In Defence of Apple
I was reading an article (http://listverse.com/2014/09/10/10-reasons-apple-will-control-the-future-of-mobile-technology/) on Listverse a few days back, and it got me thinking, about a certain story of mine. Until 2009, I used a PC to do all my work, and let’s face it, a 12 year old has few priorities other than homework and playing video games on the computer. For this, the PC worked just fine. But then, everything changed the day I met Mac.
It was exquisite, a breath of fresh air. It was something simple, elegant, urbane, sophisticated, restrained, and yet, just so beautiful. I fell in love with it immediately. Not just the machine (Which I still have by the way, and nearly 8 years on, the only thing I’ve had to do to it is replace the battery. Otherwise, it’s working just fine.) but with its functionality. It put a whole new perspective on using a computer. I realised within minutes, that I could do things with a Mac that I could never do on a PC. I started exploring iMovie, iPhoto, and just about all the apps that came bundled with it. Today, all these years later, I’ve made innumerable advertising videos, short films, and home movies, I’ve played around with photos in so many different ways, I’ve made music with no instruments, recorded my own covers of songs, and the list just goes on.
I used to use an Android phone until about three years ago. It was fine, it did just about all I asked it to, but it missed that little oomph, that USP. Then I got myself an iPhone, and I loved it. It did everything the Android did, but it did it more elegantly.
It should come as no surprise that I’m a bit of a Apple fanboy. To this day, I will vehemently defend a Mac, simply because, it changed my life completely.
Some people complain that Apple doesn’t innovate per se. That’s both true and untrue. Apart from iOS and Mac OS X (fine, the OS of the old Macintosh if you must), Apple’s never really invented anything. The GUI (that’s Graphics User Interface for those of you stuck in 1965. It’s the screen with the pictures on it), and the first mouse (no, not the cheese eating kind) were first marketed as Apple products. But Apple didn’t really invest these. Hell, they didn’t even come close.
Apple’s core philosophy is very simply embodied in a quote by Picasso “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. Apple isn’t about making new products. Apple is about making existing products better. They take existing technologies and they repackage these products. If you’ve ever bought any Apple product, you’ll know that the first thing about it is how gorgeous it looks; not just the outer shell, but the whole interface. The attention to detail is so immaculate that even the actual box is so finely tuned, it’s almost Japanese in it’s elegance. If you’ve unpacked an Apple product, you’ll have noticed that unpacking it is as simple as counting to three. It’s just that simple. My dad bought a box of those mini cologne bottles from Calvin Klein, and if he ever wants to get a bottle out, five minutes of struggling ensue. Seriously, that stuff is a massive pain in the ass to unpack.
There are Androids and PCs out there that perform better and are cheaper than your average Mac or iPhone. I’ll give it to them, credit where credit’s due and all that. But consider this. How many PC users are frustrated every single time they face that terrifying hydra that is The Blue Screen Of Death? That’s right, all of them. How many Android users are going across user forums everyday trying to figure out what the hell is going on with their phones? More than you or I could possibly fathom. Not to mention of course, how hard manufacturers of such devices have to work to keep up with the performance of iPhones and iPads and Macs (http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/12/12886058/iphone-7-specs-competition). As Apple keeps harping on about the integration of its hardware and software, and we keep seeing how their devices perform, it becomes harder and harder to whinge about them
In spite of this spirited defence of Apple, I will say one thing. I don’t quite agree with their “We know better than the customer what the customer wants” (This one’s for the “The new iPhone is worthless since it has no headphone jack”/ “I hate Apple for removing the headphone jack” crowd). This kind of holier than thou attitude really bugs me, but if you think about it, you can kind of see the logic behind it though. People don’t really know what they want until you give them some kind of massive benchmark. That’s what Apple’s been doing this whole time. Setting the benchmark. Oftentimes with huge unpopular moves, but then again, you can’t make an omlette without breaking a few eggs, can you?
Having considered all this, the kind of hate and flak attracts every time they release something is really unfair. I don’t see Sony or Samsung attracting that kind of hate when they release products similar to each other within weeks or months of each other. But when Apple releases a new iPhone, shots are fired all over the place. Seriously?
So come on people. Stop whining about Apple being this idiot company stuck in the hippie days, because they’re not. Yes, they don’t really know the meaning of the word “revolutionary” (or “game-changing” or “brand-new”, or… Actually they don’t really know the meaning of a lot of words that they love to throw around. But it works) Yes, their products are quite elitist and bourgeois, but they’re like a good suit. They’re expensive and elegant, but restrained enough that they’re not showboaty, and let’s face it, they make your life just that little bit better.