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Why We Both Love and Hate Apple

Apple is an undeniable trendsetter. You can add “i” to the beginning of just about anything these days and sound more important. Almost any item they come out with is instantly coveted. People stand in line for days to be among the first to buy their products, but not everyone shares the same feelings as the masses. In fact, some of what has made Apple so successful are the same things that drive others away! I have a sided opinion about Apple, but I can see both sides of the love/hate relationship.

The following examples highlight a few pros and cons of Apple as I see them:

LOVE

  • Apple’s products, quite simply, just work. First of all, they’re known to be among the most reliable of consumer electronics. On top of that, there’s almost no fiddling with drivers, there’s no going deep into server settings for emails, and you almost never have to worry about a program doing harm to your device. Apple has such tight control over who releases something for their products that they can ensure a worry-free user experience.
  • Apple’s electronics are intuitive to use. Believe it or not, it’s not that hard to learn how to use an iPod/iPhone because they were designed to be as user friendly as possible. And there’s almost never a time where you can’t find what you’re looking for, whether it’s a setting or an app. It can be overwhelming to buy a new product and feel like you need to memorize a manual before you can use it, but Apple has effectively removed this barrier.

HATE

  • iPad users were recently confused as to why their “Screen Orientation Lock” button no longer worked. Well, Apple changed it to a mute button…just because that’s how they want it. Almost every single Apple device is, shall we say, a “locked-down” experience. The flip side to the tight control of their products is that there is almost NO customization to be found. The endless settings and 3rd party programs (like the ones commonly found on other phones like Androids or Blackberries) are almost nonexistent. People who like to “tinker” with everything they buy tend to find very little enjoyment in their Apple experiences.
  • I understand that certain agreements need to be reached with publishers because iTunes sells so much content, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for users. For example, transferring songs and videos to an iPod is a one-way proposition – iTunes to iPod only. There’s no going back. If your computer breaks, and you want to transfer all your iPod music to a new computer…. tough luck. Sure you can buy some expensive 3rd party programs to circumvent Apple’s restrictions, but that’s the type of hassle most people think they’re avoiding by buying Apple in the first place. Most other devices sure don’t have this issue. (TIP: Back up your iTunes folder to an external device regularly to avoid the pain of going through this)!

I believe that there has to be some middle ground to be found with Apple. I can’t see the benefit of changing what a button does without giving the user the option to change it back. Apple makes such high-quality, user-friendly products, but I feel that they are missing out on a large segment of consumers who just want some kind of customization.

Which side of the argument are YOU on? What would you like to see Apple do differently for their loyal base of customers?



Jeff Porretto

Recently dethroned as the shortest member of the blogsquad, Jeff considers himself to be an artist in all facets of life. Be it playing or building guitars, writing blogs with scathing dry wit, or simply finding new ways to be productive, creativity is a central focus of his day. More than anything, Jeff likes to spend time at home with his wife and 2 dogs quietly enjoying their time together. As with many other members of the blog squad, Jeff is fascinated by the latest and greatest technologies. He is also a self-professed Air Jordan addict and is willing to talk about shoes at any time. You can connect with Jeff on Google+.

Comments

  1. LK

    I HATE that you cant put your music from your iPod to your iTunes.. my computer crashed awhile back and I did have a good majority of my music and other files on an external hard drive. However, my external hard drive hadn’t been updated that recently so now I can’t plug my iPod into my new comp without erasing all my music. BOOOOO!

    • JPorretto

      BOOOO!!!

      Luckily I had my wifes collection backed up. I didn’t feel like ripping a bunch of CDs again.

  2. Jill Tooley

    I’ll come out and say it: I’m an Apple fan. I don’t believe that all of their products are flawless, but I have had more positive experiences than bad since I’ve been buying from them. My laptop lasted me four strong years before needing any minor repairs, and it’s still kicking (although the disc drive is shot). My old HP laptop lasted me about a year before it got viruses, ran out of memory, and started running way too hot. I’m somewhat technically impaired, so I appreciate the functionality of Apple products because I don’t have to screw around reading manuals before I use them (like you mentioned).

    On the other hand, though, I can see why people hate Apple. They tend to be pretentious and their products are pricier than many competitors…but you have to decide if that’s worth it to you. I own an iPhone and an iPod and I can’t imagine going back to anything else. My biggest gripe with Apple right now is their issue with Flash – it’s RIDICULOUS that iPhones don’t support Flash-based sites! Every other smartphone on the market supports Flash, so why not the “best” smartphone out there?

    Just out of curiosity, what would Apple need to do to win your loyalty, J-Po? :)

    • JPorretto

      More customization, plain and simple. Let me make it do what I want it to do. I feel that paying hundreds of dollars should give me that right. And for the love of GOD add a “Mark all as read” function to the email. Puh-lease!

  3. Scooby DOO!

    Love- The commercials, the innovation, and the high quality products.

    Hate- The prices.

    • JPorretto

      I was cool with the commercials until that iPad song got stuck in my head and almost drove me insane…

  4. Kyle

    Well to begin, it’s hard to disagree with the aesthetics of an Apple product. I LOVE the look and feel of their products. They look great and it just feels like I have a high quality product in my hand (which better be the case given their prices, but more on that later). I also love the innovations Apple brings to consumer electronics. But there are always two sides to any story…

    Now on to the dislikes. Price. Price. Price. Sure you’re paying for a high quality product, but you’re also paying for the Apple name too. Even though Apple products work great, I’d rather pay significantly less for a product that performs equally as well, if not better in some cases. I’ve been nothing but happy with my HP laptop that I’ve had for going on two years. On top of that I’m much more familiar with Windows than the Mac operating system. I’m sure it would be a fairly painless switch, but I’ve been working with Windows my entire life so switching operating systems seems like an unneeded change for me. I also love the flexibility of Windows in terms of running a wide variety of programs and software.

    Apple products intrigue me, there’s no doubt about it, but until their prices go down or they blow my socks off with life-changing tech I’ll stick to cheaper alternatives.

    • JPorretto

      I too couldn’t imagine switching to a Mac OS. I remember in my computer lab at school one time all that was open was a Mac, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to right click. What is it with them and only one-button?!

  5. Joseph Giorgi

    The only Apple product I’d ever purchase would be an actual desktop computer, but even then I’d only use it for video projects and whatnot—seeing as how they’ve monopolized the high-end image and video editing market. I’d still keep my PC around for my day-to-day stuff.

    Like you pointed out, the lack of customization in Apple’s products (and in programs like iTunes) is just too upsetting for me. For example, I consider iPods largely useless because they don’t allow the user to transfer files from the device. And iTunes really isn’t anything to write home about. The interface doesn’t make the music on my computer any more user-friendly than it already is, and the program itself basically just bogs my PC down.

    Don’t get me wrong—I’ll edit video on a Mac all day long, but I won’t be using anything else made by Apple anytime soon. Unless they break into the next-generation VG market (which is currently rumored). :)

  6. JPorretto

    Holy cow I forgot about how bad the latest version of iTunes bogged down my (respectable quality) computer. 4GB of RAM and it almost choked to death on it.

    Overall, I actually do like iTunes though (Windows media player is just a mess). I could actually sync my old Blackberry to it, AND still be able to transfer files back to the computer if I so wished.

  7. LGroce

    I would love to purchase an iPhone however like everyone mentioned the price just isn’t worth it for me to buy one. I break my cell phones all the time and I can’t be shelling out that kind of cash to be buying a new one all the time.

  8. Cybernetic SAM

    Ugh! I wish I had the time and energy to have at this one. Although I tend not to breathe as I rant.

  9. Juliette

    Up until about 8 years ago I was a firm Apple-hater. I preferred PC’s, couldn’t stand the way things were done on a Mac and simply refused to use them at friend’s houses.

    About 4 years ago I got my first Macbook, mainly for video editing….and fell in love. My PC desktop is pretty much abandoned at home and my laptop gets carted almost everywhere. Now that I’ve got a new external HD I’m back to crazy editing and such on the laptop. Heck, the two company made videos we produced were edited on my happy Macbook. I also love my ipod. True, I hate the fact that I can’t transfer music back off of it but I still love that my classic can hold 80GB of videos and music.

    My biggest problem with Apple is something that causes me to play musical chairs with my two ipods. An old update of iTunes (9 if I remember correctly) crashed and killed many an ipod classic, mine included. It’s taken a lot of coaxing and minor animal sacrifices to get just one of them in working order and I never know when it will die again. Apple is very aware of the error but has done nothing to fix it.

    The other concern is how much it costs to repair an Apple product (or even buy a replacement power cord or two). It’s mind-boggling! There’s just something inside me that balks at the idea of paying almost $75 for a new power cord for a laptop. I worry about the day that something actually happens to my laptop…

    Still, even with those two marks in the “con” column, I have to say, I much prefer a Mac to a PC (and I still get “I told you so” from my friends)

  10. NMM

    I love me a mac :D

    The overall systems may be pricier – BUT the cost of programs is so much less – take the cost of iWorks vs. Microsoft Office. With iWorks you can get a 5 user license for pages, keynote & numbers for $70. Now Microsoft Office Home for ONE user is $500! (That’s a $2430 savings right there… Makes that laptop or iMac seem not too expensive anymore) Not to mention the software that comes loaded on a Mac is worth about $1000 in itself. Plus you have up to 1 year to buy the apple care, which if ANYTHING happens to your Apple product, they will fix it or replace it. The key is to buy apple care the day before your 1 year warranty expires. ;)

    Not having to worry about viruses & virus scanners is a major relief! I can’t imagine having to worry about that on a day to day basis.

    And for those that have programs that can only be used on Windows – well “There’s an App for that!” LOL – Parallels – lets you run windows. And I cringe every time I have to!

    Oh & as someone else said….. It Just Works.

  11. Yowhatup!

    I bought an apple computer and let me tell you it was the best purchase I have made.

    My other computer literally lasted me a year and then it started to give every problem ever you could have imagine. Since getting a MAC I have had ZERO issues!

    Great Blog!

  12. Bret Bonnet

    I’m with Juliette – l LOVE MAC LAPTOP!

    Being the total computer dork that I was for so many years, owning dozens of PCs, managing hundreds over the course of my “geek hood” (yeah, I just made that up!); I was a PC person through and through.

    Then I saw the new Mac Book Air commercial. I was looking for a new toy or way to spoil myself; and I was like – WHY NOT. I hopped onto Apple.com, configuring the laptop was quick, easy, and straight forward (unlike PCs you don’t have to many hardware options, so it’s what Apple offers or go home).

    As soon as I put my credit card information in and hit ORDER – I panicked. I was like… what am I doing? INSTANT buyers remorse. I considered canceling my order. I had just blindly spent $1500.00 on a new laptop that I really didn’t need (no less than 3 months ago I bought a Dell XPS laptop for something like $3K; so a new laptop I need not!). I never used a Mac before. Sure I owned an iPhone and I’ve played with a iMac at my local Apple Store here and there, but other than that, I had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS GETTING MYSELF INTO.

    So after losing sleep over my purchase, regretting ever minute of it, trying to rationalize any way that I could how or why it was a good purchase (it’s a tax write off, I can use it to watch movies on a plane, I can give it to my wife if I don’t like it) – the moment of reckoning finally came when my laptop arrived via FedEx.

    I opened the box. It was SO nicely packaged. The laptop was so tiny; I was amazed. No sooner than I had it unboxed was I running around the office showing everyone my shiny new toy before I even booted it up once.

    Right then and there I knew one thing… I was in LOVE.

    I now take my Mac Air with me everywhere. Tailgating at Bear’s games, road trips, to bed, to the bathroom, everywhere I go. I literally hall it around with me everywhere I go (my AT&T air card makes my laptop more useful to me that it might be “out of the box” for most).

    Either way, I now use my Mac for everything. Email, work, browsing the internet, music, movies, editing videos – it’s unreal how easy it is to use, how much you can customize it (dude; contrary to popular belief – Macs let you tweak every little setting in the OS if you dare to try). That $3K Dell XPS laptop I bought only 3 months prior; besides setting it up onetime so as to be able to do a remote disc install of Office 2011 when it first came out; I haven’t used it since and I have no plans to use it.

    The Max App Store recently released by Apple also kicks major butt. I’ll never have to run to the store to buy software again; Apple has me covered! :)

    I agree, the iPod, the iPhone, and iTunes could use some work, a face lift and some meaningful new functionality such as what Google’s Android new 3.0 OS has to offer, but for the time being, as far as personal computers go, my Mac Book Air is a PC killer and I don’t know how I ever lived without it before! :)

    PS. PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Skip purchasing an iPad and buy the AIR. Sure it’s more expensive, but it’s only a little bigger, weights about the same, is just as portable, but it can do SO MUCH more and it’s got a keyboard + bigger display.

    PSS. Never buy a Dell laptop. I’m 3 for 3; they all just SUCK! There IS a reason why whenever you go to a popular tech conference that almost 1/2 of the people in the audience have a Mac Book Pro…

    • JPorretto

      I think its funny that a lot “Tech” people love Macs, but many of the same people don’t like the iWhatevers because they can’t offer the functionality of something like an Android.

      And thanks, I JUST bought a Dell. D’oh!

  13. Catherine Lockey

    I don’t have anything against Crapple.. I mean Apple. They do make quality products but they’re high-priced and inflexible. Plus, their silly, adversarial relationship with Flash annoys me. Perhaps I too would be an Apple customer if they found a balance.

    • JPorretto

      They won’t even call their camera flash a “flash”. They call it an “Illuminating LED” or something silly and petty like that.

      I have flash on my droid with the latest update, and it makes a HUGE difference at times.

  14. Jimmy Doody

    I hate the fact that when I accidentally urinate on my iPod, it sometimes won’t work for seconds, or even MINUTES. C’mon, Apple! Isn’t it about time to keep in mind those of us who are prone to have bladder control issues!?

    • JPorretto

      I know who you are! And your phone is like 12 years old. God knows what you did to that thing and it still works. Stick with that brand =)

  15. Alex

    As many mentioned, the price of Apple products is a little high for my budget, but I think in the future(when it fits my budget) I will purchase more of their products. Interesting post Jeff.

    • JPorretto

      The price is just TOO high for me. I use my computer for web surfing, and music. That’s about it. I don’t see the need to spend two weeks salary, when I could get one that does everything I need for 3 days salary.

  16. Jimmy Doody's Mom

    You made my son cry this morning with your insensitive comments about his phone! Shame on you!

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