Monday, 23 July 2012

An Apple a day? Not for me!

Someone asked me recently; "How can you be a tech person, and not like Apple, or own anything 'Apple'? The question surprised me and made me think: Why don't I like Apple and its products? Furthermore, can you be a tech person and dislike Apple? The simple answer is, of course, yes.

But what is my problem with Apple and its products?

Apple, quite unashamedly places the majority of its products at the high end of the pricing spectrum which, in my eyes, requires a justification for that expenditure. Now don't get me wrong, I am happy to pay good money for good technology however I simply struggle to justify the extra cost for those Apple products. I can just about get over the extra for the iPad (which as a sidenote is still the best tablet, but the Nexus 7 is going to be the first Android tablet to test it), but the extra for iPhone contracts, iMacs and MacBooks seems extortionate. Here's an example; a friend of mine purchased an iMac (27") for £1500. We were playing FIFA on it but it lagged, and lagged. Why? Because Skype was running in the background. Now come on - the equipment you could purchase (minus the Apple logo) for that kind of money would by far exceed the spec on that iMac. But unforunately most won't do the research. But those costs pale in comparison to my bewilderment at the cost of the accessories. However good the quality of materials in a charger, surely it cannot justify anywhere near £60? How?!

Maybe it is because of this cost that Apple has become so very clichy. There is no argument against it - Apple is clichy. (Thumbs-up to the marketing team). Now I'm certainly not clumping all Apple consumers into this category but those that do fall into the 'fanboy' group do wind me up. It's these people who were outraged that Instagram became available on Android and continue to insist that Android have copied iOS every step of the way (and happily ignore when iOS copies Android). It's this feeling of being in an exclusive group which provides some consumers with some sort of meaningless superiority. But let's be clear once more. Apple products certainly are not flawless. One thing that bugs me when I discuss Apple products with people is the 'Apple products don't get viruses' line. Let's put this straight; Yes they do. That is why Apple install, or at least recommend, extra virus protection. Apple's reputation has carried from their 'pre-boom' days when Apple was less popular. Microsoft had problems with viruses because of their popularity, they were an obvious target. Apple - less so. However, given the rapid increase in the popularity of Apple, they are now being targeted, and infected. In fact, in 2011, the Pwn2Own conference discovered Safari to be the easiest browser to hack. It took just 5 seconds. One other thing, (which in the same token indirectly complements Apple's marketing team), is this 'sequences shortened' hidden extra on an advert. Haven't spotted it? Have a close look because it only flashes up for a second. This prompted suings in Australia for misrepresentation of the workings of the iPad (Yes, its not quite so quick to sync etc!) Brilliant advertising, minus the music which style is beginning to grain...but essentially fooling consumers.

Its the focus on design (and Apple products do look fantastic) over substance which I take issue with. I see it as a matter of preference, and unfortunately, fashion. My focus when purchasing a computing device is on spec. For example, I like a good camera on my phone, my HTC One X has a greatly-superior camera to the Apple iPhone 4S. I believe the One X looks good but more importantly it has fantastic hardware - and software. It would irritate me if every 18 months another slightly different version of what I have is released. Not different in design (if it is, it isn't noticeable) but in minor hardware or software changes. Apple owners - doesn't that irritate you? Do you not get bored? To me iOS is tired and dull. I would be interested to hear your thoughts. I guess I like to have choice. not between 32gb and 64gb but between manufacturer and style, with the option of customisation. For example, I like the large screen phones. Not quite Samsung Galaxy Note, but not million miles off. Apple does not offer consumers this option.

Many reading this won't agree with me, and fair enough. It's become quite a vicious battle between the Anti-Apple brigade and the Apple-fanboys. The fact of the matter is that the people who are benefiting from this competition is the consumer as the companies are pushing, as quickly as possible, the limits of tech knowledge. I love my HTC One X and I wouldn't change it for anything right now. I'm sure that some readers feel exactly the same about their phones, be it an iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy Note etc (not a BlackBerry though, we all know that would be a mistake.)

Do I hate Apple products? Not particularly, no. I appreciate that they offer the consumer a solid piece of kit that is functional. What I do hate is the 'Apple World' where as long as an 'i' is placed in front of a product, it is often blindly considered superior. It is simply not the case. The purpose of this blog is to open peoples eyes to the prospect of other manufacturers producing better equipment and dispell the myth that in mobile phones and computing, Apple is in its own league.

I anticipate, and encourage comments. I look forward to a discussion!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. As an owner of some Apple products, I have to say I've yet to be disappointed with any of them thus far. The marketing and image maybe is subconsciously trying to get us to all be part of the Apple revolution, but I guess there are still a few who are leading the resistance. ;)

    I think one of the good thing for Apple's is that things on it just tend to work seamlessly. Whilst your paying over the top in terms of the actual hardware, its easy to get things set up and going, and keep them going. Got 4 year old iPod that I've treated absolute b*llocks in terms of dropping it around and its still working perfectly. My old Mp3 player died was down to >10% original battery life and died after a year. (Also, to the stupid idiot that has a dodgy version of Fifa on his iMac, if he turned off the other programs running and let Fifa update itself, he'd probably be a bit less laggy the torrent leeching c*nt).

    I think everyone loves their own stuff though. (Though your right about Blackberries!), I've never met a person that has not been totally enthusiastic about an iPhone or iMac they own and not recommended it wholeheartedly to me. Same with HTC's. Though I do know someone who doesn't like their Samsung Galaxy!

    1. Whilst I agree with most of what you've said, you haven't taken note of an important issue which I highlighted in my post. The MP3 you mention was of exceptionally poor quality and renders the comparison void. But in saying that, the iPod IS in a class of its own. That being said, could you argue that the iPod itself is becoming useless in the modern day when phones can take the burden of music? Interesting thought and might explain the lack of challenges to the iPod.

  3. An amazing read.. I'm one of those people who agree with you point to point.. You have to admit we are few, but the perception of Apple superiority is contained till today, and I feel it will be there for a while, and while I have a OneX like you and pretty proud of HTC, I have to admit Samsung is pushing for a change in this regard.
    Waiting for more ...

    1. Thanks Ibrahim. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I believe you're correct that it won't disappear soon. Apple are too clever for that. Samsung are doing their best to change the tide though.