Let’s get this out of the way first: I might use a MacBook and an iPhone (er, and an iPad), but I’m not particularly loyal to Apple, and indeed quite fancy a change when I move on from my ageing iPhone 5 (which currently lasts around seven minutes on a single charge).
Having said that, there are some anti-Apple arguments that come up time and again, and invariably cause involuntary head shaking from yours truly. Trite; that’s a good word! Adjective: Lacking originality or freshness; dull on account of overuse.
The following is inspired by comments we’ve had on Mobot over the years, and furthermore a conversation relayed to me by a Three employee, who listened in stunned silence at a team meeting as colleagues rattled off misinformed comment after misinformed comment.
Behold! Seven stupid things people say about Apple.
1. The iPhone is overpriced
Let’s go back to the dictionary for the definition of ‘overpriced’. Adjective: too expensive; costing more than it is worth.
Worth is subjective, but clearly consumers are speaking with their wallets and deciding that the iPhone is, in fact, worth what Apple is charging. If the iPhone was “too expensive”, it wouldn’t be the biggest selling individual phone on the market.
The iPhone is expensive, yes, but it’s not overpriced.
2. Only iSheep buy the iPhone
The notion that only uneducated “iSheep” buy the iPhone is a massive generalisation about hundreds of millions of consumers, and a rather insulting one at that.
I know plenty of people who are massively technical, geekier even than I, who are well aware of Android and Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10, but make an informed choice to buy an iPhone year after year. Perhaps it’s because iOS is so intuitive, or repeatedly favoured by developers, or because Apple makes good-looking premium phones, or – heck – all of the above.
The iPhone is eight years old this summer. If it were really as bad as the anti-Apple brigade makes out, wouldn’t it have been rumbled by now?
Similarly, there are plenty of people who refuse to buy an iPhone simply because it’s an iPhone. Isn’t that just as mindless?
3. Apple can’t innovate
This one was wheeled out by analysts a few years ago around the time Tim Cook took over from Steve Jobs as CEO: Apple can’t innovate.
Yes, Apple has a tendency to take existing ideas, tweak them and make them hugely popular, but that’s the very definition of innovation! Verb: make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.
Many people laughed when the iPhone was first unveiled, and the iPad was met with a similarly dubious response (“It’s just a giant iPod touch!” “It’s a giant iPhone that’s not a phone!”), but both went on to enjoy massive success and dominate in their respective fields.
All of which explains the current flood of not-quite-sure-what-the-point-is smartwatches. Rather than wait and see what Apple did with the rumoured “iWatch”, manufacturers like Samsung have raced to get the jump on Team Cupertino, but even Sammo conceded that the first Galaxy Gear was “lacking something special”.
It’ll take the Apple Watch to ignite the wearable tech fuse, and many tech followers seem to resent that massive influence.
4. Apple copies Android
Yes, there are countless features that have appeared on Android long before iOS, but clearly they aren’t hugely important to the average smartphone user or the former would have 100% market share.
And does the iPhone really need widgets? Or third-party keyboards? Or the ability to detect and acknowledge “Hey Siri” while driving? How many people actually use these things?
The fact of it is, Android has a tendency to include as many features as possible, as soon as possible, while Apple is quite happy to chill and drip-feed features – NFC being a good example. It’s not like Apple was sitting at the beginning of 2014 saying, “Duhhh, what’s a contactless payment?”
And if you want to go back further, let’s listen to former Google guy Chris DeSalvo and his reaction to the original iPhone launch: “As a consumer I was blown away [by the iPhone]. I wanted one immediately. But as a Google engineer, I thought ‘We’re going to have to start over.’”
Before the iPhone, Android was being developed with QWERTY keyboards in mind. The first Android handset, Google Sooner (above), resembled a terrible BlackBerry. “Holy crap. I guess we’re not going to ship that phone,” was Andy Rubin’s post-iPhone realisation.
And hey, how about that 132-page Samsung document detailing how the Galaxy S could learn from the iPhone?
5. Android is more popular than iOS
Android is more popular than iOS, yes. And all vegetables are more popular than Apples. Your point?
The iPhone is the biggest selling individual phone, and has been for years. Android’s global market share, meanwhile, is comprised not just of high-end phone sales, but entry-level shipments, too, something Apple has no interest in at all.
But despite that, Apple was very nearly the biggest manufacturer in terms of shipments in Q4 of 2014.
6. Working conditions for Apple employees are terrible
Ok, this is a sensitive one, but Apple clearly gets targeted here because it’s one of the world’s most valuable companies. Let’s face it, would the news that LG employees suffer terrible working conditions make as many headlines? Nope.
On that note, a recent episode of Panorama was criticised by experts in Chinese working conditions for being biased against Apple (Daily Mail). This is the same Panorama that was forced to apologise to Primark on account of dodgy reporting.
The fact is, working conditions out east are different to what we’re used to over here, and some of that is completely beyond Apple’s control.
For the record, Apple says: “We are aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions.
“We work with suppliers to address shortfalls, and we see continuous and significant improvement, but we know our work is never done.”
7. iOS is ‘locked down’
I’m not denying that there are things Android phones can do that iPhones simply can’t, but again, these aren’t things that are of huge importance to your average mobile user.
In the aforementioned Three team meeting, one employee bemoaned the fact that the iPhone is “locked down”, and suggested that was why he bought an Android phone. Asked what his Android can do that the iPhone can’t, he suddenly found himself lost for words.
And hey, you can always jailbreak your iPhone.