Opinion: iPhoney

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Opinion: iPhoney

Would you buy a computer if you could only run the applications the vendor approves? Probably not.

But if you buy an iPhone that’s what you’re getting. A miniature computer which will only run stuff that Apple says you can run.

Don’t like the browser? Too bad. Hate the email client? Stiff cheddar. Apple knows what’s best for you and you can just like it or lump it.

Well you could just not bother to buy an iPhone of course, you still have that choice.

But if you do buy one, not only will you have to use whatever Apple approves, but Apple will keep track of what you do with your iPhone as well.

Now let’s say you don’t care, you trust Apple, they won’t do anything bad to you based on what websites you visit or what maps you look at. But what if you lose your iPhone?

You know, you leave it in the back of the taxi. Do you suddenly care that whoever finds it can also look at your entire usage history? Bet you do.

Okay, sure, they have to do a bit of a hack to get at the history, but that just means if you’re a Very Important Person using an iPhone, then you might not lose it, you might have it stolen for the very purpose of finding out what you’ve been doing.

All sorts of celebrities seem to love waving their iPhones in front of the paparazzi – how long before we get tabloid headlines telling us all about the web browsing habits of somebody famous?

Apple gets away with this interesting marketing philosophy because it doesn’t have the market share of that other famous control freak company based in Redmond. But the iPhone is way popular.

Will we be prepared to ignore their secret closed shop approach to what we do with our iPhones if their market share gets really significant?

At least it should make a firm basis for the script of a good Hollywood thriller.

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