Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Apple Inc. - Preparing to shove ads down your throat.

Apple Inc., the company that is behind the ground breaking iPhone and iPod, is up to something real sinister and disgusting. According to this NYTimes article, " ...in an application filed last year and made public last month by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Apple is seeking a patent for technology that displays advertising on almost anything that has a screen of some kind: computers, phones, televisions, media players, game devices and other consumer electronics."

According to the article "....the technology can freeze the device until the user clicks a button or answers a test question to demonstrate that he or she has dutifully noticed [as in a slave and a master relationship]  the commercial message. Because this technology would be embedded in the innermost core of the device, the ads could appear on the screen at any time, no matter what one is doing [so now the user experience does not matter any longer. ugh]. The system also has a version for music players, inserting commercials that come with an audible prompt to press a particular button to verify the listener’s attentiveness."

This is disgusting and pure nonsense. If you are wondering the reason for this insane way of making users notice ads, here's the lame reason " the inventors say the advertising would enable computers and other consumer electronics products to be offered to customers free [do they expect us to believe that?] or at a reduced price. In exchange, recipients would agree to view the ads. If, down the road, users found the advertisements and the attentiveness tests unendurable, they could pay to make the device “ad free” on a temporary or permanent basis [another intellectual phrase for open extortion]."

This is what I call intellectual extortion and harassment. After reading this article, every single respect I had for Apple Inc. and Steve Jobs just evaporated. Of course filing for patent does not necessarily equal implementation. But if this is anything to go by,  it simply means people are going to be subjected to all forms of needless and time wasting ads that they must see and respond to.

Is it going to mean that all the shiny Apple toys that people have  are now going to display compulsory must see ads?  If I understand clearly, if you own one of those devices and are fed up with the ads you see, you would have to pay them to have your peace? I understand that companies seek to maximize profitability in as many ways as possible, but should it be at the expense of the satisfaction of consumers?

If this is the next level that advertising is moving to, then I can foresee a reverse by consumers to the typewriter era of technology if that will mean not having to contend with overzealous corporate entities that do not give a damn about user experience. This is another reason why I think Google is set to be the god of technology in the near future. Why? Because Google puts you and I first before revenue.

Google has the largest network of ads in the world but has managed to never shove them down your throat the way Apple is seeking to.  If this is what Apple plans to do with it's market position, then I can confidently see it overtaken by Linux in the OS market and other OEMs  in the devices market.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 2 comments

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