Apple fans are 'naïve lemmings'

Apple fans are 'naïve lemmings'

You may not have heard of Ruslan Kogan. The Australian entrepreneur and head of consumer tech brand Kogan may have been a multi-millionaire before the age of 30, but his fame – and his wealth – is concentrated almost entirely Down Under.

But his latest prognostications on all things Apple are likely to get him a wide audience than any of his business achievements: Kogan has labelled Apple fans “naïve lemmings” for lapping up everything Cupertino produces without question, and accused Apple of “dumbing down technology”.

Speaking to T3, Kogan wasn't holding back in his criticism of the world's most successful tech brand. “It’s amazing how Apple can market a piece of technology and everyone who buys that Apple product thinks they’re being an early adopter,” he fumed.

“I was using my old Nokia N95 to browse the net, listen to music, tether to my laptop and make video calls, but everyone thought that the iPhone was the first to allow this. Apple’s FaceTime users don’t realise that other phones have been doing this for the last ten years.”

Even when he did appear to have something positive to say about Apple, it was more a case of damning with faint praise than dishing out genuine compliments. “By dumbing down technology, Apple has been able to tap into a far wider audience... you have to commend Apple for this. I use a Google Nexus S, but when it came to buying my mum a phone, I got her an iPhone. Now she is sending SMS for the first time ever.”

Not surprisingly, Kogan's fierce opposition to Apple has made him an outspoken Android fan. “Android is ideal for anyone who believes in open platforms. Apple is in bed with too many partners. It blocks a lot of technology because it doesn’t want to upset those partners.

“For instance, I have been using the wireless hotspot on my phone for a while now. Apple didn’t want to do this initially because their telco partners were upset that people would stop buying dongles with data packages.”

Having had his say about Apple the company, Kogan had one more parting shot for Apple fans: “I think it’s hilarious that people will queue for hours in terrible conditions to get a gadget a few hours before the general public. I was in New York when the iPad 3G launched and you could have mistaken it for a rock concert.

“People outside the store were going wild. You could see that Apple were tapping into users who wanted to show off. Apple’s marketing is centred around ‘people want things that other people have’.”

Opinionated he may be, but at least Kogan isn't just a talking head. Towards the end of 2008, Kogan Technology came close to being the second to market with an Android handset after the T-Mobile G1. The Kogan Agora never quite saw the light of day due to app compatibility issues, but things were certainly looking promising for a while there.

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JanSt / MOD  Apr. 14, 2011 at 18:08

He's got a few good points, but to varying degrees they can be applied to Android and my cat's faourite canned food...

Bradder  Apr. 14, 2011 at 19:14

Ive been banging on like this about Apple for ages!! Wish I was a millionaire too though! :(

Chillum  Apr. 14, 2011 at 20:36

Apple's main strength is their user interface.. n thats what Jobs mentioned when they launched their first Iphone to win the game which proved quite right.. they have never quite after big leaps in features.

martinwallis  Apr. 14, 2011 at 22:03

Sure his N95 could do all of that but it wasn't advertised enough, that's where Apple are the daddy's, with their marketing, there is no company who can compete with it.

designaw  Apr. 14, 2011 at 22:26

What a load of nonsense!
Apple's success has largely been the product of successfully packaging technologies with an accessible interface, adopting standards, innovating with new standards (USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, H.264, WebKit), only producing premium offerings (rather than cut-down budget options) and always innovating with industry leading product design.
A lot of his complaints about Apple seem to revolve around 'popular' perceptions of technology innovations and the successes of Apple's marketing over Nokia's failures.
You could hardly describe Apple's technology innovations as 'dumbing down', where Apple creates the rest follow, what Apple have achieved is a superior interface to making new and complex technologies accessible to all!
The only interesting point he makes is about Apple's relationship with Telco's, It is clear that Apple's relationship with AT&T was restrictive for users in the US but it was an excellent strategy for Apple, it gave them access to AT&T's network and exclusivity encourages AT&T to fund the marketing of Apple's fledgling and first mobile handset, providing financial support whilst Apple developed its iOS and tested the waters of producing an Apple mobile phone. Now that exclusivity is dead we can expect a pretty open feature set for the future!
The suggestion that those of us who recognise Apple's innovation and quality of products as naive is pretty poor, I'm sure there are some who just buy for the Apple logo and they're certainly bizarre queues outside every Apple launch, but I've been buying Apple for over 15 years and supported them when the likelyhood was that they were going to hit the wall during the 90's. I've always paid the premium because for me Apple's offerings have always been premium quality products.

juniperberries  Apr. 14, 2011 at 22:29

cicobuff  Apr. 15, 2011 at 00:05

Commodore had the chance to put these muppets out of business in the late 70s, and they didn't, there again Commodore never had much business sense hence their own demise in the mid 90s.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 15, 2011 at 10:22

martinwallis, "Sure his N95 could do all of that but it wasn't advertised enough" - Oh? the N95 sold 800,000 in its first week although the release of the first iPhone was already imminent at the time. The Nokia N95 went on to sell well into the 10 millions over many years - you can still get good money for an N95 in good condition.


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