I used to be a big fan of Apple but as they drifted into a new world my enthusiasm dropped. I have some current Apple products but I pick and choose, so naturally I have the superior Kindle (and its content ecosystem) over iBooks (and its corrupt pricing). The whole incident with books shows you exactly who the new Apple is. Since Amazon had a huge lead and Apple, in books unlike in music, was not highly regarded, they used a simple trick – bribe the booksellers to do deals with Apple instead of Amazon. Now back when they did this I keep screaming – look what they did to music publishers. When Apple is the monopolist they squeeze their suppliers; when someone else is the leader Apple appears to be on the side of supplier, until, of course Apple wins, then they’ll put on the squeeze.
This is the overlooked issue in Apple Pay. People are looking at what Apple is doing TODAY, when they’re trying to ingratiate themselves into controlling your money and ignoring what they will do in the FUTURE when they hold the monopoly. We’ve seen this before, over and over, say esp. at Facebook – old policies designed to attract users are quickly reversed when Facebook can now monetarize something by changing policies, and, poof, guess what, your EULA changes at the whim of Facebook and you have no choice but to accept it.
Do you really think Apple, once they own retail, won’t collect personal information and sell it? Do you really think they will leave those billions lying on the table and not scoop them up?
Sure they’re saying no collection of personal information TODAY, but what happens when their system is nearly universal. Do you have an ironclad, court-enforceable contract that says they can’t change that policy? And are you stupid enough to believe they won’t when they can get away with changing that policy and tracking everything you do and selling that to the highest bidder.
What people need to realize about modern mobile technology is YOU ARE NOT THE CUSTOMER. You are PRODUCT. You exist to be mashed and molded into something that can be sold to those enterprises who ARE the customer. Whatever “benefits” you believe you’re getting are not goodness-of-the-heart (of businesses that certainly have no heart, only profit maximizing) can be recalled in an instant, the very instant where whatever adverse effects the policy change has are less than the benefits. Sure a few people may protest Facebook and drop out – they counted that in their model, but most of the rest of the people are sheep and will go along and Facebook gets $N.MM dollars each – something lost, something (more) gained – done deal.
Why is everyone so naive about this having seen it over and over? Do you think Apple is doing this just because it’s cool. Isn’t the idea that they will say whatever they have to to gain entry to your wallet and once it’s in their possession they will then do whatever they want to make money make sense to do. Apple Pay costs them something – where’s their return?
And as we’re now seeing Apple is the iPhone company, not really much else. Their other product lines are minor. Now Apple knows this but much of the world doesn’t. So big surprise that their latest mandatory iOS updates break older phones. When you have one product and that product can physically work for years, but the only way you get ever increasingly sales is to get people to discard their old phone for new, AND, you’ve run out of real new ideas and/or fashion tricks (isn’t gold case just totally the reason to upgrade, oh sure), then forced obsolescence is their only marketing trick.
So you lock yourself into Apple Pay and somehow merchants get browbeat into using it and then Apple controls most retail payments. Guess what – you’d better plan on a new phone every six months as Apple breaks your old one and now you can’t get your coffee. Don’t think they’ll do this – exactly why not? Because they’re nice guys (sure), because of legal reasons (exactly which are those), because of bad customer relations (sorry, you’re not the customer anyway), because of competition (sure you’ll switch to Beta because you’re mad at VHS). Apple knows we’re sheep, just as Facebook and Twitter know we’re sheep, and their business strategy is simple: 1) tell us what we want to hear in order to get a hold on us, 2) change polices to whatever makes them the most profit.
I hope I can go to my grave without every buying an iPhone (or worse an iPad). OTOH, I hope I can get iPods forever. And with Microsoft building junky OS’s now, I might even switch back to Macs. But the iPhone is drugs and I refuse to be an addict. I don’t much want Android or Microsoft either, I don’t want to be a phone zombie from any vendor (it’s getting where I may have to budge on this but then I’ll get the cheapest POS I can possibly stand). So naturally any attempt Apple is making to require me to use their iPhone – well screw them. They can yank my credit card (or even cash, or my Starbucks card) out of my cold dead fingers or I’ll just go off the grid before I’m forced to use Apple as my bank (hey, Goldman Sachs, scumbags that they are, aren’t even in the same league as Apple when it’s a monopoly).
So stuff it Apple. And folks, get a clue – forget your trendy fashion statement sense of Apple (hey, Steve is gone to the great alternative medicine and design center in the sky, today’s Apple has no heart at all). Don’t help Apple run the world and then eventually tax you more than your state or federal government can dream of. Stop Apple Pay!