Twelve Years Of Granny Smiths
I read somewhere very recently someone calling Apple products “overpriced pieces of shit” or words very similar. I think it was an utterance from a Facebook aquaintance and most likely in relation to Jony Ive leaving the employment of Apple to go it alone.
Of course, every one is welcome to their own opinion – this world would be incredibly boring if we all thought the same – but I feel I must make a couple of points in relation to my own experience with a variety of Apple items, mostly beginning with i.
My first Cupertino product was an iPod Nano, 2nd generation from wayback in 2006. I remember it well, having a Shakespeare quote etched on the back: “If music be the food of love, play on…” Hey, I was 25 and it was the height of coolness back then.
My iPod was quickly followed by the big move. A full on conversion to MacOS for my everyday computational needs; a 2007 Macbook Pro. I can still remember the feeling when I opened the box, happy times.
Since then, my life has been adorned with a replacement iPod Nano (6th generation, the teeny-tiny one) which I still have, an iPad Air which was bought for me as a present, a 2012 Mac Mini and an iPhone 5s.
Why am I telling you my Apple history, you ask? Well, I’m of the generation that looks after things. I’m not a person who buys things to be disposed of. I still wear a pair of 501s I purchased back in the ’90s, I kid you not.
My Macbook Pro is about to tick over the 12-year mark, and I am proud to say it still works as good as the day I opened it. My iPad Air, similar story. It is almost 6 years old and is sitting in front of me right now playing music as I type. My Mac Mini is almost 8 years old… ditto.
I sold my original iPod Nano to my boss at the time, so I have no idea if it is still kicking or not, but my teeny-tiny one is still going, although never used due to iPhone and cloud storage of music. And my iPhone 5s was bought brand new, but only 2 years ago because I prefer smaller phones, it was cheap and it does what I want of a phone (and Nokia stopped producing Windows smartphones, which in itself is a long story). I’m not a crazy person who queues all night to get the brand new thing. Tried and tested is dandy by me.
So are Apple products overpriced pieces of shit? Well, they are definitely overpriced. Oh yes, you will hear no argument from me over that one. Are they pieces of shit? Well, it does annoy me when companies remove headphone jacks so they can force you to buy a particular attachment and an exuberant cost. Yes, that is shitty of Apple. And also of all the other manufacturers who do similar.
But, and I feel this is an important but…
My Macbook Pro was very expensive, almost £2000 back in 2007. But divide that £2k by 12, and you get £167 per year. I don’t consider that bad value, especially as it still decreasing year-by-year. For sure I can buy a Windows laptop right now for £167. Probably an Acer or something similar. I might be hard pushed to get a 15.4″ (or similar) for that money, but I could get something, bundled with Windows and a basic specification. It would probably do the job. But I very much doubt it would last 12+ years. Even with my own make it last attitude.
For me, Apple products last. They are far from perfect and make considerable dents in wallets. But they last. And for me, that is just fine.
After publishing this, I found the ‘Facebook aquaintance’ and must apologise. It is none other than respected User Experience Researcher (total copy/paste) Duncan Stephen, whom I haven’t interacted with since about 2010. Duncan linked to a BBC article that listed some designs by Jony Ive that may have been forgotten about over the years.
Hi Ollie, Thanks for linking back to my piece! Nice to see you’re still in touch one way or another — I do still dip into your blog as well.
I should note that my comment was purely in relation to most of the weird designs listed in the BBC News article. Although you can perhaps read in between the lines what I think about Apple products. 🙂 I don’t think they’re shit, but they’re not for me, and definitely overpriced.
Hope you’re well!