I’m going completely off-topic for a moment. For the last few months, virtually everything I’ve written about has been related to politics. Due to a friend’s never-ending harassment on Twitter, I feel I need to use this blog to do a bit of “arguing” (for lack of a better word) in regards to computers, operating systems, and the whole “Mac vs PC” thing. Bear with me. The rest of this post is directed at one person – you know who you are!
I’m not really a “computer” guy. I have a computer (obviously) but I don’t really know much about them, nor do I care to. Some people like computers, some people like cars, some people like carpentry. I know a lot about politics and economics, a fair amount about music and exercise/diet. As far as computers go I am a consumer first and foremost. The specifications of computers mean as much to me as the specifications of the circular saw I recently bought. I don’t know anything about the saw, but it works, so I like it. The same goes for my computer.
Currently, my computer is an Apple Macbook Pro 13” running OSX Snow Leopard. There has been at least one update since Snow Leopard, but I never bothered to upgrade because… it cost a whopping $30. Nah, I’m just lazy. The OS I’m using right now works perfectly for me. I like the keyboard shortcuts (“spaces”), I like having a row of icons at the bottom of my screen (“dashboard”), I like inverting the screen when I’m typing.
My work computers are all Windows – various versions of XP, 7, even an old computer still running 98! I constantly have problems with them. Freezing, slowness, glitches, etc. I know – this could be a problem with the software, with the whole IT system in general, or with a dozen other things. That isn’t the point. What I’m saying is that I use both OSX and Windows everyday. My family uses computers with Windows. I also have an iPhone, but I also have an Android tablet. I’m not an “Apple” guy, okay?
Because I’m not a computer tech, the only thing that matters to me (and the majority of consumers, by the way) is if I like a product. At the moment, my own experiences with both Windows and OSX, and Android and IOS, are that I like the Apple products and operating systems better. I have no glitches with my Apple phone or computer, but I have countless problems with my work computer, and a fair share of problems with my tablet (a tablet that is rated as one of the best on the market).
The price of these products is a non-issue. I don’t buy new gadgets that often, so spending a extra couple hundred dollars on one product or another isn’t a big deal. If a computer cost $5000, then yeah – I’d opt for a cheaper model, but paying $1200 for an Apple laptop instead of $800 for a Asus or HP laptop – eh, whatever. Not a big deal to me. It may be a big deal for some people; I understand.
My experiences are not unique. Apple has come in 1st place for user satisfaction for 8 years in a row! By and large, people love their Apple products, whether its a phone, tablet, or computer. In the end, isn’t this what matters? Consumers love Apple products, and these people don’t mind paying the higher price. Could they find a non-Apple product that meets their satisfaction the same? Its possible, but in the last 8 years it hasn’t been as likely. If a consumer doesn’t care about price, their best bet to attain “satisfaction” is to buy an Apple.
As a business, Apple is doing many things right, and their own profit numbers show it. By marketing their products as “elite” and “trendy” they have created a demand that supports a higher price. The customer satisfaction contributes to demand because people are willing to pay more for products that receive high reviews. The reason I bought my Macbook Pro was because a friend had one and he loved his. In fact, I know a number of people who have Macs, and they all love ‘em! Word of mouth is the best advertising, and word of mouth worked on me.
Because of all-star advertising and great reviews from customers, Apple is able to sell tons of computers, phones and tablets, and all of them for high prices. This has boosted Apple’s profits exponentially. Apple has more cash on hand than any other business in the world. Apple could buy Wal-Mart! Apple has more cash on hand than the US government! As a business, Apple has done an amazing job. No one can argue with that. Profits and losses are the way the market tells a business whether it is doing something right or wrong, and Apple is doing something right.
In the end – who cares? We’re talking about computers here, not liberty. If someone buys a different computer or phone than I do, I don’t really care. I can only suggest products based on my experience with them. If my experience is good, I’ll tell people about it. If it isn’t, I’ll tell people about it. If I like Apple more than Microsoft, don’t blame me – blame Microsoft. Somehow they lost me as a customer and that is their fault, not mine. The customer is always right. But remember that each customer is unique, has different experiences with products, has different uses for those products, and has different knowledge that influences their decisions.
Notice that throughout this I didn’t bash Android or Microsoft. I’m pretty fair. I hope that Microsoft and Google come out with products that are better than Apple’s because it will force Apple to come out with better products. Competition is a great thing. It forces different companies to provide better products to win customers. Without Apple, would Microsoft or Google even have bothered getting into the smart phone and tablet and MP3 player business? Maybe, but would they have been pushed as far as they were? Probably not. If you love Android, thank Apple because Apple forced Android to put out better products, and vice-versa. Android forces Apple to up its game. Both Android and Apple force Microsoft to work on their own operating systems. Everyone benefits from competition, no matter what product they buy.
My experiences are mine, and yours are yours. As long as you like what you have and I like what I have, then what’s the problem? I’m not saying Apple is better, I’m saying that I like Apple better, and that is the only thing that matters.