Whenever John Gruber takes the time to write a long post, it’s definitely worth a read, especially if it’s on the topic of Apple.
I think that he pretty much nails it that when it comes to people who want eye-catching headlines, Apple is never going to win.
It’s a damned if they do, damned if they don’t scenario for Apple. If a three-year-old device doesn’t qualify for an iOS upgrade, one could argue that Apple is excluding it out of spite, to pressure the user to buy a new device just so they can run the latest software. But if Apple does provide an update for a three-year-old phone, and the upgrade proves problematic for some of them, then they’re accused of booby-trapping it, suckering users into upgrading their iPhones to a version of iOS that makes them run worse, so that the users will run out and buy a new iPhone.
I just want to chime in with one of the major misconceptions that I feel keeps being brought up.
Apple products are expensive
This is by far the most common complaint. While it might have been true a while back, I feel I’m actually getting pretty good value here. I’m going to sidestep the fact that the current MacBook Air starts from $999, which is cheaper than a lot of good Windows notebooks out there. Instead, I’m going to use the example of my MacBook Pro which I purchased back in 2010. I can’t recall the exact price, but I paid something in the region of $1,200 for the machine, and I’ve been using it for about four years now. The only hiccup I’ve encountered so far has been a faulty cable inside, which Apple Care took care of pretty quickly.
The thing is, after four years, I constantly forget that I’m using a four year old machine. The battery still holds a reasonable charge; I’ve updated it to Mavericks 10.9.1 and don’t feel that it’s sluggish at all. So aside from a few minor features like AirPlay mirroring and faster speeds, I don’t feel that I need to rush to upgrade to the latest MacBook. If I need a performance bump, I just need to purchase an $80 SSD and it’ll feel like a brand new machine.
On the other hand, my Windows desktops are all on life support, either through failing drivers and crappy hardware quirks here and there.
Planned obsolescence? As I mentioned, my MacBook Pro is going strong. My family members are still rocking the iPhone 4 without any issues. Sure, it’s not as fast as the iPhone 5S, but it works fine. Try using a 3-year old Android phone.
The whole “planned obsolescence” thing — started by New York Times economics columnist Catherine Rampell, but promulgated by Mims himself after the ball got rolling — was a pile of horseshit. No company in the computer/mobile industry makes products that hold their value longer than Apple’s. Used two-year-old iPhone 4S’s can be sold for $300; three-year-old iPhone 4’s still sell for $200 or more. What other companies make cell phones that retain any value at all after two years?
Is Apple right all the time? Hardly, but let’s be fair here and give credit where credit is due.