Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple, you might be losing me

I am a huge Apple fan. I have a MacBook, an iPhone, and an iPad.  I love the aesthetic of Apple's hardware and the software. I update software religiously.  I don't mind paying the Apple premium because I believe in the superior quality.  I suffer at work for eschewing the corporate standard platform and using my own machine. I get goaded into arguments by Apple haters.

Apple probably shouldn't have any reason to worry about losing me as a customer. Yet, I feel my own loyalty diminishing. Not because I lust after some other products; but because Apple has been doing many things to annoy me recently.  I regularly toy with the idea of leaving Apple for what I think are inferior products. That feels like a big deal to me. I know that I am just one insignificant customer and Apple is a huge and insanely profitable company. But if a customer like me is starting to lose his loyalty, perhaps Apple's dominating position may be at risk.

Here are the reasons why I could see myself jumping off the fanboy bandwagon.


  • Patents


    Apple's litigious behavior is getting downright embarrassing. Instead of being great, it looks like Apple is trying to milk profit out of prior greatness. Apple customers get so excited about what Apple is going to do next. How long can that enthusiasm last when Apple stops innovating?



  • Environment


    They changed their decision after public outcry, but I question the values of a company that decides to pull out of EPEAT to save money when they are already wildly profitable. I also don't like how they make all of their products disposable by making the batteries non-replaceable. The battery is always the first to go on any piece of well built mobile gadgetry.



  • Authoritarianism


    Apple has been steadily closing their ecosystem. At first, we were told that it was for our own good. But now it is clear that the primary reason is competition and those moves are at our expense. For me, the biggest frustration is Apple's childish attacks on Google like pulling Maps and YouTube. The latest releases have been trying to get me to use Facebook and I hate Facebook. Apple makes it really hard for me to use the services that I like like Google+, ReadItLater/Pocket, etc.




  • Low Wages


    I know that Apple can get away with paying ridiculously low wages to Chinese factory workers and American retail associates, but that doesn't mean they should. Again, corporate values matter to me.



Apple is a brand company. They are able to charge a premium from the brand affinity they have built over the years. But their recent behavior is really pushing me away. My strategy now is to make this Mac last until a good enough alternative emerges. Obviously Apple isn't worried. But maybe they should be.