A forced relationship with Apple?

The Wall St. Journal has picked up on what appears to be a growing controversy: Colleges requiring students to own iPhones and iPods. At least one college in St. Paul is requiring it so that students can download lectures. Notetaking is so old-school.

The purchase was — is — to be covered by financial aid. But in Missouri, it’s rubbing some of the kids the wrong way, according to a WSJ blog :

But some students felt that they were being cajoled by the school into “an unnecessary and expensive relationship with Apple” that “comprises journalistic integrity,” according to a Facebook group called “Rotten Apple” that was launched by student Elizabeth Eberlin. At the time this story was written, only 37 students had joined, and after the administration clarified that Apple products weren’t actually required, she backpedaled, writing, “I was just worried that students were being forced into a brand, that no matter what percent of the market it really is, is not a good fit for everyone, especially those who are low income but have no subsidies.”

  • Bonnie Harris

    Apple has been profoundly generous to educational institutions over the years with donating equipment, and I mean since the mid-80’s with the Apple II-E and G’s. The fact that those institutions are now brand-loyal is not surprising, nor is it wrong.

  • http://davincidad.wordpress.com John

    It’s not wrong to have brand loyalty to a company that has shown you generosity. But if the college wants everyone to have a specific brand, they should provide the required equipment. The college could get a bulk purchase discount, possibly directly from Apple thereby reducing the cost significantly. Of course it would get passed on to the student in tuition or supply fees, but it’s still better than having to pay the retailer mark-ups.

  • http://norwegianity.wordpress.com Mark Gisleson

    I’m an Apple guy and not real thrilled to hear this, but the whole notion of platform incompatibility was invented by Microsoft and, as an Apple user I’ve been victimized by Windows-only ** ever since I went online in ’93.

    A rational government would have used govt. contracts to beat the incompatibilities out of Microsoft and Apple years ago, but apparently Microsoft is too powerful for that.

    Government needs to step in to force the major players to work harder at getting along with one another, and that means starting with Microsoft, the most abusive monopolist of my lifetime.