Apple steals ideas, too: Originality is in the eye of the Goliaths

Intentious Controversial News Rotting Apple Steve Jobs Android Google War Thermonuclear Ethics Hypocrisy Core Values

Apple don’t believe in a “for the people by the people” model. Instead, they follow the mantra “for the professionals by the professionals”. This studiousness in grand design and exemplar technology has made Apple what it is today: The beacon of clean, professional, polished gadgets, designed, proudly, with an emphasis on originality, innovative thinking, and a deliberate point of difference from the way competitors do it.

However, device and network programmer Ventz Petkov, points out on his tech and development blog, vpetkov.net, that

…it forces them to be selective, limited, and exclusive, which is all negative when it comes to the Internet. Freedom of expression simply does not exist within Apple. You might think you are free to express yourself, but only according to how, when, and where Apple tells you to.

With this information in the back of your mind, Apple recently sued Amazon for calling its app store Appstore. It has publicly lectured competitors to “create their own original technology, not steal ours.

Rewind to this now famous “livid” outburst from the late Steve Jobs:

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.

“I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.

However, The Register UK reported in a revealing article in June that, for all their self-victimising cries, Apple are among the most blatant practitioners of hypocrisy and intellectual property stealing of all.

Consider the case of UK-based developer Greg Hughes. Last year, his app for wirelessly syncing iPhones with iTunes libraries was unceremoniously rejected from the official App Store. The software developer took the denial in stride, submitting Wi-Fi Sync to the Cydia store for jailbroken iPhones, where the app is a top seller.

Fast forward to Monday, when Apple unveiled a set of new features for the upcoming iOS 5, including the same wireless-syncing functionality. Cupertino wasn’t even subtle about the appropriation, using the precise name and a near-identical logo to market the technology.

Side-by-side comparison of Wi-Fi Sync logos
A side-by-side comparison of logos for Wi-Fi Sync. Hughes’s logo is on the left. Apple’s is to the right.

“Obviously I was fairly shocked,” said Hughes, referring to his reaction on Monday when he saw the new feature promoted on Apple’s website. “I’d been selling my app with that name and icon for at least a year. Apple knew that, as I’d submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that.”

A student at the University of Birmingham finishing his third year in the Computer Science program, Hughes said Wi-Fi Sync was rejected from the iTunes App Store in May, 2010, one month after he submitted it. He said an iPhone developer relations representative named Steve Rea personally called him prior to sending a formal rejection email to say the app was admirable, but went on to explain there were unspecified security concerns and that it did things not specified in the official iPhone software developers’ kit.

“They did say that the iPhone engineering team had looked at it and were impressed,” Hughes told El Reg. “They asked for my CV as well.”

Read the full article here: Apple pilfers rips off student’s rejected iPhone app | The Register UK

On this matter, and all matters of copying technology “back” from Google Android going forward, V. Petkov says what many of us believe:

“I think that Apple needs to decide where they stand. If they truly believe in copyright and patents, they have to use the same stick when judging themselves. They cannot steal other’s work, and then turn around and preach how you should not steal innovation, designs, and code.”

Perhaps, now that the Californian corporation is left commanding the legacy that is Steve Jobs’ jihad against Android, that rule no longer applies. In a time where Apple will strive to maintain the allure over its flagship device, ethics are dumped during warfare. Sadly, along with those ethics go the polished halo of innovation presiding over a browning Apple core.

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Categories: Business, Science, Technology

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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2 Comments on “Apple steals ideas, too: Originality is in the eye of the Goliaths”

  1. ashok pai
    July 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    “I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong”

    what a deranged maniac!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Patent Wars: Apple, Samsung, Google, Dyson, Hoover and… Mitsubishi? | Intentious - July 2, 2012

    […] were just as good at playing dirty and “stealing” intellectual property (see claims in: Apple Steal Ideas Too: Originality is in the eye of the Goliaths | Intentious), and we find out that the hailed Dyson Airblade (pictured below), credited with re-inventing the […]

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