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An Apple a Day Does Not Keep the Controversy at Bay

When the technological world first began, industries built content that allowed them complete and utter control. However, as technology has advanced, it has been increasingly more difficult for them to control. But not when it comes to Apple vs. Android.

When deciding which smartphone I wanted, I orignally thought iPhone as it was the ‘on-trend’ device to have and they were simple and shiny and user friendly. But after doing further research – yes I do this for nearly every product I buy (nerdy I know) – I realised that the iPhone is just an over priced piece of glass.


I have always disliked Apple for various reasons and this distaste was heightened in my lecture as we discussed open/generative and closed/locked systems.

Apple is the perfect example of a closed or locked system; as Steve Jobs stated, “we define everything that is on the phone“. Apple’s closed system means:

  • Everything is thethered to Apple
  • All apps are from the App Store
  • Apps available have been approved by Apple and may be removed at their discretion
  • They have complete control over content, user’s interaction and the platform

Scary when you think of it in those terms, isn’t it? Apple seems to like the ideology that they can have complete control over us as they are locking our options for our “own good“. Conversely, Android is the opposite believing in an open and free operating system. These are the few features that an open system has:

  • Anyone can access and modify the system
  • Open ‘garden’ of apps – Google has received criticism over this point as consumers believe they should ‘spring clean’ their app store
  • No control over users, content or platform
  • As part of the Open Handset Alliance, there are 84 companies who have joined allowing consumers  greater competition and a better outcome when buying phones.

However, after my very “convincing” one-sided argument, I do believe that iPhones do have a purpose as a phone for my parents or those new to smartphone technology as Peter Yared says in his amusing and articulate article “What phone would I recommend for my mum? An iPhone. It’s safe, predictable, and uniform. What would I recommend for anyone under 40? Definitely one of the new breeds of Andorid phones” and I whole-heartedly agree.

We- the younger generations – are changing the way industries and producers design their products. Evan William, co-founder of Twitter said that he originally “designed [it] as a broadcast medium” and that “sharing was invented by users” further emphasising the pre-historic way that Apple works as a locked system. Twitter is a generative system allowing users to individualize their interaction and experiences with that particular product and/or system.

This is the way of the future – but brings to light the problem with the future of the internet and social media. Thus being the paradox of convergence – as consumers now have more freedom of choice, industries are aiming to reign in their control of ownership.  Is anything simple?!

I will leave you with this funny commercial that was re-done on an ABC program called ‘The Checkout‘ which is fantastically hilarious and supports my view on iPhones just being expensive glass…

Sources: iBroke cartoon: http://capitalogix.typepad.com/public/2010/04/ipad.html

Android: http://ranpict.com/android-vs-apple-wallpaper.html


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