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Why we should stop buying Apple products - Artificial Intelligence and Society

This week Apple crossed the 1 trillion dollar value bar, making it the most valuable company in the world.

I have long been a big fan of Apple products. My first experience with Apple was in the 1980’s the sleekly designed Apple Mackintosh with a sharp black and white screen instead of the typical dark grey screen with blurry green letters.

At the end of the 1990’s I loved to watch the Apple advertisements, where it made fun big ugly Microsoft. Apple was the underdog, and it had superior products. Apple was cool, and I thought it was a great idea to make a countermove against the Microsoft Monopoly. So I started buying Apple Macbooks and computers.

My first smartphone was the iPhone2. The iPhone truly revolutionised our phone experience. I would not miss any introduction for a new iPhone. It was amazing to see how much Steve Jobs loved to make the best possible product.

But slowly things started to change. The underdog became a dominant company itself. Steve Jobs created mind-blowing products, and profits followed automatically. When Tim Cook took over as CEO, financial results became leading. The monopolistic tendencies of Apple grew much stronger under Cook. Apple is the most profitable company in the world, but it uses its might to avoid paying tax. In 2016 the news came out that Apple only paid 0,005% tax In Europe. Instead of bowing his head in shame, Tim Cook launched an aggressive attack on the EU for its effort to collect the levies that were due.

The Apple products were by far the best on the planet. They are still great, but for a given price you usually get a better product from a competitor. One of the reasons Apple product disappoint is that Apple INTENTIONALLY reduces the quality of its older products through software updates that are supposed to improve the quality. As a pure monopolist, it tries to illegally push its loyal customer base to buy its latest products.

Apple has an ecosystem where all products of its own make work seamlessly together. It claims only Apple products are allowed in the ecosystem so it can guarantee superior performance. But other manufacturers are not welcome in its eco-system, even if they are prepared to uphold the strict software standards of Apple.

But the most important reason to stop buying Apple products is that Apple is too big and too powerful. Power always corrupts, and Apple is a case that proves this point. Profit is increasingly concentrating with a few high-tech companies that are relatively light on personnel. A relatively small number of employees and shareholders takes an increasing part of the economic pie. Not because of superior performance, but because they manage to shut out the competition with unfair trade practices, buying politicians and building a monopolistic fortress with a complicated patent web.

But you and I can change this. We can stop admiring number one and start buying from number 2 or 20 in the market.

The links in this article are searched with DuckDuckGo.com. It was written on a 2013 Apple MacBook, but my next laptop will be a different brand.