Open Letter to Tim Cook

by Colin Berkshire

Dear Tim Cook:

It seems that you may not have noticed that 100% of your iPhone products suck.

Six of the seven iPhones in my family have broken screens. Many of my friends have broken screens. I can’t think of any other product that has such a failure rate when used in the real-world. Is it really impossible to design a screen that doesn’t break so easily when dropped? And, given that your iPhone screens break constantly, why isn’t it easier and cheaper to fix them?

Few people ever get to see your beautiful phones because they must be encased for protection. What is the point of a beautiful design when nobody actually gets to see and enjoy that design outside the showroom? Couldn’t the phone edges have built in bumpers and the cases be just a little thicker? I don’t put my car into a protective cover and yet it manages to stay shiny for years.

Your in-store service is worse than Wal-Mart. I must make an appointment to speak with a customer service representative. You offer the worst return policy (14 days) of any high-end consumer electronics product I know of. Even when I purchase an AppleCare service contract I must wait 5 days to get an in-store appointment. And—just an observation—why don’t you ever have any employees in your store that are my age (I’m in my early 60s.) Your hiring demographic is suspicious.

Is there actually any benefit at all to your lightning connector over a USB connector? Any why does a charger cable cost $20? What is wrong with these cables that they fray and fail so often, much more than USB cables?

You may think that a battery is still in proper working order when it lasts 51% of its current charge, but I disagree. I think that when a battery has lost 15% of its capacity it is time for a replacement. That is more than an hour of lost capacity. Electric car batteries retain 80% of their charge after 7 years. What is wrong with Apple battery quality?

I loved that you support dual SIMS as I travel a lot. What customer-centric reason was there to not offer the dual-SIM tray to US customers? Do you think we don’t need two SIMs? I certainly do.

As for the software: Is there a customer-friendly reason why FaceTime isn’t an open standard like Steve Jobs promised? Most of my friends use Android and so I rarely get to use FaceTime anymore. Why can’t AirDrop work with Android phones and Windows computers? When I am hiking with friends we like to share photos and most of the group uses Android. This means I can’t even use your nifty AirDrop feature.

I would typically write you this letter directly, except that I have done that in the past. Your “Executive” department only responds with a generic, impersonal, indifferent form letter that has a 10 digit reference number. It would be better to not respond at all, I think.

Mr, Cook, you have turned Steve Jobs’ Apple into a monstrosity.


Colin Berkshire