstrations.
But the most important reason to control apps is to get a bigger cut—a 30 percent cut that Apple takes out of every software developer’s hide (don’t worry, the developers recoup by charging you more)…
There’s a touchstone of the techlash: “If you’re not paying for the product, you’re the product.” But the reality is that monopolists are endlessly inventing ways of extracting rents from their customers and suppliers. In fact, the saying works even outside the free-for-data model of Facebook and Google. When it comes to Apple, even if you’re paying for the product, you’re still the product: sold to app programmers as a captive market, or gouged on parts and service by official Apple depots.
None of this is to let Google, Facebook, Oracle, or Microsoft off the hook. These companies are all monopolists that have spent the young century engaged in abusive and anti-competitive conduct, from buying up their nascent competitors (Apple bought 20 to 25 companies in the first six months of 2019) to merging with their largest competitors to cornering vertical markets, then abusing suppliers, retailers, and customers with verve not seen since the days of Carnegie and Rockefeller. Google isn’t your friend, and neither is Facebook, nor Twitter, nor Airbnb.
And neither is Apple.
- Google (Alphabet)
- Exxon Mobil