The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

…a bite of the Apple

February9

Maybe Apple is the New “Evil Empire”.

The signs are all there: For example, the overwhelming technological superiority, and the ruthless march to global domination. Once the student (see their classic TBWA/Chiat/Day, and their current PC vs. Mac ads), it seems that Apple finally could be turning into the Master.

Perhaps this sounds ridiculous to a Windows world. Apple? Don’t only a couple of loser bloggers and the hopelessly out-of-touch publishing industry use those things? Well, consider the recent evidence that goes well beyond the limited world of desktop computers…

The recent announcement of the iPhone at last month’s MacWorld conference set off shock waves that rippled beyond the assembled geek alliance. The iPhone won’t even be out until this summer, and it’s already the most buzzed-about tech innovation since, well, the iPod. It is stealing the thunder of every gadget unveiled atLas Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. Verizonrecently revealed it turned down the chance to be the exclusive carrier of the iPhone because Apple wanted to maintain tight-fisted control of the service /1. So now Cingular (which was just bought out by original Evil Empire AT&T) gets to be the exclusive provider, forcing everybody to figure out how to dump his or her current wireless plan and switch over.

To this date, Apple has sold 90 million iPods, and more than 2 billion individual songs through the iTunes store. That’s almost one song for every three people on the planet (many of them apparently not huge fans of “Fergalicious”).

Steve Jobs announced last Tuesday (February 6, 2007) that he has asked the record labels to scrap their proprietary DRM software that prevents music from being shared because he feels it’s ineffective and merely hampers consumers from being able to listen to music as they please. Sounds good, right? Well, it’s probably propaganda… Lost in his release is that that the largest source of proprietary DRM software is Apple itself, which prevents songs purchased from iTunes to be played on any competing player (and prevents the iPod from playing songs purchased from competing online music stores).

When problems cropped up between iPods and the new Microsoft Vista operating system — songs purchased through iTunes wouldn’t play, and some users found their iPods corrupted after connecting to their PC — Microsoft engineers hurriedly worked to try to solve the problem and make their system compatible. Apple, on the other hand, officially warned PC users to avoid installing Microsoft Vista — at least until Apple ‘gets around’ to updating the iTunes software in the next couple weeks or so.

Apple has reached a deal with Apple Corps Ltd., which will allow the entire Beatles catalog of songs to be purchased from iTunes. Will it put the Fab Four back in the Top 40? Some experts think it’s a certainty. /2

Don’t get me wrong… We definitely don’t need to feel sorry for the Bill Gates/3, and the unenlightened folks stuck in his world. But, the fact that Apple now seems to be calling all the shots is fact. First they dominate publishing, Web design, and music. Next it will be television and movies /4. Don’t forget mobile phones… Doesn’t pretty much everyone have a mobile phone and want cool content for them?

When Steve Jobs flips the switch, the all-seeing “i” will be everywhere.

I own Apple stock.

brian patrick cork

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1/ I don’t believe this because Verizon’s network is obsolete and you can’t globe trot with their handsets. That would be too limiting for Jobs’ view of the world. It’s always been Cingular (AT&T).

2/ With the size of the Baby Boomer generation combined with the power of iTunes, it’s not hard to imagine a world where it’s all golden oldies, all the time.

3/ The guy that stole the idea for the Windows Operating System from Steve Jobs (Apple).

4/ See iTV.

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