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Apple and BP

Entry 1208, on 2010-07-27 at 22:18:44 (Rating 3, Computers)

I'm often accused of being an Apple fanboy. Hey, let's face it, by any reasonable definition I am an Apple fanboy. I do tend to defend Apple against attacks which are often based on ignorance and lack of understanding of the issues. Look at the latest attack against the iPhone 4 aerial as an example. Sure, there is a real issue there, but it only significantly affects a minority of users, it does affect other phones to a certain extent (maybe not as much as the iPhone because the case is also the aerial), and the iPhone still has an extremely high approval rating amongst users.

On the other hand Apple did handle the situation rather badly. But they aren't the only ones to suffer from this modern problem of "corporate arrogance". The best recent example of an even bigger PR disaster is, of course, BP.

I have seen reports that the CEO is about to resign and will receive a payout of something like NZ$25 million as he leaves. You can see why he gets paid the big dollars though: he did handle BP's exploration and the resulting problems brilliantly, didn't he? Yes, I'm being sarcastic there because he clearly revealed himself as a gross incompetent in every way imaginable. Maybe the company thought it was worth the millions just to get rid of him.

Of course there's a very good chance that whoever replaces him will be just as bad, and possibly even worse. Why? Because to be a corporate leader you generally have to be immoral, incompetent, and lacking in imagination.

I'm not saying every business leader has these attributes, but it does seem to be a common personality profile. I don't think Steve Jobs quite fits this profile, for example. Sure, he mismanaged the iPhone problem and you can't exactly take everything he says at face value, but he certainly doesn't lack imagination and I think he genuinely cares about producing beautiful and innovative devices (perhaps a bit too much some times).

Also on the subject of Apple: I don't necessarily like it much as a company (their legal department and other corporate sections don't inspire me to admiration) but I do love their products. I will be getting an iPhone 4 when my current plan expires because I know it has flaws (like every product) but it's still the best phone available overall.

Maybe people have higher expectations of Apple than they do of other companies. I'm sure this is true in fact and I can't imagination half the fuss being made of a similar flaw being found in any other company's product. But that's not necessarily unfair because Apple does rely on its prestigious reputation and I think it's fair to expect more from them.

I'm sure Apple will continue to create great products in the future but they do need to avoid indulging in too much corporate arrogance.

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Comment 6 (2785) by SBFL on 2010-08-09 at 10:38:34: (view earlier comments)

Basically in both examples, you are putting the market over principle. Maybe you are a closet capitalist after all!!

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Comment 7 (2788) by OJB on 2010-08-09 at 11:26:08:

I think people should have as much choice as possible. I think private companies have a place and should be encouraged. I think all aspects of society should be balanced and controlled. I think that the market doesn't work. I guess that means I'm not much of a capitalist!

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Comment 8 (2790) by SBFL on 2010-08-10 at 06:07:23:

I am sure you will enjoy this very much: The Blackberry Burqa

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Comment 9 (2791) by OJB on 2010-08-10 at 10:34:43:

WTF?! Are you sure that's the right link? I presume you meant this. Yes, quite amusing!

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Comment 10 (2792) by SBFL on 2010-08-11 at 07:27:42:

You're right, that is bizarre. The URL in my link is correct (I think), here it is without the tags. And yes it is the same one linked to from WhaleOil's blog.

http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2010/08/02/gulf-states-order-blackberry-users-to-cover-their-phones-in-a-tiny-burqa/

I think I may have got the syntax wrong. When I hover over the original link I see an additional ". Possibly Newsbiscuit just reverts bad links to its homepage. Hence your "WTF".

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