Friday, April 30, 2010

How I stopped being an Apple Evangelist

Last night over dinner we all had a intense discussion about Apple. You see it all started when I saw for the first time an iPad. Our Nuffnang Australia office has one so I was playing around with it yesterday. It was cool and all but in 5 minutes it went from everybody crowding around wanting to play with it to being left on the table alone doing nothing.

The conclusion was... I'm not going to buy one yet because I really don't know what I would use it for yet. I think I'll just let everyone else use it first and show me how they use it on a daily basis before I think of getting one in the future. Besides, in a few months they're probably going to come up with better versions of it.

So anyway back to Apple. My first Apple product was an iPod. I bought it in London because in London where you walked a lot you kinda wanted an MP3 player and the iPod seemed to be the default choice. I loved it but it wasn't exactly enough to turn me into an Apple Evangelist.

Then right after I graduated and before I started Nuffnang with Ming, I bought myself my first Macbook. That was when it happened. I loved the Mac OS.

Suddenly all my frustrations that I had with Windows disappeared and using a computer became so easy! I turned .... straight away into an Apple Evangelist.

Then I followed up with buying some other Apple products. Not stuff like the Apple TV or iPod Shuffle because I thought they were useless but the iPhone for one. This is when it started going downhill from there.

1) The first iPhone I got was the iPhone 2G. It looked cool and flashy and all that but it lacked a lot of important features like 3G, the ability to forward SMSs and etc etc. I even wrote an entry about this back then.

Shortly after, Apple came up with the 3G which and 3GS with upgrades of what the iPhone should be able to do as a normal phone. I couldn't help but feel led on. As an Apple Fan, I bought the product as soon as it came out but only to find that the product's features were inferior even in those times. Why? Companies these days when they come up with expensive high-end electronic products they make sure it has the best features of its time. Why deliberately wait if not for the reason to just make us buy another one again? I eventually bought the 3Gs when it came out so if that was the reason it worked perfectly!

2) Then recently the leaks of the new Apple iPhone come out. Apparently found in a bar. The minute I saw this I thought that this was getting totally old. Heck even CNN who reported it was asking experts if this was just another marketing ploy by Apple. Sure... you use it as a marketing ploy once, great. Use it as a marketing ploy as many times as they did, I think it just starts to insult my intelligence.

But the Apple evangelists eat it all up and go all the way for it.

3) So what else does Apple do?

Jason Chen is the tech blogger in the USA that "leaked" it. He apparently bought it from a guy who found it in the bar just to write about it. So Apple got the police to ask him to return the phone which he did but that wasn't enough.

They got the police to raid his home and confiscate all his computers and all that.

What is this? Because somebody in Apple slipped up (assuming this was a real leak and not a marketing ploy), the blogger who blogged about it gives the phone back eventhough he's paid good money for it. And you still go in and confiscate his stuff. Not to mention that it is these tech bloggers and journalists that give Apple all the hype it gets anyway.

And of course with this raid and all... some people may think that oh.. yeah maybe it wasn't a marketing ploy. Maybe this time it was a real leak. Well call me cynical but I'm thinking.. maybe they knew everyone was thinking it was a marketing ploy so they decided to do this raid to convince people that it wasn't. It worked at least to some extent.

4) There are a lot more reasons to why I've lost my faith in Apple but I'm going to go to the most recent one that was the ultimate tipping point for me.

Just recently I upgraded my Macbook Pro and bought a new one.

It's the one on the right in this picture.

The new Macbook Pro I realize has a unibody. So that means you can't take out the laptop battery when you've plugged it in. Now in my experience, when you leave your laptop battery in when you plug in your laptop to power, it will slowly kill the battery life. Eventually you'll have a laptop battery that lasts like 5 minutes.

I was totally frustrated when I found out about that. I travel a lot! How can I not have a laptop battery that works?

So I tweeted my frustration and some of my dear followers replied that the new Macbook Pro has a chip that regulated the power between the charger and battery so even when it's plugged in, the battery life doesn't die like traditional notebooks. I was impressed... and happy for a while. Until I checked with a number of my friends with Macbook Pros and they tell me that all their batteries after a few months or a year, don't last very long.

So is that chip just marketing speak again? Or does it not work?

What does Apple want us to do? Send back my Macbook Pro every 2 years to get them to change my battery for me or to just buy a new Macbook Pro?

Because of this frustration of knowing that my laptop battery ain't gonna last... for the first time ever I actually considered moving back to a Windows based laptop if this Macbook Pro battery dies on me in no time. That's right... goes against the saying "Once you've had Mac you never go back".

So everyone, that is why I no longer love the Apple Brand as much as I did before. Sure I still use their products and I still probably will buy more of their products. But I will be very objective when talking to people about them. I won't go "THIS IS THE BOMB THIS IS THE BOMB" without evaluating myself. I would probably just go "This is good but this is what's not good about it.". I will no longer love the brand anymore.

Maybe one day I will have my faith in Apple again.... until then... this is it.


Unknown said...

Never have enough money to get one Apple product yet =(

CLF said...

yea.... the price is also one of the factor to think twice before getting an Apple.... is not something most ppl can afford easily.

Anonymous said...

i am neutralist when it comes to apple product. I own an Ipod Nano and loved Itunes and the the interface. They definitely get the 'cool' factor right. Friends rave on and on about MAc OS. I guess they are pretty good,but not worth worshipping like a lot of people do.

Aaron Tan said...

perhaps this video might interest you.

chanyip said...

windows 7 is quite cool nowadays :D
yeah, definitely ploy from apple to upgrade the iphone slowly.
as for lost prototype, could be real. but i don't that that will be the new phone design

陳一豪 said...

I'm not sure if its good luck on my part; or bad luck on the part of your friends.

I always leave my batt in (Unibody macbook, removable battery). I bought it in 2008 and its almost as good as it was when I first got it. Factor in 300 charge cycles I doubt its bad.

The reason why I leave the batt in is because its all too easy to lose work that you've work on for ages because of a power cut.

remsal said...

:) I always find it cool when I see people using Apple stuff, cos it really looks techy and all... *and the all white, my gawd... Just love it!*
But then again, to get a MacBook is normally worth getting 2 notebook of other brands. Thus so far the ONLY Apple product I have now is a classic iPod (which my dad redeemed with his credit card points)...
Apple is still pricy to me at this point..

Margaret said...

Eventhough I have the money to buy a mac or ipod or ipad still i wont go and buy any mac product because it not worth my money to buy any of them. Yes, I admit the Iphone looks cool, but it doest really catch my heart to every own one

Isley Chang~ said...

hm.. i never used apple product before. but every product had its benefits and disadvantages. we should look on what value does the product able to give us back. :-)

Joshualaw said...

At least you've tried it and know its pros & cons. In my self opinion, Apple product is made for fun...if compare to other brand products, it just seems to be very fashion and look cool..ok..maybe their touchscreen and some functions are nice..but then it cant compete with others in terms of productivity...thats what i think about it...unless i'm rich enough or someone give me as a present...else..i will not going to be Apple Evangelist. =)

Hil said...

Cory Doctorow does a great job summarizing why even though I'm impressed with Apple stuff, I can never become as hardcore an Apple fan as I would have become. The system getting closed-er, DRM-ed everything, urgh! ESPECIALLY the Marvel app. For someone who LOVES comic books, I'm outraged that it is touted one of the reasons to buy the iPad, because I am no longer able to share/swap comic books like I always have with my friends.

Good on you to see Apple for what it is!


Unknown said...

i have always been told that mac products - both iphones and macbooks have that chip thingy that trips the power once the battery has been fully charged. i am using a 1st gen macbook and have never taken the battery out and one full charge still lasts me 5 hours just like day one!
but ultimately, apple > windows still, no? :p

Mark said...

Frankly the only thing I love about the MacBook Pro is the LCD (good colour accuracy) and the trackpad.

Otherwise, I think a Windows 7 laptop with decent specs is more office productive

Benjamin Siew Wan Siong said...

This post sounds like a emo break up letter to Apple. Have you forwarded it to Steve Jobs yet? =P

Rianney. said...

Hmm. Other than the battery life issue with the Macbook Pro, would you recommend buying it?

Unknown said...

I don't think it's a failure of the regulating chip, more like the inherent shortfall of the li-ion battery.. unibody macs expose the batt to higher temps degrading the longevity.. even if you could remove the battery, new battery packs have a chip that monitor how many cycles the battery has been through and will still kill the battery at the set cycle limit regardless of how well the battery is performing.

Chee Ching said...

I used to worship MAC alot, well maybe cause it's different and all. And now when I have the chance to actually get one, (After saving up for so loooooong) I waited till the i5 processor is out in Macbook pro, and I need to pay 5k plus for a 13inch MBP.

Then I was thinking, why not, I spent the less amount for a good 15 inch Windows 7 laptop. Yeah, it;s not a Mac, but I'm satisfied with it.

But secretly, I hope, one day I'll own a Mac. xD

Chee Ching said...

Ah missed out! Apple's marketing ploy is very heart breaking. I got my first iPod Nano back in 2009, and 2 weeks later a newer, better enhanced iPod Nano comes out. :(

They keep upgrading and upgrading, and Apple fanatics will keep buying and buying!

Gotta salute them on the marketing ideas though.

Ken Wooi said...

my first apple product is the macbook 13" aluminum.. got it for rm4899.. but after 2 months, the macbook-not-pro 13" aluminum turned into a "pro" series and got cheaper too! wth..

but that's my only product so far.. luckily it has detachable battery.. and like you said, loving mac os.. =)

Gypsy On The Move said...

Hmmm...I have been deciding between an Iphone or a BB for quite sometime. I think this entry just sort of help me decide better which one to get.

Mr_Gadget said...

Great blog post Timothy! Now that I've discovered where you hang out on cyberspace this is going into my RSS Feed.

Firstly, thanks for dinner last week. I loved debating Apple versus rest of the world with you, Ming and Pierre. I agree with most of your points and was great to meet some like-minded tech geeks :)

Apple is winning at the moment, but like all things on this planet, it will only be for a time in history then someone else will come along. I think they're becoming too greedy rather than focus on delivering upgradeable products for their users. This will be their downfall in the long run.

Hope to catch up with you in KL very soon!

Arnold aka Mr.Gadget :)

KY said...

i don't believe in brand loyalty, product by product la i follow :D

ShaolinTiger said...

Windows 7 is awesome, time to move back :D

In-Jaul said...

Hey Timothy,

Been a regular reader of your blog since I discovered it a while back. I've never been an Apple Evangelist (even though I've sold Apple products earlier in my career). But I've always had respect for the company... with all that is going on with Apple and Adobe (and other companies), I also came across this little thing... Apple's not doing a good job on the publicity front...