Saturday, November 1, 2014

Apple doesn't love us anymore

Just discovered that as of June 1, 2014, Apple is no longer selling anything through campus computer stores in Canada. Apparently they decided they'd rather keep the the 5% campus stores earned on the transactions in their corporate pockets. Students and faculty are welcome to buy stuff online, they said sunnily.

You'd think Apple would grasp that they're losing 5% but gaining life-long brand loyalty.  Don't they want undergrads buying their first laptop to imprint on the brand?

I bought my first computer in 1986 through a campus bookstore.  It was a Mac+.  Over the last 28 years I've bought 6 desktops and 7 laptops through campus bookstores; not to mention 2 iPads, 3 iPods, and sundry dongles and connectors.  Every single one was a Mac, or at any rate an Apple product.   (To say nothing of the 4 desktops and 4 laptops my husband has bought over the years, or the laptops we were contemplating for the kids.)

But if Macs hadn't been available through the campus bookstore when I bought that first beige brick, I would have bought something else.  Toshiba. IBM.  And everything I bought after that would have been non-Apple too.

The campus computer staff were fantastic, too.  Well-informed, helpful and enthusiastic about Apple products.  When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad they broadcast the keynote at the bookstore and everyone came wearing a black turtleneck.  I used to enjoy wandering over there to look at the magic gadgets and let myself be talked, all too often, into a purchase.

Now the Mac-knowledgeable staff are gone, and support has been cut, and I'm not even sure I can dash in before class to buy a new dongle when one goes missing.  Without on-campus support for Macs, I'm not sure I can keep using one.

After 28 years of feeling as if Apple and I were in it supporting education together,  I've been abandoned. What a bone-headed marketing decision!

But more than that, I feel as if I've lost a friend.


  1. If the company founded by Steve Jobs, noted for his incivility, is a friend, who needs enemas? With any luck, Beelzebub (a.k.a. Bill Gates) will also soon lose interest in education.

  2. I was a long-time Apple user and supporter myself until a few years ago. My dual-processor G4 went on the blink and I couldn't buy any spare parts. (Actually, I could--it's called a *brand new machine*.)

    As a result, I decided to concentrate on open-source software and, if possible, home-brew my own computer, though I did get an iMac as an interim machine. Since then, I've overhauled several second-hand computers and installed Linux, FreeBSD, or OpenIndiana on one or the other of them.

    I plan on decommissioning that iMac in the near future and, when that happens, it's goodbye Apple.

    1. By the way, an Apple store opened in the shopping centre close to where I live. That place is always packed every time I pass by there.

    2. I am not even sure what most of those words mean, .25. So I don't have that option. But I can buy myself a Toshiba laptop for $1000 less than a Mac would cost, and let someone else set it up for me, and that may be my next move.

    3. A lot of people get good-quality second-hand machines and install Linux on them.

      A good version to start with is Ubuntu (available for free), which will do just about everything that most users are interested in, namely browse the Internet and write documents. Since a lot of people use Ubuntu, there's a lot of on-line support available. If one has a problem, chances are someone else already has a solution.

  3. My OH will not buy Apple products. EVER. Because every time a new version of whatever it is appears, you have to buy all new dongles and chargers and what have you. The only reason I have an iPad is that it's through my campus, which got funds to try them out with faculty. I use mine to grade major essays (there is a grader app for my LMS) and the rest of the time I collect recipes and post on the book that faces go on.

    I don't like the price tag for the stuff either. The new iPhones cost almost two months' rent for me. Why would I spend that on a phone that will be obsolete in 6 months when the newer version comes out? I can spend less than a quarter of that on a Samsung that will do most of the same stuff. Apple is overrated, and the fact that they've been losing market share steadily is probably the reason that 5% at the campus bookstore is worth more to them now than when they were comfortably on top.

    1. I was long interested in buying an Apple machine but they were frightfully expensive. It wasn't until the first PowerBooks came on the market that I could even consider making a purchase. Not only did Apple drop its prices at that time, I, being an instructor, qualified for an educational discount.

      I've owned several different Apple computers over the years. I regret to say that each one of them had hardware problems at one time or another. I stuck with Apple because of its operating system which was far superior to Windows.

      However, when my G4 machine malfunctioned, and Apple proved to be quite unco-operative ("How old is your computer? More than 5 years? Sorry, mate, we don't support it any more."), I got fed up. I decided I was eventually going to rid myself of Apple and all its works and all its ways.

      I started by purchasing a demonstrator machine at a store that was closing down. I tried out a number of different Linux distributions as well as some other operating systems such as FreeBSD and OpenIndiana. I now have several second-hand computers at home, each of them running neither OS X or Windows. Most of them have my research software installed on it and I usually have at least one of them crunching numbers for me.

      One of the things that long irritated me about Apple is its "hey, aren't *we* cool?" attitude and that, unfortunately, is reflected in much of what they sell nowadays. With open source software and home-brewed hardware, one can put together a system to suit one's needs or tastes, often a lot cheaper than buying something similar off the shelf.