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Apple Move is "patent-ly" offensive

2009 November 20

Why would Apple apply for a United States patent for technology that would force users of its operating systems including iPods and iPhones to watch and or listen to compulsory advertising?

According to this article from the Apple’s patent application describes this technology as “enforcement routine” software, and the rumors are flying that this software would force users to watch or listen to advertisements which they would be unable to skip past.

Steve Jobs name is actually listed on the patent application, so the company must be taking this idea seriously.

How would this software be used?  I’m guessing that Apple could start offering music, or videos, or other things we all clamor for at no charge only after we watch an advertisement.  Or perhaps they’ll start giving away iPods and iPhones for free in exchange for making ads mandatory for those users.

Social Media is about consumer empowerment.  It’s about seeking information, not being forced to see or hear anything the consumer doesn’t want to see.  The companies that don’t understand that won’t be here tomorrow.

Steve Jobs and Apple really understand the marketplace, and over the last decade have done a great job of exploiting business opportunities by offering amazing products that people didn’t even know they needed.  They have created not only a successful business but as Seth Godin would point out, a Tribe.  Not just customers, but devoted fans.  Zealots even who can’t wait to buy the next “whatever”.

So here’s my take on the patent.  I think Apple has applied for a patent for this technology to make sure that this technology is used responsibly and its use doesn’t go rogue (sorry, the word just fit!).  I also think that by offering “free” ad driven services with compulsory advertising, they will drive even more traffic to a “paid” subscription model that would be ad free.

Consumers will have a choice.  Free with compulsory ads, or a subscription and no ads.

Have it your way!

Seems to work for Burger King!

What do you think??  I’d appreciate your comments.

This video kind of sums up what the patent would do to your computing experience.


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