iThief — the Apple Way
Yesterday was a big day for the tech nerds — It was the first Apple launch day of 2021.
At the virtual event called “Spring Loaded,” Apple rolled out its first new gear of the year. There were a lot of upgrades to existing products. The iMac desktops are now colourful (Apple sure does like to make colourful things, remember the big bubble desktops they produced in the mid ’00s?) and it even unveiled its first new hardware in three years.
It was the latter item that is catching all the headlines today and not all for good reasons.
That hardware, the Apple iTag, isn’t all that original of a product. It’s a device that you stick on something that helps you find it if it gets lost. You simply trigger a signal from the device from an Apple product then you follow the noise until you figure it where it is. If you lost it out of ear shot, not a problem. You can get the last known location to pop-up in your maps.
Useful, sure, but not earth shattering. That’s especially the case as the product already exists. Apple is once again taking something that others have done and putting its own spin on things.
As stated, this isn’t exactly new. It’s been a long time since Apple was driving the tech world — well before Steve Jobs left the mortal coil, if we’re being honest. To many, Apple represents a piranha that waits for you to do the heavy lifting and then designs its own version of what you make and then eats up all the profits.
That’s certainly how Tile views it.
Tile was founded in 2012 and it makes devices that can be affixed to keychains, put in wallets or stuck to pretty much anything that you want to track. They claim that Apple is using its unfair advantages to essentially push them out of the market.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that Apple is trying to push them out of the market. The question is whether it’s unfair how they are doing it. How are they doing it? They are prioritizing their devices on their software.
And, with 628-million iPhones on the market in 2021, that’s a big advantage.
Apple is also a big target right now and, in fact, is in Washington at the time of writing to take part in an antitrust herding at congress. So, it’s a bit curious that they would put this news out there with this hanging over their head.
But, this is Apple. They tend to operate as if they are above it all. They probably believe that even if the government makes noise about antitrust violations it’s unlikely to hit them in any real way.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) was fined for similar behaviour in the 90s and it seems to have bounced back fine, right?
Investors don’t seem that bothered. Apple (Nasdaq: APPL) has been going up all week and closed today near its 52-week high at $133.55. Although it’s also fair to point out that yesterday’s event didn’t light a fire on the market either. More of a yawn in both directions.
The bottom line is that the tech giants continue to act as if they are above the rules. That’s fine if they are acting as innovators still, but, as stated, when was the last time Apple did something truly disruptive?
I’ll answer that: June 29, 2007. The day the first iPhone was introduced.
That’s a bigger problem for Apple than anything that a competitor or the government could do to them.