Just hours before the iPad announcement yesterday, I wrote the following:
When we think of mobile computers as merely “phones,” we tolerate restrictions that we would otherwise reject on our computers. How many iPhone users would come to Apple’s defence if they instituted the same strict policies and arbitrary limitations on third-party applications for a Macbook as they do on their mobile computer?
The iPad is a general purpose computer with precisely those restrictions.
Today, Apple launched a computer that will never belong to its owner… By making a computer where every application is under total, centralized control, Apple is endangering freedom to increase profits… Their record of App Store rejections and removals gives us no reason to trust them. The iPad’s unprecedented use of DRM to control all capabilities of a general purpose computer is a dangerous step backward for computing and for media distribution.
Talk about lockdown. I’m still waiting for them to ban third-party apps on Macbooks that haven’t been approved through the app store. The Vista bodyguard may be annoying, but with new Apple products, there’s simply no “allow” button. Apple has become what it sought to destroy.
It’s worth quoting the rest of that paragraph from yesterday’s blog post:
Recognizing that these devices are really mobile computers is an essential step to gaining control over our mobile computing. Carriers and handset makers control our phones. We should control our own computers.