Hello work week! I’ve started this day pretty crap-tacularly… Thanks to the cat, I woke up to pen ink all over my sofa and satin sheets. Yikes! After trying to spot clean them, I gave up and have already spent $60 on a new sofa cover and sheets. It’s not even 9 AM yet. Sigh. (I’m just thankful that it’s not all over my cat. I would have lost all sense of sanity otherwise…) This blog post should be entitled: why I hate black ballpoint ink. But alas, over the past few years… culminating to last weekend, I’ve had some missteps with Apple, Inc. as well. I think anyone who owns a MacBook, IPhone, or any other Apple product will probably commiserate with me…
Just for full disclosure, I admit it… I have bought into the Apple hype. I’ve owned a PowerBook since 2003. It’s a good computer; I have been expecting it to die for years, but no. It still works. (Can’t say that about the PCs that I’ve bought. They tend to die right before the warranty expires. I can set my watch to it.) And after souping it up with extra RAM and storage space, it can run my two year old PC netbook in circles. Every time I have had to bring it in to the Apple Store for servicing, the techs admire it, not because it’s still kicking; but because it’s the last Apple Model manufactured before the evil corporation Microsoft put their operating software on it; and Intel invaded the insides. I still use it daily.
I own an IPhone too. I like it too. It’s a great little portable computer/texting machine. Cellphone? Not so much… I get better cell coverage in BFN Argentina than I do at home in DC. Thanks, AT&T. Appreciate it.
But I’m slowly starting to get over both… Why?
1.) Apple Products are expensive Yesterday, my PowerBook power cord snapped in two. It’s totally FUBAR, and I have to replace it. The cost? $80. For a FREAKIN’ power cord!!!! (You can add that to my bill presented at the beginning of the blog…) For Apple, official replacement parts don’t come cheap. Two years ago, I had the misfortune of losing my IPhone. AT&T wanted me to pay almost $700 for a replacement. Thankfully, I was able to talk them down to a bargain-basement price of $300 to continue on my cellphone plan.
I’m sure that Apple receives a 300% profit on their products. IMacs start at $1,200. (In contrast, I bought my PC netbook about two years ago for $500.) IPhones themselves start at $299… IF you subscribe to a cellphone plan. These electronics are not items for the cheap minded. But then again, you get what you pay for; my Mac has been running for eight years now. With no sign of dying… until the power cord snapped. (Unfortunately, since I’ve owned my Apple Computer, the power cord has died five times already… you do the math.)
2.) And yo. They don’t play fair.
Apple products are made with one thing in mind: control. Let’s not mince words: once you own one of their devices, Apple OWNS you. Developers continuously get screwed: Apple takes 30% of all sales from their ITunes store… where all of us IPhone users must go to buy apps, most songs and all of our upgrades. No apps are sold without Apple’s authorization; you can’t customize your “experience” (without jailbreaking your system… which will void your warranty)… and subscriptions must be handled under their watch. And if an Apple staff member accidentally loses a prototype in your presence (whether you were interacting with them or not), your house can be searched and your immigration status questioned. And this has happened TWICE!
3.) I’ve lost all sense of self.
Everybody owns a freakin’ IPhone now. Including my Mom… for years, she has been the go-to person for App recommendations. (You know a technology has jumped the shark when you parents start using it…) I can’t go anywhere anymore without a phone ringing… and seventeen people reaching for their cells seeing if it’s their call. I can’t get on the bus anymore without listening to someone’s iPod playing too loudly. Or listening to another’s iConversation with a friend. I’ve become iAnnoyed with my life…
Everybody has the same phone. With the same ringtone. And the same apps. The only way we can “customize our experience” nowadays is with our cellphone case. And that’s just sad.
I’m hoping that with the exorbitant price tag, Apple Computers won’t fall into the same ubiquitous-ness. According to NetMetric shares for August 2011, Windows users still dominate over 92% of the market. (Mac users are a very distant second at about 6%). That’s why virus trouble makers don’t bother Apple users as often. And come to think of it, aside from my power cord issues, since I haven’t been replacing my computer every two years, my Mac has turned out to be a better, cheaper investment than my PC laptop. Hmmm…
I guess I do like my Apple products after all… well, the computer at least. I’ll put up with the iPhone til it dies. (And knowing me, I’ll probably replace it with the iPhone 5 anyway…) It can be our little secret.
Addendum: While writing this blog post, my PC laptop has overheated twice and shut down completely. Thanks to WordPress (and not my hardware), I didn’t lose any of my text.