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iPhone 4Sex

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Imagine browsing for iPhone info and ending up at a porn site. Photo / Thinkstock
Imagine browsing for iPhone info and ending up at a porn site. Photo / Thinkstock

Apple sometimes gets accused of throwing its weight around, particularly when it comes to its brand. A couple years ago Apple had a go at Woolworths supermarkets in Australia for designing a logo that looks like, according to Apple anyway, the Apple logo.

To me, the Woolworths logo looks like a stylised broccoli. I mean, it's bright green for goodness sake. Otherwise, I concede it's roundish with a stalk. But confusion is highly unlikely. I have never walked into a supermarket looking to buy an iMac or an iPod, that's for sure.

I assume the issue got settled, as Countdown supermarkets in New Zealand still sport this green vegetable logo.

But another instance I can sympathise with - imagine browsing for iPhone info and ending up at a porn site.

Apple filed a complaint with World Intellectual Property Forum against the owner of seven domain names last month - all seven of the domain names in question forwarded to a mobile porn site when visited on mobile devices.

Apple terminated the case after the owner of the domains agreed to turn the domain names over.

Apple had filed a complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). They been registered by another party and set to forward to the porn site. Most notable among these domain names was iPhone4S.com, the highest-profile domain associated with Apple's new iPhone hardware.

Since Apple has won control, the UDRP case has been terminated.

Of the seven domain names, Apple is only expected to use iPhone4S.com, which it will presumably redirect to Apple's main iPhone page. Soon (be warned).

Apple will likely simply shut down the other six domain names while preventing others from using them. A couple of these site names are obvious porny-style, but others aren't.

Now, I'm not saying you should or should not browse for porn. That's your issue. But if I'm looking for a car, broccoli or an Apple product, I really don't want to end up at a porn site. And I don't want my mother-in-law, nephew or client to, either.

That's deceitful. And perhaps it's even 'enterprising', as presumably whoever registered those sites had a feeling Apple would come calling, and perhaps they imagined Apple would pay them to get them back, which may or may not have been the case.

But while we're talking about moral judgements and accountability, I should mention the religious figure who has been riling against Apple as a main player in the cult of selfishness.

He's one with some clout, too - Britain's Chief Rabbi, Lord (of course) Sacks, who recently slammed Apple and its co-founder Steve Jobs for 'creating an egocentric and selfish consumer society that has only led to unhappiness'.

He claims the company's advertising methods only make shoppers aware of what they don't own, and he singled out Apple for creating a culture in which people only care about themselves.

OK, I feel a little unhappy I don't have an iPhone 4S and that my MacBook Pro isn't the fastest, but these are fleeting and trivial thoughts in the grand scheme of things.

Is there any truth to his charges? Of course - but Apple's in pretty solid company. It's unclear why the iPhone and iPad-using Lord Sacks singled out Apple in particular.

Speaking at an interfaith reception attended by the Queen (of England), Sacks put it all in biblical terms: "The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTune, i, i, i. When you're an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about 'i', you don't do terribly well."

I'm still trying to picture Moses coming down the mountain with an iPad - his much heavier stone tablet certainly moved a few mountains. Of thought, anyway.

I'm also trying to picture Steve Jobs as not having done too 'terribly well'. After all, tax is a percentage of income, and Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs has just learned she has to pay US$867 million in capital gains taxes and is being advised to unload millions of Disney and Apple shares worth nearly US$7 billion. Jobs has 138 million Disney shares, so it's only a few by comparison.

Over there, as in most civilised countries, the rich actually contribute to the nation's wealth as well. Now there's a notion.

Sacks goes on to criticise Apple's 'seductive' advertising. Oh, like Apple's the only one.

Sorry, I don't get it. It's the culture that's at fault, Lord Sacks.

Consumerism having 'gone too far', well, that's been happening for decades already, and we have the landfill and despoiled landscapes, and broken - and realised - dreams to prove it.

But speaking of tablets, it's looking increasingly like Apple defined the category, let the pretenders have a go at it, and has now about seen them off.

High-profile PC makers such as HP and Dell look like they will "gradually phase out" of the tablet business, leaving the market to Apple's iPad.

That said, Amazon's Kindle Fire, and Barnes and Noble's Nook tablets, still sell fairly steadily.

Why? Because the best-selling tablets make money from the content they platform. The hardware is just a vehicle.

Or, as Homer might put it; 'Doh!'.

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