So our once small cult Apple company is now the first US$1,000,000,000 company!
Well that’s awesome, but what does it mean for us regular Apple users? We are the ones dealing with built-in obsolescense in our devices, upgrades not being optimum for older equipment, as well as the bigger picture of how Apple treats it’s workers both in their own stores and more importantly, how they are treated in the Chinese factories making these devices.
We might feel that we can’t do anything about these issues and of course, they aren’t unique to Apple: all the major manufacturers are in similar situations in these regards, so switching to a rival phone isn’t going to change anything!
However, it’s not all bleak. Recently the campaign by consumers caused Apple to change it’s policy on battery replacement to make them much more affordable. You can now book into a Genius Bar and they will replace your iPhone battery on the spot for a reasonable price. This is from consumer pressure, you and me complaining! They may be big but they know we’re the reason they are big so they better look after us.
So lets have some positives about our favourite tech company: Apple are by far the best of the big guys on privacy issues. All user data is encrypted so no-one else can get at it. This has caused ructions with the US government via the FBI wanting access to iPhone data, throwing around the usual ‘terrorism’ scare words and trying to force Apple to comply with a government controlled ‘back door’ into Apple devices. The response? An upgrade to the iOS operating system to make it more secure and close any possibility of that occurring! Yay to keeping our data ours. Apple also recently upgraded security across it’s software on iOS so it makes a lot of sense to keep your iPhone up to date.
iCloud, iMessage and Facetime data streams are end-end encrypted and user information is anonymous. However, the problem with 3rd party developers remains: they ask you to allow the access to your content when they are installed and many people simply hit Allow to get going without looking into the privacy settings, which means subsequent use of that data by the developer is uncontrolled.
It always pays to look at the data settings on apps and websites you use. The current furore that FaceBook is facing is evidence that consumer concerns can’t be ignored. Take a bit of time and make sure that the settings are your choice rather than their choice.
No, Apple isn’t perfect but my take is that they are by far and away the best of the tech guys so lets keep on at them and make sure they know that’s the approach we want.