The Big Apple Debate
If you have been paying attention to Varsity View over the last week or so, you would have noticed that there has been a lot of attention regarding Apple and their technological “success”.
Although Apples became legendary for the iPod, recently their other products such as the MacBook and the iPad. Personally, I have a serious problem with this for 3 reasons.
(1) Apple sells products that aren’t technologically innovative. Although their design may be. Apple sells products with parts that are two years old, or even older, because it guarantees that they can always release a better version of that product at a later stage. Also, it saves them money. So, if you want to buy a new computer or a tablet, either for better processing power or because your old one is worn out, don’t buy an Apple because you will be buying old hardware that you will need to upgrade sooner. In the end, it will just mean you will be spending even more money.
(2) When you buy an Apple product, most of the price you are paying is because of the excessive amount of time the company spends on designing its products to look more like fashion accessories than useful gadgets. Interestingly, if you look at the trend in Apple PCs and tablets, they seem to be getting bigger in size in recent years, which isn’t exactly what I want from my PC, especially if that size is simply to show off the product more. As for iPods, I concede that they’re doing a pretty good job there, but sometimes I wonder if they aren’t becoming a bit small and fiddly. Most importantly, however, is that Apple doesn’t design its’ products so that they are the easiest for you to use and to carry, but rather so they look good because that’s what drives their sales.
(3) The price. Do I even need to explain this further? Put simply, I can buy a product that is twice as cheap as an Apple that is almost twice as good. What else should you take into account when buying a product other than price or quality.
But even though I may harshly criticize Apple, from a business perspective they are amazing. They have managed to move the world of technology and PCs from the realm of geeks and nerds, from being uncool and unfashionable, into the realm of fashion icons. Apples are now a symbol of wealth and popularity, a seemingly “must-have” for any student.
Apple have manged, as a business, to wriggle their way out of price wars and quality competition. They are free from the two drivers of sales and profits that command most technological firms, and have thus almost no competitors. They can charge whatever they want, for a something that is largely inferior to its substitutes, and people will still queue up, day after day, to get their hands on the next shiny Apple product.
Some people call it genius, I call it madness.