Home > Business > All the Pirates in the House say, “iPhone Ahoy!”

All the Pirates in the House say, “iPhone Ahoy!”

Do you think Red Beard the Pirate ever envisioned the day when he could communicate with fellow pirates via a handheld device that you could navigate with just your fingers (or the tip of a hook, hmmmm)? Well it can happen now as the pirates have firm grasp of Apple’s latest and greatest – the iPhone.

These pirates though don’t wield blades of steel or pillage and rape. They wield dynamic intellect and cunning nerve. They don’t employ drunken mercenaries whose only goal is to kill and have a good time. No they employ sophisticated factories with thousands of employees whose sole purpose is to hack technology, rewrite code, copy hardware and eventually make lots of money. Same mercenary nature only you will live to see another day if you were to pass them on a dark street.

If this all sounds like a fairly tale molesting reality well it isn’t, sort of. The reality is that Apple has applied for (last I heard) some 200+ patents to “protect” the technology within iPhone, and if you really wanted you could have gotten that same technology 6 months before the grand debut of iPhone. You could have gotten a phone that does the same thing, maybe even more, than the U.S. version of iPhone, and for a lot less. Okay — who waited in line for an iPhone? You could have been on some sunny but polluted beach in China enjoying the refreshing scent of the Gobi Dessert as it causes your Pina Colada to taste a bit gritty while wiping the dust off your new iPhone – Made in China – 100%. Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, did a wise thing by lowering the price so drastically.

Of course Apple will not respond to this stuff but to only say, “We are going to fight this malevolent and digusting behaviour the best we can. Please contact Apple with any information about pirated Apple merchandise. We will give you store credit that you can only use at an Apple Store, in the United States, within 30 days of issuance, and oh, you cannot redeem this voucher for cash at anytime. Thank you for supporting ethical business practices.” What can they do? You have to pay the piper some day. You want to build your phones and computers in China then be prepared for the lax supervision and misplaced business ethics of Chinese firms. The government does little oversight to really enforce international patent protections and copyrights. And why would they be strict, the economy of China stands to make a lot of money by letting pirates run free within the society. In a booming city like Shanghai where everyone is looking to make some money and gain fortune, turning a deaf ear is a calculated risk that could make the difference between a 6% and 7% GNP rise.

In the end, if Apple, as well as other foreign electronics companies, want to stop this situation they need to remove their factories and operations from China and places with lax oversight, and set-up shop in places like the United States, or the European Union where oversight is much stronger. I think all those jobs would be welcome. Of course Apple might have to pay a bit more for the labor, but pick your poison because I’m thinking of trying to snag one of these “phony” iPhones just to have one (Of course I don’t get all the warranties and protections that Apple offer. If my Chinese made phone breaks and I’m in Pennsylvania I doubt I can just walk into an Apple store and get it fixed, or any other electronics store for that matter, including the one I bought it at). In the end, like I said, it is “simple” – bring your operation back to the U.S. or suffer the consequences.

Just FYI, I don’t condone pirating technology of any kind really. I myself can’t bring myself to download movies from the internet for free (yes, I still pay to go to the movies). I only just recently got some free movies from some mates. It was easy. Damn easy. I can see the allure. Still, I’m into it. That said, if huge companies like Apple (and I am an Apple and supporter) continue to use operational facilities in countries with poor oversight that don’t enforce ethical business practices what do they expect? I can’t cry for them. Jobs and his cronies make a lot of money, both personally and company-wide. I don’t think they or other Apple employees are struggling to put food on the table, nor are those who can afford to buy an original Apple iPhone.

If you want to check out the original article that this commentary is based on click this link –
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20070917n1.html.

Peace ya’ll

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  1. daviddennis
    October 16, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    It may be best to stay on the straight and narrow here, but not for the reason you might expect.

    The fake iPhones coming out of China do look quite similar to iPhone, but they have software so awful it has to be seen to be believed.

    You want an iPhone like that, be my guest – look for them on eBay for about $250.

    But if you want a real iPhone, with all the features that make it great, buy the real thing.

    Incidentally, many of the Chinese clone products are similar. Chinese cars, for example, look like copies of the American and Korean originals, but have horrorific crash records. So do look before you leap – don’t buy something cheap unless it’s actually worth the price.

    Hope that was of interest.

    D

  2. October 22, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    DavidDennis,

    You are right. “Look before you leap.” Hopefully people do the research before they buy. Interestingly, Apple is opening the IPhone up to 3rd party applications. Also, they are releasing their new OS. Definitely going for the seamless route, as is Apple’s nature. The thing about these knock offs is that people spend so little that they don’t really lose much on the investment. There is no real guarantee on the investment, so basically it is a loss.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Peace

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