Steve Jobs Pwns iPodRip App Developer

Steve Jobs. He is a tech luminary, a presentation master and an idolized CEO but he can also be a man of few words.

This week, there has been some drama regarding the app “iPodRip” from developers “The Little App Factory”. iPodRip is an app that lets you copy and transfer your songs from an iPod and iPhone to your computer. It has been used extensively, with over five million downloads.

The issue, as you can already guess, is that the name of app has the word “iPod” in it. Apple’s Legal team demanded that the developer change the name of app and instead of changing it, the CEO of The Little App Factory decides to personally send an email to Apple CEO Steve Jobs to ask if the app name can stay the way it is.

Here is the letter below from The Little App Factory CEO John Devor:

Dear Mr. Jobs,

My name is John Devor and I’m the co-owner of a small Mac shareware company named The Little App Factory and a long-term Apple customer and shareholder. I doubt you’re aware but we recently received a letter from a law firm working on Apple’s behalf instructing us that we had violated several of Apple’s trademarks in our application iPodRip and asking us to cease using the name and Apple trademarks in our icons.

We have been distributing iPodRip since 2003 with the aim of providing a method to recover music, movies and photos from iPods and iPhones in the event of a serious hardware failure on their Mac which leads to data loss. Our goal has been to provide the highest quality product coupled with the highest quality service in a bid to resolve some of the angst that is generated by such an ordeal; service befitting of an Apple product. In this department we think we have succeeded as we have approximately 6 million customers, many Apple employees, music artists and other notable people in society. In fact I’d argue that our customer service is the best of all competing applications in our niche as many of them are scams and frauds that leave Apple customers with a terrible taste in their collective mouths. We fear very much that tens of thousands of Apple customers looking to recover their own music and having heard of our product via word-of-mouth or otherwise, will instead find a product produced by one of our competitors, and will wind up the victim of a scam (one closely-named competitor charges a hidden monthly fee, for instance).

It is quite obvious that we mean Apple no harm with the use of the name iPodRip, or of the inclusion of trademarked items in our icons, and in fact I believe that we have been providing an excellent secondary service to Apple customers that has potentially caused you many repeat clients. In fact, we are quite aware that Apple support and store staff have recommended our software on numerous occasions as far back as 2004 so we have felt that we were doing something right!

With this in mind, we are in desperate need of some assistance and we beseech you to help us to protect our product and our shareware company, both of which we have put thousands upon thousands of hours of work into. Our company goal is to create Mac software of the highest quality with the best user experience possible. I myself dropped out of school recently to pursue a path in the Mac software industry, and you yourself have been a consistent inspiration for me.

If there is anything at all you can do with regards to this matter, we would be most grateful.

Best,

John Devor

That letter is quite amazing. You can clearly see that there was a lot of thought put into it. So naturally, John Devor is expecting a reply and guess what, Steve responded! Check out the response from Steve Jobs below:

Change your apps name. Not that big of a deal.

Steve

Sent from my iPhone

EPIC! One line, two short sentences and sent from his iPhone of all places. LOVE IT!

Oh, and The Little App Factory has since changed the name of iPodRip to iRip.

steve-jobs

[CrunchGear]

Reports on iPhone news, reviews apps and accessories. Also an armed ninja with an iPhone 4S.

  • Matt MacPherson

    I love my iPhone and my MacBook Pro but damn Jobs is a dick. Apple products are great but it's the people who generally use them and their attitude I can't stand.

  • Dusty

    LMAO at Steves reply. Does sound like a dick!

  • Awesome – i love Steve Jobs.

  • tjade

    they should rename it “Steve Jobs is a cunt”

  • scott987

    LOL!

  • rorypiper

    Steve Jobs is the king of all things iPod and iPhone. Don't f*ck with the king!!

  • I agree it wasn't the answer the developer was expecting, but it was a
    very good solution. Change your name! I wouldn't expect Steve Jobs to
    reply, let alone write a lengthy paragraph.

    I mean, name some other CEOs of huge companies that would reply to a
    consumer via email. Hard to name some that's for sure.

  • Amen!

  • +1

  • Wow… that's definately not the way to win friends or influnece people. What a jerky response. There are much better ways to tell people they have to follow the rules like everyone else. Maybe Steve should take lessons from his Apple store employees when dealing with the general public.

  • But considering that Apple prides itself on customer service, this was exactly the *wrong* thing to do. Heck, even if Steve had someone draft a better response and he sent it it would have been better than the statement he sent.

    Companies take their lead from their CEOs. Makes me wonder if the employees in an Apple store are just nice on the outside and totally dickish on the inside.

  • What you see with Jobs is what you get. I'd rather have him reply personally using his own language than some copy and paste PR template. Some see this as rude, but in reality it's the truth and a simple solution to the App Dev. 😉

  • Fair enough… I still don't like it and I think it's totally the wrong way to response to a developer for your OS; considering Mac OS only has, what, 10% or less market share while Windows *still* has over 90%, I wouldn't want to piss off Mac developers…

    Maybe if I knew the guy I'd be a little more sympathetic… but I'm not. Just speaking my mind too. :-p

  • Sad

    After the terrible service I saw and recieved at the apple store in Vancouver, I'm not surprised at the response. Apple seems to be known for a F U attitude once it has your money. I suppose that must come from the top.

  • Dusty

    Damn rights! 😛

  • Bojamijams

    I don't know why you people are so amused by this. This personally disgusts me. But anything apple really disgusts me, from the forced updates and spyware that apple puts on your PC with their bloatware ridden crap called iTunes (worst UI ever imagined, anything but intuitive) to the crap they impose on your hardware and what you can do with YOUR hardware. Only reason I own an iphone is because its the best sounding music player out of all the smartphones, but I wouldn't touch it with a 100 foot pole if it couldn't be jailbroken and made MINE not theirs but on a lease.

  • Yes, this sounds just like the Steve Jobs that people love and fear just as one loves and fears the leader of a cult. For make no mistake, finding this sort of response acceptable (“funny” or “cool”) marks you as a fanboi like nothing else would.

    Mr. Jobs has succeeded by being ruthless and demanding the impossible. Great qualities in a businessman but not in a human being. As the saying goes, a little courtesy costs nothing, and in this case, as always, Mr. Jobs rides roughshod of the feelings of a fellow man.

  • Randi

    “demanding the impossible”? Seems to me that Steve Jobs has come up the ranks from a nobody programmer/hacker/developer to one of the richest and most influential men in his field. He's done that mostly through innovation and foresight. He demands what WILL be possible.

  • Bojamijams

    So I suppose people commiting suicide and being forced to work 20 hour days due to regulations apple imposes on their employees is not demanding the impossible?

  • Randi

    OK-you win. Wow.

  • Andrew

    Did Steve Jobs ever bother to learn grammar? It should be “change your app's name”, with the apostrophe. If he's insisting on being a total cock to a developer, he might as well write his 10 word e-mail properly.

  • kensmartz

    What a prick. He'll be dead soon anyways.

  • kensmartz

    What a prick. He'll be dead soon anyways.

  • I like you’ll find song on in this article. Are usually matter with my family? Make out the Girl may be the best, however. WE even had that one on my ipod device. For, similar to, heavy lifting at the gym. Sure, that’s exactly what it was…