NPR logo iPhone 4: 'A Garden Of Pure Ideology, Where Each Worker May Bloom'

iPhone 4: 'A Garden Of Pure Ideology, Where Each Worker May Bloom'


Apple made its bones as an outsider with its famous 1984 ad, above. It’s not super subtle. The masses have been taken over by PCs, and Apple is running in to save everybody.

It's tough to resist juxtaposing the ad with today's news: thousands of people lined up around the world for the privilege of paying hundreds of dollars to buy a new iPhone.

The juxtaposition is sort of a cheap shot, but there's some interesting substance here.

Apple really was an outsider for a long time, a tiny player in the tech world. Now that the company's is a global giant with a market cap bigger than Microsoft's, it faces a new set of problems.

Last month, we noted that federal antitrust regulators were looking into the rules Apple sets for Apps developers — something that often happens to dominant technology companies.

Regulators are also scrutinizing Apple's position in the mobile ad market, and its relationship with Amazon, the New York Times reports today.

Powerful tech players are also often accused of bullying the competition — and Apple is increasingly being called a bully, the Times says, with its tight oversight of its apps store, and its exclusion of Adobe Flash.

Of course, accusations of bullying are always part of the game, driven at least in part by competitive posturing on the part of rivals.

What's more, the BlackBerry still has a bigger share of the smartphone market than Apple. And phones running Google's Android are also providing stiff competition.