Second, Apple is neither a charity nor a public utility. It’s a profit-making corporation with a whole lot of shareholders and billions of dollars in the bank. Apple exists to make money. Yes, under the guidance of Steve Jobs, its mission is to change the world by making innovative and exquisitely designed technology products—but that mission ultimately serves the purpose of making money.
I believe that a lot of the criticism of Apple’s strategic moves comes out of the sheer attraction people feel toward Apple’s products. People really, really want to use them—and when that desire comes into conflict with political agendas or desires or personal preference, the frustration generally gets lumped back on Apple.
The reality is, not only can Apple not please everyone, it’s not remotely interested in pleasing everyone. (This is the same reason why Apple doesn’t sell a $500 MacBook. It could make one, sure, and lots of people have said they want one. But the company doesn’t think it’s in its financial best interests to make such a product.)
When you’re successful, your competitors take notice and they react. In the last few years, Apple has been incredibly successful, and many other companies have noticed and reacted. As Thursday showed, Apple’s management is being aggressive in making moves that they believe will place the company at a competitive advantage. Whether or not they’re the right moves remains to be seen, but I don't think why Apple is making them is any sort of mystery.