Big tech companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung have legions of die-hard fans.
And they are more than happy to tap into that passion of yours to get access to your wallet. The relationship only benefits one side, which is definitely not you. No, corporations are not your friends.
Love without response
The "relationship" between a loyal supporter and a company is essentially an unrequited love. And just like romantic unrequited love, this dynamic often results in one side fiercely defending or completely ignoring the other side's flaws.
It's a completely one-sided relationship. The company gets exactly what they want, our money, blind support and free advertising, while we only get what they decide we should have. You are a product, such as a real phone, tablet, laptop, etc.
This is especially true when the product is “free”. Google isn't giving away Chrome, Gmail, or even the Android operating system for free, for the hell of it. You pay for these products with your personal information, although you can earn a lot of money from them.
Apple didn't start focusing on privacy because it really cares about your protection. They know you're going to give your personal information to some company, and Apple wants it to look like the safest option. That's not to say it's not the safest option, but don't think their intentions were pure.
One way this one-sided dynamic works is through the removal of choice. What does this look like? Let's talk about Apple, which is probably the most notorious company for this behavior.
There are a few examples we could cite, but the most recent is the removal of the SIM card tray on the iPhone 14 series. And so if you want to use an iPhone, you have to be on a carrier that supports eSIM. This is a decision that only benefits Apple and the big carriers.
When the same company removed the headphone jack, it essentially blessed its own Airpods industry. Apple fans were quick to defend the decision, with the arguments provided by Apple.
It may sound harsh, but Apple doesn't care what you want. Apple knows the strong bond it has with many iPhone users and is actively working to deepen it. That's the danger of getting locked into one company's ecosystem.
Sure, having an iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and MacBook that work seamlessly together is a great experience, but you're falling into a trap. What are you going to do when a company does something you don't like: give up all their products or live with it? Apple is betting you'll do the latter.
Warranty and exploitation
Another strange example with great application in Greece are the famous electronic product retail companies, who ask you for your information in order to sell you anything. Even a handsfree, worth 10 euros.
Try shopping as a private individual at a major retailer and they'll ask for your cell phone with the excuse "to validate the warranty". Of course when you insist to the ignorant and hapless seller that what he says is illegal and that the warranty is valid anyway with the proof of purchase, he will turn it around and say "if you lose the paper receipt we will find your warranty from our system".
Apart from the fact that it is your business whether you will lose the receipt or not, it is of course your right not to want to give your mobile phone, because quite simply everything is sold.
In fact, in some Athenian store, whose name we don't want to mention, they stubbornly refuse to cut you a receipt if you don't give your phone number, with the excuse that "the system won't let them"!!. They don't accept 0000000000 as a phone number, so you will necessarily have to give them a fake number, knowing you and theirs.
Another way companies get what they want at your expense is repairability, or rather the lack thereof. This is a problem that goes far beyond smartphones and computers, but that's what we'll focus on here.
Remember when almost every smartphone (except the iPhone) had a removable battery? You could very easily buy a spare and swap it out when your original battery runs out of life. It was a simple feature that extended the life of the device. But at the same time you could also do a sure reset, disconnecting the phone completely from any power source.
Today, smartphones with removable batteries are rare, especially in the high-end category. Smartphones have never been particularly easy for the average person to repair, although the same is true of desktops and laptops.
It would arguably be good for consumers (and the environment) if smartphones and computers were more easily repairable and upgradeable. However, there is more profit to be made from selling brand new devices, and also from having to take them to a specialist workshop to repair them, rather than building them yourself.
Companies will say that sealing the battery inside allows it to be water resistant, but that's not true. It is of course possible for a device with a removable battery to be fully waterproof. Check out Samsung's Galaxy XCover 6 Pro for example.
Companies will even go so far as to create their own type of screw to make it harder to open devices. Finding genuine parts and repair documentation can also be a nightmare.
This problem has attracted enough attention that "Right to Repair" legislation has been proposed in several areas and of course also in the European Union. It would require companies to offer genuine parts, tools and repair documentation. If companies cared about us, they wouldn't need the government to step in.
You've probably heard about how companies use packaging tricks to get you to pay more for less. For example, a box of corn flakes appears to be larger as it is slightly taller, but it may actually contain less than before. This is commonly known as “product shrinkage” and it happens in technology as well.
Want an example? The price of Netflix is regularly increasing, but the catalog of movies and TV shows seems to be shrinking.
Or if you want look towards smartphones. It was common to get a charging cable, a charger, a pair of headphones, a glass and a cleaning cloth with a new phone from the company along with the phone. Now, there are some companies that just give you the phone and the cable. Has the price been reduced due to the inclusion of fewer accessories? No.
You could even argue that removing ports like the headphone jack is another form of shrinking technology. Fewer ports means you have to spend extra money on dongles and accessories to get the same functionality that was built in before. You pay more for less.
Companies don't care about us
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and all the other companies that make the gadgets we love are businesses. The goal of a business is to make money. Sometimes that goal aligns with giving people what they want, but often it doesn't.
The truth is that you and I are not affiliated with these companies. We have transactions. We are not paid to promote them or defend their anti-consumer decisions. Don't give them a free pass. They are not your friends.
2 CommentsLeave a Reply
Very good article.
Unfortunately, having prevailed the tendency to call every talking biped a human, we lost the scope to include "humans" in categories.
Not categories A, B, C, etc. of class, but in categories that are defined by the role they play in the daily life of themselves and those around them.
If this categorization, this classification, existed, then we would have every leeway to render Caesar's to Caesar and God's to God to "people" who play a black role in the daily lives of those around them, even to strangers.
Let's take for example the "individuals" who, with fake "names" - accounts on Twitter mainly, market and promote what their employers call them (see mistharna of a system) or as "useful idiots" of a system. These "individuals", either of one or the other subcategory, seek - indulgently - elegantly to impose their opinions on the whole of society or to "dissolve" any opposing opinion - opinion, just because they were told to do so or so they thought they should do, the companies, the parties, THE INTERESTS, they serve.
Individuals of their kind, it is very clear that, not only do they not possess an elementary sufficient IQ, but, on the contrary, they attempt and succeed many times, to cover their lack, not by learning, teaching and developing their minds, but by cunningly covering up the deficiencies and the inferiority complexes that possess them.
And it becomes clear to everyone that they have these "charms" (see complex, ignorance, black goals, etc.) when, with common sense or evidence, someone tries to put them essential and real issues, in contrast to the gaps in content and doctrine character words that they recommend.
There, in such cases, the "individuals" of their kind, the named or anonymous trolls, begin with too much brazenness the attack, the characterizations and often immoral attacks. Their tactics are known, you will tell me, but in reality, what these "people" are doing is the business of covering their KNOWN weaknesses, with the most vile thing there is. The audacity.
Especially for "individuals" - followers of companies, there things are even worse than political trolls, since political trolls do it because they have benefits, while trolls - devotees of companies, do it because they are trying to cover nothing which is with a stamp of a company. Let's say the company that sells seaweed for silk ribbons and has a bitten apple as its logo...
As a conclusion, I will add one.
I will slightly disagree with the article's statistical-type reference where it presents as "victims" the people of the category "yes to what the electronic multinational giant so-and-so says" because for decades, US tractor manufacturing companies (s.s. YES, manufacturing tractors) has imposed on the market their own patent screws, their own patent high pressure hose connections, etc., just to keep their buyers - customers permanently captive, at the same time that their customers pay 5 and 6 times more for each part , when they need it and at the same time that these customers, ... flaunt as Gypsy roofers, driving these tractors into the fields where others have "humbly" associated with other companies ...
Having a statistical age that, frankly, has exceeded the average age, I was once only saddened by the fact that there are people who are willing victims or even willing accomplices and vassals of interests. For a long time, however, I don't care about all kinds (see followers, followers, dogmatists, trendsetters, etc.) and I strictly choose who I want around me, next to me, as a circle and as my company since in life there are smart people and not smart ones...