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5/11/2010
09:40 AM
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Apple's Arrogance Stokes Android Gains

Steve Jobs and company may be facing a backlash over recent behavior that comes across as mean-spirited and spiteful.

Is Apple losing its cool?

News that Google Android-based devices are outselling the iPhone may be a sign that consumers are fed up with Apple's increasingly restrictive policies and behavior that, in the minds of many, could be characterized as nothing short of bullying.

Android phones leapfrogged the iPhone in the first quarter to grab a 28% share of the smartphone market, according to numbers released Monday by research firm NPD Group.

The iPhone's share stood at 21%, while category leader Research In Motion, with its Blackberry, took a 36% stake.

Android has been on the market for just over a year, and the fact it's outselling the iPhone is surely troubling to Cupertino. The question is whether it's enough to convince Steve Jobs and company to change their behavior.

Apple in recent months has left a bad taste in many consumers' minds with a series of moves that came off as, at the very least, boorish.

For starters, the company's policies around what does and does not pass muster for sale on its Apps Store seem increasingly whimsical. Sports Illustrated gets by with an application that features its swimsuit models, but software that shows a scantily clad woman cleaning the touch screen is barred.

Worse may be Apple's response to an incident that saw tech blog Gizmodo get hold of the yet-to-be-released iPhone 4.

Apple may yet fire the engineer who supposedly left the device on a bar stool, and it filed criminal charges against the blogger who landed the story.

The incidents reveal a corporate persona that is more spiteful nerd than the cool hipster Apple portrays itself as in television commercials and marketing materials.

It also calls into question the sincerity behind a branding campaign in which the company urged consumers to "Think Different."

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