Apple Universality Analysis

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Universality is the ability to use one company’s hardware in combination with another company’s hardware. The idea of universality was supported by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak who built his first computers for Apple, the Apple I and the Apple II, to be compatible with all other company’s data and connection types. Steve Wozniak’s feelings about openness are highlighted in an essay written by Tim Wu called “Father and Son” which also details how Wozniak’s partner Steve Jobs felt the complete opposite about universality. Jobs favored a closed circle where Apple devices would be compatible only with Apple peripherals and software. Meanwhile, Cathy Davidson of Duke University penned an article explaining how technology should be brought into …show more content…
is probably the most closed off company when it comes to universality. For Apple, it all started when Steve Jobs began to take control of the company away from co – founder Steve Wozniak. Tim Wu writes how Wozniak’s “original Apple [computer] had a hood; and as with a car the owner could open it up and get at the guts of the machine. One was encouraged to tinker with the innards, to soup it up, make it faster, add features, whatever.” (Wu, 540). The original Apple, The Apple I also ran on the BASIC programming language, a language anyone could program. The Apple I was a great example of universality since consumers could add technology of other companies to it. Jobs, on the other hand, was “an apostle of perfectibility who [believed] in a single best way of performing any task.” (Wu, 540). Jobs created the Macintosh, or Mac for short. The Mac surrendered Wozniak’s ideals of openness and made Apple computers closed devices. Wu writes, “Gone was the concept of the hood. You could no longer open the computer and get at its innards” (Wu, 540) This meant consumers could not add universal extra features to the Macintosh. People had to accept it the way Steve Jobs and Apple designed it. The radical CEO also did not allow for the operating system to be licensed which meant another computer manufacturing company, say Dell, could not make a computer that ran the Mac operating system. Furthermore, finding Macintosh compatible accessories and peripherals had become more complicated. Wu writes in his essay, “If you wanted a laser printer, most software, or virtually any accessory it was to Apple you had to turn.” (Wu, 540). Steve Jobs made it so that Apple Macs would work only with accessories made by Apple

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