Why I Gripe Yet Still Buy Apple

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A little over five years ago I switched from Windows to Apple products in my personal life and at work. I did it because I was just exhausted by Windows being so “needy” and buggy. I was traveling more and more and having Windows need attention was increasingly inconvenient. Also, I bought into the iPhone and the Apple ecosystem is kindest to those who are wholly within the ecosystem. I converted a dozen computers, and I expect it to be difficult. It was not, It was a one-day affair. I learned the new way to use apps. And, I never looked back.

It’s been a wonderful experience using Apple products. I can’t begin to count the number of hours I have saved in not having to fix things. Apple stuff, by and large, is true to Steve Jobs’ mantra that “it just works.” Really, it does. Apple stuff updates itself behind the scenes. My iPhone talks with my desktop. A feature that I love most is that I can be on my laptop and access my office desktop seamlessly. No need to set up a VPN or to install third party apps. And, oh my gosh, the Apple Time Machine would be worthwhile switching to get. The Time Machine does backups reliably and trivially. When i want a copy of a file I just deleted in error I go to the Time Machine, choose to go back in time two hours (or two days or two months) and I see everything as it was at that moment. Incredible.

You see that I complain a lot about Apple, especially recently. But you also see that I continue to buy Apple stuff. This is a seeming contradiction. Like most apparent contradictions there is an explanation. I still find Apple products to be superior. They are still easy to use, reliable, maintenance free, and hassle free. The truth is that I love my Apple stuff.

But it is painful to like and care about something so much and to see it in decline. It’s worse than remembering your marvelous and accomplished parents in their later years being wheelchair bound and invalid. It’s worse because we all know we will age and decline, but there is no need for Apple products to decline. The decline of Apple stuff is unnecessary and is simply management negligence.

Apple could continue to have amazing products. They could test more and work harder to get the bugs out. And, frankly, their mac OS Sierra is a bug ridden inconsistent downgrade if there ever was such a thing. I just hate mac OS Sierra because it has so many terrible problems. I am confident that Apple will eventually fix most of these. But when older versions like Mavericks was released it was clean and reliable. No so much today.

So why I am so vociferous about Apple is because I see them in decline. It pains me. I wish I could be there to help Apple. I write to them and make suggestions, and they, well, resist.

We all know it is possible to love somebody like a child and still be angry with them. That is my relationship with Apple. I want them to be what I know Steve Jobs would insist that they be. Instead, we have a Steve Ballmer-clone at the helm and he seems to ask the same question most MBAs ask: “So if we ship the product with all of these bugs and problems, how many fewer will we sell compared to if we shipped now?” Of course the short-term profit answer is to ship buggy stuff now and fix the important stuff later. Eventually, you end up with Windows Vista.

Colin Berkshire