Apple is all about hardware, so what is it about the company that creates such polar reactions? It’s not Apple. That’s the world today. Polarized. Like the polar ice caps are melting. Like the polarity of the earth is about to change. For all the advancements humans have made in the past few hundred years, we often seem more polarized than ever, and guess who is right in the middle of the most recent skirmish of man against human?
Human Rights And Hardware
For the most part, Apple makes money the old fashioned way. Hardware sales. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, Apple TV. It’s all about hardware. Yes, the company has software and services but they’re a drop in the bucket to hardware.
How did Apple find itself embroiled in a brouhaha (you can do that; I looked it up) about software. Because software makes the world go round, even though it needs hardware to do anything, and it’s software which catches government officials hair on fire because software can be used to plan dastardly deeds.
Funny thing. True story. Words can also be used to plan dastardly deeds. Thoughts, too. Why doesn’t the government try to ban the use of words? Or, thoughts? Oh, yeah. My bad. First Amendment. Sorry.
Apple’s software is used to encrypt communications and prevent unauthorized access to files, photos, email, text messages, videos, or whatever else could be incriminating to either good guys or bad guys (terrorists or politicians, though some would argue that there’s little difference). Since bad guys sometimes use Apple’s devices to plan their activities, the government wants access to their phones to find out what they’re up to, or what they’ve been up to, and who they communicate with (ostensibly because ‘birds of a feather flock together’). Government spooks already have access to bad guys’ personal computers. Hey, that’s what happens on N.C.I.S. every week. It’s child’s play.
How did Apple, a hardware company, get into trouble with software?
The ‘Hole’ In The Whole Widget
It’s the ‘whole widget‘ syndrome. Few technology companies develop both sides of the product; hardware and software, and it’s really the software coupled with the hardware that is causing Apple so much grief these days as the government continues to bring the company devices which belong to someone else in the hopes that the digital geniuses at Apple’s headquarters (not to be confused with the geniuses at the Apple Store) will help them unlock secrets which might– MIGHT– be inside.
Meanwhile, the world, as it does whenever the polar ice caps melt, and the earth prepares for a magnetic pole reversal, goes all wonky and citizens separate into left and right, rich and poor, for and against. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is against Apple’s stance on privacy and security. Most elected government officials have taken a similar stance, while many in the technology industry back Apple’s position.
It should be obvious that all Apple wants is to design products that delight– and protect– customers. Oh, and make so much money that company executives give it away to shareholders, buy back an under inflated stock, instead of using that money to influence the very politicians that want the corporate head on a platter.