Monday, February 13, 2017

Is Apple Over?

I started personal computing on an Apple II circa 1977. It was a big step up from the Heathkit and Radio Shack DIY projects I tinkered with in grade school. When IBM introduced the IBM-PC circa 1981, I semi-defected, and in 1984 I became bi-computeral (you know why).

My company functioned in a computer multiverse for some time. Macs were for art, music and publishing; PCs were for business; DEC minicomputers were for science, math and engineering. The minicomputers went away by 2000, and then we were just Mac and PC. In 2006, shortly after Macs became Intel inside and Parallels Desktop (a utility that enabled users to run Windows programs on a Mac) debuted, we became a 100% Apple shop, and we never looked back.

For more than a decade, if Apple manufactured it, we purchased it – in bulk. There was no reason to hyper-evaluate the new specifications; we just sent a purchase order to Tekserve (now T2 Computing) for as many of the new Apple devices as we needed (and maybe a few we didn't need). There are so many Apple devices in our offices, someone once said, "It looks like Steve Jobs threw up in here."

That was then.

What malevolent force could entice me to seriously consider a PC? What wickedness could tempt me to contemplate a transitioning back to Windows? What could possibly lure me to the dark side? Only Apple itself has such power.

My iPhone 7 Plus Chronicle

On September 7, 2016, I stood on line for an hour to pick up my brand new iPhone 7 plus. I had made an appointment to be one of the first to pick one up because I was still a blind faith follower of the cult of Apple. There was going to be an issue with the headphone jack (well documented in my first treatise of dissent, "Apple iPhone 7: Are You F#$king Kidding Me"). But being one of the faithful means putting aside common sense.

The moment I started to transfer information from iCloud, I was in trouble. Some apps worked, others were greyed out, and certain features were hit or miss.

Two factory resets and four hours later, I called Apple Care. After 30 minutes on hold, I was told that my iPhone must be defective and needed to be replaced.
"OK, I'll just go to the Genius Bar and have it replaced." "No, sorry," said the Apple Care person, "we don't have any extra iPhones at the stores; you'll have to send it back to us." "But because of the 'new phone every year' plan you sold me last time, you took my iPhone 6 Plus back. What will I do for a phone for the five to seven days you're telling me it will take for me to get the replacement?"

(Note: Because I review technology as part of my job, I had plenty of other smartphones, but if this happened to most people, they'd be offline for a week.)

It took two tries for Apple to send me a new phone. The first replacement was lost in shipping, and the second is the one I'm carrying now. I was without an iPhone for about two weeks. To make matters worse, Apple charged my credit card $950 for each phone, so although I had no iPhones, Apple put $2,850 of charges on my credit card, saying it would refund the difference when the missing phone and the bad phone were returned (which it ultimately did).

How could Apple not have replacement phones available for the inevitable number of defective phones it might sell? Here's a better question: Did Apple sell too many defective phones for its supply of replacements?

With the number of iPhones Apple sells, some are bound to be defective – but this was not an isolated incident.

My MacBook Pro Chronicle

I wrote my second treatise of dissent, "Apple MacBook Pro 2016: WTF?," about the all-singing, all-dancing 15-inch MacBook Pro before I received my unit. Here are two videos you may enjoy about unboxing my second MacBook Pro and its battery life. Second? Yes, second. I'm writing this article on my third 15-inch MacBook Pro because the first two were defective.

by Shelly Palmer, Ad Age |  Read more:
Image: Apple