Apple Good vs Evil

Can we trust third part Apple accessories?

‘Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me… going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me’ – Steve Jobs

Essentially every single corporate conglomerate out there wants people to believe that its chief concern rests with the consumer.

Being the good guy is a selling point for most big businesses, but it’s especially the case with big businesses because they begin on the back foot. Big naturally coalesces with cold and detached. Almost apathetic. If they can present themselves in a way that shines them in a more benevolent light, it softens their brand image and humanises them.

What's the Deal with Apple?

Are they really, as they’d like to have you believe, an innovative tech leader trying to improve the efficacy and general fluidity of their consumers’ lives? A green company with good intentions? Or are they just another money hungry global giant trying to squeeze every last penny? Well, let’s speculate.

It’s no secret that Apple products are not cheap. When you compare them to similar products from the other big names, Apple’s are amongst the most expensive. It’s easy to understand then exactly why cheap knock-offs of Apple accessories (and products, too) have so rapidly saturated the market. For people who can’t afford to keep up with all Apple’s bells and whistles, cheap knock-offs provide a viable solution.

The issue with this is that - and as Apple has warned - many third-party accessories aren’t safe. Third-party power adapters for iOS devices for instance, have been causing burns and electrocutions. In 2013, a woman was reportedly electrocuted after answering her iPhone 5, which was plugged in and charging. (As a small aside, although the details were sketchy, the woman’s family insisted that the charger was purchased from an Apple store, which raises another issue entirely.) According to a UK repair company Mendmyi - and besides causing burns and electrocutions - faulty third-party chargers and USB cables can also damage the U2 IC chip on the logic board of the iPhone 5, which kills the phone’s ability to regulate battery.

However, it’s not Apple’s responsibility to regulate the market. They have absolutely no control over whether third-party companies create Apple accessories, some perhaps posing as originals. This result isn’t something we can blame on their exorbitant prices either. That’s just business.

Apple's Third Party Accessories

Does Apple intentionally design products that are incompatible with third party accessories?

Well, it’s a tricky question. Apple needn’t create products that make it easy for others to make third-party accessories. But it does raise the question as to the quality of the products themselves.

Third party accessories typically pose far less a problem to other giant tech companies producing products similar to that which Apple produces, like Microsoft, Samsung, and LG – to name a few. So why is it the case with Apple? Do they intentionally create products that are incompatible with third-party developers? Do they have a responsibility to its consumers to not do this?

This only scrapes a small patch on the surface of Apple’s good natured-ness (or lack thereof), if we can call it that. While these questions will most certainly remain unanswered for a long time to come, it’s worthwhile talking about. For if it accomplishes nothing else, it gives consumers something to think about before making a purchase.