Apple Screwup?


 People love their Macs. Obviously I love my PC. I do have one Apple product I absolutely adore, and that is my iPhone. I used to have a Blackberry but find the full web functionality just superb in comparison. I drive a lot for work (for example, yesterday I drove 3 hours to have a 2 hour business meeting, than drove 3 hours home) and I did the arduous task of ripping all of my purchased CD’s and loading out a cool 1000 songs on my iPhone to make those long drives more enjoyable. I recently relocated my home office from spare room to basement, and going through my random box of computer junk and I came along a couple of beacons of shining light – not one – but TWO iTunes gift cards! I received them at a wedding a long time ago (one for myself, one for my wife) and was pumped. I haven’t updated my playlist in quite some time so here is the chance to download some new tunes before my big drive.

  • Minor complaint #1 – The iTunes built into the iPhone doesn’t have a spot for you to redeem giftcards. Seems kind of silly – since I can download it direct to there anyway, why can’t I redeem on my device?
  • Major complaint #1 – I login to my iTunes, and scratch the little code, and punch it in. I get an error message. “For USA iTunes store only”. REALLY? Show me where it says that on the front? (It does say it on the back – I will give them that). However, I did receive it as a gift at a wedding, and we DO live on the border to the USA (and the groom is half American). Isn’t the computer world, sorta kinda international? If you are afraid of overseas pirates with the GC (or something else rediculous) sure, thats fine. But hey, I live in Canada. We share TV, Radio, Sports leagues, lovers and fighters – you are telling me you can’t make the card work in North America? They were obviously purchased in the USA, meaning someone paid $10 each in USD, meaning they hold full value. I thought Apple was the ‘people’ company?
  • Major complaint #2 (not related to iTunes) – Flash doesn’t work on the iPhone. It can, easily, but Apple wants to keep their platform ‘closed’ so they can rake in the money on applications on what not. I know, I know, Flash is barely used in any internet application and is no way a standard on the interwebs. Nope, not one bit. For a company that can make a notebook as light as a binder why close out an internet STANDARD on me?

Not many complaints, but little things like that leave a bad taste in my mouth as things that really don’t make sense. If a friend of mine in the international community buys me an iTunes card and sends it to me for my birthday, I would like to use it. I want to be able to to view all websites. Not too much to ask, as I can supposedly view the web “Faster” with 3G, pay for it, and see a lego block when I go to a flash enabled website. The MS-OS for mobile phones will include flash. Apple marketing has done a great job telling people they are the platform for real people, a simpler more stable version that can do everything a PC can without the headaches. That may be true, but it doesn’t feel like it on this PC user’s end right now.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I think the different iTunes stores is due to the difference in contract and copyright law between each country. That’s my uneducated educated guess.

    As for Flash… That bugs the bejeezus out of me. But, it’s not just Apple, I’m pretty sure that Adobe’s come out and said they didn’t have plans to figure out a way to make it work on the iPhone. It’s all dumb, if you ask me. Just make it work and stop pissing off the growing number of iPhone owners!

  2. @Pope: I take your uneducated educated guess and raise you a uneducated reasonable assumption! I can cross the border, buy a CD, and come back with it without an issue in under 15 minutes. What is the difference from a digital distribution standpoint? Canada has more “lax” laws on downloadable music (ie: A judge here a few years ago ruled that it was no different than copying a CD for a friend. I know, garbage, but still..) so in essence, wouldn’t American music companies be happy if Canadians paid for the music? Instead of getting it for free on Limewire?

    Adobe already has a working Flash model for the iPhone but can’t release it until the get the blessing from Mr Jobs. Who doesn’t seem to be in the blessing mood with it. I suppose the fear is if Apple opens it up to Adobe they will have to open it to other people too. Which *may* be bad for Apple, but freakin’ fantastic for the consumer.

  3. The difference is, when you buy a CD in the United States, you’re agreeing to a licensing agreement that typically will say something to the effect of, “If you want to sue us, you have to sue us in our state, using our rules” or possibly even “You agree to not sue us but go the Binding Arbitration route.” Clearly, it will be 10x longer and 10x less clear. But, that’s the gig. Same thing with iTunes. When you load up iTunes, you accept the EULA which will state which laws you’re bound by.

    Now, what does that have to do with iTunes gift cards? I honestly have no idea. Other than the difference in currency? Meh. You got me there.

  4. @Pope: When I cross the border and go to Target (which my wife’s frinds call Tar-jaaay) I don’t agree to any licensing agreement. I just buy a CD. I don’t have to sign anything! (Although I am supposing you mean it is inferred on the purchase anyway?)

    And there is no difference in currency – the gift card was purchased in US dollars (obviously) so it wouldn’t have any sort of impact. Hey, can I give you $20 in itunes gift cards, you purchase the songs for me, and put them up on my FTP site so I can access them?

    That above is really the nonsense part of my argument – if I can’t access them, someone else will for me. Now you and I BOTH get the songs! (Of course, I know you would delete them because it is illegal, amirite?)

    After all someone paid $10 each for these cards and I am sure you are familiar with all the new gift card legislation going on in the USA (since many don’t get used, and companies don’t (didn’t) have to refund after they expired)

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