Freshly Squeezed OpEd: Apple is this goodbye?

Aug 19, 2020 | OpEd | 0 comments

I’ve been using Apple for all of my computing life. In the beginning, if anyone ever asked me what computer I’d recommend, I never even paused for a second. You had to get an Apple.

I remember a former neighbor who was a teacher. One day somehow the topic of computers came up. She asked me what computer I had. I told her Apple. She responded ‘Oh, the kid’s computer.’ I went on to explain how off-base she was.

Within the last few years, however, I no longer have an undying love for the brand. Now, I tell people to use whatever they like best. In fact, I’m searching for a different OS and hardware. A lot of Cupertino’s stuff has taken a step backwards, in my opinion.

First, their hardware. I remember owning a toolkit with a range of torx drivers. I liked going into my MBP, upgrading the RAM and hard drive to whatever I desired. I was about to switch out my optical drive to a second SSD when a situation forced me to switch to desktops.

Upgrading internals is all in the rearview mirror now except for the ability to upgrade your RAM in the iMac 27”. And I have no doubt that will vaporize with the redesign. Finally, Apple will get its wish and not allow you to enter the ‘upgrade playground’ anymore. No profit margins in allowing the consumer to perform the upgrade themselves. We save money but they don’t make any from that business model. They obviously don’t like that.

Second, their software. Currently, I’ve been experiencing several maddening issues on several different devices. Haven’t been able to find any answers on the internet, forums, or through You Tube videos, hence I turned to Apple Support. On one particular issue alone, I have spent a total of six hours so far on the phone with roughy seven advisors and have no answer. I’ve also been cut off by their voicemail innumerable times trying to make initial contact.

Each time I speak with an “Advisor”, they can’t figure out what to do (they’ve run out of possible solutions in the playbook), they then kick me up to the next level. When they can’t figure it out either (after a second hour), they kick me up to a “Senior Advisor”.

It’s become apparent to me that the second level is a promotion for an “Advisor” because they’ve mastered the entry-level playbook by heart, so it’s on to book two.

Once mastered, you’re promoted to “Senior Advisor”. There, you merely throw ideas at the wall and see if anything sticks.

I find myself spending roughly 4/5 of my time trying to fix my Mac. I should be spending 4/5 of my time creating on my Mac! Apparently though, this is a metric that doesn’t appear on Apple’s spreadsheets.

My main problem leaving the walled garden is there are no other ecosystems out there,. That’s a depressing thought and reduces it to more of a choice of leaving computing altogether than simply leaving Apple.

In addition, it’s rapidly becoming an embarrassment to say I use Apple products when you see the way it treats its developers.

30%? Honestly? In normal times this would be an overreach. But in the middle of a pandemic when people are scraping the bottom of their piggy banks to survive, a nearly $2 trillion company can’t cut their commission back at least to 20%? Do they believe every developer owns a Mazaratti?

I lay this all at the feet of Tim Cooke. He has enough empathy to honor the BLM and LGBTQ movements but has zero respect for the people who make him all the money for his budding services platform. Tim Cooke, you’re truly an embarrassment. It appears that occasionally Steve was a bad judge of character.

Unfortunately, Apple has become so big that no one can seemingly take them on. And that’s a pity. Competition is good.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep searching. Maybe I have to invent an ecosystem by combining different brands. We’ll see.

Looking back, I used to have an email signature that said, “I have MS. The good news is I don’t mean Microsoft.” As of now, I’m thinking that I may have gotten it backwards.


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