Open Letter to Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs-

Your name has represented innovation in the face of the status quo. Apple’s products are known far and wide for their high-quality and ease of use. They are seen as fashion statements yet technological essentials. You have made quite a name for yourself and Apple. You should be proud.

However, your decision to:

  • embrace DRM, and
  • restrict how Apple hardware(the iPhone) can be used

at the dismay of your customers shows that you have lost sight of the ideals you held in Apple’s infancy. Profits over the consumer’s right to have ownership of data and control over their hardware is a fatal perspective, and it will cost Apple dearly as consumers become aware of how important that ownership is. Other companies are starting to hear their cry as Apple turns a deaf ear.

I am definitely aware of this, which is why as a consumer I made these choices as a response to Apple’s stance on rights to data and hardware use:

  • Instead of iTunes, I will purchase music from content providers that support a DRM-free product..
  • Instead of buying an iPod, I will purchase audio players that support open formats and fair-use.
  • Instead of using your hardware and operating systems, I run a PC with an OS that does not restrict how I use it (Linux).
  • Instead of the iPhone, which has recently blocked Google Voice applications (despite incorporating other Google features into your OS), I purchased an Android phone whose app store does not fear of products that ‘reproduce features’ that the phone already has.

So you see, I can live in a world you envisioned 20 years ago without Apple. I am free to do with my hardware and data as I please, and no trendy ad campaign will change my mind. It won’t be long until the new generation of computer users wise up and demand rights to what they rightfully own, too. A few years ago, perhaps their options were few. Today, there are companies that are more than willing to accommodate their request. The list grows: Google, T-Mobile, Red Hat, Sun, Canonical, Dell, Acer, Asus, and Sandisk. People want freedom, and they all answered.

To sum it up, if handcuffs were fashionable, I still won’t wear them. Grant the right to our data and hardware on your products, and perhaps my interest in Apple products will return.

Until then…

Sincerely Yours,

Amin Astaneh

Free Software Advocate