In the childrens tale ‘The Emperors New Clothes’ the public applaud the Emperor for his fantastic taste in fashion in parading his new invisible outfit. They do this to go along with the herd. To be trendy. To be cool.
Until, one small boy, a voice in the wilderness, points out that they are all stupid and have been taken for fools. There’s no such thing as invisible clothes – he’s naked!
And then the crowd, in a growing hubbub, quickly do a swift about turn and ridicule the Emperor for being such a fool to be taken in in the first place. Because now the scales have been lifted from their eyes it becomes cool, trendy and smart to be on the other side of the fence.
And so it shall be with Apple.
Voices other than our own and with a much bigger audience are making themselves heard about why people buy Apple products, what they get for their money and exactly how the whole thing works. Which they are beginning to find just a little bit disturbing.
Here’s Brian Reade from The Mirror, one of the UK’s biggest newspapers, nailing Cupertino from top to bottom:
Ignore the iBore fools Apple is an evil cult which makes almost £12billion in profit
My wife bought me an iPad for Christmas even though I wanted one about as much as I wanted a dose of gout.
I already had a Blackberry phone (more of that later) a company laptop, a Hewlett Packard home computer, a smart Samsung TV and shelves full of books.
The world could speak to me and I could speak to it. But it wasn’t enough.
Through gales of derisive laughter I was told “Everyone needs an iPad. Once you’ve got one, you won’t know how you lived without it.”
So I got one. It cost £250 apparently. And a pricey “must-have” cover to go with it. I think I used it twice and now I don’t know where it is. But I do know how I lived without it. Happily.
Which to the hypnotised eyes of Apple worshippers who helped the company deliver a £11.9billion profit in the last three months of 2014, makes me a cross between a blasphemous heathen and a Luddite leper.
That’s fine by me because I have no desire to be brainwashed into joining an evil sect which bores on about “awesome apps” and “serious kit” and will not be happy until it’s taken over the world.
I don’t deny the genius of their inventors or the fact that their products are incredibly clever and efficient.
And any firm making the largest quarterly profit in corporate history in such a competitive field, must be giving its customers what they want.
It’s just that, like the poison apple in the Garden of Eden that spawned Original Sin, the one in California leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.
Let’s start with its tax avoidance, which is so huge and calculated it makes Gary Barlow look like a monk who dishes out alms to the poor every payday.
Apple declares no tax residence so pays no corporation or capital gains tax.
It uses various companies around the world to minimise its income tax bills.
All of this means it now has cash reserves of £117billion in offshore accounts out of the clutches of the inland revenues in countries where they make their mind-boggling profits.
Small wonder the European Commission is currently investigating tax avoidance deals between Apple and the Irish government.
Talking of investigations, last month BBC’s Panorama did a probe into alleged abuse of workers in Chinese sweatshops where Apple products are made, as well as illegal Indonesian mines where kids collect pieces of tin that somehow end up in their supply chain.
You may have seen pictures of those Chinese sweatshops.
They’re the ones where Apple contractors have put nets outside the windows to cut down on the number of workers committing suicide.
Mention any of these criticisms to the iBores though, and you’re met with the kind of pitiful stare a Jehova’s Witness gives when you say: “How can you still believe in all this garbage when the world never does bloody end?”
iBores don’t have time to worry about taxpayers or workers getting ripped off because they’re too busy queueing up outside their nearest Apple store from dawn to get ripped off themselves.
Check out the massive profit margins on Apple products compared with their rivals. It ranges from 38-47%.
Check out how much you have to pay for replacement parts. A new plug and cable for most phones costs around £15. For an iPhone, however, it’s £40.
I’d have liked to use personal research to do that for you, by the way, but the last time I tried to buy my daughter a new charger in an Apple shop, I was asked if I’d made an appointment? I was gobsmacked.
I told them I wasn’t after a meeting with a cancer specialist to discuss a lump in my testicles, I was after a charger.
I didn’t get it. Just as I don’t get how you have to set up an iTunes account before you can work any of their products.
Just as I didn’t get this answer from my son when he said he needed a new iPod because the one he’d bought 18 months ago had stopped working.
“Can’t you get it fixed” I asked, only to be met with laughter and the words: “No, that’s the way they make them. So you have to keep buying new ones.”
It’s like a Frank Carson catchphrase – “It’s the way I sell ’em” – but no one laughs.
Just as no one laughs when celebrity sect members are jetted to the launch of Apple’s latest product to whoop and weep when the curtain goes back, as though they were setting eyes on a hidden Caravaggio masterpiece that had just been painstakingly restored.
But then what do I know? I’m an outsider who doesn’t buy into the fact that Steve Jobs was
actually Jesus Christ enjoying a Second Coming.
And I know I’m an outsider because whenever an iBore spots my Blackberry phone they gasp, point, splutter and ask why anyone could bear to walk around today with an original Caxton printing press in their pocket when there are iPhones to be lusted after.
Their next step in world domination is the iWatch which will be coming soon to an all-night queue near you.
iHope it flops.
Just remember, it doesn’t take much for trends to change…
Or maybe the pebble has dropped and the ripples have started.
Thanks to the person who sent the link in, by the way, just to confirm that neither I, nor the Good Reverend Grim, are Brian Reade!