Apple remains shameless in their wanton ‘Planned Obsolescence’ agenda

Posted on July 7, 2017


May of those sitting in front of overpriced Apple devices represent a unique audience of the dammed, dammed by their own myopic almost dogmatic passion and pride in a brand. It’s a severe case of Emperors clothes, where Apple once a leader is now a laggard. Apple is now bloated on its own success having corralled 12% of the global technology consumer base into their hardware laptop and desktop products and 15% into their iOS tablet and smartphone technology walled garden. Yes, you will not be the only one shocked to realise it is that low despite the halo effect Apple has created, also reflect on the fact that their desktop operating system is shunned by more than 50% of their hardware fan base, largely in favour of Windows. A few friends are now waking up to the fact that the Emperor has no clothes. That the splendour is all hyperbole and emotion with little foundation in reality, light on compelling supportive facts or features. Apple is living off former glories as it re-rolls legacy designs and bland colour options like an addict scratching a last hit from the ashes of former glorious blazes. For Apple design and feel has now been outstripped by the competition and Apple devices and interfaces reflect a monochromatic landscape in the face of the technicolour, tactile augmented reality of the rest of the market that is offering greater consumer choice and customisation.

Ever since the indomitable team at iFixit proved what industry pundits had suspect for many years, but denied vociferously by Apple. That Apple was ensuring that their technology was designed with prematurely short lifecycle horizons in a premeditated act to force customers into controlled product refresh.  What the iFixit team found was an arrogant statement printed on the inside of an Apple iWatch that stated ‘Planned Obsolescence’. It does not come blander or more arrogantly than that. Apples sales success is at the expense of their own product, churning its own product, farming it’s largely static market share.

This is all going to play out in full view in the next few months as we hit one of Apples planned obsolescence event horizons.  We are now in the dying days of any 32bit Apple iOS device as the next version of Apples iOS operating system will only work on 64Bit devices. What that means in layman’s terms is an early technology grave for Apples devices older than and including:

  • iPhone 5/5C
  • iPad 4th Generation
  • iPad mini 1st Generation

Note that these are in no way technologically inept devices either. This list may look short but it captures MILLIONS of perfectly functioning devices that could reasonably be expected to continue working quite capably for years to come. They are largely well equipped with compute power and memory that would see them well into the future, but for Apple the grim reaper. Instead Apple has shown its environmental and public welfare credentials the door with a firm boot as landfills gape at the oncoming rush of perfectly functional hardware. Any suggestion by Apple that there is no reason for these devices not to continue in use is churlish and ignores the Cyber threat landscape we have to navigate. Look no further than the latest iOS security update from Apple this month that fixed pages of vulnerabilities. It will become increasingly high risk to use these devices, as Apple is not proposing (as at the time of writing) to provide any further support for these earlier versions of iOS.

In the past, users were dealt a poor hand with their older iOS devices.  The Apple support with subsequent versions of iOS over time would cripple the earlier devices. Apple had no respect that they were pushing software that users would be forced to take if they wanted the latest security patches. The inevitable outcome being to bludgeon their customers’ investments to death from ill matched resource requirements. So much for Apple’s much heralded design efficacy and customer care. The truth is, with the 32Bit obsolescence event horizon users will not be treated to the slow death of their devices. Instead many will not wake up to the situation they find themselves in till they get hacked or their identity stolen due to running obsolete software which is no longer being patched. A totally unacceptable state to leave a consumer audience in this day and age.

Apple need look no further than the Google Android user base to see how pernicious their actions will be. Google Android is the most compromised and fragmented operating system environment in the world. A veritable melting pot of compromised devices and users with a reputation for buggy malware ridden applications that turn powerful smartphone devices into hackers wet dreams. Google hides behind the fact that they do not have direct access to manage the Android customer base. They have conveniently slopped shoulders on that responsibility divesting it onto the hardware manufactures who use the Android OS (because its free) on their handsets. In saying that, Google conveniently omit the fact that they have direct and real-time access to all the user usage data through their Google Services that are forced onto the handsets, a central part of their data harvesting agenda. So much for Free software, when Android smartphone users are in effect digitally enslaved, harvested in real time for their data. The hardware manufacturers are only interested in selling hardware and their updating of the Android OS’ is woeful. As a result, in many commercial environments a Google Android smartphone is regarded as a liability. With Apples decision now businesses have to contend with iOS 32Bit devices as well. O happy days, as if businesses did not have enough on their Cyber Security agenda without having Apple wading in with their self-serving economics agenda.

The final slap in the face for customers is the fact that Apple is still selling and marketing 32Bit products that they know will be obsolete in 6 months’ time. No clear notice or warning, just keep the tills ringing is all they seem to care about. It would be one thing if they were preparing to support these products with security patches at least, for say 5 years through what would be a reasonable lifecycle of use.

With a stock price at the height of Apple’s it is the most cavalier form of profiteering at the expense of loyal customers wallets, compromising security in digital life and the environment. They can do better than throwing to the hacker wolves their customers who know no better and will not be upgrading to new hardware but living with what they have.  Apple has more than enough resources to support these devices through a more respectable lifecycle. Their choice not to, should be reciprocated by customers in their choices to replace with non-Apple assets. Take a leaf out of Microsoft book. They have been supporting Windows XP for decades now, and even past its extended support event horizon they still put the welfare and interests for their customers first. That is how you show respect to customers.

For all the stick that Microsoft takes it stands by its users and hardware partners longer and more proactively than any other vendor. I would suggest that the lifecycle of support and security protection Microsoft offers would challenge all the other vendors put together. A shame on the houses of Apple and Google.

Apple, deliberately limiting the life of products and services is a bad mistake. What you do is broadcast that the apple is rotten, rotten to the core and you know what customers do when they find rotten apples on the stall. The same thing you can expect they will start doing with Apple device that have reached their ‘planned obsolescence’ milestone, move to another stall. You will only have yourself to blame. You train your audience well and training them into throwing your stuff away with such frequency and ease is a pavlovian psychology to reflect on.