Apple: Love, hate, ...scaroused

 

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Apple: Love/Hate/Scarousal.

So, a few of you might remember my face, in passing, from a video Jonathan Morrison made a few months ago addressing to the “scam” claims after the infamous 2018 Macbook Pro “Throttlegate” drama. In brief, I said Apple was scamming consumers by selling a product with blatantly misleading performance figures surrounding, at the very least, the Core i9 variant of the 2018 Macbook Pro. Basically, that the chassis and thermal design couldn’t handle the i9 but Apple wanted to charge you up to a fully spec’d out $6,700 anyway.

Now to be fair before all the Apple fanboys and girls put unnecessary stress on their butterfly keyboards…hear me out…

Windows based thin-and-lights couldn’t handle the i9 either. Those Windows machines throttled horribly as well. The entire industry was guilty of being the first to cram the i9 into thermal insufficient designs. I will give you that. That rubs me the wrong way as well. But here’s the thing…

The difference on the PC side is that you still had the option of a portable i9 if you decided to go with a better thermal design from your choice of a myriad of Windows notebook manufacturers.

You simply do not have that choice with Apple because of MacOS. The ONLY MacOS laptop running an i9 is the 2018 Macbook Pro. Apple does not offer you the option of a more capable thermal design. If you want the i9 in an Apple notebook, you have only one choice, and you will pay dearly for the privilege of running a crippled i9.

This is not the case in the Windows ecosystem. You have a choice. And you can service whatever you buy wherever you want, even yourself. But more on that Apple gripe in a minute.

I feel like I need to be fair again to balance out the scales, and spoiler alert, I do have something good to say about Apple if you stick around for a minute.

To balance the scales and shake off any notion of being a purebred PC fanboy, I recently threw Microsoft under the bus for their baffling, dare I say insulting omission of Thunderbolt 3, and Type C altogether, on their Microsoft Surface Pro line. In a mindboggling twist, you do at least get Type C, although not Thunderbolt, on the cheapest base model Microsoft Surface. Why is this borderline egregious? Because the PCIe lanes for Thunderbolt 3 are used for Microsoft’s proprietary connection. So if you want a dock with extra ports and expansion, screw you. Buy a proprietary Microsoft dock.

The reason I’m trying to balance the scales a bit is to hopefully assure you that my bias is always with the consumer. If I see Apple, Microsoft, or whoever being deceitful to the consumer, I call it out where it exists. If it seems like Apple takes the brunt of the tech community’s criticism, it’s because they are a massive, trillion dollar company. But you know what, there’s another reason as well. But before I get to THAT reason, I need to point out another unforgiveable issue Apple is unfortunately spearheading and therefore deserving of sharp criticism. And honestly, this makes fanboy-ism trivial as it really effects all consumers. If Apple gets a win in this matter, consumers will suffer no matter brand allegiance.

Apple has a long history of ensuring few options of repair service. Apple wants to make sure you bring your device to the geniuses at designated stores. Now, it doesn’t take a genius to see the implications here. If Apple controls the diagnosis and repairs, they can gouge the consumer with wild abandon. Apple has been stung by this many times with many examples of taking advantage of consumers coming in for a repair that should cost a few dollars, only to be quoted hundreds and often thousands of dollars. In fact, the Apple employees even often suggest the cost to repair would be so much that you should just buy a new one. This isn’t conspiracy theory. Louis Rossman is a hero in this arena of exposing Apple’s shady business practices and price gouging innocent Apple customers. He and many other outlets. Apple’s deceitful practices are old news and dare I say accepted or merely ignored by the Apple devout.

And if you’re one of the Apple devout getting pissed off that consumer advocates like me and a lot of the tech community keep bringing this up, you need to put your ear right up to the speaker right now. You need to give me your undivided attention right now because this is critical.

We are criticizing Apple, NOT you.

YOU can purchase whatever you want with your own money, and it is completely fine that you choose to buy Apple products. I have an Apple product. An iPad.

If anything, what I and my peers are saying is that you, the Apple customer, deserve honesty and options for your hard earned money.

To get back to specifics, the most recent rotten Apple we’re dealing with is the fact that the new T2 chip can brick your device all together during a repair service if it isn’t connected to a proprietary Apple diagnostic device first. Proprietary diagnostic tools you bet your butt Apple will never allow outside an Apple repair center.

Apple has increasingly limited your options for repair, and increased the odds you’ll continue to be duped into paying $1,000 for a $30 fix.

This cannot be tolerated. By any company. And this brings up new legislation being put together for 2019. In a nutshell, for sake of speedy argument, the Right to Repair act.

The Right to Repair act would make it illegal for companies like Apple to limit repair options for consumers. YOU bought the device. YOU should be able to repair it wherever you choose or even yourself.

So, if this legislation fails, or Apple is able to beat it in court, it wouldn’t be long before other companies follow suit. In simple terms, you couldn’t get your car serviced anywhere but the dealership and they could charge whatever they want since you literally have no other choice. Not to mention all the repair businesses that would go out of business.

So…I’ve made my scary point. And again, to the unapologetic Apple fans, this is NOT an attack on YOU or your purchases. YOU are a consumer. I want the best for YOU just like anyone else.

So on that note, I mentioned I’d say something good about Apple, and really it also ties into why some of their business choices have been so inexcusable.

They make gorgeous hardware and MacOS is undeniably amazing. For me personally, other than the iPad, I’d buy a Macbook if I weren’t so invested in Windows. And really, it’s only two programs and one activity keeping me from picking one up.

For audio work I use Cakewalk Sonar and for video I use Sony Vegas. I also have a healthy Steam library and developers don’t really optimize gaming for MacOS.

Now, for audio, I guess I’d have no problem moving over to Pro Tools. I’m actually certified in Pro Tools, I just prefer Cakewalk. For video however, I’m not a professional video editor, obviously so I’d have to choose Premiere or Final Cut. Premiere is cross platform, so is Pro Tools for that matter, but Premier is optimized for Windows and Final Cut is exclusive for Mac.

So as I’m putting my thoughts together here, it looks like my transition to Mac could be relatively painless. It’s not like I’d give up on Windows, I’d just use both.

But then, like everything else, it comes down to money.

As for hardware, I could get a low end Macbook Air OR a Huwei Matebook X Pro with a full on quad-core i7 AND an Nvidia GPU. There’s more bang for the buck staying with Windows. Plus I’d have to buy Premiere or Final Cut and Pro Tools on TOP of buying the underpowered Macbook Air or 13 inch Macbook Pro.

But I really want won. MacOS is amazing and the hardware is beautiful.

I think at the end of the day, I’ll eventually get a Macbook Air, just to have a Mac in the stable.

I’d just watch this Right to Repair issue closely.In other words, Apple has me scare-roused enough to consider giving into temptation.

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