Why I’m not interested in what Apple offers
Earlier this month, Apple announced the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus with much fanfare and misdirected attention. One of the world’s most popular smartphone and computer makers has once again managed to present its products so effectively that people were trying to sell their kidneys to raise the funds needed to buy them.
Today, as the phone officially goes on sale in some parts of the world, I’m glad I’m not one of the people waiting in line. Because Apple only relies on one thing to make money: aggressive selling. This is not traditional hard selling; but rather one where customers are tricked into believing they are missing out if they don’t engage.
Apple isn’t trying to convince you to buy its products, it wants you to come and beg to be included in the program. It clearly works for Apple, when you see the millions of people around the world who are sold on this idea every year, lining up outside Apple stores for days and paying ridiculously high prices to be included.
(Also see: Apple iPhone 6s vs. Apple iPhone 6)
Apple products are by no means substandard. They’re well-built, look great, and have arguably the best app ecosystem in the world. This is complemented by excellent service. If you’ve made the investment, you’re in a club where you shouldn’t have to go through unnecessary hardships when it comes to your precious iDevice.
All of this is admirable and goes some way to justifying Apple’s premium pricing, but as a consumer you have to consider where to draw the line. How much is too much?
A look at the different variants of Apple iPhone for sale on major e-commerce sites in India will show you that Apple products continue to be of great value throughout their life cycle. The two-year-old iPhone 5s continues to sell for around Rs. 30,000 for the 16GB variant depending on where you buy it, while last year’s iPhone 6 will cost you around Rs. 40,000 for the same capacity. That’s more than you’d pay for most Android flagships this year, including the excellent Samsung Galaxy S6 (Review | Pictures).
At the same time, the hardware of the current iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus flagships (which are expected to cost upwards of Rs. 60,000) don’t even come close to the current Android flagships – at least in terms of pure spec comparison.
In fact, the Yu Yureka Plus (Review) (sold for Rs. 8,999) matches or exceeds the iPhone 6s on virtually every hardware spec, at around 15% off the price. I’m not saying the iPhone 6s and the Yureka Plus are even realistically comparable, but does it make sense to pay nearly seven times as much for a device that can’t even be justified on its own hardware?
This also applies to products such as the iPad, iPod and MacBook line of laptops. While all of these devices are stunning and work well, do they really offer enough to justify the premium price? Apple supporters will point out that the software contributes more to the experience and that you’re paying for the whole package rather than just the hardware. Additionally, according to loyalists, Apple products are designed to be efficient and require less hardware to run as efficiently (or better) than any Android, so a direct hardware comparison is futile.
While true, this “experience” is still below standard in my opinion. There’s very little customization, the interface is cluttered, and file transfers are messy thanks to the awful iTunes. It’s entirely subjective and personal, but I wouldn’t use iOS if you paid me.
I’m quite happy to give my data to Google and let it push ads in my face in exchange for the ecosystem and the wide variety of great software I have access to for free. Plus, I can choose my hardware from an extremely competitive market, at a price I’m comfortable paying.
There is also another cost issue: accessories and spare parts. If a single component or accessory of your precious Apple product fails outside of warranty, heaven help you. Something as simple as a Lightning connector cable will cost you almost Rs 1,500, while a MacBook Air power adapter will cost you upwards of Rs. 6,000.
As far as I’m concerned, my decision to stay away from Apple is simple. I’m just not going to buy into the Apple frenzy, and I still sympathize with you if you do. But hey, if it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.
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