Apple is the biggest tech company in the world. But is it the best?
More than 600 million users, and 300 million sales in 2015. Beyond the realm of technology, a market value of $US145.3 billion makes it the most valuable brand in the world. Millions of people across the globe are Apple fans and users. And, being an owner of Apple products myself, I was too… that is, until my Macbook Pro restarted for the fifth time in a day. I’ve finally decided to go with a PC – and I know I’m not the only one.
It’s a conundrum most Apple users will find themselves considering eventually – I love my Apple products, but they just don’t seem to work as well for me as Windows/Android/anything else, ever. But why do I love them? Is it because they fulfil my needs, dreams and desires? Or is it because they are the coolest products out there? People crowded the streets of Sydney when the iPhone 6s came out last year, lining up to be one of the first to get one. A man in Japan started queueing for the new iPhone 6s seven months early. Apple’s iPhone has higher sales than anything Microsoft has to offer. The world is obsessed with Apple products, and will spend more money to get them than what their competitors offer. It’s one of the world’s most valuable brands, with a price tag to match: your standard Macbook sets you back $2000, compared with a standard Dell laptop at $1000.
So why do we buy the more expensive Apple products? Just because it is a fad? This might be true, especially when it comes to iPhones. There are lists and lists and lists showing that Android had well and truly overtaken the iPhone. Way back in 2012, Samsung shipped 215.8 million smartphones, which was more than Apple, Nokia and HTC combined, making Samsung the most popular smartphone choice. Beta News, a tech-head website, claimed that “despite the improvements made to iOS 8, Android is still the more advanced operating system of the two”. But in 2014, when the iPhone 6 launched, Samsung’s sales began to drop. While Samsung still ship more phones, its market share is declining.
If you have a better chance of getting into Harvard than getting a job at the Apple store, Apple products should be perfect. My Mac is only three years old! I’ve seen laptops three times its age function without restarting multiple times. Apple is also one of the most successful companies ever, earning more than Google, Facebook and Amazon combined in the first quarter of 2014. So to expect them to be as good as, if not better than, the competition is hardly a harsh call.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve tried everything with my well-loved (but not necessarily well looked after) Mac. I’ve taken it to get fixed once or twice, I’ve updated it, I’ve cleared its memory and reset it. But still, it persists with problems. Maybe I’ve just got a problem Mac. Maybe it’s just old. But for $2000, I expected the best of the best. I mean, OK, if I was ever in a gang fight, the battery of my Apple Macbook could save me from a gunshot (it’s bulletproof). But will that help me when I lose an assignment or five when my Mac dies for good? No.
However, like a cake fanatic on a diet, I do love my Mac (and iPhone). So maybe, just maybe, I’ll try to get it fixed one last time before shelling out far less money for a wide choice of PCs. And even if it does die for good, I can use it as a shield from bullets, so that’s something. – Photo and words by Lauren Croft