Recently, I was on the market for a new laptop, a new phone and a new tablet. In the past 8 years, I have bought nothing but Apple products exclusively. I loved the from factor, I loved the slick and cool designs and I loved the design philosophy of Apple. However, all three of my recent purchases have been non-Apple products. I am now the proud owner of a Microsoft Surface Book, a Galaxy Note 10 Plus and a Galaxy Tabs S6. So what made me switch? Here are my top reasons for why I am no longer a Mac.
Let’s start with some of the fundamentally unethical practices that Apple engages in. Some of these include
- Opposition to right to repair legislation
- Planned obsolescence in order to get consumers to replace hardware more frequently
- Copyright and trademark abuse
- Anti-competitive practices
- Bullying and intimidation of small business
- Misinformation regarding security vulnerabilities in Apple products
- Lack of Innovation
Right To Repair
Apple has actively opposed right to repair legislation. What is right to repair you might ask? Well think about your car. If it breaks down, you can take the car to any mechanic or open the hood of the car yourself and try to fix whatever is wrong with the car. Since you own the car, you have the right to repair the car or get it repaired by a repair shop. Now imagine for a second the following restrictions were in place
- The car manufacturer refused to publish the manuals for the car repair
- The manufacturer used non-standard screws, nuts bolts and washers to put together the car making it difficult to find tools to open or repair the car
- The manufacturer sued or intimidated with cease and desist letters anyone who tried to publish the details of how to repair your car
- The manufacturer slapped their logo on everything in the car effectively disallowing anyone to manufacture after-market parts for your car since no one is allowed to use the logo other than the manufacturer. Now any third party equipment on your car means that it no longer has original equipment (you can’t even replace a wire, it has a logo on it).
All this would mean that your only option is to take the car to the manufacturer for repair and if the manufacturer says that a broken blinker requires a replacement of the entire engine, you would have to take their word for it as there is no way for you to verify what the manufacturer is saying. The internal workings of a smart phone are a much bigger mystery to an average consumer than the internal workings of a car.
You must be thinking that I am exaggerating. Well if you have the time and stomach for it, read about the many times when Apple either sued or issued cease and desist orders to anyone publishing repair manual for Apple products. Not only that, Apple was among the first companies to start using the pentalobe screw in their products to prevent the product from being repaired easily. Apple has also lobbied against right to repair legislation that would allow easier repairs by third parties or consumers themselves even claiming that repairing your own phone can be dangerous (really).
Do you think I am done? Not even by a long shot. There have been many recorded instances of Apple genius bar recommending 1000 dollar repair instead of fixing a bent pin and these are not isolated incidents or the grumblings of some disgruntled customers but is in-fact well documented by Apple itself that repairs hurt their bottom line.
Which brings us to our next topic: planned obsolesce.
What is planned obsolescence? let’s ask Wikipedia
Planned obsolescence, or built-in obsolescence, in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so that it becomes obsolete (i.e., unfashionable, or no longer functional) after a certain period of time. The rationale behind this strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases (referred to as “shortening the replacement cycle”).Wikipedia: Planned Obsolescence
Ever notice how your 6 month old iPhone seems to slow down after a new iPhone is released? Well, that is not an accident. Apple has been hit with mlutiple planned obsolescence law-suits and they seem to be an industry leader in this practice. Other manufacturer are taking hints from Apple and reducing the usable life of the hardware in order to get you to buy more hardware.
One of my favorite consumer ad campaigns was the “I am a Mac” campaign John Hodgman as PC and Justin Long as Mac. In one of those ads, the PC is shown sneezing uncontrollably while suffering from a virus. It’s worth a watch.
So no big deal right? Well wrong! This is what is called a security through minority effect. Since Windows PCs dominate the worldwide PC market, it is not economically advantageous for hackers to write viruses and malware for Macs. However, as the adoption rates for Macs has increased world wide, the rate at which viruses are written for Macs has also risen. So what you might ask? Well, misinformed consumers are adamant that Macs are more secure than Windows (they are to an extent but not always) and this false sense of security has real life consequences. As adoption of Macs continues to rise, the rate of malware written will rise proportionally. Consumers need education about this and not a fanboy line. “Macs gets less viruses”. “True but…” “I am not listening… LALALALA”. SMH.
Lack Of Innovation
Where Apple was innovating at a dizzying pace in the past, the Apple of late seems to be lulled into a sense of complacency and perhaps is suffering from the innovators dilemma. Where once Apple revolutionized multiple industries such as tablet computing (no iPad was not the first tablet computer), portable music players, digital music, personal computers (yes, Macs are beautiful computers and I am not taking that back) and smart phones; the modern Apple seems to have stagnated. The following meme perfectly depicts that lack of innovation Apple seems to be suffering from.
Who really thinks that adding more and more camers to a phone is an innovation? Yes, it takes amazing pictures but really?!?!? Before Apple fan boys chew me out, I know that my latest Samsung purchase also has multiple cameras. I am not lamenting the number of cameras. I am simply lamenting the fact that an iconic American brand is now reduced to this for showing their innovation. Which industry has Apple revolutionized recently? Anyone? Anyone?
I firmly believe in rewarding companies that innovate. Microsoft made some missteps with their first few surface offerings but I can now confidently say that I am a fan Microsoft surface line of products. Also, the Samsung tab and phone I recently purchased have made me realize that I may not need three devices soon but only a phone (cloud desktop plus galaxy phone equals tasty dish but that is a topic for another day).
So no, I am no longer a Mac but I am still hoping that Apple stops engaging in unethical practices and goes back to its innovative roots. Otherwise, I believe I am witnessing the fall of an iconic American brand and I am sad to say, I am no longer a Mac.
Any upset Apple fans reading this? Let me hear what you think below.
Poor me! Considering the finances, I am facing so much trouble thinking about getting a new laptop (the older one runs Windows 7 on 32-Bit) for completing my bachelor degree, let alone thinking about getting a Macintosh. It is really sad, though, that industrial profit can lead companies that one once so innovative to adopt unethical practices.
Very sad indeed.