I have been an ardent Apple user ever since I bought my first computer way back in ye olden times. I owned the very first iPhone and iPad. I had an iMac. Every time my MacBook crapped out on me, I bought another one.
I bought my current MacBook about 4 years ago and it is a beast but I love it. I had it custom built by Apple and it is souped up with tons of storage and RAM. However, it is heavy AF.
A lot has changed since I bought it, namely the fact that I spend a lot of time on the road doing speaking engagements, attending conferences, and teaching workshops. Lugging that MacBook around quickly became quite cumbersome.
I briefly tried to use my iPad to do work when on the road, but I need to use actual programs. I need to easily open documents directly from Dropbox (and then save them directly back). I need the full version of Microsoft Excel, for goodness sake! The iPad just won’t work for what I was looking to do.
So, I went looking for my next shiny new MacBook.
Apple has a program where you can trade in your computer and get money towards a new one. Don’t get me wrong — this is GREAT. I was really excited to learn about this program and went to take advantage of it. Because my MacBook is like the Tesla of MacBooks and it is in near perfect condition, I knew I could get quite a bit of money for it.
This is where my first ever negative feelings about Apple began.
I headed to the Apple Store ready to get a new MacBook Air in rose gold. (Yes, I’m a girl and I like pretty rose gold things. Also, my Apple Watch and iPhone are rose gold so I wanted everything to be matchy-matchy. Obvs.)
I told the very lovely and helpful Genius at the store what I wanted to do and they quickly gave me an “estimate” of how much I could get for my MacBook, which was sizable. (YAY!) However, I would have to send it back to Apple, wait for them to give me an official amount, and then go back to the store or go online to get my new computer. (WHAT?!)
Because of my job, I cannot be without a computer for any length of time.
The other option was to buy the shiny new MacBook Air, send my MacBook to Apple, they would send me a gift card in the (hopefully) sizable amount they quoted me in the store, go back to the Apple store, and they will give me back that amount in the form of a refund from my new MacBook Air purchase.
Did you follow all of that?
At first I didn’t either, so I actually went to multiple Apple stores to make sure what they were telling me was true. It was.
That is simply more complicated than it needs to be. Especially for a company that prides itself on how easy their products are to use.
All the while, every single person I have ever met who uses a Surface talks about how much they love it. It is a cross between a laptop and an iPad and you can run real programs on it.
I researched it online, all the while expecting my Apple devices to burst into flames every time I went to Microsoft.com. The more I looked at it, the more I (begrudgingly) realized that it was what I needed. Also, the price point was less than what I would have to pay even after trading in my MacBook to Apple.
I finally made the leap and went to the Microsoft store to try one out. I found that I really liked it at the same time as I was questioning my integrity as a person. Who am I?! I’m in a Microsoft store?! What the heck am I doing with my life?!
Long story short, I bought the thing. I’m still coming to terms with it but I’m told that I’ll become comfortable with myself eventually.
I still use my MacBook. I still have an iPhone. I’m still an “Apple person”. I’m looking at it from this perspective: I’ve broadened my horizons and removed the brand silos in order to get the product that is best suited for my needs at the price point I’m looking for.
Hey Apple, if you can walk into a store and trade in an iPhone for a new one on the spot, why can’t you do the same for a computer?
As an arts marketer, I talk a lot about removing barriers to engagement. Apple’s procedure was a major barrier for me that was not only to do with logistics, but also made me question the company itself. Like most barriers arts organizations have, this is one that Apple has complete control over and has the power to change at any time.
Meanwhile, I’ll be over here at a conference doing actual work on my Surface without the literal aches and pains of carrying around my MacBook. Maybe in a few years, Apple will change their trade-in policy and, when that happens, I’ll be at the Apple store in about .5 seconds for a MacBook. Hopefully, they’ll have a rose gold one.