This will be the downfall of Apple

October 20, 2012 § 4 Comments

A friend of mine recently discovered for himself why I left Apple products behind 4 years ago.

I was talking to him about his MacBook, which he purchased around the same time I decided to go back to Windows, which puts it right around 4 years old. He got himself a top of the line model, all decked out with the most RAM and the best processor. Recently, because of something he needed for work, he tried to install Google Chrome and found that it wasn’t supported on his operating system. He called Apple support to find out what was going on, and found that his OS was 3 versions out of date.

He expressed surprise to me that he didn’t know there were OS updates all of these years that he’s had his laptop, which says to me that Apple isn’t doing a very good job of advertising their new OSs to their customers.

He decided to upgrade his computer, so he went through two updates to get to Lion, and when he tried to update to Mountain Lion (the latest OS from Apple), he found that his computer wasn’t supported, and that he couldn’t update.

While most of the software he wants to run currently runs just fine on Lion, I started explaining to him that it would only be a matter of time before the software he needed wouldn’t run on his laptop anymore because it was going to be too far out of date. His laptop was reaching the end of it’s usable life, and I told him that it was part of Apple’s strategy to get people to keep purchasing their computers.

Now, we can talk all day about whose fault it will be when Chrome or, or Firefox, or an old version of Office is no longer able to work on OSX Lion, but the fact remains that Apple end-of-life’s it’s own hardware at a much faster pace than any other computer manufacturer. When the latest version of iTunes can still be run on Windows XP, an OS that isn’t even supported by Microsoft anymore, but not on OS 10.5, which is just over 5 years old (and with the latest version set to come out soon, they will probably be dropping support for OS 10.6, which is just over 3 years old), there is a problem.

Apple is screwing their own customers.

When you require people who buy into your entire ecosystem to upgrade their purchase new hardware (because on the newest systems, you can’t upgrade anything since you can’t get into the case), but you still support a Windows OS that’s 11 years old, you are screwing over the very people who you should be trying to keep happy.

Now I know plenty of people who have more money than sense and will continue to purchase Apple laptops just because they have a glowing Apple on the back, but with everything, and I mean EVERYTHING going to the cloud, what software could possibly run on a Mac that I couldn’t run exactly the same on a PC at half, or in some cases, a third of the cost?

Case and point…let’s go back to my friend who just discovered he was being hung out to dry by Apple (and he’s none too happy about it). He was running Office 2001 (I know…I know), which actually worked when he updated to Snow Leopard (or 10.6 for those who don’t keep up with these things….I don’t. I have a wikipedia article open telling me which numbers correspond to which cat), but the next update to Lion broke it. When he asked the Apple rep about this, he was told that “Microsoft didn’t make it compatible anymore,” which is an outright lie. There is an Office 2011 version for Mac that would work just fine on my friend’s laptop, but the Apple rep he talked to told him that he could download the iWork apps (at just a mere $20 each) and he’d be good to go.

I asked if he’d bought the sales pitch and he told me he hadn’t because he wanted to ask my opinion first. I told him that there was a version of Office he could get but I wasn’t sure of the price. However, I said, there is this thing called Google Docs which allows you to do all of your editing online, and that Excel spreadsheet you’re using to keep track of your pay will upload into it very nicely. And, by the way, it’s totally free. Then I told him the kicker…there’s also an app you can download for your Nexus S that will allow you to edit it right from your phone.

So, Office in the cloud, video and photo editing in the cloud. Amazon and Google both have cloud based music storage/players. Almost everything I do these days is in a browser, so tell me again why I would purchase one of these starting at $1000 when I could get one of these starting around $400, or one of these starting at $250? If all I’m doing is email, facebook, and some office work, I think I know where I’m going to spend my money. And I have a feeling I know where my friend isn’t going to spend any of his money anymore.

At some point, enough people will wise up to Apple’s extortion scheme and see them for what they are: a company whose bottom line is more important than their customers.

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§ 4 Responses to This will be the downfall of Apple

  • This is all true. Except that Apple doesn’t really care about those people who still use “trucks” as Steve Jobs once called computers before his death. They are all about mobile – iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches. That is where they see most people moving in the future. You even said so yourself, you can use Google Docs on your phone. And apps on iOS devices are dirt cheap, with many even free. That’s why they don’t care if you buy a $400 Windoze laptop – it’s a truck and they want to make cars.

  • Cuy says:

    I’m sorry to disappoint you, but Apple isn’t even making 20% of their revenue with Macs anymore – it’s all iOS now. 49% of Apple’s revenue is the iPhone, iPad makes an additional 21%, iTunes is 7%.
    Over the last quarter, Apple generated a profit of 8.2 billion $US. Take the 77% of only their mobile tech plus app- and music sales and you are left with over 6 billion of profit in a market, where devices don’t last longer than 2-3 years anyway.
    So, yes – they may lose market share in desktop computers – but that’s a dying breed either way! Tech is becoming increasingly more mobile, and that’s a market that revolves around Apple.

    • Jmoore says:

      Even Apple’s mobile market share is entering a tailspin because they insist on profit margin over all else. It’s unsustainable long term and has already been demonstrated in China where cheaper but still functional Android units have grown to over 90% of the market that was once dominated by Apple. They should have taken a lesson from when they tried to take on Microsoft because they are back on their way to becomming an expensive niche market company again.(I liked them much better then anyway) They were the underdog and brought change to the market and then somehow evolved into everything they prided themselves on not being.

  • Scott says:

    I can see both of your points clearly, but here is the problem with your arguments – Apple’s cycle of not supporting their very own hardware extends to their mobile devices as well, and in case you missed the iPad mini announcement, those aren’t cheap either. Their pricing scheme is so out of whack with everything else, I wouldn’t be surprised to see people start buying the less expensive Android based tablets simply because they can’t afford to buy a new iPad every 2 years. When people ask me what kind of tablet they should buy, I tell them the same thing I would if they ask what kind of laptop they should buy. “Not an Apple.” And I think that with their cycle of obsolescence, regardless of if we’re talking about tablets or “trucks” will eventually piss off enough people that they’ll see they’re paying way too much for a product that they’re just going to have to throw away in a year or two.

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