Why I’m not an Apple fan

It will come as no shock to my family and those who know me that I’m not a fan of Apple. It’s not that I don’t like their products. They’re great. Apple products are the best designed products on the market. I dislike them because of their business practices.

I don’t like that Apple insists on owning the end-to-end experience. While they’ve created the best hardware, their software can leave a lot to be desired. Sure they make some great applications. But for every one good one, there’s an Apple Maps. And don’t even get me started on iTunes.They think they can create the best software to go with the hardware, and in the process, they lock out potentially great alternatives. It handicaps how good the Apple experience could be.

I don’t like that they try to lock you in, for life. Once you pick up an Apple product, you get sucked into their environment. You can resist, but the alternatives are always way more painful than what Apple provides. In the end, it makes it difficult to ever switch away from Apple’s products, locking you in. If Apple should fall behind or muff a new product design, you are stuck with their poor choices.

I don’t like that they treat me like a child. Why does Apple always feel the need to protect me from myself? They ruthlessly censor curate the app store to keep out what they feel are unwanted apps. For years they prevented multi-tasking for fear I would run too many apps at once and kill battery life. They make all the hardware choices and limit the ability for me to customize the product. It keeps me from being able to tinker and experiment, much like the rules we give our kids to protect them from hurting themselves.

I don’t like that Apple has an arrogant attitude. Why does Apple insist on using its own connector when every other vendor uses micro-USB, allowing me to mix and match chargers in my house? When the iPhone gets poor reception, why is the answer I’m holding it wrong? Why does Apple insist on using a different SIM card size, the nano SIM, than every other phone? I would expect an industry leader like Apple to have some amount of arrogance, but they’ve taken it to a whole new level.

I don’t like that Apple charges a premium for their devices. Whether it’s a laptop or a phone, Apple charges almost 2x for an equivalent competing product. Case in point, my daughter’s iPhone 5 was twice the cost of my son’s Nexus 4, which is every bit as good as the iPhone if not better. I had a similar experience buying a laptop for my daughter two years ago. The Windows laptop I bought was equivalent to the Apple device in every way except styling and price, which was 50% less. To this day, I’m still amazed at the marketing job that Apple has done and how it is able to continue to charge the “Apple tax” for its products.

For the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Lately, though, I’ve noticed more people are starting to question Apple’s practices. Others are even considering switching away, which does not bode well for Apple’s future.

If Apple wants to grow and eat into Android’s popularity, they will have to open up and change their business practices. Until they do, I’m staying away and sticking with my Android and Windows based devices.

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