Monday, October 02, 2017

Apple-They Are Too Good For Their Own Good!

I am writing this while I view a recent post from the Apple Insider advertising their "Deals" pricing for the following:

Deals: 2017 15" MacBook Pro for $2,199 ($200 off); 12" MacBooks as low as $1,199 ($100-$125 off); 13" Touch Bar (512GB) $1,849 ($150 off)

I'm writing this on my Chromebook Pixel 2 which I have now owned for a few years and am continually quite happy with the performance.. well over 8 hours of battery life. I have never actually run out. Came close but plugged it in to a car charger for 15 minutes which gave me another hour or so.. enough time to complete my day.  So why do I bring the fact that I am using a chromebook when this post's subject is about Apple being too good for their own good?   That is because back in the day (when Steve was still in charge), the Apple products were bleeding edge. Other companies were in awe over the visionary technology Apple continued to introduce to the general public.  This bleeding edge technology stopped upon Steve's death unfortunately and now we are left with a company that is typically a full year behind the others and never really introducing something that is completely new and different than what has already been introduced.   

The above "Deals" mentioned display over two thousand dollars for Apple's top MacBook Pro, the 15" (note they dropped the 17" inch a number of years ago due to 'poor sales'). What astounds me the most is how you NEVER read any posts about the cost of these things.. over two THOUSAND dollars for a laptop. When Google introduced the first Chromebook Pixel, followed up a couple of years later with the Chromebook Pixel 2 which were selling for around $1200, give or take based on the amount of RAM and CPU choice.  My Oct 2015 order for the 16GB RAM Intel i7 CPU was $1299. Yet mention the proposed Chromebook Pixel 3 rumoured to be part of the announcements October 4 and spending over $1200 seems preposterous to most, quite simply because they are still in disbelief that you can actually get your work done using a Chromebook and NOT a Windows or Mac based computer.   I've got news for you.. I've been using a Chromebook as my main computer for a couple of years prior to my 2015 Chromebook Pixel purchase with no problems whatsoever. 

Don't get me wrong, this is no slight against Apple.. I own and still use the 2007 all white, all one shell plastic macbook but unfortunately I am forced to not use most of the apps on it, even chrome as the o/s is no longer "safe enough".  Therefore the machine has been retired to using Parallels on it with Windows 10 installed.. mostly that machine is used as a home server for my videos.  The hard drive has been replaced and I tapped out the amount of RAM it could use but that's about it. Oh, the battery..yes it still works.. for a few hours.. but because it has the removeable battery, I have a second one, that was OEM Apple (but I doubt it) because it doesn't last near as long as the original.. still, it is nice to know if I really wanted to go out and buy a replacement battery, it could be had for as little as $25 which would give me about 5 hours of use on one battery.. good to know... 

My second Apple laptop was the 2009 MacBook Pro.. it too has now reached what Apple would say "end of life" due to it no longer accepting Sierra O/S let alone the High Sierra.  That internal battery I have replaced and so the second battery still gives me about 4 hours of life.. not bad.....the hard drive has been replaced with two drives after removing the DVD player, I have an 360GB SSD as well as a 1TB HDD. This was my main laptop up until the second Chromebook I purchased. The first being the Samsung Chromebook 1, which is still working just fine.. with Chromebooks, each new operating system seems to increase the speed of the unit.  My second Chromebook as the Asus C720P which has the touchscreen. Yes, it still works and yes, I still use it, but with my Chromebook Pixel 2 as my main computer, these other chromebooks are generally used as surfing machines.  My Chromebook Pixel 2 is the only Chromebook that I have presently that accepts the use of Android Apps, which in all fairness, makes this the ultimate computer to use.. forget those naysayers that condone the Chromebook as a non-business machine.  With the addition of the android app store at your mercy, it is no wonder Microsoft was freaked out a few years back when Google first announced the Chromebook Pixel and how the Chromebook would end up in school classrooms all over the world.

So where does this leave Apple? Well as I stated from my subject header.. They are simply too good for their own good!  I never even mentioned the other Apple devices like their iPad's.. yes, I own version 1, 2 and 3 with retina display as well as the 1st gen iPad mini. I was also a proud iPhone3 user but moved over to Samsung products once I learned how closed Apple IOS was. I couldn't even utilize the data that I was paying for through my phone carrier with my other devices without either paying a premium or jailbreaking my device and using some form of tethering app... pathetic.. (and that hasn't changed to this day!)

I believe the ipad Air had been released and Steve Jobs passed away shortly after.. I can't be sure of the timing but I do remember when they released it, they also were selling the iPad 2 for those that didn't want to drop the big coin on the latest and greatest from Apple.  I found this very strange, since I already owned the iPad 3 with Retina.. it was a year newer so why weren't they selling that instead of a year-older iPad 2?  This is because they were in such a hurry to come out with the retina display version, that (in my opinion) they had so many iPad 2's in their warehouses and, knowing that the iPad air which was boasting the 'lightweight' was a no-brainer to sell the iPad 2 as it was the thinnest and lightest model. The iPad 3 was quite heavy in comparison, due to the retina display being thicker.  Now is when I will mention I still have ALL OF THESE DEVICES.. including the iphone 3 which I still use as an ipod.. oh, I also have a ipod touch 32gb which I forgot to mention.. I got that just before the iphone3 was introduced.. 

So my take on Apple.. you do get what you pay for.. but why are you paying SO MUCH? when the technology is most certainly not groundbreaking and when there is other technology at half the price that does more (Chromebook Pixel 2 and all new Chromebooks will run android apps). It just doesn't make sense.   Yes, it is nice to have a go-to device that you can use as your main computer and yes, I can understand paying a little more for it but twice the price?  No Way.. not today, not when the technology is not any better, faster or worth the money you are paying for.. 

When Apple, like all technology companies do, place a basic end-of-life on their hardware due to it no longer being compatible with the software, but still make solidly built hardware that has been proven to last quite easily twice as long as it was intended to, it seems they could/should put some of that money they are taking from every sale of these new products and find a new braintrust and fund the hell out of it to become a serious technology contender..  but then who am I to speak of such companies that are multi-billion dollars, world leading companies.. just a single consultant that has been a loyal user of this stuff, ever since Bill Gates introduced Windows 3.0.. from that point forward I have been fixing his mistakes one computer at a time!