Note - BerkeleyLUG blog posts are written by BerkeleyLUG members of various backgrounds, levels of experience etc... The views and opinions in each blog post do not represent the views of the group as a whole or the founders.

Why I don’t use Apple products

Posted on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 10:38 am by jdeslip

The people I meet are often befuddled by my level of interest and support for open-source projects and technology like Ubuntu and Android.  I can sympathize, being around anyone who cares a bit “too much” about anything can make you uncomfortable.  I write today mainly to organize my thoughts and hopefully illustrate the origin of (if not justify) the interest I have for all things open.  As a scientist, I see evidence everyday about how the openness of ideas and technology have positively affected society and prompted further innovation.  One person or company makes a discovery and other groups are able to refine the discovery and make new discoveries using the previous advancement.  Keeping information, ideas, science and technology open is crucial for future development.  This is not to say that people and corporations don’t have a right to profit off their hard earned innovations and particular implementations of an idea.  But, no one should have the right to turn general ideas into personal or corporate property.  As a whole, we benefit mankind more (and ourselves in return) when we develop, share, and collaborate freely.  The next big leap forward may come from someone or some group halfway around the world based on something we share here.  In my opinion, there is no company in the tech-world who puts itself at odds with this philosophy more so than Apple.  Below, I discuss, in a way that I hope illustrates why I like open-projects such as Ubuntu and Android, my reasons for not using Apple products.  The use of Apple as a foil in this article is in no small part due to the troubling actions they have taken this week to stifle competition in the mobile market.

1.  Apple’s software is not open-source. (with a couple exceptions).  This is not necessary a deal breaker for me (I do use a lot of closed-source software in niche cases when it does the job better), but it is important enough to make me prefer open-source projects 90% of the time.  Most Apple software being closed-source means interested developers cannot look at the source-code that is used to run the various Apple programs including OSX, iTunes etc…  Apple is by no means alone in this category; Microsoft, Adobe and many other companies also protect their code.  Most people don’t even want to see the source code; it is likely too mind-bogglingly complex to the average computer user to do anything with.  So, what is the big deal?  Well, paying for closed-source software is a lot like buying a car where the hood has been welded shut.  You are not allowed to tweak the engine or replace a faulty component.  Sure, most people wouldn’t do that themselves anyway, but what if nobody could?!  You couldn’t bring it to the mechanic to have a look at it.  Car and driver magazine wouldn’t be allowed to review the engine design or do a safety analysis.  On a literal note, if the software in Toyota’s braking system wasn’t closed, it is likely their problems could have been avoided – or at least discovered and patched much earlier.  I choose to use open-source software whenever possible because I and millions of people around the world can look at it, learn from it, help improve it and make it more robust, and, most importantly, use it to start our own projects.  Even if you don’t want to look at the code yourself, you have to admit there is something very powerful about this idea.  The ability to use, contribute and improve existing software is a great stimulus for innovation.  There would be no Amazon, Google, ebay or TiVo today if it wasn’t for open-source software called Linux.  Apple OSX is, itself, built upon the open-source operating-system BSD; Apple uses this free and open-software generously but stingily contributes few improvements (particularly the UI) back to the community.  Despite the philosophical appeal of open development, it is actually the results of this development model (and not the philosophy itself) that I really like.  Because the Ubuntu operating system is open-source, it is able to fit my needs and wants in ways that Apple’s or Microsofts’ software could never come close to replicating.  I can have the beauty of OSX, the flexibility of Windows and the power and performance neither could hope to have.

Despite my appreciation for open-sourciness, I do actually use some closed-source software.  Like most practical people, when closed-source software fulfills a niche better than that of open-source projects, I will choose the one that does the job best.  So, perhaps I have not yet completely justified my anti-Apple stance.  Afterall, I said earlier that Apple was a worse fit than even Microsoft, and, so far, they are looking only equally bad.

2.  Apple is not open-anything. Although Microsoft’s Windows is closed source, it (and Ubuntu of course) can at least be run on any hardware you like – from a virtual machine to a netbook to even a Mac.  If you want, you can go to the store and buy an awesome new video card to spiff up your Windows or Linux computer without having to buy a completely new one.  Apple OSX on the other hand can only be legally run on Apple hardware.  In the above example about the car, now, not only can you not open your the hood of the car, but you can only use Apple tires and fill your car up at Apple gas stations (think iPod + iTunes).  If you get a flat tire, you either have to pray that you are still under warranty and Apple feels like helping you or get an entirely new car.  There are people (the “hackintosh”) community who disregard the law and put OSX on non-Apple hardware.  Apple has made it clear, though, that this is illegal and has brought litigation against companies for doing it, even when they pay full price for the software.  Which leads me to ask the hackintosh community: why do you support a company that treats you like criminals for using the software you purchased in the way you want?  Apple consistently goes out of its way to break support for its products with 3rd party applications.  If you want to use a different media player than iTunes, Apple has (and likely will again) break support for future iPods and future updates.  In a move that is borderline monopolistic, Apple only wants you to put music and movies on your iPod through its anointed application, iTunes, where it can sell you DRM movie/audiobook (yes I know the books come from Audible and other stores use DRM) files that cannot be played on other devices or in other programs.  When you upgrade to a different machine, you will find out that you didn’t actually own the movies/books/music you bought from Apple.  Even if you do like iTunes, do you really think it is ok that nobody should get any choice?  I don’t.

3.  They are even closed about other software you can install. Want Google-voice on your phone?  Want a Super Nintendo emulator?  An app that shows some skin?  A wifi detector?  What about the ability to watch hulu on your new $800 tablet?   (Even if you know html5 is better than the closed-off flash)  You can if you are using Android; you can’t if you use an Apple iPhone of iPad.  Why?  Because daddykins Steve Jobs doesn’t think you need to.  He knows what is best for everyone.  Why continue to use (or worse develop for) the iPhone platform when Apple might pull your favorite app from the market at any time?  As Molly Wood from CNET says, “it’s an abusive relationship.”  Sure, you can jailbreak your phone to add a bunch of apps Apple doesn’t want you to, but then, once again, you are breaking the law and are at Apple’s mercy.  To risk sounding like a broken record, why support a company that treats you like a criminal?  I choose not to.

4.  The final straw. Not only does Apple control exactly how you can use any Apple device, they now want to take away your choice to use any other device as well.  This week they brought a lawsuit against HTC, the developer of the majority of Android phones, alleging 20 Apple patent violations.  Many of these patents seem to be comprised of trivial ideas that should be non-patentable and/or ideas Apple itself stole from other companies.  It is clear that Apple is scared of the consumer choice that competition brings and is scared of the innovation that is possible within the open Android framework.  Patents were intended to promote independent innovation by protecting small inventors from being scooped by large established corporations.  Apple is hijacking the patent system to protect the interests of their large corporation against any competition at all.  This is an incredibly dangerous move* that could stifle innovation for many years to come.  The real problem is in the absurd use of the patent system by many companies today; imagine how different the world would be if Henry Ford were able to patent every trivial part of the car – there’d have been no competition and no continued development (thanks BOL for analogy).  If someone was allowed to patent all the ideas relevant to traveling by air, we might still be stuck with hot-air balloons instead of airplanes.  While I could happily ignore complaints 1-3, since nobody is forcing me to use Apple’s restrictive products, this latest patent attack has really put Apple back right into my face.  It’s apparently not enough for Apple to control exactly how everyone is allowed to use Apple products, they now want to tell you exactly which other products you are allowed to use as well.

In the important realm of science, technology and ideas, I believe that the continual conversion of ideas and development effort into the private property of companies like Apple is a great threat to continued free innovation if such a patent attack is allowed to stand.


Thanks to comments below (even those calling me a troll) for some corrections.  I would like to point out these are my personal reasons for not using Apple products.  I trust that everyone can come to their own decision about whether these points matter to them or not.  As I said above, if it wasn’t for “the final straw”, I would happily go about my days ignoring Apple’s existence.  It is only when they try to control the choices I have in using other products that they warrant my bemoaning.  And, no, I don’t think Apple (or its employees) are evil.  I am friends with some of them.  I think their general philosophy is nearly opposite that of open-source, and their patent attack dangerous and self-serving.  But, “evil”, nah…

precedent -> move (thanks Carl)

worse -> “worse fit” (for me that is, best not to use general statements)

Thanks to Phillip (misc BSD software), Jeff (opencl) and myself (grand-central) for pointing out open-source projects Apple has contributed to.

54 Responses to “Why I don’t use Apple products”

  1. Phillip Tribble Says:

    Excellent post. Apple does own CUPS now which is used on every Linux box. They do have some open source stuff.

  2. jdeslip Says:

    True. They also just open-sourced grand central I think.

  3. Vivek Ayer Says:

    Nice post! They do own CUPS and I believe a lot of Apple developers work on FreeBSD. Of course, that doesn’t excuse them from the other reasons you mentioned.

  4. maiki Says:

    Taken from

    Software that is developed by any person or entity for an Apple Operating System (“Apple OS-Developed Software”), including but not limited to Apple and third party printer drivers, filters, and backends for an Apple Operating System, that is linked to the CUPS imaging library or based on any sample filters or backends provided with CUPS shall not be considered to be a derivative work or collective work based on the CUPS program and is exempt from the mandatory source code release clauses of the GNU GPL.

    They include No developer is required to provide these exceptions in a derived work, but they break one of my cardinal principles: don’t be creepy.

    Everything Apple does sends worries through our communities. I think they have long ago rejected any benefit of doubt I may have had for them.

  5. akkilles3 Says:

    Nice Post. Their FUD doesn’t worry me though. It just shows me how much FUD they have over their stock price.

  6. Carl Myers Says:

    Agreed, good post. I would only add two things:

    1. This isn’t really setting a precedent, many companies have “patent trolled” before, even companies whose purpose was not to patent troll. Amazon’s “one-click” anyone?

    2. There are two sides to many patent lawsuits. Again, referencing Amazon’s one-click – they only sued B&N because they were ripping off their website whole-cloth. Customer reviews, recommendations, and many other aspects of the website which, at the time, were not obvious, were stolen by B&N for their directly competing website. Amazon chose to use patents to try to stop B&N – not stop them from innovating, rather, stop them from benefiting by stealing Amazon’s innovations. Not everyone at Amazon then agreed with that decision, and much later, many still don’t. Notice that when they saw how the public reacted, Amazon changed their patent practices and have since used patents primarily defensively only (and they have been sued by many companies including Apple and IBM). Apple pays Amazon a royalty for every one-click purchase on iTunes because Apple sued them and Amazon had to counter-sue with the patents they had.

    Long story short, Apple had to patent these things because (obviously, after the fact), our broken system allowed them to be patented. If Apple hadn’t, then HTC might have and this whole thing could go the opposite way. What Apple is doing wrong is using these patents aggressively, rather than just defensively. And the folks at fault are not everyone at Apple, just the ones making the decisions (theoretically, Steve Jobs and the lawyers).

  7. areader Says:

    heya, would a more readable page design be possible? Light type on a dark colored background is hard to read. My workaround is to select teh text, which helps, but it would be nice to have plain black text on white, or lightly colored, background. thanks!

  8. macias Says:

    I bought Apple product (I am >10 years Linux user) and I intend to buy iPhone in near future.

    Why am I doing this? And why other people buy Apple products (you asked that several times). Simply — their stuff are way better. Despite all shortcomings. I have non-Apple mp3 player — better sound, better everything. Ok, then I want to buy a cover for it. Non existent. Ok, how about stand? No-no, non-existent. Maybe I could plug it in directly to my stereo? No, no, no such options. Yet, for iPod you have a variety of accessories.

    Let’s look at MacOSX. Open-source developers, Microsoft developers, any-company developers had time and had basis (BSD) to make superb operating system with brilliant, beautiful UI. So, did any company do that? No. Apple had to step up and made it, but then, oh, Aqua is so cool, let’s copy it.

    And it goes on and on — you want a cool, open-source iPad-like device? No, problem, introduce it _before_ Apple does, it is that simple. Technically it is not rocket-science, but someone has to have will to make it. And Apple does. So don’t mix being lazy with being evil (though I am not saying Apple is saint ;-) ). So, your post is not about Apple being bad, it is rather a long story of whining why you can’t get back in time with Apple ideas.

    Conclusion. You want Apple down? Ingredients:
    a) introduce new products into the market
    b) before Apple
    c) 10 times in a row
    d) successfully

    It is all it takes.

  9. mp Says:

    Apple started using cups in 2002 while it was community developed. In 2007 apple purchased cups.

  10. linuxuzr Says:

    Jonathan Schwartz has a few interesting things to say about patents, Steve Jobs/Apple & Bill Gates/Microsoft on his personal blog titled “What I Couldn’t Say…” found here:

  11. Not a fan nor a hater Says:

    Obviously you are just trolling to get page loads, but I’ll give you some points if you want to write a meaningful opinion piece…

    First of all try to choose whether your argument is “OS X vs. Linux” or “iPhone OS vs. Android” or “Apple is more evil company than competitors” instead of mixing them up. I’ll try to address them separately.

    OS X vs. Linux
    “Because the Ubuntu operating system is open-source, it is able to fit my needs and wants in ways that Apple’s or Microsofts’ software could never come close to replicating.”

    OS X is Unix. I can install all the open source applications I need, but I also have proprietary stuff like iTunes, video editing and graphics software. Apple might be very evil and whatever, but they actually DO NOT try to stop me from installing any software I want.

    “I can have the beauty of OSX,”

    In principle you can, but not in reality you don’t, sorry. :D (a matter of taste of course)

    iPhone OS vs. Android
    They are both locked devices. If you want root access to your phone, you need N900. I agree though, that Apple store policies suck, and I’m not interested in iPhone (nor Android).

    Apple is more evil company than competitors
    “Apple only wants you to put music and movies on your iPod through its anointed application, iTunes, where it sells you DRM movie files that cannot be played on other devices or in other programs.”

    You can import CD:s and unprotected video files to iTunes, and sync them to iPod. So buy your movies from DRM free movie stores that sell movies you want.

    “When you upgrade to a different machine, you will find out that you didn’t actually own the movies/books/music you bought from Apple.”

    Same of course goes for any DRM system, and most companies use DRM. (and most media copyright owners expect them to)

    “using the software you purchased in the way you want”

    So you want to run OS X on any PC? I agree it would be great, but this “I bought it, I use it the way I want” argument is ridiculous. Let’s say you wanted to see your favorite band but some scalper bought all the tickets to the show and was offering to sell them for triple price, exercising his “right to use the tickets the way he wants”. Would you not consider this even a bit unfair? :)

    Anyway, have a nice day and keep building that kernel. Meanwhile I’ll use my Mac, my Linux PC and whatever tool is best for my current purpose. :)

  12. Phillip Tribble Says: <–That is all I gotta say =)

  13. anolis Says:

    only thing i see here is that you say several times that it is illegal??? to install os x on a PC, or to jailbreak. this is simply not true. it is only suable to sell computers with os x pre-installed

    but there is certainly no LAW with respect to apple, i think US senators have better things to do than to design laws around Apple

  14. Morley Says:

    I would much rather use Linux, download everything for free, and have complete control over my system than worry about an over-priced, limited Mac. However, the 13-inch Macbook Pros are pretty slick (looking) … if I ever find one for free, I would gladly put Ubuntu / Archbang on it, and use that. Unfortunately, there is nothing about any Mac product that I would pay (the prices they are asking) for. But at the end of the day, I am not going to whine and moan about Apple. I don’t like Apple, have no use for Apple, and never plan on buying an Apple product. That is my prerogative as a customer … just as it is their prerogative to charge what they want, sue who they want, and develop what they want, within the confines of law. They are simply doing what they feel is necessary to be a successful company, and it seems to be working.

  15. Twitted by erlikk Says:

    […] This post was Twitted by erlikk […]

  16. Samba Says:

    this is taken from Os X EULA:

    “You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-branded computer”

    When you install Os X you agree to that license, and you are legally bound to it, violating it is breaking the law.

  17. anolis Says:

    ha! i didn’t know that thanks for the heads up

  18. Jack Says:

    @Carl – Agreed with just about everything you wrote. I really believe that the real villain here is the patent system itself that allows absurd patents like Amazon’s one-click. But, it is unusual (not unprecedented) that a company on top is aggressively using patents to keep down competition. More often than not, it is a last ditch effort from a dying company.

    @anolis – Apple themselves say jailbreaking is illegal: . Installing OSX on non-Apple hardware appears (in fairness I am not a lawyer and take this from various sources) to break the EULA. You bring up a good point that “illegal” is probably the wrong word. But, still you are at the mercy of Apple not to sue you. It IS “suable”. Whether they actually will sue an individual is a different question.

    @Morley – Until this week, I didn’t find a need to whine or moan about Apple either. I was happily going about my days ignoring them. But, when they threaten to take away my choice to use other products (their lawsuit literally wants to ban the sale of HTC phones in the US), then I feel a little moaning is called for :)

    @macias – Actually, I don’t want “mac down”. I just want them to stop their aggressive patent attacks. So, I can go back to happily using and trying to improve the software/hardware I want to use. It is really just the “the final straw” that I care about. The other points are my personal reasons for not using Apple products, myself. I recognize that many people are OK with those issues.

    @Not-a-Fan-of-a-Hater – You do bring up some good points. Since, my discussion was I why I don’t use Apple products, I discussed various products such as OSX and iPhone/iPod.

    About OSX, it is true that Apple grants users of OSX more freedom to install any software they want (not the case on iPhone or iPad) but the OS itself cannot be easily customized without breaking the EULA. On Ubuntu (and any Linux distro), I can (and do) do a lot of tweaking to get things to look and feel just the way I like. I realize that most people are not interested in this – but this is about my reasons for not using Apple, not anyone else’s.

    iPhone vs. Android – True that rooting your phone probably breaks the license on an Android phone as well. However, the Android OS itself (not the google apps) is an open-source project (as evidenced by ATT&T recently releasing an Android phone and replacing Google everywhere with Yahoo). Partly because of this I and other Banshee developers were able to quickly add Android device support for media (music, playlist, coverart) support.

    Misc – Yes, many other sources use DRM. And yes you can import non-DRM music into iTunes. I once owned an iPod myself. However, it is my opinion (and impossible to prove) that Apple tries to restrict iPods/iPhones from synching with other programs (yes, I know about about Doubletwist and how much it rocks) so that their customers will purchase the majority of music/movies through iTunes.

  19. A Canuck Says:

    Why don’t we just come out and admit it – Steve Jobs is a smug git, whose reputation as a “genius” is undeserved – who wanted the original (1984) Mac to have no floppy drive?

    As to iPods – wouldn’t touch one. Yes, sound quality trumps everything for me. So why would you *care* about hooking up an MP3 player to your stereo?

  20. Shawn Says:

    Excellent article.

    Apple does make some outstanding products, I won’t deny that. What really gets to me is their vicious attempts to lock you in to their products. My worst nightmare is for Apple to gain 90% market share, because the entire computing world would be at the mercy of a single company for both hardware and software. At least in the Microsoft empire, hardware is completely open.

    On the other hand, Apple gaining market share has been a good thing for UNIX is general. Software companies are taking more care to write their software as cross-platform from the start – which makes it easier to find its way to Linux. It is also weakening the stronghold DirectX has over OpenGL.

  21. Fs0L Says:

    Great post! I agree with your posts’ philosophy and am also familiar with the FSF and Richard Stallman’s preachings, for the most part. However, I am an Apple user (I have a nano, airport express, macbook pro, macbook, and mac mini). I am a sysadmin who has been using linux since 94′. Linux and BSD are great as servers. I honestly wouldn’t choose anything else to run a server (unless I was stuck in a Microsoft environment, in which case I would probably prefer to make everything in the environment Windows for compatibility reasons [ok… maybe my external dns, firewall, and possibly a couple of other things may be LInux]). KDE and Gnome have come a long way! I recently installed Fedora 12 to play around with it. I’ve reviewed the latest changelogs for the Fedora 13 Beta as well as been up to speed with some Ubuntu stuff. And there is no doubt that those systems are getting better and easier to use. I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed the new yum/PackageKit stuff :) But after trying out the philosophy by first installing Gentoo on my laptop maybe 8 years ago and using it for about 3 years, then having kids, and a house, and other shit to do in my life besides recompile/upgrading kernels, or fixing crappy KDE 4 failed updates because… well, really because KDE4 shouldn’t have been released until the now 4.4.1 code (if that is even 98% bug free).

    So although I would love to be running Linux as an alternative, until I have confidence that I won’t be adjusting wireless drivers every few months so that I can see how many access points are opened up as I drive home from work :P or modifying smb.conf’s in order to connect to a company’s windows network or not have to worry about some weirdness occurring in X11 when I want to connect my laptop’s external monitor port to a projector, I will continue to use my Apple products.

  22. Aeiluindae Says:

    The lock-in is why would like to see the iPad fail at all costs, no matter how good it gets. If it becomes popular, then it will be very hard to not get one. For example, textbooks will probably go ebook at some time in the future. If the iPad is popular, that will be the device of choice. And if I know the textbook industry, they’ll lock you in to that device, too. This would then make it impossible for a university student to not have an iPad. Which would then, because of their attitude toward non-iTunes syncing, put me in constant fear of being unable to sync my iPad on Linux (iPhone and iTouch support only just recently came into existence), and Linux wouldn’t be able to be my primary OS to the degree it is now.
    Apple is more dangerous then Microsoft ever was, because they produce excellent products. People are drawn in for the good product, and then they’re stuck there. The integrated hardware/software design is an excellent idea and is part of the reason why Apple products are so good, but it can be implemented without being dictatorial.

  23. Jack Says:

    @Shawn Good points. Particularly about the opengl business; I hope Steam releases a Linux client soon. We’d really have Apple’s marketshare to thank for that.

    @Fs0L – If Fedora/Ubuntu don’t satisfy your needs, there is no shame in using what works. For me, Ubuntu does satisfy my needs (better than OSX in fact). As you pointed out, Desktop Linux has come a LONG way towards usability in recent years. Things like wireless drivers and connectivity mostly “just work” out of the box. This will probably open myself up to attacks on a whole new front; but, for desktop/laptop use, I really suggest using Ubuntu over Fedora (I know lots sysdmins are more familiar with Redhat/Fedora).

  24. Rambo Tribble Says:

    The HTC suit does not represent any new behavior for Apple. The once sued Xerox over the invention of the GUI, mainly in an effort to block Windows. Apple was essentially laughed out of court. Unfortunately, their litigation’s prospects look better in this affair.

  25. Dror Harari Says:

    To the list of banned apps for the iPhone you can now add an innovative radiation level detector for the iPhone – an app that Apple just rejected (see because “… the information about radiation levels provided by the application may be confusing for users despite an excellent interface.”

    I just wait for the day Apple will start feeling the government arm as a monopole. They and their despicable patent aggression is surely a rocket booster for becoming a monopole. Nothing Microsoft ever done with respect to pushing IE or their OS ever came close to the Apple tyranny. People are slowly becoming aware of how rotten the apple is.

    By the way, I do own an iPod Nano and was charmed by the well designed UI of the device but due to the company behavior, I have not purchase an iPhone and I am not going to purchase one unless the company starts behaving in a civil manner.


  26. Shocky Says:

    Great article, but I disagree that Apple are worse than Microsoft. Apple may be evil, but at least they don’t try to hide what they are. As a crude analogy, Apple is like a guy who comes out and punches you when you knock on his door. It’s wrong, but at least you know where he stands. Microsoft is like a guy who welcomes you in then stabs you in the back and hides the body. Or he calls up his buddies to lie in wait till you come out, and they rob you, murder you and dump your body. They have no qualms about bribery, extortion, theft, even manslaughter.

  27. Sum Yung Gai Says:

    @jdeslip: Good article about your reasons for rejecting Apple. I agree, and I go yet further.

    @Shocky: Both “guys” you reference in your Apple/Microsoft analogy are bad. And Apple wouldn’t punch you–they’d *SHOOT* you.

    By contrast, GNU/Linux is the good guy who will not only welcome you into his beautiful home, but show you how to build one for yourself if you wish. Oh, and he’ll put you in touch with other people who’ve done the same thing so you can get even more ideas and plans. He will definitely expect you to “read the manual” before you try building your own house, but at least you have the information. And you can always hire a builder to do it for you using those ideas and plans if you want.

    I’ll stick with the nice guy who won’t punch me, thanks. :-)

  28. GregE Says:

    @macias and @A Canuck

    You can buy a three dollar mini stereo to RCA converter or a mini – mini cable for cars with AV in (most new ones) allowing you to use any music player with any stereo system. iPod docks do allow external control of the device, but then car drivers in particular should not be allowed to have such a distraction, and at home you can just use the device controls. I have a Creative Zen 32gb, it is plug and play with Amarok, runs for thirty plus hours on a single charge, has cables for home and car, and with my Sennheiser buds has the best sound money can buy. Best of all my music is either from my own CDs or legally purched DRM free high bit-rate mp3s and I can use any software I want to back up and play my music.

    I have no time for Apple and their ecosystem. Velvet covered handcuffs are still handcuffs.

    Great article.

  29. GoOSBears Says:

    AWESOME post!
    The post, Carl’s comments, others’ comments, and your replies ALL hit the mark! (At least ME believes this)
    You published your BerkeleyLUG blog at as well.
    I see that much of LXer’s current Discussion is centered around Microsoft’s practices (instead of Apple’s), various Linux technical issues, Linux distributions, and some Apple/OS-X material such as yours here.

    An interesting comment made in this LXer Discussion was the fact that you can install Linux on a PowerPC-based mac.
    Did you realize that you can INDEED install Open Source Linux on a Mac desktop/laptop, and probably even do this fully legally ?? Yepper, that’s right!!
    It’s too bad that the whoevers at Apple are now so restrictive about OSS on their own handheld & other devices… definitely a BOO and HISSS at the Apple whoevers who keep doing this!!!
    At the same time, I find this news for Mac desktops/laptops VERY POSITIVE!!
    I don’t have to buy OS-X and can use Linux on older Mac G4 and G3 systems.
    If I already own a legal copy of Mac OS-X anyway, then I can install this as a dual-booting OS-X / Linux system.
    The LXer Discussion thread covering this possibility is called Shining Star for Macs, and one of the mainsites for Linux on PowerPCs is

    As long as Apple doesn’t try to initiate lawsuits (or legal-sounding FUD) or somehow promote hack attacks against we current owners of G3 and G4 desktops/laptops, Linux on PowerPC Macs could definitely be the way to go!

  30. Apple’s Legal Attack on GNU/Linux and Mistreatment of Developers Already Costing it Business | Boycott Novell Says:

    […] is another new post that’s titled “Why I don’t use Apple products” 1. Apple’s software is not […]

  31. Don Says:

    What an incredibly stupid article. It all comes down to you want to use all open source software. So who’s stopping you? Of course, that also means that you should never own any current game machine, tv, radio, toaster, automobile, or condom (not that you’ll ever need one).

    If you don’t want to use any Apple gear, don’t. It’s that easy. You don’t have to sound like a little baby rationalizing why you won’t eat beets.

    If you don’t want to use Apple gear, don’t. But please do just one thing:


  32. Jack Says:

    @Don – *cutting and pasting* Until this week, I didn’t find a need to whine or moan about Apple either. I was happily going about my days ignoring them. But, when they threaten to take away my choice to use other products (their lawsuit literally wants to ban the sale of HTC phones in the US), then I feel a little moaning is called for ;) (Also, if you read the article, you’d have found I do use a lot of closed-source software when it does the job better.)

  33. Jeff Hoogland Says:

    I dislike Apple products as much as most Linux people – however in the goal of data accuracy I feel I must mention that Apple also started the FOSS OpenCL project –

    Over all – good post though, will be relinking for sure :)


  34. Ulysses Says:

    The number reason I don’t use Apple products is.. drum roll please, PRICE!

    But, I do own an iPod, but not a laptop, desktop, etc.

  35. Scott Says:

    I use windows7 and ubuntu 9.10.

    I do not own apple products.

    To be totally honest, apple hates freedom

    No flash means lack of freedom of choice of websites
    Restricted apps means lack of choice of software

    However, I could choose to just not use apple products.

    There in lies the problem.
    Lets say theoretically someone builds a fully open source operating system for a tele and wants to create a super device

    Allows all applications, automatic root access, flash, html5 functional webkit based browser, touch screen only, glass screen, alluminum body with rounded edges, capacity touch, tegra based processor, 32gb internal memory, 32gb microsd card support, wifi tether support, gsm and cdma support, good battery, pinch based zoom, and had virtualization capability to emulate and run all android, blackberry, iphone, maemo, and symbian applications… apple would shit lawyers

  36. Destillat #12 | - Open Source, Wet-, Web-, Software Says:

    […] Why I don’t use Apple products Dies soll kein Beitrag zum Apple Bashing sein – aber ein paar Denkanstösse sollte es für den ein oder anderen doch mit sich bringen. […]

  37. LinXs 2010-03-14 | Maxim's blog Says:

    […] Why I don’t use Apple products […]

  38. APhotographer Says:

    I don’t like Apple’s stuff. I like Linux and use it for my photo work.

  39. bob stevens Says:

    I no longer buy anything from Apple, after having gone through 2 ipods with the worst non-replaceable batteries ever, I switched to a creative zen and have never looked back, 3 times teh battery life and I’m not forced to use Apple’s oppresive Itunes.
    I’ve been using Microsoft phones for years due to the massive number of programs available for them and the fact you can always find someone who has tweaked the OS the way I like it, but with the advent of Windows Phone 7 series being locked down through another apps store nightmare, I’m going to move to Android. I never thought I would given how shabby the original G1 was, but having seen the way HTC has created such amazing interfaces that I’m familiar with in the Desire and Legend, I will definitely be getting one of them.
    As for the apps available, there are as many as I could want and if there is a popular iphone app then there is almost always the equivalent in the android market, just without Apple getting in the way.

    From the very moment Apple started selling computers where you can’t even change the battery, despite them looking great, I decided I would never go down that route. They are great for people who don’t like to tinker and have never experienced (or used) the freedom of other operating systems, but for me, as someone who likes to know I can do what I want, I will never get a mac.

    As for the patent issues, I was saddened, but not suprised to hear about the attack on HTC, they have been creating amazing devices for a long time and finally they are getting the respect they deserve and Steve Jobs goes after them, not in main for the technology they might be sopying, but the ideas they have in theory stolen (even though most of them were not Apple originals), I agree with this article in the fact that it highlights the issue we face when it’s the ideas that are patented and not the underlying solution to the idea (i.e. the specific application of technology).
    With the analogy of the Ford motor company, can you imagine if they had patented the IDEA of the car? of the IDEA of mass produced automobiles? simple things, like the IDEA of a break operated by a foot, like Apple trying to defend it’s use of multitouch, is rediculous, it’s not the IDEA that should be covered, but the underlying solution Apple uses to enable the idea, the technology they use and the way they use it to get the desired idea to work well. This would allow competition to design new and innovative ways of getting multitouch to work.

    I do admire Apple for their success, but I am disgusted by the manner in which they now abuse it, they used to use Microsoft as an image of how evil companies can be, now they are in fact worse in my opinion. I just hope all the Apple fanboys start to realise what their beloved Steve Jobs is doing and start to form rational arguments for their defence, not the usual rants that everyone is just jealous.

    I think Apple has a place to produce simple to use, relatively robust machines for people who don’t want to do anything complicated and like a piece of eye candy, but when they start to encroach on those companies who are genuinely innovating in their own realm (HTC for one) I take offence.

    Not much of a contribution I’m afraid, but hopefully there are a few people out there who share my views and will vote with their feet enough to show Apple they can’t rule the world if they behave like this.

  40. jmm Says:

    my last apple product was an apple II+ in 1980, i loved it, when they locked up the mac i never bought another apple product and will not. piss on them

  41. Mike Says:

    I run Apple, and Linux products, and I would love nothing more than to be completely open source with everything. Unfortunately it is an impossibility in this day, and age. Many open source programs just don’t cut it, and don’t have the features when put up against their closed source counterparts. There is also that layer of integration that Apple has with so many things. I plug my iPod into my car stereo, and it integrates with the controls on the dash so I can tuck the iPod away, and not fumble with it at all…. this is better than any other mp3 player, and much better than fumbling with CDs as far as car audio goes.

    Right now my goal is to take my photography hobby to the world of open source. It hasn’t been easy. There is a huge learning curve when switching from Photoshop to GIMP. Sometimes I get pretty frustrated with it, and complain about how GIMP doesn’t have the features I need, but it really most likely is just me not knowing where to look because I’ve been a Photoshop user for years. The inclusion of being able to work with RAW images is a definite plus on the Linux side which was a feature that wasn’t available back when I first started working with digital photography.

    Sound is another Linux issue. For a while I was experimenting with Logic, Reason, and Cubase, and VST/RTAS instruments. From what I could see this is a total mess trying to get things to work through Linux. There really weren’t any programs that interfaced with things in a usable manner without having to do a lot of work on the front end, or emulate/run virtual machines, and then there were the things that just didn’t work at all. Making a VSTi for windows work on Linux (because no one releases great software support for Linux when it comes to this) is ridiculously hard.

  42. Jack Says:

    @Mike – thanks for your comments. There is nothing wrong with choosing to use what works best for you. What is unfortunate about Apple’s recent actions is there attempts to limit the people ability to make that choice for themselves.

    People develop a lot of inertia using a particular OS or application. I for example feel lost and confused whenever OSX is plopped in front of me. So, I understand the trouble in migrating from Photoshop to Gimp. Glad to hear you are giving it a try however.

    Anyway, at the end of the day, here is what I suggest to people: use open-source options when they are a) the best option available for your needs based on flexibility, price and features. b) when the closed-source options limit user freedom and or have negative impact on the industry as a whole. A lot of closed-source applications are amazing and fill a need no open-source app does without disrupting other development or restricting user activity. Unfortunately a lot of Apple products don’t fit this category, they are more than closed-source – they are closed everything. :/

  43. goossbears Says:

    There is a current SFGate article concerning Apple’s policy towards iPhone and iPod developers:
    Apple’s success brings scrutiny, by Ryan Kim, Chronicle Staff Writer
    The SFGate article link is
    Quote from this SFGate article:
    — begin quote —
    [Apple’s Products] Hold sway over market

    But with this runaway success comes more scrutiny, whether it’s warranted or not. The two federal agencies are reportedly examining Apple’s latest policy requiring iPhone and iPod developers to use its own tools for building applications.

    The concern is that by not allowing developers to use tools that enable development on multiple mobile operating systems, it encourages developers to write for Apple’s platform and not others. If regulators decide to launch an inquiry, it could be a steppingstone to a full investigation.
    — end quote —

    It seems to me that this article strongly corroborates Jaclk’s main point 3 on top, as well as corroborating previous comments regarding Apple here. I think it would beneficial if regulators DO proceed to conduct a full investigation of Apple’s overrestrictive policies towards iPhone and iPod developers, as hinted at in this SFGate article.

  44. Hannah Says:

    Linux rocks now i am using ubuntu and i dont like apple because they are going on their brand which is bad in this modern world. so much costly and sometimes they failed to serve the quality for their price.

  45. Binaraga Says:

    I have always planned to buy apple products but when I didn’t get any good reviews for it, I left the plan and dealing with other products. LOL.

  46. Alat Fitnes Says:

    I don’t like Apple, but their products are pretty nice. Apple fans bother me sometimes, along with their stores that to me makes them seem more vain than anything else. I don’t even know what they’re going for.
    Macbook Pros are beautiful. Not so much the white macbooks, but the macbook pros are really beautiful. On the outside. I like Windows 7 better than OS X. I have a 2nd generation Ipod touch, and I love it, although it wasn’t working originally. And with THEIR products, I understanding making users use their other products, and not promoting their competitors.

  47. asd Says:

    Hmmm. Jailbreak is easy and i dont rly see how some could broke their device with it?? and jb is easy to hide: just restore ur iphone/ipod/ipad or what ever

  48. Tod Konopacky Says:

    Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  49. Berkeley Linux Users Group » Blog Archive » Why I don’t use Apple products | Curtis Bridges Says:

    […] […]

  50. Ack Says:

    There have been articles written about Apple and the threat to Internet freedom. It’s ironic that Americans – land of the free, home of the brave – are so willing to not only give away, but pay, to lose their freedom.

    What’s more disconcerting is that the American media so favors Apple, like it’s the home team. Did you know the Galaxy S III is the world’s most popular phone currently? Except guess in which country. Most of the anti-Android and pro-Apple articles are written where? The US, of course.

    If you read the American news, you’d think iphone was more popular than Android, and Macs are selling better than PCs, even though in reality, it isn’t even close.

  51. goossbears Says:

    Above spam message aside, there IS a relevant concern about Apple’s products, as was just written in yesterday’s SFGate technology article ‘Hacking nightmare a cautionary tale’,
    Among the various hacking activities, the hackers (and I quote):
    1. “called Apple tech support, where you can bypass security questions to access an account by giving out a customer billing address and the last four digits of an associated credit card. They now had control of [their intended victim’s] iCloud account, to which his iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro were linked.
    2. “used Find My iPhone and Find My Mac to wipe his devices.”

    So it looks like there are clear Security risks in using Apple’s products and services, above and beyond jdeslip’s top points 1 thru 4.

  52. Gulp. | Garrick van Buren Says:

    […] “To risk sounding like a broken record, why support a company that treats you like a criminal?… […]

  53. Says:

    and I love it, although it wasn’t working originally. And with THEIR products, I understanding making users use their other products, and not promoting their competitors.

  54. click here Says:

    I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Recent Entries

Popular Posts