Overdesigned Apple?

Hey Apple, give your users more control and we’ll all win


An interesting article, though I can’t see Apple surrendering control over its hardware and software. Part of the success of the brand (any brand) is the uniformity and familiarity for the customer. Just as MacDonalds started the trend by making sure that any customer knew that they could eat a McDonalds burger in New York and be assured that it would look and taste the same as one in California (whatever you may think of the taste of a Big Mac), so Apple has followed the trand of all the big brands by making the ‘Apple Experience’.

Of course, this is unusual for many serious users of IT, who are still very much used to being able to customise their PC, or install homebrew software, and I think part of the appeal of the internet is that it is formless and anarchic and where potentially everyone is equal. But now access to the web is gaining uniformity like any consumer product, like television or games consoles, and gatekeeping is always a threat to open access. Nobody wants to walk down to their local and find a bouncer on the door – even if you know you’re getting in, the implied threat is there.

But as I said above, the success of Apple has its foundations in the fact that it makes designer gear, and designer gear has to be, well, designed. Uniform and structured. And lets face it, the majority of people are not IT literate. They want their computers to be as straight forward as televisions, just with apps instead of channels. iPad – the computer for people who can’t use computers.