The Apple Experience

{ Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm by Steve }

I have been a Mac user for years now. When I first “switched” things could not have been better. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Apple is far from what it used to be. Many people will argue that they are more popular than ever, which might be true from a sales standpoint, but in terms of quality and reliability Apple products are a far cry from what they were even 5 years ago.

Around February of 2005 I bought a G4 iBook. I loved it, and still do except for the screen resolution. It has always worked very well. I could easily take it to class and use it all day on a single battery charge. It is quiet and never overheats. As far as I’m concerned it has worked flawlessly, and I’d like to point out, it still does. The battery still keeps a great charge. The screen has zero dead pixels. It has held up perfectly. As I stated before it’s main downfall for “modern” times is the low screen resolution of 1024×768. It has a 1.33ghz G4 Processor, 1.25gb of RAM and runs the Leopard operating system. It isn’t fast compared to new laptops, but it is great for general internet usage, even still today.

In May of 2008 I purchased a 24″ iMac. At that point I became a full time Mac user at home. I loved it. And for $1800 I hoped it would last a long time. Fast forward to 2010 and now I know I was totally mistaken. The iMac, along with every other piece of Apple hardware over the last couple of years, has various flaws that Apple refuses to do anything about and they just don’t last as long as they should.

For one, they overheat. Apple seems to think that the more silent a computer is the better… No, that’s not the case. If I let the fans on my iMac run at stock speed, not only does the whole computer get ridiculously hot, but even the LCD screen burns in. In order to make my screen viewable after a few hours I finally figured out that I needed to remove the glass covering on my screen (it’s simply held in place with a few magnets) and use a program to control my fan speeds. Without the glass my iMac looks fairly bad, but if it helps the issue it is the only option I have. There have been various topics on the Apple forums regarding this issue and absolutely no solutions have been posted. Why? Because there are none. It’s a major design flaw. Nothing can be done to fix it other than what I have done, if you even consider that a fix. On a side note, other things have failed on my iMac also, including the Super Drive and the line-in jack.

Another problem is their operating system support. Snow Leopard is great, don’t get me wrong. But I am unable to upgrade past 10.6.2 on my iMac. Well, that’s not entirely true. I can if I want to have a completely unstable and unusable computer.

Starting with 10.6.3 and even in the current build 10.6.4, there is a major issue that causes the entire computer to lock up. The screen either gets lines all over it, or goes completely black, and the computer is unresponsive to all input. The only possible thing to do is to press the power button on the back of the iMac until you can restart it. This issue started all the way back in April of this year. It is now mid August. Once again, there is no response from Apple about the issue and they have no idea what to do. They released a so called “fix” for something but it had no effect on my computer. I am not the only one with this problem either. There are plenty of threads on the Apple forums regarding the same issue. I was forced to reinstall Snow Leopard and only upgrade back up to 10.6.2 to have a working computer.

Because I initially liked my iMac so much, I bought a first gen iPod Touch for a whopping $379. I absolutely loved it. It basically convinced me to cancel my Verizon contract and switch to AT&T to buy an iPhone 3g.

My phone has always worked fairly well. As a matter of fact, I still use the iPhone 3g. I have it jailbroken of course. But once again, Apple released their next great thing iOS 4. iOS 4 is totally useless on the iPhone 3g. My phone is already nearly 2 years old so the battery doesn’t hold a charge nearly as well as it did early on. iOS 4 absolutely destroys it, not to mention the fact that the useful features such as “background” apps aren’t officially supported on it. Needless to say, I am using the 3.1.3 OS, and I will never upgrade any higher. They don’t even support a wallpaper on the iPhone 3g. Amazingly, I have no issues with full themes while it is jailbroken. Question

I’m sure you can imagine where I am heading now with this, the iPhone 4 “antennagate” issue… I would love to buy a new phone. AT&T was even nice enough to allow me to do so early if I wanted to upgrade. Why would anyone even consider doing this? Yeah I know, plenty of people say they don’t have an issue. I guess Apple just decided to fire Mark Papermaster for no reason, right?

This entire umm, “made up problem” has made me totally rethink my entire stance on Apple as a whole.  I am about 95% certain that I will not buy another Apple computer. I am also about 75% sure that I will not purchase another iPhone, and the only reason I even say 75% is the fact that I have spent a good bit of money on applications for my current iPhone 3g. I don’t really want all of that money to go to waste and honestly it is the only reason why I would even consider staying with the iPhone.

I am starting to ramble now so I will finish off by discussing my main issue with Apple products, their price. As time goes by and technology is getting better and better, and the “computer user” is becoming more mainstream, prices have dropped drastically. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t seem to care about this trend. Apple computers flat out are overpriced, more so than ever I think.

I recently purchased an HP Pavilion dv7t Select Edition laptop. I can admit it, I love Windows 7 and it is basically what will end my time as a primary Mac user. Here is a comparison between the HP laptop I ordered for $1150 and the 17″ MBP that costs $2350 (upgraded the HDD to 7200rpm to match the HP):

HP: Intel Core i5 2.40GHz, with Turbo Boost up to 2.66 GHz
MBP: 2.53GHz Intel Core i5
HP: 6GB DDR3 System Memory
MBP: 4GB DDR3 System Memory
HP: 500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
MBP: 500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
HP: 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 switchable graphics [HDMI, VGA]
MBP: NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR3 memory and Intel HD Graphics with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
HP: 17.3″ diagonal HD+ High-Definition HP LED BrightView Infinity Widescreen Display (1600 x 900)
MBP: MacBook Pro 17-inch Hi-Resolution Glossy Widescreen Display
HP: Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD+/-R/RW Double Layer
MBP: SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
HP: One 6 Cell (standard) and One 9 Cell (over-sized) Lithium Ion Battery
MBP: Built-in 95-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery

It is totally unbelievable that you can buy 2 of the HP laptops instead of a single Macbook Pro. When you can buy literally 2 other computers for the price of one Mac then there is something drastically wrong. I could see if it was a far superior product then maybe it would be worth it. But the bottom line is Apple products are not superior at all to other manufacturers.

I could go on and on with this post, but I am going to end it here. To summarize, I used to love Apple products. Over the last couple of years many factors have swayed me away from their products. The most recent iPhone 4 disaster coupled with their inability to price their products competitively along with the drastic drop in overall quality are the main factors in my decision to no longer support the company as I once did.

So yeah, I finally made another blog post. Wink


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6 Responses to “The Apple Experience”

  1. AsKatKnits says:

    Great post, Steve. I appreciate your candid honesty about your experiences with Apple. I am sure that there will be some who will disagree with you, but I think you are correct in your summation.

  2. John says:

    Great Post. I sort of feel the same way, however I do think I would purchase another Mac as long as I can get it cheaper than MSRP like I did my MacBook.

    I agree with you that the prices are still crazy. When Apple was using the G3-G5 chips, you could sort of say, “OK”, because at the time those chips killed the Intels. Now that they (Apple) switched to Intel, there is really is no reason for high prices. (Refer to Steve’s comparison to his HP)

    I think Apple’s culture really changed when the iPhone came out and their name changed from Apple Computer to Apple, Inc. To me it seems they are focusing on the “mobile” market more than the “computer”. Obviously it was a good business move, however in the last 2 – 3 years it seems not much is going on with the Mac or OS X.

    I still love my Mac and have not had any complaints about it. I am still glad I purchased it, and as I said earlier I probably will purchase another, so long as I can get it cheaper. No need to pay tomorrow’s prices for yesterday’s technology.

  3. Bien says:

    great post Stevo, never thought you would be changing yr mind about apple tho Wink
    Still love my iphone tho but i know what yr saying is true.

  4. Juanus Smith says:

    Thats the most honest breakdown of Apple vs PC I have read in a long time. Kudos to you. My issue with apple (and one thing that you did not mention) is the “Orwellian” way in which they guide the user experiance. The fact that someone has to “jailbreak” their device to get the features/options that they want is unfathomable to me. The lack of support for agreed upon standards is so ego centric. (See Flash and FLAC) Although, I have to admit that I own an ipod and think its the best player on the market. (I own a classic and not a touch) But even with the ipod (and I think that I have heard about this with certain Apple computer models) Once they come out with a new version of the device, all support/updates end for the old one no matter if there are outstanding bugs or not. If you are looking for a new phone, check out the Palm Pre and the WebOS operating system. It’s availible on any carrier you want to be on. And if you can wait a few months, a new one is scheduled for release this fall. If you want help with switching from iTunes to winamp on your new PC, I will be happy to help you with that also.

  5. Steve says:

    After an issue I had years ago with iTunes, I never allow it to control and “organize” my library. I always just import the music in manually from a Music folder. That way there are no issues what to ever playing or moving the content to other computers.

  6. Juanus Smith says:

    also be careful about tagging your music with iTunes. It’s been known to use improper ID3 tags that don’t translate to other music programs.