Apple Bets That Bloggers Don’t Matter In iBrick Controversy

Sep 29th, 2007 | By | Category: iPhone

Apple iPhone

Apple appears to be betting that bloggers don’t matter in the aftermath of its decision to fight attempts to hack the iPhone, a move that has turned some of the advanced phones into “iBricks.” The move has generated a storm of bad publicity in the blogosphere, with Gizmodo going so far as recommending against buying the iPhone.

Apple largely ignore the blogging world in the lead up to the release of the iPhone, only letting a few mainstream media journalists, cherry-picked for their history of favorable reviews of Apple products, have access to the device. The result was that initial reviews of the iPhone in major publications were all very positive. While Apple’s approach may have been a successful strategy for releasing the product, the company’s lack of engagement with the blogosphere appears to be backfiring now as sites take a second look at the iPhone.

The hyped discussion of the iPhone and ways of extending its capabilities has changed to a backlash against Apple. Wired’s blog has published a chart, above, that compares what you an do with a hacked iPhone vs. a stock version. Gizmodo has revisited its iPhone review and now says don’t buy one. Machinist says “If you care about your rights, don’t buy an iPhone.”

While the blogosphere backlash against the iPhone may not have the same impact as Apple’s carefully crafted publicity campaign, Apple’s lack of engagement is effectively telling hackers and tech bloggers that they don’t matter.

In doing so, the company may be giving a competitor a blueprint for creating a competitor to the iPhone, one that comes with some degree of openness and vendor independence, that hackers and the blogosphere will embrace.

No Responses to “Apple Bets That Bloggers Don’t Matter In iBrick Controversy”

  1. Eric says:

    The chart is deceptive, in that it only seems to cover the capabilities that “hackers” have added, versus comparing *all* the capabilities of the iPhone against the add-ons that hacking can get you. Looking at that chart, for instance, I would have no idea that the thing could even make phone calls without being hacked.

    And there’s one other capability that the chart doesn’t show, but which is a very real possibility when hacking the iPhone (or any other phone, for that matter):

    Hacked Official 1.1.1
    Paper Weight ‚àö X

  2. info says:


    Great comment about the chart – it is sort of lying with statistics. It does illustrate the fact, though, that there’s a widespread perception in the blogosphere that the iPhone is more useful open than closed.

  3. VoiceOfReason says:

    “In doing so, the company may be giving a competitor a blueprint for creating a competitor to the iPhone, one that comes with some degree of openness and vendor independence, that hackers and the blogosphere will embrace”

    That’s great, now get a cell network to give you access to their network with your new device. No wireless company wants a handset on their system that can run a VOIP app. Can’t people see they are just defending their business model?

    (BTW-If you want wireless VOIP cross your fingers that Google wins the 700mhz auction and watch all the wireless companies fade off into history.)

  4. Tokyo Dan says:

    Putting aside what feature are available or not with hacked/unhacked iPhones, Apples attempts at blocking hacking are commendable. I used to work in customer support, and therefore realized that the customer is NOT always right. I spent many late Friday nights (canceling dates, etc) and lost weekends trying to fix problems with our equipment, only to find that our equipment “problems” were caused by asshole customers installing all kinds of non-work related extensions on their Macs. In those days I would have been very happy with a closed Mac OS. You geeks with your constant fu**ing around cause people with normal lives a lot of grief. And you don’t deserve a warranty or free customer support.

  5. Why do I think that the typical iPhone buyer is not a hacker/geek and therefore doesn’t really care about issues like this? Right or wrong, they buy their cool phone (probably because it is cool), pay their money and use it until something cooler comes along. The last thing they will probably do is try to muck around with the software.

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