I remember when I bought my first Mac. It was in 2012 and it was a MacBook Air. I opened the parcel and was gathering at the shiny white package with my new electronic friend inside. I enjoyed working with it and I felt a mixture of pride and intimacy when I walked into a meeting with my light companion. I never had any particular feelings towards any of my laptops before. They were merely machines with a lot of computing power in order to do tasks as fast as possible. Whenever I bought a new laptop, the most important arguments for buying it were technical facts. Then I started using a MacBook from a friend and my expectations evolved. I expected it to have this soft touch of the keyboard and I expected that I can start working right when I open it. As a software developer, I always believed in having Linux as my OS. I was fully convinced to buy a Mac when so many other software developers I looked up to, told me they had a Mac because OSX was so reliable and had fewer flaws than any other operating system. The decision was made and I’ve never regretted it. However, my emotions towards Apple have changed.
I probably wouldn’t call it love, but I most certainly had a good feeling about spending ridiculous amounts of money for Apple products. I was under the impression that the goal of Apple is to create great products and I help them following their goal by buying overpriced products. Obviously, it’s never the goal of any stock-based company to create solely great products, it’s always about earning money, but what attitude is lived by its developers, sales representatives or business managers? In the last couple of months, I had three situations where my respect for the employees of Apple took a big hit:
“The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.”
― Steve Jobs
I bought a new MacBook Pro end of last year. It has the new keyboard which I easily get used to. After a couple of months, single keys started to react slowly. I looked up the Internet and found many other users complaining about the issue. There are tutorials how to fix it yourself and Apple offers a cleaning service in the stores. I understand that it’s incredibly hard to make a slim keyboard and make it resistant to all kinds of dust. Any other manufacturer would probably have settled with just making it slim. I expected more from Apple.
“Apple serves all customers with the same priority… at the same time, he nodded and winked.”
― Apple salesperson
My MacBook once stopped charging apparently without any reason. I went to the next Apple Store in the hope to have it fixed immediately. After trying other chargers, they asked me to call the support center to make an appointment with a Genious because all of the Geniuses in the store are occupied. I finally got an appointment a couple of days later which essentially meant that I couldn’t work. What really annoyed me was another incident in this line of action. I bought Apple Care although I believe that the obligatory warranty in Germany should cover everything needed. I asked the salesperson in the store whether Apple Care actually makes any difference because I expected it to be a guarantee that somebody really tries to fix the MacBook immediately. He said that for these kinds of problems, Apple serves all customers with the same priority… at the same time, he nodded and winked.
My respect for Apple took the last hit when the display of my Apple Watch broke. It was entirely my fault (although I’m very curious whether Apple displays brake easier than for other manufacturers). I didn’t find any trustworthy non-Apple shop offering a repair service for Apple Watches so I went again to the Apple store. They don’t repair the watch, they replace it. You don’t pay the price for a new watch, but a reduced one of roughly 100€ lower. Why? How do you set such a price? It’s still far away from the production costs and to me, it seems more like an incentive that you return your watch instead of selling it to someone who repairs it and floods the market with used Apple products, which would then again reduce the number of new products to be sold.
“No one can hate you more than someone who used to love you.”
― Rick Riordan, The Blood of Olympus
In summary, there are three pains for users which have emerged in the last years: The quality of the products has decreased, Apple seems to force users to pay for support plans in order to get a good service, and the prices are adjusted to maximize profit on a short scale. I dislike Apple for it. What can I do about it? Not much. I won’t stop using and buying Apple products unless there is another company creating great products. I already sold my stocks in Apple because the recent changes will eventually backfire. There is only one thing I’m sure about it, the next time I buy an Apple product, I won’t feel good about it.