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  • Newsletter Issue #778: Revisiting Apple and Planned Obsolescence

    October 27th, 2014

    Apple is making a huge deal of one of the key components of OS X Yosemite, Handoff, part of the Continuity integration feature that allows relatively easy interaction with a Mac and iOS device. But many Mac users have been orphaned. Handoff lets you do what the name implies, which is to start a message, or a document in a supported app or open a web site, among other things, and be able to pick up where you left off on another device on the same Wi-Fi network.

    If you watched the demonstration at June’s WWDC, as I did, you might wonder why it doesn’t seem to work on your Mac. The reason is that millions of older models are excluded, because, in part, they lack Bluetooth 4.0 LE hardware. Even 2011 Macs with the correct Bluetooth components are not on the list, though perhaps the reasons are more complex. Regardless, it’s not as if Apple made the fine print terribly clear to you unless you read some of the press accounts on the matter, or consulted a support document on Apple’s site.

    You might feel betrayed that Handoff, and other OS X Yosemite features, including AirDrop, are missing in action because you haven’t purchased a new Mac in recent years. Is this all a plot on the part of Apple to entice you to buy a new computer?

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    One Response to “Newsletter Issue #778: Revisiting Apple and Planned Obsolescence”

    1. dfs says:

      The instances you mention certainly don’t qualify as examples of planned obsolescence. After all, you can’t bitch if your Mac can’t handle new technologies as long as it continues to perform as advertised at the time you bought it.

      But the one really blatant example of planned obsolescence by Apple occurred with they took down Mobile Me. In this case, access to Mobile Me had indeed been an advertised feature of millions of Macs incapable of upgrading the OS beyond Snow Leopard, so if a customer who wanted to go on using the core features of Mobile Me (synched mail, contacts, and calendar) he had to buy a new Mac. This seems to have been the sole object of the exercise, since there was no technical reason why Apple couldn’t have put out a final version of Snow Leopard. In this case, if no other, Apple’s cynical mistreatment of its customers was unforgivable.

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