My first foray into the world of Apple hardware was an iPod touch device back in 2007 which I thought was the best thing since sliced bread. I even wrote a blog post about how to jailbreak it.
The next device I bought was a white MacBook which was also great. It looked good, the battery lasted, I was able to install Windows on it and run it side by side with OSX, it was the perfect hardware. I then upgraded around Christmas of 2008 to the new unibody MacBook Pro’s. Again the hardware was a league above the competition. The trackpad was actually a pleasure to use, I could upgrade it with 16GB of RAM by loosening a few screws and I could run Windows and OSX side by side quite happily.
I think I then purchased an iPhone 4 when they came out and I have kind of gone back and fourth between Apple and Samsung phones with a little Windows Mobile thrown in ever since.
I always thought the best hardware was Apple’s, they seemed to build quality devices that just worked and they innovated to keep their-selves in front of the competition.
I am now on a iPhone 6 which I bought around 18 months ago and I also have a 2015 MacBook which is so light and potable it’s a joy to use.
Now here’s my problem. Both devices are 18 months old and in combination cost around £1800 (I also purchased my wife the same phone, so can add another £800 to that). All devices are also broken is some fundamental way.
My iPhone 6 has a slightly cracked screen which I think 95% of every iPhone out there has right now (data gathered by personal experience), you only have to look at an iPhone 6 the wrong way and the screen breaks. The touch ID device doesn’t work and it won’t charge unless I bend the charger and somehow wedge the device up against a wall so it stays in the correct position. The MacBook stopped charging altogether at some point but Apple kindly sorted me out with a new charging cable which was the problem. Now the spacebar works intermittently which is frustrating when trying to code or type something up. Guess what? both devices are out of warranty so its going to cost me to fix them. All this after 18 months and £1800.
You’ve got to ask yourself at some point whether you are willing to keep forking out for these devices when they inevitably break just as they get out of warranty. I’m not saying Apple build devices that break I’m just saying that these devices certainly aren’t built to last anymore. It seems to robustness and quality have disappeard from Apple’s manufacturing process.
In contrast to this I bought a Dell XPS 15 in 2013 to be my main development laptop. I specced it up as much as I could and shoved in an extra 8GB of RAM to get it up to 16GB. You know what? This is still my main laptop now and I’m not in the market for a replacement.
I spent around £2000 on this laptop but it’s lasted the test of time. It’s been thrown about, shoved in a backpack and bounced up and down while I’m running. The trackpad is actually nice to use and the aluminium design is still nice to look at now. The spec on it still rivals some of the top end laptops out today and its been through three versions of Windows upgrades without a hitch. In summery it’s been a workhorse and I’m not trading it in until it’s on it’s last legs and I have no choice. That’s what I call value for money and something that’s built to last.
With Apple starting to alienate their core customer with the latest releases of the MacBook Pro and not really innovating in the hardware space for a long while now they need to be careful about keeping the reason people will spend 1000’s of pound of their money on more Apple’s more expensive devices that will just about last until the next release.
I think the “cool” factor of buying Apple products is also evaporating now and this alone means that it’s time Apple innovated and upped their game.
I for one will be choosing a Google Pixel when my iPhone 6 finally gives up the ghost