DIGC 202

Six Months in a Leaky Boat

I have always been amazed at some people’s dedication but Sam Vieira and his friend Davor – who are two university students from Sydney – take the cake. They are willing to sit outside the Apple store for two weeks so they can be the first ones to get the new iPhone 6. If only they were that dedicated to their studies.

Whilst I do have a good rant over in this post, this post will explore the philosophies of the two heavyweight empires that dominate the smartphone market – Android and Apple.

2007 was a huge year not only for myself – starting high school – but also for Apple when in January, they released the iPhone with co-founder Steve Jobs stating to the world, “Today we’re introducing three revolutionary products…a widescreen iPod…a revolutionary mobile phone; a breakthrough in Internet communications…We are calling it…iPhone” (Mitew 2014). I can imagine the enamoured audience rising to their feet, applauding uproariously and trying with all their might not to bow down to their noble leader as he presents the future.

Conversely, in December of 2007, many waited with baited breath at Google’s response to this revolutionary device. But to individual’s dismay, they stated – on their own blog, no big showy press conference – that, “we’re not announcing a Gphone. However, we think that we are announcing the Open Handset Alliance and Android – which is more significant and ambitious that a single phone” (Mitew 2014). Well, ain’t those fightin’ words?

But ultimately, it is up to consumers and Apple – for the tech savvy – was somewhat of a let down as Apple, “remains tethered to its makers desires, offering a more consistent and focused user experience at the expense of flexibility and innovation” (Zittarian 2006, p.59) Whilst this is brilliant if you are like me and have no idea how to jailbreak or hack into anything but for those that wanted freedom to use their phone in their own unique way, Apple has sold itself short by applying  closed system to their products.

And I believe that this is why Android has the upper hand as they offer an open system meaning that the vendor has no control over the content, user or the platform. These are the statistics provided by Mitew (2014):

  • Android holds 85% of the global smartphone market
  • 1 billion devices are in use
  • 1 million activations per day
  • Estimated 1,000,000 apps

Finally, to tie this post in with current events, it is hard to go past the hacking of celebrities iCloud accounts. Whilst I do not believe that Apple is entirely to blame – as the security questions were answered correctly signifying a professional hack – I do think it is somewhat ironic that a closed system which dictates so much of your interaction with its devices as well as suggesting that this closed system is better for you, can ultimately have their fundamental philosophy tested. Maybe this will change Apple?

 

 

Mitew, T 2014, “DIGC202 The feudalism of the Internet”, lecture notes, accessed on 13/9/2014, http://prezi.com/qopqxh6ktl1j/the-feudalisation-of-the-internet/

Zittrain J 2010, A fight over Freedom at Apple’s core, Financial Times, viewed 11thSeptember 2014, <http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/fcabc720-10fb-11df-9a9e-00144feab49a.html#axzz3D9PE4npq>

 

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2 thoughts on “Six Months in a Leaky Boat

  1. Hey there! I really enjoyed reading your post. Like you I have no idea how to hack an iPhone, I have had friends do it and it amazingly allows you to access unlimited movies and songs etc but after about 6 months or so it eventually slows your phone down until it is so slow that you feel like throwing it at a wall, this is one of the downfalls about Apple being a closed source, people feel so desperate to get more out it, that they feel as if they have to almost totally break their phone which will then eventually lead the user into buying a new one, maybe it is apart of Apple’s strategy? As I have never used an Android I can not say much about it being an open source software but definitely know that I will always stick with Apple.

    I like that your post wasn’t too long, and everything you wrote flowed really well together which made it a breeze to read. Keep up the good work 🙂

  2. A great prompt for discussion. The iCloud situation has quite obviously been at the forefront recently, especially considering Tim Cook’s not-mentioning of it at the recent product launch. In reading the numerous discussions on the new products this has sparked a trend of highlighting aspects of the products that they didn’t mention, one I saw repeated was the battery life of the Apple watch. I suppose this ultimately reflects the illusion of freedom that is perpetuated through their devices, asking is like pinching yourself in a dream.

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