Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apple backlash: Is it brewing?


Let's hope it doesn't come to this.
from PCMike.com
If my email is any indication of consumer sentiment – and over the years it’s proven pretty reliable – a backlash seems to be brewing pretty strong against Apple and its constantly evolving  i-Devices.
Because the higher-than-everyone-else prices, it’s penchant for proprietary everything and the seeming planned obsolescence of every product, Apple and its innovation train seems to be heading for a derailment.
What had been maybe a once or twice a month occasion, I’m now getting weekly emails from former Apple fanboys who are jumping ship.
Take the one I received today from Bill Carver, a huge Apple booster since 1986. I remember Bill as a regular caller to my PC Mike radio show a few years back, usually raving about some new Apple gizmo or service. I respect Bill’s technology take a great deal. He knows gadgets and gizmos and cares about the technology industry. So when I hear he has abandoned the brand he once so much boosted, I listen.
Here’s an excerpt from the email that describes why he has bailed on Apple.
“I have an iPad that less than nine months later, Apple has chosen to develop software for a newer iPad that I cannot use.  NINE MONTHS.   No wonder they’re warranty is out in 90 days.
I have since purchased my next laptop computer, but this time from toshiba.  It was about $400, outperforms my current Mac and unlike my current mac can use icloud.  Apple is developing software for computers it never sold, but will not develop software for computers it did.
Longevity of purchase for Apple equipment is gone.   The current life span is less than one year before you are forced to upgrade and as you do, you lose the ability to run software you had previously purchased.  I can run Microsoft Office 97 on a Windows 7 machine.  But I cannot run Photoshop CS2 on the latest Mac.   I can’t run iCloud on a machine less than one year old.
Apple, you have found a way to lose a customer whose been not only a loyal customer, but a cheerleader for your great work.  However if all  your products are going to be more expensive than anyone else and have a longevity of purchase of less than one year, my next phone will be an Android and I’m salivating over Windows 8.”
Carver, I submit, is not alone. Any other former Apple fans out there? Anyone thinking of joining him? What does Apple in this new post-Steve Jobs era need to do to shore up and expand its base? Is he off-base, or right on?
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24 comments:

  1. Well, I don't want to hang myself, but I am sick of Apple and I"m currently making the switch.

    -Cheeers

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  2. Ok, i have 2 old ibooks, 7 years old which still work just fine. Cant use icloud but hey, i couldnt use it on my current pc until recently either so no big deal, all my backups done wirelessly anyway. One function does not make the old macs junk overnight

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  3. Sounds like you lucked out. I do Apple repairs and find that most Mac laptops over 5 years old cannot be sped up or keep up with what the customer wants to do. I usually just end up backing up their data and importing it to their new machine.

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  4. Brett™ (not the recent impostor)October 23, 2011 at 4:19 AM

    I'm as big a fan of Apple as they come, but I agree that beyond 5 years, there is not much you can do to keep a Mac current. With a generic PC you can always swap in an updated motherboard and CPU or graphics board. Macs are not designed that way.

    This is a tradeoff that I willingly put up with. With the increasing trend away from towers to portables and all-in-ones with custom innards, even many PCs will suffer the same fate. I accept that I will be buying a new computer within 5 years (in my case, it's been every 3 to 4 years). Surprisingly there is a market for old used Macs.

    Of course as long as the computer is functional, it can continue to run vintage software. This is perfectly fine for some people.

    As to the wishful conjecture there will be a significant wave of defections from the Apple camp, I'm confident despite a few supporting anecdotes (which I'm sure Dave will keep us informed of), that we will continue to see Mac market-share grow slowly but steadily for the foreseeable future.

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  5. I never owned an Apple anything, and from what I see, I avoided a lot of aggravation. Most of their laptops and all the mobile devices are with batteries that can't be replaced by the user, and everything is overpriced to death.

    I've talked to iPhone users and all confirm that battery life is abysmal. Since when did one day at best become acceptable? When brand new?

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  6. I am a former long time Mac user and have probably owned about 10-15 Macs during the past 20 years. About a month ago, I made the switch to Win 7 permanent. I do feel there is a large backlash coming. My last few Macs sucked big time, and Win 7 has been a revelation of sorts with its (as solid as OS X) stability and better windows and app management.

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  7. I was a PC user for the last 20 years and made the switch to Mac last year. I bought an iPhone 4 as well but the kool-aid is not working. I will not replace my computer or phone with another Mac. It was an expensive and failed experiment. That's the last time I will join the Jones'.

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  8. Somewhat the same here. I have always had Windows laptops (mostly because they were a lot less expensive) but never really had an opinion either way. About a year about a year ago I won a Macbook in a contest. After about 3 months of fighting with it over finding games and applications for it and unresolved problems with wifi, I ended up selling it. I took some of the money and bought 2 nice Windows 7 laptops from Acer. They have been working perfectly and I truly have no complaints at all. I guess I could have gotten a lemon or maybe I expected too much from Apple.

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  9. I have been an avid Apple computer user since OS8, and as a filmmaker, Final Cut Pro was all I ever needed to never doubt my loyalty.... that is, until Apple began the current "upgrading" practice of stopping support of older software and turning to the really really irritating practice of focusing too much on "push-button computing" with their new FCPX and even their new OS - Lion. I could not believe when I tried to install the REAL Final Cut Pro (Studio 6) onto my Lion machine at work and they stopped supporting the INSTALLER... I have since been looking into Adobe for full service post production, and I think my next computer will be non-apple.

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  10. Preaching to the choir dude. Apple has officially lost whatever mojo they had. Failing products, lackluster software and a stale OS.

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  11. You wouldn't know it judging by Apple's record-breaking quarterly report.

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  12. True that. Underpaying their manufacturing staff and overcharging for their devices it's no wonder THEY are sitting pretty.

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  13. What evidence is there that the people who assemble Apple products are paid less than those of its competitors? While I've no doubt that Chinese workers earn less than those in the U.S. (who still have jobs), it is entirely possible that they earn more than they would toiling on a farm. No one forces them at gunpoint to take factory jobs. It is absurd to hold Apple solely accountable for the socioeconomic problems of the third world.

    Isn't it remarkable that even though Apple products are "overpriced" (in your opinion), they are flying off the shelves as fast as they can be manufactured? Mac sales continue to gain while PC sales in general are flat. The iPad still rules the tablet space, and iPhone sales have more than doubled year over year.

    I doubt that there is a significant trend of defections from Apple. Regardless, It would seem that any that do happen are more than compensated by new users switching away from its competitors. Apple is a juggernaut. I feel your fear.

    This whole backlash story is just more wishful hater thinking and utter denial of reality. It reminds me of the Black Knight scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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  14. I've used all kinds of computer hardware, starting with Commodore 64, Apple II, Mac Classic, i286 PC, etc. I was an early adopter of Linux on the desktop and loved every minute of it - until I got a laptop. Linux on a laptop sucked big time. Everything that makes a laptop great was missing, even on-board devices were a pain to get working, if it was possible at all. I looked at Mac but back then I could buy 3 not to shabby Toshiba laptops for the price of single Mac. So I converted to Windows. Windows 98 worked better, but using an external monitor was kludgy and seemed to require never ending fiddling with display properties. I eventually succumbed to using the laptop as is. It worked.

    The along came a 13" MacBook Pro running OS X Snow Leopard. 2 years using it and it has been the best computing experience ever. At the tie of purchase the 13" MacBook Pro was very competitively priced. Anything able to compete in portability and battery life span was a netbook. The MacBook Pro had all the netbook features and performance wise ran circles around the competition.

    I bought a MacBook Pro for its hardware features. I couldn't care less about OS X at the time of purchase. But Snow Leopard rocks. As someone relying mostly on OpenSource software it the best of both worlds. The underlying FreeBSD opens up the world of open software and the proprietary nature of the GUI allows for software such as Microsoft Office. Call it Linux on steroids.

    As you can tell, I am blissfully happy. But I am taking things a day at a time. There is no reason to tout Apple as the hail all. I love the iPod Classic for playing music. But iOS sucks otherwise. Apple is too controlling. Rumors seem to indicate that OS X is going the iOS route in terms of being closed and tightly controlled.

    For now I am an Apple convert, but if the indicators are true those days are numbered. Looks like Apple is taking away all the things that made Mac and OS X great, IMHO.

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  15. Apple's horrible decisions, catastrophic PR and sub-par devices with watered-down OS's will surely shorten their lives. I've heard analysts say Apple will be no more in about 5 years. Oh well.

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  16. I have actually just switched to PC (partially). I have been using macs for the last 15 years and have been laughing at PCs. I still think that Windows7 is not a patch on Snow Leopard (last year's Apple OS) but unfortunately Apple FORCED me out. Their MobileMe service (that synchronises everything) is coming to an end. Consumers MUST upgrade to Lion OS if they want to keep the ability to synchronise, but Lion is clunky, heavy, and doesn't support software that is critical. I am keeping my macs for the programmes that I need to keep on running, but for every-day use I have now moved to a pc. Apple is not getting another penny out of me.

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  17. I had a similar situation. I switched to Mac just after Vista came out. Now I'm back with W7 and I'm glad. I have more software options and I've been able to purchase more hardware for by business all while saving money. Apple can go to hell.

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  18. Apple suckers! My wife has been a using a $400 Toshiba laptop happily for 2+ years with vista and no anti virus installed! Apple and it's fanatic, brainwashed fanbois will say otherwise. Lying, deceptive, arrogant company!

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  19. Yeah, most sub-$1000 Windows machines out-perform the $2000+ Macs in every way. All users need to do is practice good common sense and they'll be happy for a very long time. That last statement goes for users of every platform, btw.

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  20. I just don't to pay such high price for a device that accomplish less than a similar device that is available at half the price. Also, buying an iPhone means upgrading almost every year. If I dont upgrade I am subjected to verbal taunts by new iPhone users who don't think I am as cool. If they do this to fellow old iPhone users - I wonder what they will be saying to people using other company phones. Whoever want to use any phone is their wish. I am unable to Fathom the terms used by Apple Users. Some dont even acknowledge that I have been using iPhone 3G. I mean this is what I get in response

    I am anti apple iPhone beggar despite owning 3gs
    If I dont have Apple I dont have Apple = what does this mean really? how can i have apple if I dont have apple. plus I do have 3gs

    buy and iPhone first. having only latest iPhone means that you have iPhone? what about my 3GS

    finally, If I have to pay exactly the same amount to upgrade iPhone 3Gs to iPhone 4s I should get some benefit to pay for the price of a whole new phone. But that is never the case.

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  21. I'm really disappointed in Apple. I own a Macbook Pro which is not even a year old and has died completely once, had everything within the computer replaced. Now a few weeks later its acting up again. Oh did I forget to mention that going to the Apple store is not quick or easy for me its always a 4 hour trip including the drive. They refuse to replace it, saying that they "can't". Yeah can someone tell me how a company that has billions of dollars "can't" provide me with the product that I bought? I still can't believe what happened to Apple its night and day from when I had my Powerbook (lasted for 7 years no issues at all) everyone at Apple seemed much more pleasant then too. Really unbelievable and sad. Also trying to sell me apple care every time I'm in the store for my already broken computer may not be the best tactic.

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  22. I'm an Apple Fanboi from way back (about 1996), up until my final purchased Apple product in 2011 (a Macbook Air for my wife, which is already reporting a bad battery). I'm typing this on a Lenovo X230 purchased in late 2012. Apple now seem to deliberately go out of their way to ensure that machines over 2 years old can't run new software (or continue to even function, for that matter). All while charging a premium.

    Mountain Lion is a bloated piece of shit that makes my older iMac run like treacle, and the newer versions of their software don't support Snow Leopard, even though it's the best OS they ever produced.

    Fuck 'em. They're as bad as Microsoft ever were, if not worse. At least Microsoft were restrained from the planned obsolescence route by their enterprise customers who demand that everything works for many years.

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  23. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

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