Is it time to buy?
Thursday, September 4, 1997 by Dave Winer.
On August 23 on the home page on www.scripting.com, while messes were floating around the net about Apple and its dealings with the clone vendors, I offered "A simple policy: UserLand Software will not purchase any Apple products until this mess is cleaned up."
I didn't need to explain why. Many Mac users and developers were coming to the same conclusion. Too much confusion, who knows how all this is going to turn out. It appears that Apple is acting like the bad citizen of this ecosystem. If the cloners have to go away, we won't support that. Gotta send a message. We want respect.
Now that it's clear that there will be no more clone market for the Mac OS, the question comes up, is it time to buy again?
What do you think?
Trust is a very important factor when buying any product, especially computer products. "A firm belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity, reliability, justice, etc of another person or thing."
Apple offered a brief press release and an email from Steve Jobs as their only explanations. They didn't say anything directly to Apple's customers, developers or shareholders. No ads in the Wall Street Journal or New York Times. No messages on their website. No spin control. No one knows what to make of this.
Apple has no CEO. There is no responsibility. Who do you trust?
The truth is not what Apple has told us. The cloners had some truly exciting products in the pipe. These products will never come to market. That's not good for the Mac ecosystem.
Apple says they have exciting new products too. Even if this is true, Apple has had reliability and forecasting problems. By eliminating second sources they exacerbate the problems. Apple also (this got little publicity) eliminated their quality control department in the last few weeks. They're playing a dangerous game with their customer's livelihoods.
The theory that casts the best light on Apple comes from Hugh Rogovy, firstname.lastname@example.org. His full message is on today's Mail page at:
Rogovy's theory goes like this. Apple needs to raise prices. They can't do that as long as they have direct competitors who can undercut their price. So they chose to close down the cloners in order to be able to raise prices.
As I said, this is the most positive explanation I've heard. Other explantions are on today's Mail page.
Apple has a long way to go before it regains customer trust. This is corporate America, not a platform, not a cause, not a religion. They want your money, but they don't want to talk to you or listen to you.
They won't miss my money. It won't get their attention, it won't make them talk to me as an adult would talk to another adult.
But I don't have to buy their products. And as a user, right now, that's what makes the most sense to me.
PS: Trust also means "an industrial or business combination, now illegal in the U.S., in which management and control of the member corporations are invested in a single board of trustees, who are thus able to control a market, absorb or eliminate competition, fix prices, etc."