Apple Bigots

Apple was found to refuse to sell to people who speak Farsi, the language of Iran. They claim it’s to prevent export to Iran even though the person lives in Virginia, USA, and is a US citizen.

This is another example of what’s wrong with Apple. Instead of sticking to business producing great products at great prices, Apple considers itself entitled to abuse customers and competitors.

I recommend Apple’s customers go to Debian GNU/Linux. Debian has a good social policy. “Our priorities are our users and free software
We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of computing environments. We will not object to non-free works that are intended to be used on Debian systems, or attempt to charge a fee to people who create or use such works. We will allow others to create distributions containing both the Debian system and other works, without any fee from us. In furtherance of these goals, we will provide an integrated system of high-quality materials with no legal restrictions that would prevent such uses of the system.”

see Apple blacklists customers on basis of race – Racial profiling carried out in Apple store | TechEye.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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16 Responses to Apple Bigots

  1. Ivan wrote, “selling useless crap to people in straw huts on the Serengeti”.

    You are out to lunch, Ivan. Think about it. If you are in a remote place lacking services, you want IT that is cheap, small, portable and above all, useful. Transportation and costs are huge in remote places. Everything has to be useful and price/performance matters. In northern Canada, there are many communities with air-freight as the main means of shipping goods, tiny electrical service entrances (~40 Amps 120 volt, for instance), many homes without telephone service/cable and not a single retail outlet or fix-it shop for IT within hundreds of miles. IT has to work. GNU/Linux works.

  2. Ivan says:

    You’ve missed your calling. Bob. It was clearly selling useless crap to people in straw huts on the Serengeti.

  3. Ivan wrote, “anyone making $11,800 per year sure as hell can’t afford a $100 useless ARM thing let alone your dumpster dived hardware.”

    I can live on that amount easily. The cost of living is so low in many places that would be a princely sum. Barter runs much so even for less a person or small group can afford IT.

  4. Ivan says:

    Do yourself a favor and take an accounting class so you’ll realize how positively stupid your argument is.

    Here is a tip: anyone making $11,800 per year sure as hell can’t afford a $100 useless ARM thing let alone your dumpster dived hardware.

  5. Ivan wrote, “Let’s see… a $100 ARM thing or food”.

    There are people for whom personal IT is out of reach. However, the world has progressed and the proportion of people unable to afford personal IT is becoming smaller, thanks to FLOSS and Moore’s Law. As well, many governments and non-profit organizations and some profitable businesses do help out.

    GDP per capita for the world was $11800 last year, according to the CIA. Of course, it’s not uniformly distributed, but a lot of people can easily afford food, shelter and clothing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enabling more people to afford IT by making the cost as low as possible with FLOSS, ARM and recycling. There’s a lot of good that can come of that, like raising the level of education, providing access to markets and government for the little guy, and bringing to bear more great minds to solve the world’s problems.

    One thing about food. There does appear to be enough. It’s just not distributed well. Networking producers and consumers and distributors with IT may be one of the best ways of improving distribution of goods and services and building local economies. A farmer who knows about a particular market demand may well be able to change crops to raise his income and feed the poor. It used to be that some starving countries were exporting their crops. More IT can help individuals, organizations and governments deal with supply and demand more effectively. It’s all good. Preventing people from doing that by artificially raising the price of IT to suit the needs of big corporations in USA doesn’t make much sense to most of the world.

  6. “2. A person who regards his own faith and views in matters of religion as unquestionably right, and any belief or opinion opposed to or differing from them as unreasonable or wicked. In an extended sense, a person who is intolerant of opinions which conflict with his own, as in politics or morals; one obstinately and blindly devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion.
    [1913 Webster]”

    Is not Apple (and the USA, come to think of it) bigoted in regards to Iran? What’s with blocking trade etc. because Iranians have differing ideas about matters? How does blocking trade, killing scientists, spreading malware, and harassing ones own citizens who are descended from Iran make the world a better place? Discriminating against Iranians and people of Iranian descent because they speak a different language is bigotry. It’s not racism. Iranians are not a race. They are humans of a nation with particular language, culture and history.

  7. stonefieldt says:

    This is pretty stupid, but not surprising coming from the company that had something like fifteen law enforcement agencies on the case when their phone was leaked. How many do you think there would be if I were murdered?

    And one last thing: please stop using the word “bigot” when describing racism. Bigotry is when you are unwilling to listen to the views of others, consider your views superior to all others and bully people who think otherwise. How it came to mean racism to some people I’ll never know, it has to do with opinions and ideas, not race.

  8. Ivan says:

    Let’s see… a $100 ARM thing or food… yeah that’s going to happen.

    Why do you hate poor people so much, Bob?

  9. Ivan wrote, “Pray tell, Bob, how are the people that can’t afford a software license going to afford the hardware to run your poor freeware copies of that proprietary software?”

    Moore’s Law and smart technology like ARM make IT affordable to 90% of the world’s population. Where I live P4 machines can be had for $0/refurbishing/freight and one can buy el cheapo new stuff for under $100. Using FLOSS cuts the cost of basic IT in half, making it very affordable.

    I don’t know of any freeware copies of “proprietary” software. Most software is owned by someone so proprietary is not a word that distinguishes. Free and non-free work for me. FLOSS meets many needs around the world and it is affordable widely. Typically, for people who don’t have good Internet access, a CD can be obtained for ~$1. A USB drive with stuff on it might cost a bit more. That’s just a few percent of the cost of stuff from M$ and “partners”.

    Countries like Malysia, China, India, Thailand are buying PCs of various kinds in bulk and distributing to poor/young/students for little or no cost in order to facilitate education/literacy/IT literacy. Here in Canada, Computers for Schools is a network of local organizations which distribute older but still serviceable PCs for $0 to schools and libraries and impoverished students. It’s a tax write-off and cheaper than scrapping/disposal for government and businesses and much less expensive than buying new for schools. Some emerging markets are skipping ATX and wired networks to jump directly to widespread use of wireless small cheap computers. It really does bridge the digital divide to have inexpensive hardware and FLOSS.

  10. Ivan says:

    Pray tell, Bob, how are the people that can’t afford a software license going to afford the hardware to run your poor freeware copies of that proprietary software?

  11. jon wrote, “Writing source code and locking it up is just as morally defensible as writing source code and releasing it for all comers.”

    No, it’s not. If one writes a book, one does not expect that lending libraries cannot lend the book but M$ and others lock up the code in an EULA that forbids such reasonable activity. Why should the writer of a book have fewer rights than the writer of software? They should not and legally do not. M$ and others have stretched the idea of copyright far beyond what is morally defensible.

    The idea that copyright-works should only be available to wealthy people is also not morally defensible. Should most of the world’s humanity be denied IT because they cannot afford to spend $100+ on client-software? That’s what Intel, Apple and M$ do when they drive up the prices on hardware and software to suit their greedy purposes. It is morally defensible to provide and to promote FLOSS and ARM. It’s just a better way to do IT.

    Morality is a larger matter than what is best for a particular individual or organization. It’s about what is best for everyone. Closed source software is bad for many people. In the long run it’s bad for the people who close the source because they eventually cut themselves off from their supposed customers. It’s bad for the people who close the source because many lawsuits result when code is not shared. It’s bad for those who close the source because costs of development are higher.

  12. jon says:

    Pretty sure I said the Apple clerk — or clerks — was/were wrong.

    But, the fact is that Americans can’t sell things like iPads to people who announce that whatever it is they are buying is going to Iran. It’s the law.

    To ignore that fact and insist that this incident is all a result of Apple corporate bigotry is nonsense, and in keeping with a bigotry that targets another kind of institution.

    You don’t like Apple because they don’t give away their source code. Hence, your opinions about Apple are not to be trusted because you couch your opinions about software in a bogus ethical framework. You still, after all these years, think that ordinary people can be motivated to use something as *old* as Debian.

    People who make something have the right, the only right, to determine how, or if, anyone else has access to it. Writing source code and locking it up is just as morally defensible as writing source code and releasing it for all comers.

    RMS, et al, have an interest in seeing the code, as developers. More to the point, they have a conflict of interest, which is reason enough to doubt their self-serving edicts.

  13. Viktor says:

    OMG! Robert Pogson, humanitarian, to the rescue!

    First things first:

    As it ends up Apple themselves did understand the laws while those in the actual store didn’t. She spoke to customer service and bought the machine online.

    From here.

    Another source provides an even more differentiated view:

    The US sanctions do not restrict sales of products to Iranians living in the US, says John Sullivan, a spokesman for the US Treasury.

    “There is absolutely no US policy or law that would prohibit Apple or any other company from selling its products in the US to anyone intending to use the product in the US, including Iranians and Persian speakers,” he said.

    But Apple could expose itself to legal liability if it sold consumer products in the US knowing they would be sent to Iran, said Farhad Alavi, a Washington lawyer who specialises in international trade.

    Had Ms Sabet said she planned to ship the iPad to Iran, the salesman would have had grounds to refuse the sale, he said. Ms Sabet said she gave the salesman no reason to think she would do so.

    So another one of your ridiculous claims has been shot down.

    And if you want to talk bigotry and prejudices, look in the mirror.

  14. kozmcrae says:

    This is a sneak peek deep into the Apple mindset. This policy, I suspect, will soon be changed so that any US citizen no matter what their appearance, accent, or apparent racial background will not be denied any Apple product. But make no mistake, we have seen Apple’s corporate personality, it’s psychopathic and ugly.

  15. jon wrote, “to be more accurate, an Apple employee at one Apple store told the customer she couldn’t buy an iPad. That was a stupid mistake. It was not an example of Apple policy or Apple bigotry.”

    To be more accurate, it was TWO Apple employees, quoting from Apple policy manuals. It was not a mistake. Apple trains its employees. Ever wonder why Apple has only five stores in all of China? It’s not because selling stuff is bad business. It’s Apple’s prejudices.

  16. jon says:

    Well, to be more accurate, an Apple employee at one Apple store told the customer she couldn’t buy an iPad. That was a stupid mistake. It was not an example of Apple policy or Apple bigotry.

    U.S. law does, in fact, prevent the sale of computer equipment if that equipment will be delivered to Iran. If someone in Tehran orders a Mac at apple.com, they won’t get it. If a U.S. citizen gets caught shipping proscribed goods to Tehran, they’ll be arrested.

    The customer was in the store with a relative. If she or the relative had indicated they were going to take the iPad to Iran, the store’s employee’s behavior would have been correct. The woman’s citizenship isn’t the issue here.

    The clerk was overzealous and he misinterpreted the law.

    And good luck trying to convince happy Mac users to run Debian.

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