Apple’s schizophrenia is getting worse.
One the one hand, the company has long traded on the image of the unconventional, creative, innovative outsider, the computer company that thinks outside the box and is not shackled by the corporate culture of other IT businesses.
This reached a peak in the Think Different advertising campaign of the late 1990s. Remember the manifesto?
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing that you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can
change the world, are the ones who do.
This message was reinforced by the choice of suitably innovative and creative individuals who made a name for themselves by thinking differently.
Apple has continued to sell this dream. It works.
On the other hand, woe betide any blogger, forum or individual who actually tries to embody any of the qualities in the manifesto. Apple’s ugly, Ã¼ber-corporate face is waiting in the wings.
It would be tedious (and lengthy) to record all the occasions on which Apple has displayed its vicious streak. Pointing you to today’s news is enough.
A poster in The Something Awful forums reproduced some information from one of Apple’s Service Manuals to help people rectify what seems to be some shoddy work with thermal paste in the latest MacBook Pros.
In a flash, Apple Legal had the take-down letter to serve on the site, thundering that “the Service Source manual for the MacBook Pro is Appleâ€™s intellectual property and is protected by U.S. copyright law.”
Gizmodo puts the real significance of the letter rather well:
Of course the real problem isnâ€™t the single excerpted page being linked from Something Awful, but instead the fact that the image shows the extremely sloppy manufacturing process that is causing the MacBook Pro to run at temperatures as high as a 95 degrees Celcius under full load. (A temperature so high that the processor is at risk of malfunctioning.) Rather than addressing the problem of the shoddy workmanship, documented not only by those who purchased Appleâ€™s $2,500 laptop but by Appleâ€™s own service manual, Apple is trying to silence those from the Macintosh community who are trying to help other Mac users fix Appleâ€™s mistake.
Maybe I’m slow on the uptake and everyone else has already twigged to this, but never has the persona of Apple’s advertising seemed so cynical, so corporate.
(I don’t usually do opinion pieces on Hawk Wings. Others do it better. But gradually over the last twelve months, as I read all the RSS feeds from which Hawk Wings is gleaned, this one has been gathering steam inside my head. It was time to get it out.)
Tags: advertising, Apple, corporate culture, legal, MacBook Pro, public relations, Think Different