house for sale rent

Innovation Out; Rent Collection In

Apple logoI have often complained about Apple’s lack of substantive innovation since the original iPhone, their standard practice of marketing their most vacuous incremental improvements as radical innovations “rebuilt from the ground up” and selling those baby steps for absurd prices, and their push into renting everything from hardware (iPhone upgrade plan), then software, and services. They know the gig is up.

Apparently enough people have stopped paying their obligatory obeisance to Apple’s latest costly benefactions every year that Apple recently announced they will no longer report their unit sales every quarter. Oops! People don’t even pay attention to their semi-annual sales keynotes, myself included (yawn). The hyperbolic reality distortion field has quit working on the zombied, obedient masses.

I think the tide is finally turning on the whole technology industry. As I’ve said before, technological disruption is not innovation. Disruption just puts money in different pockets. Facebook’s revenue has taken a huge plunge. Twitter is little more than a pigpen for the pig in chief, the Russian troll farms, and a tiny tribe of neo-nazi white supremacy terrorists (lone wolf) roaming the nation. Democratizing the world has been supplanted with every sick white whacko feeling empowered to run the world like the racist Hitlers they dream they are.

But I digress. Back to Apple…

I’ve seen it coming for a long time: innovation is out and rent collection is in.

But I recently read an interesting take on this shift. In this era of huge, too-big-to-fail (which should mean too-big-to-exist) tech monopolies an interesting distinction is being made between letting the digital tenant rent their digital home or be owned by their digital masters and sold off without notice or even awareness. Companies like Facebook and Google own you. They spy on everything you do. They sell you on a whim to whomever will pay them well: Russians, corporations, governments… In my opinion, Zuckerberg hasn’t had a moral compass since he allegedly stole the company1 .

And then there is Apple. They claim they do not surveil your data. They claim end-to-end encryption. If you believe them, they are not selling you to the highest bidder. They rent you access to their hardware, the software that runs on their platform, and the services they hope you can not live without. You pay for it, handsomely, up front. And what exactly are you paying for in addition to their hardware, software, and services? You are paying for your fundamental right to privacy.

There, I’ve said it. We have a right to privacy. Isn’t that established law? Who the hell knows anymore. Now we rent our privacy from our digital landlord.

If I had to choose, I would choose Apple’s approach, rent my privacy. But I don’t want to have to rent my rights. Do you?


Here is the interesting article that got me thinking about all of this: Analyst: Apple’s poor earnings will recover now they’ve switched from innovating to rent-seeking


  1. Yeah, I know he won the court case. But money is power if it is anything.