Steve Jobs Rolls In His Grave - Of Apple and Bitcoin

Yesterday, Wednesday February 5th, Apple Inc., makers of the iPhone and holders of 10% of all corporate cash, pulled the plug on the final Bitcoin wallet app remaining in the App Store, “Blockchain”, with no explanation. With this, Apple erases all payment-app competition on iOS. Here's Blockchain's response to Apple.

Hammergirl is Bitcoin...

A quote from back in the days when Steve Jobs was still captaining the company ship:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward.” – Apple, Inc.

(Here's Steve Jobs narrating this first Think Different commercial- it never aired.)

And now, here we are today, with a pithy rewrite by ELeeMacFall, as found on Reddit:

And ironically, big brother is Apple

“Here's to the greedy ones. The conformists. The fatcats. The soft-fascists. The chisels forcing all the pegs to fit in the square holes. The ones who will make you see things their way. They make the rules. And they protect the status quo. You can support them, cooperate with them, worship or fanboy around them. About the only thing you can't do is compete with them. Because they run things. They keep the human race in line.” – Apple, Inc.

Steve Jobs is clearly rolling in his grave. Now that he's gone, it's incredibly obvious that Apple is run by the bean-counters. That they are no longer a forward looking innovator, instead more a developmentally retarded corporation built on catering to yuppies, quite happy to collect dividends on Steve's previous innovations and actual ability to Think Different, happy to enjoy their slave labor suicide factories and huge markups.

What's a consumer to do? The internet has some ideas.

Smashing iPhones

This is exactly what the chinese workers who assembled this fucking thing wanted to do all along

An offer quickly appeared on reddit: for those first 5 bitcoin-app-less disgruntled iPhone 5 users to smash their device on video, a user named round-peg would buy them a Google Nexus 5, as well as donate a Moto G to charity. It didn't take long for this to take off. A trusted user stepped up to do escrow (in, of course, bitcoin) to secure the deal and assure people it was real. And so the smashing began.

The first guy couldn't find his hammer, and was obviously a little nervous, but got the job done admirably. Here's a list of the 5 winners, and a compilation of the various videos.

The fun didn't stop at 5 phones however, as round-peg apparently decided to somewhat extend his offer. And so then we have destroying an anti-bitcoin iPhone on the rifle range, this is pretty spectacular, with, of course, a banana for scale. And another iPhone smackdown with a machete.

So, it seems these folks are pretty quick to destroy their precious iPhones, given the situation. Summary: “Stalling innovation? Fuck you, Apple.”

And if you do destroy your phone, remember there are precious metals in that thing that are mined in conflict areas. In other words, hellhole third-world countries. It might be a good idea to recycle it.

Options beyond pure destruction

If you don't feel like destroying your phone, but still want out of Apple's “Walled Garden”, there are some other options. TMobile buys out contracts and pays for your device.

There's also a company called Mintspare, an electronics trade-in service, offering bitcoin in exchange for phones. This way you can drop the iPOS as well as further stimulate the bitcoin economy.

Think Different About Bitcoin

Meanwhile, in another corner of Reddit, a different contest is taking place, one that involves creation rather than destruction. The challenge is to re-create the iconic 'Think Different' video with a bitcoin related theme, with the aim of making sure Apple sees it, and rethinks their anti-bitcoin position. The prize at the time of this writing is at least $1,000 worth of bitcoins, and then some.

Mobilizing the previously passive

My god, it's made of stars

A major, formerly innovative technology company taking an aggressive stance against a nascent, world changing technology that empowers people and encourages the spread of freedom might tend to awaken the more passive and light-hearted supporters of Bitcoin. When the world has been given a gift- that of unfettered and total, personal control over their money, sans banks- and that gift disrupts centralized payment systems (such as those controlled by companies such as Apple), it's not hard to see why the people of that world might get a little feisty in this latest attempt to boot-stomp fundamental freedom. In a sense, such actions mobilize a previously complacent section of the user base to get politically, socially, or otherwise active.

Antifragility - So, thanks for being dicks, Apple

The irony continues

In this way Bitcoin is actually an antifragile technology. Put simply, when something is antifragile, it gains from disorder or stress; high-impact events or shocks can actually be beneficial. In this way, Apple is actually strengthening Bitcoin in it's misguided attempts to push it out of the market. When they do so, at the very least they bring the formerly passive Apple-product-using supporters of Bitcoin into the fore. Smashing iPhones is just the beginning.

While Apple may not care if five or five-hundred or five-thousand people smash their iPhones in public disgust, what they do respond to is the bottom line, the god of all corporate entities, money. And I predict that they have started a chain reaction with this move that will ultimately see them moved to the antiquated dust-bin of history, a formerly interesting company with a formerly interesting product line, before they decided to sacrifice themselves at the altar of decentralization.

So, thanks for being a bunch of dicks, you Apple bean-counters, you witless, vision-less, money-grubbing bureaucratic tools. You have inadvertently strengthened the long term success of bitcoin, while ensuring your own obsolescence.


As a result of Apple's move to effectively ban bitcoin apps, the Bitcoin Foundation is looking into Anti-Trust laws. The thought here is that Apple is abusing their monopoly on iOS software distribution for purely anti-competitive reasons. While this may or may not hold water, it's really unnecessary, we can simply vote with our wallets and our feet. We can boycott Apple. Because guess who is bitcoin friendly? Hint, it starts with a Go and ends with an ogle.

Bitcoin enthusiast Andy Chase actually filed an official, detailed complaint to the The US Department of Justice's (DOJ) Citizen Complaint Center. Their response: it will not take action against Apple for its recent decision to ban bitcoin apps:

“We have determined that the information provided does not raise antitrust issues that warrant further review by the Division.”

Handing the market to Android and Google

Google's Android platform has effectively been handed the reins in the mobile bitcoin market. In fact, Apple may have played completely into Google's hands on this one. The Android platform has always been a more open platform- a playground compared to a walled garden. There are hundreds of bitcoin related apps available in the Play store, including wallet apps such as the final one to be banned by Apple, Blockchain.

And there have in fact already been leaked emails with the top Google execs about their plans to integrate bitcoin. If they were to integrate bitcoin balances with the Google wallet and Google wallet card, they would have a huge first-mover advantage, easily becoming a contender to the likes of PayPal.

What Would Jobs Do?

The guy was many things to many people, but he wasn't an idiot.

Were Steve Jobs still alive, what direction would Apple be heading in, vis-a-vis bitcoin? Although it's impossible to say for sure, the word “iBitWallet” comes to mind. Apple used to be the creative, playful, user-friendly, anti-establishment computer company. Now, as so many companies before them, they have become the ossified, lumbering dinosaur, unable to get out of their own way, too tempted to simply enjoy the fruits of previous labors, of bygone innovations. In a word, they have become the establishment they were once set against- this is a familiar pattern in the business world. They are now only able to Think Sameness. But I believe Jobs would still be willing to put himself on the line, to Think Different.

Everyone who has adopted bitcoin is already thinking different. Thinking Different has gone decentralized and viral, and we are still just off the starting line…

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