And yes, even its shiniest, newest products, like the Apple Watch Ultra, are ho-hum.
I used to get at least a cheap thrill from some of the Apple rumours that would come out, but Apple has fallen so madly in love with its image as a “premium” brand that I now no longer look forward to anything, knowing how absurdly high-priced it will be. I feel like the entire company is in a funk, even as it hits massive new profit and revenue records. It’s also boring and cut through with a deep cynicism.
Both of its monitors are overpriced and its “consumer” monitor is an overengineered and actually pretty ordinary 27″ LED display ($1600 US with no way to adjust the height without paying extra)
The Apple Silicon era started impressively in late 2020, with the M1 MacBook Air, but there were disappointments right from the start, such as reducing ports on the Mac mini and restricting the M1 to only a single external display (technically two for the mini). Since then, it’s been a decided mixed bag, In two years Apple has only released a single new SoC, the M2, with some minor improvements, and has yet to update its entire line. The Mac Pro is still MIA, the higher end Mac mini is still an Intel machine, they nuked the 27″ iMac with no replacement. The M2 MacBook Air clearly shows cost-cutting shortcuts, despite costing $200 more.
The iPad line is a muddled, confusing mess, filled with a confusing array of features sprinkled across its low and high-end offerings. And dongles!
The iPhone 14 is about as close to an incremental upgrade as you can get without actually not updating at all. I’m not sure why it even exists. The “Dynamic Island” of the 14 Pro is not only the most twee name Apple has come up with in many years (and Apple is generally terrible and wildly inconsistent about names1Explain the difference between Pro, Plus, Max, Extreme and Ultra.), it’s also bifurcating the UI experience between product lines, which is bad design. Users should not have to pay more to get the “best” UI experience.
And then the price hikes as the US dollar strengthens, making its stuff even less affordable around the world.
And of course, let’s not forget the real legacy of Tim Cook: hitching Apple’s success to China and bowing obsequiously to its government’s every request as it continues to be an oppressive force against its own people. But hoo boy, that supply chain is efficient!
And yet…record revenue, record profits. Apple is secure. If they ever fall, it will be, as I’ve said before, a slow descent (though it will quicken at the end).
And I really do think it will fall, eventually. The company is no longer hungry, it’s fat (and nakedly greedy–I don’t think the company has ever been more transparent in trying to squeeze as much from their customers as they can), content and full of itself, convinced of its own greatness. It displays naked hypocrisy and misrepresents reality all the time to make its case on whatever the topic may be (like claiming a forced USB-C connection on the iPhone will stifle innovation, even though their lightning port has remained unchanged for the past ten years). Only direct government action, such as the changes mandated by the European Union, will actually push it to change. And, like a petulant child, it will only do the absolute minimum it can get away with.
One rumour going around is that Apple will allow third-party app stores to comply with upcoming EU regulations, and it’s all but expected that Apple will make such stores as unappealing as legally possible, such that no one will ever want to use them, technically complying with regulations, but completely thumbing its nose as their intent.
And so I end here, disillusioned by a company that once tried to position itself as the ones who did things differently. Apple has eaten itself. It’s time for others to show real innovation and kick it to the curb.
* My last Apple rant for now, though I really do not plan to write more. Honest!