25 Jan

Brand Bias

Category:Hardware, Privacy, Review

This is by no means a new phenomena or anything, but it caught my eye.. or ear i should say, when i was listening to the latest episode of the Linux Action Show (Season 15, episode 3). There was a mention of the curious Apple-bias that many tech sites seem to have; the one mentioned was Tech Crunch. They recently made an article on how many percent of smartphone users are using the latest version of their software. For apple, the number was ~90%, and for android this was 0.4%. Yes. But see for Android the rules were not the same, no. IOS, the apple smartphone OS, has had numerous versions of the 4.x series (which were all included in the 90%), and android has had many under 2.x. But Tech Crunch (which, i know, is a group edited site, so content is perhaps not always of the highest quality) decided that they would compare to Android phones using 2.3 Gingerbread. Which isn’t really fair, if apple gets an entire whole series of releases under 4.x and Android gets one specific version with no variance. Oh well, i guess apple just rules because their users are almost all on the latest version then.

This is a widespread phenomena. Anything Apple does is toted as revolutionary, even if it has been done and re-done thousands of times before. They release the iPad which is a crippled piece of shit, and then wait a year and soon they will release the iPad2, to the amazement of all, and it will be the best thing out there because they added an SD card slot and the ability to make video phone calls or something. That’s some dank shit right there guys. Apple also called out Android tablets as being nothing but oversized smartphones (this was during CES, which saw the release of multiple Android-tablets), and that their OS is not designed for tablet use. Sure, Android tablets have so far been mostly crap and slow, but then, at least we have choice, and hardware that isn’t locked down. Android 3.0 will be geared towards tablets, so there is development here too. And if the iPad isn’t a crippled oversized iPhone then i don’t know what is.

Engadget has been pretty good at not freaking out about apple stuff, but they do their share too. Gizmodo obviously is another one who just licks the honey-dew sweat off the balls of Apple. There are too many sites to mention that ride that ugly train.

It should be noted that i am typing this on a MacBook Pro, which my employer got for me, at my request. I also had an iPhone 3GS, which i swapped out after about 6 months of use, because i thought it did not deliver what i wanted. I picked the Galaxy S simply because of its features, not because it has a shiny apple on the back of it.The main reasons for choosing an Android phone today is that you get an exchangeable battery, SD card slot, the freedom to choose what applications and most importantly, what carrier you use. Carrier lock-in is perhaps the stupidest invention of the 21st century, and it should be fought whereever it appears. When you buy a device, make sure you own it, and not the manufacturer or carrier.

Yes, the iPhone is exceedingly easy to use, and if you live in a country that has working cellular networks (unlike the US), it’ll work great for the basic user. But i can’t imagine any advanced user wanting to use an iPhone, simply because the platform is controlled by Apple so tightly. Apple recently even went as far as to change the screws on their flagship hardware (like the iPhone 4), so that you couldn’t open the phone as easily as before. Ofcourse, Ifixit now sells the screwdriver and kit to change the mangled freedom-hating screws to regular philips head screws for 9.95. If you still own an iPhone, and you want to keep owning the hardware you paid for, and for instance, change the battery (which is not possible without opening up the device entirely), get that kit from ifixit. The same goes for the Macbook Air, and i think the newer Macbook Pro’s. This is just rude behavior, and they had to know that people would open the phones anyway. So why go through the trouble? I wonder how many millions it cost to replace the screws, and what benefit they thought they got out of it?

I also have to hand it to Apple. They have the best marketing team ever. Never fire those guys, they are pure gold. No other company in the history of man has such overhyped crap that everyone seems to want. On top of that, they cost a shit-ton, are completely locked down and behind the curve in features. And again i stress that i picked an iPhone out of my free will, i just didn’t like the way it made me feel locked down. You can argue all you like about jailbreaks and unlocks, but the fact is, it’s your phone. But with Apple, that’s just not the case. You don’t own your own phone.

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