i think therefore i am not (a customer any more)


27 August 2012

Mr. Tim Cook
CEO  @ Apple
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014

Dear Mr. Cook

May I congratulate you on your own goal in winning $660 million court judgement in the patent war that you have fought with Samsung. Unfortunately, after your recent similar battles in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Germany, your victory in a court literally on your own doorstep appears somewhat ‘tainted’. I’m not saying there was anything wrong with the court process in the US, but rather that the European courts seem to hold a completely different view. That made  me think twice about a few things.

Firstly, and I must say this, I do not like globalised companies as they have a tendency to –

a) intimidate their competitors with lawsuits and sharp practices
b) base themselves, or key subsidiaries, in places where taxes are negligible
c) have an inability to listen to their customers: the ‘we are always right’ attitude

To give an example of the third tendency, I recently wrote to Larry Page at Google Inc by ordinary mail – try sending an email, for the average Joe it’s impossible – and I sat back and waited for my reply. My letter was about the change of look to Gmail and the consolidation of Google’s products in terms of privacy, specifically emails being scanned to identify and place appropriate ads in future emails. Of course, I didn’t receive a reply; clearly I was beneath dignifying with a response..

Now your company is attempting, by whatever legal means, to hound other companies so that you succeed in either bankrupting them or forcing them to purchase a licence from you.

Until today I was more than happy with your company. We have an iPad and two iPods and an iPhone in the family. My son, just about to go to boarding school, was to get an iPad and an iPhone, but because of your appalling attitude to competition, I have decided that I will now buy him products from another company – not Google, of course because of their disdain at my letter, so their behaviour is proving expensive for them too.

Mr. Cook, we are all minions really, because one day we are swimming with the tide and then – whoops! – we find the tide is against us and ‘us’ includes you. Look how Facebook is crumbling because of its poor direction. So you will have to do without me as a future customer and I will have to go to Microsoft – at least Bill and Melinda (with the adorable Mr. Buffet) are intent on spending their capital wealth for the benefit of humanity, rather than be greedy and spiteful. What a shame the Apple is going so rotten.

Yours sincerely

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10 thoughts on “i think therefore i am not (a customer any more)

    • Actually I have a problem with expecting a communications company to communicate and standing on my principles … Clearly you are one of the reasons why these companies feel they can get away with such poor behaviour …

  1. I also have a problem with a company violating the basic understanding of tech pricing. We all expect newly developed products to cost a lot but we also expect them to drop in price. Because my mum finds hi tec phones intimidating I suggested she get an iphone, maybe a 3Gs because they are so simple to use. However, I discovered that they’re still selling for way over £100, even though the technology is ancient. I also saw an ipod classic still on sale for £182 in my local Tesco. It’s essentially the same one I bought 4 years ago, so why the hiked price tag? To me that is rotten.

    I have long argued that apple make great products but they charge too much for them. They are greedy but they have been great at marketing. People want an easy life and they don’t want to be the goon who gets the ‘wrong’ product. So the marketing gets them. Many people buy apple because they are seen as reliable and require little expertise. Apple prey on that. Nasty company.

    The cool exciting underdog of old has become the fat-cat corporate monster of today.

    • You make a valid point that I hadn’t even considered. It does seem that Apple are getting into increasingly aggressive tactics to hold their price up and thus inflate their share price. The more they have to license or exclude other tech companies, as with the Samsung ruling, the more they protect their income stream. None of this is done for the benefit of their customers, it’s all down to market share and profit.

  2. I for one have never been a fan of apple products, the few that i own are for convenience only (music & hands-free mobile), The lack of flexibility in their products software has always been a draw back, not to mention like so many others have said in the past, Their just not value for money, a top end Mac book costs an extortionate amount for what it is, a comparable Laptop is usually half the price and does a better job,

    I totally support your view that Apple is “attempting, by whatever legal means, to hound other companies so that you succeed in either bankrupting them or forcing them to purchase a licence from you” however Microsoft isn’t much better and has a reputation for such acts,

    The real victim here though is the customer, we have allowed the software giants to act the way the do for too long, but through lack of choice we are stuck with them,

    I’ve always wondered how long it would take such a case to arise, frankly i’m astounded that this hasn’t been taken to the WTO yet !

    Who will save us ?

    None of the worlds Governments that’s for sure.

    • Yeah, well said. Your points are good ones. The US seems determined to maintain its dominance in this market, but I reckon the next decade is going to see Chinese/SE Asian and Russian companies challenging them. Maybe the Brits could stir themselves into action?

      • We Brits gave the world the first computer, first stored software on memory, and the Internet, what more do you want lol

        On a more serious note, This stalemate isnt going to be resolved any time soon, would need WTO to step in for that, but the lawyers are making far too much money to allow that to happen,

        Going back to your points, From what i’ve seen, Russian software is basic at best, but hardware is average, China and Asian counties seem content in making the hardware for the meantime, It would take a revolution in quantum computing i think to actually make progress in a stale technology, but we could also hope that the Patent system get a radical overhaul and while we’re wishing for thing, the US Political system to be fixed,

        back to the point, If your letter actually gets a reply, I and probably others would love to read it.

        I applaud you sir for taking a moral stand !

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