Apple has recently become the world’s most valuable company, and it is hard for me to remember a time in my life where it didn’t dominate in one market or another. I have never been a fan of their products, usually favouring Microsoft and occasionally Sony/Google instead of the products they attempt to force down out throats, so I’ve decided to write a little piece about just what annoys me about the company, ranked in order.
1. The iPod era. Ever since the first iPod was released in 2001, the world went mad for them. It seemed that everyone had to have one, and if you didn’t have one, then you were part of some weird group of people striving to be different. Well, no, I just want to make my own mind up rather than follow the overexcitable crowd, thank you very much. It fast came to a point when the term ‘MP3 player’ became redundant. I was asked, for instance, what music I had on my iPod – even when I actually owned a Sony Walkman that served me very well. It always used to annoy me, how everyone assumed that I couldn’t make an informed decision for myself, that I relied on friends and acquaintances to make them for me, and what is even more irritating is when people (including close relatives), who know full well that I don’t have an iPod, enquire as to the whereabouts of my iPod.
2. The Mac. I know countless number of people who adore the appearance of Macs, but none of them can explain what they’re actually good for, aside from looking pretty. Sure, they burn a nice hole in your pocket as well, but Apple seem to push their range of computers to the richest of people because they know they will pay for what they assume to be the best, even if it isn’t. And here’s another point, since when has a Mac not been a PC? A PC is a Personal Computer, and I am certain that a Mac fulfils that description, yet, for some unknown reason, much like the iPod/MP3 player controversy, we now either say ‘I have a PC’ or ‘I have a Mac’. It’s like Apple want to seem different at all costs, and the worrying thing is it’s working, so many people love Macs, and I can’t see why.
3. Price. Apple seem to be under the impression that they can charge their customers whatever price they like for their goods, and it’s true, up to now they have been able to. I hope that soon enough, people will begin to tire of the same old iPhone still being priced at £500 ($800) and start shifting their attention to other, more affordable but just as useful devices. Unfortunately, I do not really see this happening because I find there is a snobbishness associated with many Apple product owners, where they feel because they own the most expensive product on the market, they will get it out and flash it to their friends, and look down on all other devices because they aren’t made by Apple. The brand loyalty that Apple have managed to attain is astounding, given they only really grew into a huge multinational corporation at the turn of the millennium, thanks to the iPod (see 1.), but it is true that this is partly due to a lack of realistic competition in the MP3 player industry, and of course the iPod copies available are all just reaffirming the dominance that Apple have, despite its extortionate prices.
4. Repetitiveness. Every time Apple release a new product these days, no matter what it is, it seems, it just appears to be a slightly adapted version of a current product. The iPhone, for example, was just the popular iPod Touch made to have phone and 3g capabilities. The iPad, similarly, was extensively just a large screened iPod Touch. There seems to me to be very little ingenuity for a company that is praised so much for just that. The most concerning thought is that people still aren’t getting bored of the same old interface, the same way owners are required to use their slow and frustrating iTunes service, and the way they still charge an absolute fortune to purchase their goods.
5. The ‘i’ Tag. The use of the letter ‘i’ before a generic term seems to have caught on and it was not long before there were so many companies producing replicated efforts, recently including Android tablets such as the ‘ePad’ etc etc. My issue with this tag is that I do not have one. Why am I not part of this club then? Should I go out and buy one too? After all it’s an iPod, so it is presumably designed for me. While this is clearly good marketing from Apple’s perspective, it is just another way that they’ve got there first ahead of their competition and holding or increasing their market control with every new product released, and every TV show knock off, that uses the same name format.
So, do you agree? Drop me a comment below if you have any thing to say, or perhaps even something to add to the list!