Chris Breen Fears Return of "Arrogant" Apple

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Long time Mac and iPod columnist Chris Breen fears that recent decisions and products from Cupertino hint that Apple could be becoming a company that doesnit listen to its customers and approaches the marketplace with the kind of arrogance it used to have. In a column for Macworld, Mr. Breen cited seven recent issues behind this fear.

The column notes that Apple is now the darling of Wall Street, and has had a string of successes in the marketplace. Corporate arrogance, however, could bring that to a close.

"Regardless of what Apple does in the real world -- release great hardware, offer up the finest operating system computerdom has seen, make incredible content deals -- if it returns to the days of the Arrogant Apple," he wrote, "itis going to lose its darling status in a hurry. And this is the path I fear Apple has returned to."

He cites the iPhoneis recessed headphone jack that is incompatible with existing headphone and earphone products as an example of Apple choosing to do base a design decision on what looked good, as opposed to following what would be good for customers. Similarly, Mr. Breen said that Appleis newest low-profile keyboard causes too many problems for too many people (wrist issues, no indentations on the keys for touch typists, and action that leads to accidental keystrokes).

Other issues include the decision to scrap iMovie HD for the new iMovie released with iLife i08, interface elements expected in Leopard, making iPhone users pay double for ringtones, and intentionally bricking unlocked iPhones, all of which Mr. Breen said smack of arrogance from Apple.

"Iim aware that Apple feels it must do right by AT&T but to offer up an update that it knows will destroy hacked iPhones -- and provide no provision for undoing the damage -- is a despicable act," he wrote. "This kind of stunt is bad for customers and, coupled with recent actions by the company that may paint it as less than innovative and customer-friendly, ultimately bad for Apple."

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