Why I Regret Buying an iPhone

Don Tennant

I have an iPhone, but if I had it to do over again, I would never have bought one.

 

It works just fine; I haven't experienced the problems with AT&T that a lot of iPhone owners complain about, and I like a lot of the apps. But at the time I bought it, I wasn't fully aware of Apple's blatant, unapologetic contempt for its employees, its suppliers, the media and its customers. Now that I've been educated, I'm sorry I ever bought one of Steve Jobs' products.

 

Reuters reported on Wednesday that one of its reporters had been roughed up by security guards outside the factory of Apple component supplier Foxconn in Longhua, China. It was yet another outrageous display of the extremism Apple has promulgated in its obsessive demand for secrecy.

 

True enough, Foxconn supplies components for a lot of manufacturers other than Apple, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Cisco. But it's Apple that creates the secrecy-or-else environments at Foxconn and other suppliers, and it was a prototype of an Apple product-an iPhone-that cost a Foxconn employee his life after it went missing last July. The Register captured the widely publicized event this way:

[Foxconn employee Sun Danyong] leapt to his death from his 12th-floor apartment window a few days after he told his superiors that one of the 16 iPhone 4G prototypes which had been entrusted to him had gone missing. Both Foxconn and Apple have acknowledged Sun's suicide.

 


What happened between Sun's admission of the missing prototype and his suicide is in dispute. According to various sources, including China Radio International and VentureBeat, Sun was allegedly beaten during a search of his apartment by Foxconn security personnel. A few hours later, Sun committed suicide -- an act that was videotaped by security cameras.

Apple's obsession with secrecy at home, meanwhile, was well documented in a December Gizmodo article titled, "Apple Gestapo: How Apple Hunts Down Leaks." The author wrote about an Apple employee named Tom, who told a frightening tale of Nazi-like tactics used within Apple's Cupertino headquarters. Here's an excerpt:

"You may want to know about their Worldwide Loyalty Team," Tom told me recently in an email. I read what he had to say. It felt like a description of the Gestapo, without the torture and killing part. [H]e knows how it feels to be watched, to always be considered guilty of crimes against another kind of state. He knew how it felt to have no privacy whatsoever

 

"Apple has these moles working everywhere, especially in departments where leaks are suspected. Management is not aware of them," he told me, "once they suspect a leak, the special forces-as we call them-will walk in the office at any hour, especially in the mornings. They will contact whoever was the most senior manager in the building, and ask them to coordinate the operation."

 

The operation, as Tom calls it, is not anything special. It is not one of a kind event. It's just a normal practice, and the process is pretty simple: The manager will instruct all employees to stay at their desks, telling them what to do and what to expect at any given time. The Apple Gestapo never handles the communication. They are there, present, supervising the supervisors, making sure everything goes as planned.

What's especially galling is that these employees are subjected to this nonsense so that Jobs can turn every Apple product announcement into a self-aggrandizing media spectacle that wouldn't be possible without the secrecy mystique. And it's even more galling that the media and Apple enthusiasts buy into it like docile lap dogs, happily chasing the bones that Jobs throws out, and reverently licking up the crumbs under his theatrical table.

 

So if it's not too late, and you're still debating whether to buy an iPhone or any other Apple product, at least consider all of this before making a decision. I can tell you that I wish I knew then what I know now.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post

Jul 9, 2011 12:51 PM Simon Simon  says:

Sorry I may be shallow but I love mine. A game changing piece of kit. Being without it would be like chopping off a limb.

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Jul 20, 2011 3:12 AM  deadbeat revolution deadbeat revolution  says:

Someone said "thier was no extended warranty - to even buy" for the screen, thanx.

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Jul 21, 2011 1:54 AM Camille Milby Camille Milby  says:

If you really believe in anything you've written here, stop using it right away. Also, stop using anything else made in China, or anywhere else that doesn't have exemplary human rights. This is a problem in China generally.

Camille Milby

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Jul 21, 2011 2:20 AM sim123 Adermann sim123 Adermann  says: in response to Camille Milby

It's not that I'm against China, but you can't really expect quality on China products. Why don't you buy a new coffee cup, this can be more useful when you sip your coffee in the morning....

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Jul 21, 2011 2:50 AM Marineth Cally Marineth Cally  says:

Mostly Electronics items "Made in China" are best known LOW QUALITY product The manufacturer's aim is to produce more QUANTITY rather than QUALITY products. The result is USED and DISPOSSED within a short period of time. ISO standards are not even implemented in most Chinese products. They congquered the markket with products of high risk of disasters.

Merineth-

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Jul 21, 2011 3:33 AM Jeany Meets Jeany Meets  says:

In deeply knowing about iPhone I should say I haven't little idea of it. But I think it was manufacturing fault because of discovering new apps and features; experimenting how it works through versions. courses online

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Jul 21, 2011 4:22 AM james linen james linen  says:

It was found that the iPhone has fewer call quality issues. I take this back to my AT&T store when can I expect a replacement as they are still fulfilling orders. Horse Meds

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Jul 21, 2011 5:24 AM Alex Kennedy Alex Kennedy  says:

They are running a multi-billion dollar business that every electronics company in the world is trying to copy or steal. These reporters are for all practical purposes committing corporate espionage just so they can get a scoop. So what if one is ruffed up a bit. He seems to be just fine and enjoying being the center of attention.

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Jul 21, 2011 6:41 AM Christine Robert Christine Robert  says:

I think these reporters are for all practical purposes committing corporate espionage just so they can get a scoop. So what if one is ruffed up a bit. He seems to be just fine and enjoying being the center of attention.

Catch my Drink Bottles dude.

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Jul 26, 2011 4:15 AM internet marketing blog internet marketing blog  says:

Well  I worried about the screen.  Someone said "thier was no extended warranty...

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Aug 1, 2011 6:29 AM Cathy Walker Cathy Walker  says:

People and the media don't just buy into it because of the secrecy.  Don't forget the other 1/2 of that equation, quality products.  Yes I can just about hear you sputtering but, but, but already.  The reality is apple is not perfect but on the whole they made products quite a bit better than the competition.  If you haven't noticed all the new smartphones are just iPhone me-toos trying to find a feature that apple doesn't have and promote that.

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Aug 2, 2011 9:33 AM Leah Williams Leah Williams  says:

I doubt Apple are Nazi-like in anyway. They keep things secret, all companies do otherwise their would be no competition. I would say they are sensible in their plugging of leaks, would it really surprise you if another company sent someone to Apple to get a job with the intention of finding out their secrets, not really, but I doubt they'd rough them up and I doubt they beat the guy up and that's the reason he committed suicide, this is just a conspiracy theory. All major companies are slightly dodgy in some way or another anyway, e.g using sweat shops and child labour to make there products. I know it's repeating what's been said before but that's partly the way China operates, and as for employees in America, they don't have to stay. If they don't like it just simply walk away, I doubt they'll get roughed up on the way out. At the end of the day I wouldn't buy an Iphone purely for the reason that I don't personally like it. If I didn't buy it based on principle because of some dodgy dealings I'd heard that were possibly going on then I probably wouldn't have most of the products I own.

Leah

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Aug 22, 2011 8:31 AM jen at commodities cta jen at commodities cta  says:

Sorry but I disagree. I couldn't live without my iphone. Thanks for just trying to share the downsides about it though since the marketing hype for iphones is unreal.

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Aug 26, 2011 3:28 AM Best Student Credit Cards Best Student Credit Cards  says:

This is crazy scary. While clearly leaks are a big deal, this is so extreme. For such a big company I'd expect a much better outcome from this situation. Losing a life over this is ridiculous.

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Sep 13, 2011 4:16 AM Geothermal Bargersville Geothermal Bargersville  says:

According to various sources, including China Radio International and VentureBeat, Sun was allegedly beaten during a search of his apartment by Foxconn security personnel. A few hours later, Sun committed suicide -- an act that was videotaped by security cameras.

Reply
Sep 17, 2011 12:29 PM elenalee elenalee  says:

Nice article

its interesting

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Sep 25, 2011 11:45 AM  Steve Robbins Steve Robbins  says: in response to jen at commodities cta

same here. I love iphone.

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Sep 27, 2011 3:36 AM Brvos Linter Brvos Linter  says:

Yeah I regret it myself cause the first time I droped my iPhone on my hosuses stairs it turned in to pieces .

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Oct 13, 2011 1:07 AM Dream Talk Recorder Dream Talk Recorder  says: in response to Geothermal Bargersville

Dream Talk Recorder iPhone app is now free

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Oct 18, 2011 6:57 AM music for sleep music for sleep  says:

I think this is a problem in China generally. How many products can you find that are made start-to-finish in the USA these days and how many of those use exactly zero illegal immigrant workers (including the janitors)? anyways thanks for sharing.

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Oct 27, 2011 1:25 AM Love Quotes Love Quotes  says: in response to Steve Robbins

Thanks for posting this informative article.

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Nov 14, 2011 12:38 PM iPhone repair jacksonville iPhone repair jacksonville  says:

The iPhone4 has a nice screen, as well as all the apps is something that cannot be beaten. You really can find an app for everything. The good thing about the iPhone 4 is it is easy to repair.

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Nov 17, 2011 5:24 AM DIY Superannuation DIY Superannuation  says: in response to iPhone repair jacksonville

The iPhone4 has a superfast 1GHz Apple A4 processor but it does have problems and some games do not run smoothly. Moreover, 512MB of RAM is not considered enough by most especially when there are so many phones out there with 1GB of RAM. Add to this, there is no support for flash in the web browser which raises a lot of questions in the mind of potential buyers.

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Nov 17, 2011 6:08 AM Excel 2007 Training Excel 2007 Training  says: in response to DIY Superannuation

So you basically hate the iphone ( a gadget the perfomance and features of which do not depend on how the company which makes it runs itself ) just because the developers in the company want their project details to stay within the company. I was expecting you to mention some of the ( if any ) flaws of the iphone though.

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Nov 17, 2011 6:11 AM Excel 2007 Training Excel 2007 Training  says: in response to DIY Superannuation

So you basically hate the iphone ( a gadget the perfomance and features of which do not depend on how the company which makes it runs itself ) just because the developers in the company want their project details to stay within the company. I was expecting you to mention some of the ( if any ) flaws of the iphone though.

Reply
Dec 9, 2011 11:37 AM Claire Gifts Claire Gifts  says: in response to DIY Superannuation

I would have to disagree with you on this I love mine. A game changing piece of kit. Being without it would be like chopping off a limb.

Reply
Dec 12, 2011 1:38 AM Kristin Anderson Kristin Anderson  says:

Is that true? I can't imagine for that issue. Thank you for this information.  By the way I would like to share this pmp exam time at PMP Seattle. They are providing training for those individuals preparing their examination to become professionals.

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Dec 13, 2011 5:11 AM Crossfit diet Crossfit diet  says:

OK I fully agree that the conditions that the workers have to put up with seem appalling but lets be honest does anyone really think that that conditions are any better in any other factory that produces the products that we consume. Be it technological or even food. Apple aren't the only offenders.

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Dec 17, 2011 8:10 AM zara cohen zara cohen  says:

I don't think the Gestapo is the right analogy. It's more like North Korea and their concept of "Juche" or self reliance, and "Military First." It makes the people wards of a state that despises them, It's a creed of secrecy that doesn't care if people die. They took these lessons from the fashion industry. Secrecy is king, exploit cheap foreign labor, it doesn't matter what your product does as long as it's stylish and flashy, and charge a BIG premium to unsuspecting suckers with more money than sense.

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Dec 22, 2011 7:41 AM Peter Peter  says:

i agree on the gestapo analogy - it's too heavy. but this policy is definitely not in accordance to human rights or worker's rights! money first is always flawed!

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Jan 5, 2012 1:02 AM  iPhone repair iPhone repair  says:

Nice blog. I had fun reading this. And it is easy to understand. Great informative site. I'm really impressed after reading this blog post. I really appreciate the time and effort you spend to share this with us! Nice going.

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Jan 5, 2012 5:41 AM iphone repair iphone repair  says: in response to Peter

I dont agree that the ruthlessness of Apple in ensuring secrecy in product design stage can be questioned based on hear say and events where they might not be at fault. But Apple does engage in a lot of ridiculously unfair practices that apple fans just dont not admit to.. iPods with irreplaceable battery is just one example, but there are many more. The manner in which apple goes about their apps for iPhone is again to protect apple's interest and against the interests of their consumers.

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Jan 12, 2012 10:10 AM online pmp exam prep online pmp exam prep  says:

Thank you for sharing this issue, through your posted issue I already knew which better product I am going to buy because of your idea. I am looking forward to see your next post.

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Jan 16, 2012 10:36 AM chemistry homework chemistry homework  says: in response to online pmp exam prep

it's not a gadget it's a religion

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Jan 11, 2013 2:20 PM iPhone Repair iPhone Repair  says:
You are right is an aspect that with china manufacturing iPhone, its quite hard to differentiate the original one from the make of Apple with this make of iPhone by China. Reply

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