Apple's Bad Business Practices -- The Answer to Bad Company Practices
Tags: anticompetition apple
Apple's Bad Business Practices -- The Answer to Bad Company Practices published by The 1st Amender
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Posted on 2019-02-15
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Apple is a company known for being able to be the first company to reach a market cap value of $1 trillion dollars in history. One would assume then that perhaps they have achieved it through corporate greed. Interestingly though, as you can see, people are mostly happy with their Apple products. They revolutionized and changed the industry and even created brand new industry. And for this, people voted with their dollars and effectively voted Apple into power. But this article, while condoning and congratulating Apple, also has a dark pretense behind it.
I would not knock down a company for being successful. Hardly. The part I would start to dislike Apple for has been its anti-competitive business practices. Let me break it down so those who don't know what I'm talking about can be put in the know-how. Apple has deliberately designed their products so they cannot be repaired. How is that anti-competitive? Well, because Apple has their AppleCare program which offers support, hardware coverage, and software support, they are actively competing with people who are also in the market who want to repair. This is a problem to Apple. They don't want you to go to a repair shop and get your board fixed. No. They want you to buy a new computer (or hand you a new one for free) so you pay their monthly premium warranty package.
This is very lucrative for Apple. Not only can you only buy your Apple from Apple, but you also now have to repair your Apple at Apple. How? Peculiar repairs that require very specific or messy repairs which most repair centers are unwilling to take. I can list some of the repairs and what is required below, just to show off how anti-competitive the product you buy is designed.
- Batteries being glued to the chassis to prevent anyone trying to remove/replace the battery. Because the battery is very sensitive and easily able to explode, the only option is being very careful and apply heat possibly damaging further components just to get the battery out of a system. Most manufacturers just have a battery fastened with a few screws. This exists not only for phones but also the latest modern Macbooks.
- Keyboards deliberately designed on Macbooks so that they cannot be replaced without replacing the entire top panel of a MacBook. While it is technically true to be able to rip off a keyboard from the chassis, it is designed with rivets to prevent someone from being able to fix it easily. Almost all manufacturers design their keyboards with screws so that they are easily removable. There is also no notable improvement to whether or not screws or rivets are used. It is an arbitrary design choice by Apple to make sure you don't take your Apple to get it repaired somewhere else without having to spend a ton of money on labor to do it.
- Non-removable media on motherboards on some MacBook. This includes usually easily removable media by Apple and any other company. They have soldered on the NAND modules for data drives directly onto a motherboard so that they cannot be removed or repaired. If your motherboard gets damaged, you have to go through expensive on-board diagnostic and repair to retrieve data. They could have just designed their motherboards to take an m.2 or a standard SATA HDD like they have in the past, but lately have been soldering on the NAND modules onto the board. Same exact thing with RAM slots. They removed the removable and upgradeable RAM modules and have it now soldered onto the board. This means if a gate goes bad, this would require an extremely expensive motherboard which cannot be fixed without on-board repair work.
What's frustrating is, these are not design choices that were make to make the product more reliable. Often, Apple computers and devices fail for no reason. It has nothing to do with a level of quality. This is a deliberate attempt to disable people's ability to take their computers and phones to a place that can repair these things on a normal basis. They are anti-competitive business practices that are specifically designed to remove competition from the market. Based on that concept, there are several laws that Apple clearly breaks, and that a class-action lawsuit is now required so that companies cannot simply bully around their consumers and get away with it.
Anti-Competitive Laws on the Books Already:
- 15 US Code § 1: Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.
- 15 US Code § 14: It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce, in the course of such commerce, to lease or make a sale or contract for sale of goods, wares, merchandise, machinery, supplies, or other commodities, whether patented or unpatented, for use, consumption, or resale within the United States or any Territory thereof or the District of Columbia or any insular possession or other place under the jurisdiction of the United States, or fix a price charged therefor, or discount from, or rebate upon, such price, on the condition, agreement, or understanding that the lessee or purchaser thereof shall not use or deal in the goods, wares, merchandise, machinery, supplies, or other commodities of a competitor or competitors of the lessor or seller, where the effect of such lease, sale, or contract for sale or such condition, agreement, or understanding may be to substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly in any line of commerce.
To put it simply. We don't need new laws to fix the problem. We need our legislators to do their jobs and defend against those who would aggress against the populace. That there is nothing good about capitalism without fair competition.
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