Newsletter Issue #554: Is the Public Turning Against Apple?

July 11th, 2010

So I talked to a local hair stylist the other day, someone whom I regard as reasonably tech savvy, and he told me why he would never buy an iPhone 4. “Too many problems,” he said, although he wasn’t able to name anything specific.

He wasn’t alone in expressing that viewpoint. My wife said she’d heard the same thing a number of times on 24/7 cable TV, and wondered why I’d consider upgrading. “Isn’t your old iPhone working all right? Why cause trouble for yourself?”

Barbara is smart and practical. Even though she knows that I can sell off my current iPhone for essentially the same amount of money that I paid for it originally, she was thinking about my comfort and convenience.

Now I have never had serious trouble with an Apple product. The closest I came was the cursed PowerBook 5300ce that I bought in 1995. Apple was in the doldrums then, and they made some really foolish decisions that I won’t bother to list. The 5300 series was also late to market, because the original batteries began to smoke in lab tests, and I had to return mine several times for various and sundry repairs. But for small things, mostly cosmetic.

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One Response to “Newsletter Issue #554: Is the Public Turning Against Apple?”

  1. dfs says:

    This is at least the third of a series of similar articles Gene has posted lately (see “Apple Feeds the Haters” and “So Apple is Now the Hated Company”). I don’t want to comment on the specific contents of any one of these, but I do want to make a more general point. All of us who have stuck with Apple for any length of time (I got my first one in 1985, and I’m probably a bit typical of the readers of this site) have grown up with a kind of “David and Goliath” attitude, where Apple has been the plucky little guy fighting against the big bad giants. So it’s a little difficult getting out of this mind-set (and, if he’ll forgive me for saying so, I think Gene is at least in part writing this stuff because of this difficulty). But let’s face up the fact that nowadays Apple is one of the big dogs in town and is no longer entitled to the special privileges often given the underdog: freedom from criticism, freedom from press scrutiny, something very like a free pass from governmental regulatory agencies, and so forth. Let’s also face up to two more facts: a.) on occasion Apple is capable of screwing up, both regarding little things that will be forgotten within weeks or months, and big strategic blunders that may haunt it for a very long time; and b.) on occasion, Apple’s competitors are capable of getting things right. This is the real world of the techonology industry and competitive commerce, it isn’t a football game were we’re supposed to cheer for one side and boo the other. On the whole, Apple puts out great products (although, as with many other products, early adopters are likely to get bit) and AAPL is a very sound investment. But 1 Infinity Loop is staffed by fallible human beings, not a crew of archangels, and nobody should express any great surprise when we are occasionally reminded of this fact.

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