Through the "i" World - A Retrospective of Apple's Progress

Coming from a guy, who doesn’t even own an iPhone but longs to have one; writing this article was a bit of a moral debacle. You see, I never had the chance of owning an “i” device – at least not until now. So why would the world of ‘Grown Up Geeks’ give a damn about this post?

You see, NOT owning an “i” gadget is what gives way to unbiased opinions. Believe me, I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about the significance of the world of “i” related products in their lives. I wanted to encapsulate their thoughts, their views and lifestyle in a small box labeled as: “Unbiased and Unperturbed Clutter” in that dome above my shoulders.
As much as I don’t know whether I should like the “i” stuff (though I did recently hatch a plan to mug someone for an iPhone freebie), there’s no reason to impart hatred unto this company or its products.

Here’s to Apple, to the alphabet: “i” and those decades of technological advancement that the fruit logoed company has given us so far. More so, here’s to Uncle Steve (always wanted to call him that), who’s probably perching atop my iShoulder as I write this post:

The Not so Important Introduction to Steve Jobs and Apple – A Timeline Diorama

Introductions aren’t important as

much as the timeline itself is. Born to Abdul-Fattah Jandali and Joanne Simpson on February 24 1955, and later on adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View CA, Steve was apparently a better version of an average American doohickey in those days.

50s were a golden era for the U.S.A – McDonalds practically started epitomizing the fast food culture, teenagers were calling shots on fashion fads, ‘Ben Hur’ and ‘Sunset Boulevard’ were “da thing”, and Miss World contest was still in its crusts. Computers, if maybe not the top priority, were definitely not a great inspirational trend for the population back then. It was the age of discovery; a renaissance period where a lot of stuff needed to be uncovered.

Steve Jobs, on the other hand, despite of his genius bones, was just a normal hippy style kid, who probably talked, ate and thought of computers as a second nature. Who’d have guessed that a dropout from Oregon’s Reed College would end up revolutionizing the entire world with his ideas and able staff members?

Anyway, everyone knows that the post 70 era was exactly when Apple II and couple of other whizz machines were either invented, or were to be invented. Apple II generated revenue of $1 million between 1977 – 1978. Did it last long enough? Nope, it didn’t. The graph went down drastically when Apple witnessed Steve’s resignation and sacking of over 1,150 company employees.

It wasn’t until 1995 when Woody came strutting around in ‘Toy Story’ and Jobs took over Apple as the Interim Chief Executive Officer, alongside a couple of brand new “jobs” and openings for bright headed individuals.

To 2000 and Beyond:

To all those Apple fans who were expecting an in-depth analysis of Apple’s timeline prior to 2000, I apologize to them from the core of my heart. Drats! The carpal tunnel has hinged on to my frail wrists as I hammer down these keys in a feverish attempt to finish the article. Besides, if it weren’t for carpal tunnel, I’d have still cut down on extra details in order to maintain readers’ interest. Read on…

Several things happened between 2000 and 2011. For starters, the first iPod came in ‘Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells – Jingle All the Way’ style. People loved it; they filled em’ up with practically all the songs from each music genre. It was also the time when Steve Jobs had to undergo a pancreatic cancer surgery - Apple was doing fine in his absence though. However, the man’s comeback oversaw the release of iPhone.

This is where it gets interesting. Rumor has it that while the iPhone was in development, the big boys at Nokia and other competitor companies used to laugh their butts off. “Who would want to use a touch based phone? Right? Right?” It was probably an inside joke at Nokia’s headquarters. To the outside world, almost all kinds of Nokia products were anticipated and well received.

I still have my old man’s Nokia 3310 and I kid you not; this plastic brick is a resilient b***ard. (I mean to apply the Buzzard analogy here; don’t get any wrong ideas fellas). Alas, Apple touched Nokia and many other companies at all the tickly spots but none of them fellas were laughing anymore.

Sales went sky high and then there was no turning back. On the other hand, PDA prodigies, such as; Palm was acquired, Nokia’s market shares slumped – so much so that they have reportedly signed contracts with Microsoft Mobile to survive in the market. Many other trends were founded; many ongoing trends were stopped in a heartbeat.

QWERTY Keys were replaced by Touch! “Touch me here, touch me there, touch me all day long baby” - Perhaps the cellphones and gadgets will keep on humming these lyrics, which I just made in a fraction of a second. Samsung, HTC, Microsoft, T-Mobile and even Nokia started releasing handsets and tablets based on the touch technology.

The “i” World:

So far, I’ve only talked about Apple’s and Steve’s achievements. This does make me sound like a guy who probably wears an ‘Apple and I – BFFs Forever’ t-shirt inside out. Let’s see what Apple as a company isn’t liked for.

In one of her recent posts titled: ‘Apple’s FLA Audit Just for Show’, Grown Up Geek’ authoress: ‘AnimesTrinity’ raised a couple of good points. Props to you girl for doing an in-depth research prior to writing your article – these are the traits of a good writer. You’re on the high rise imo.

Anyway, ritualistic indulgence in shady practices and double standards is probably the real deal with most of the major companies of the world. They like to put up a nice ‘white picket fence’ like front, while leaving behind a muddy trail of unethical practices, immoral activities and vice versa.

Apple, just like a typical company profile, carries on with a recent press release in favor of FLA (Fair Labor Association). Did those inspections really go on? We don’t know. In fact, if I remember correctly, there was some kind of an anti-computer chip revolution that went on for a little while. The MO was to not buy a specific chip based computers because they were aiding the ongoing war and weapon supply in Congo and aligning regions. Lots of dead bodies, no action taken so far.

People are deaf and dumb when it comes to utilizing technology even if it’s ethically impugning. By the way, here at this point, I pictured a tech savvy guy, saying, “Ethics? Screw ethics” with a middle finger wavering gesture. Really who cares about ethics? Yep, some companies do care about them but every company is not “some” company.

Coming back to the rotten side of the Apple, a small part of the credit for maintaining such an amazing percentage of revenue goes to the gallant employees at Foxxconn. Occasionally, if some Asian kid messes up while manufacturing or assembling an i Product; even if it is a mini batch, it doesn’t cost Apple that much in loss.

Suicides? Well, give endorsements and incentives to the employees, while making a smiley ‘ :) ’ like face during TV interviews and press confrontations regarding such matters.

‘AnimesTrinity’, here’s what I have to say to you: other companies that are fighting for labor rights are usually against FLA, which validates your point. But it’s a mean world where bribery, candies, and a bit of cojone squeezing can go a long way. It’s all about making money and cutting down on expenses. Apple can make a difference and I hope it does, but this so-called difference is far from today.

Let’s take a look at that table on Apple Factory Audits. You posted the following stats:

Apple Factory Audits
Category 2010 2011
Labor and Human Rights 72% - C 74% - C
Health and Safety 72% - C 76% - C
Environmental Impact 80% - B 79% - C
Ethics 95% - A 95% - A
Management Commitment 64% - D- 68% - D
The notable problems brought up were falsifying payroll and hour records as well as obstructing the inspectors from seeing the records” - It’s a good statement worth an argument. For THIS audit, such activities mean that the audit officers were invited to a grand “partay”, pastry rallies, free meals and many other things in exchange for falsifying all the information that needed to be falsified.

However, I beg to differ here. You don’t like Apple because of its ethics, where as I adore the company because of what it has given to the world. Both of us are not alone. There are different schools of thoughts and all of them have their own opinions. Some people like Apple, some people don’t like it. The good things which Apple likes to partake in, is the number of devices and upgrades they’ve been releasing throughout all those past years.

Apple is a great company, if looked from the perspective of its overall progress. The “i” mantra has engulfed our globe into a rapid transformation phase. There was once a time when we liked cellphones but we didn’t need them. Today, cellphones have become a need. The word “App” in “Apple” perhaps branches out from the ‘there’s an app for that’ statement.

There’s an application for almost everything. There will be an application for EVERYTHING in the future. Aside from a person’s biological requirements, such as dropping dooces in the good old “bowl”, applications are going to take care of most of the stuff for us. Even if we wanted to abandon using Apple products or just wanted to hate the company till kingdom come, it won’t make much difference because “i” products and many other similar devices are now becoming a necessity!

What Good Ol’ Stevie Could Have Done

Uncle Steve could have probably left behind a manuscript for perfect work ethics practice. Perhaps the guy did try to affect the company’s policies towards labor rights, correct antenna placement in an iPhone (yes, the antenna scandal has become history now) and many other things but we’ll never know about that. What I and many other people do know is that he changed the world.

He set a benchmark of excellence. Apple, alongside its rush of iDevices is no less than Odysseus’s famous Trojan Horse trick. Even if Apple dissolves into publicly owned shares at massive level, and bits n’ pieces, some other company will replace it with the same set of impeccable work standards, outstanding products and etc.

There are a lot of “could haves”, “what ifs” and “what nots” left in “his” absence. Last but not the least, before parting ways, do watch this video and drop your comments below.

The World in 30 Years if Apple Takes Over!



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