Every week or so I run into a contrarian opinion that aspires to help humankind by telling Apple’s customers they would be better off with something else. Forget iPhone. Google Pixel is better. Forget the Mac. Dell’s XPS-whatever is better. Forget the iPad Pro. Microsoft’s Surface Go is better.
If you’re going to quit Apple, now is the time because in another year or two our favorite iPhone maker will have completely new products that promise to be better than whatever you can buy this year and likely will be priced higher.
The time to quit Apple is now. Why?
Money. Everybody is out to get your money and Apple is no different than Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, or any other retailer or gadget maker. Daniel Oberhaus:
In May I made the decision to excise the so-called “Big Five” tech companies from my life for a month. That meant no services offered by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, or any of their subsidiaries.
That isn’t the same as going offline or off the grid because there are plenty of alternatives to the Big Five. But why bother going to all the effort?
There were a number of reasons I wanted to undertake this experiment, ranging from reclaiming my privacy to learning more about how the technology I use every day actually works. The main reason, however, was simply to see if the Big Five services were actually necessary or merely convenient.
Can they be both? Yes.
Ditching Google is easy because there are other search engines available and Gmail is just mail. Ditching Google means fewer trackers in your life, but that only means minimizing Google, not eliminating Google completely. Sorry, that’s not easy to do if you want to remain online.
I found that there were adequate open-source or independent replacements for pretty much every major Big Five service. In some cases, such as mapping software or social media platforms, the gulf between the Big Five and alternative services was so large that it made a noticeable, negative impact on my life. But in most cases, the open-source or independent alternatives worked just fine and it was simply a matter of getting used to their quirks.
For example, online retailers are many, so replacing Amazon is no problem. Facebook is different. Quitting Facebook is easy, but the benefit is obvious. Facebook is where family and friends hangout, and even though you can find a substitute, it only works if everyone you know on Facebook uses the substitute.
Microsoft Office is the de facto office suite for business users, but there are plenty of similar alternatives and they’re often priced right. Free.
That leaves Apple. Why look for an alternative?
You can build an incredibly powerful computer for far less than the cost of a Apple desktop or MacBook. Apple products are just luxury items backed by intensive ad campaigns targeted at “creatives.” If you’re really worried about functionality, you can get better PC performance for a fraction of the price by picking your own components and assembling the computer yourself. I promise it’s not nearly as hard as it sounds.
That’s just wrong on every count.
That you can build a personal computer for less than the cost of a Mac is true, just as you can build a PC for less than the cost of a PC manufacturer’s PC. But you don’t get the security and advantages of macOS which is not easily ported to generic PC hardware.
The notion that Apple products are just luxury items does not take into account the cost vs. price issue. The Mac has a higher price tag than most traditional and similarly equipped PCs, but not by much. Typically, Macs cost less to use over time, and have higher resale value and that mitigates the ongoing cost.
And Mac ad campaigns targeted at creatives is just ludicrously wrong (except for the ‘Behind the Mac’ series). Apple seldom advertises the Mac. And, yes, it is harder than it sounds– for most people.
Oberhaus did not offer specific substitutes to Facebook, Google, or Apple, and certainly did not explain what he accomplished by ditching the name brands. Sorry, Walmart is not Amazon. Linux is not Windows or macOS.
Being an “Apple person” or a “Windows person” is a marketing gimmick, not a personality trait.
I don’t recall anyone saying that. Not anyone. The two are not related.
Your community existed before Facebook.
True, but if everyone you want to socialize with online now is on Facebook and nothing else, then what?
We have the ability to change these companies by the way we interact with them—but only if we want to.
No, you don’t. Moving away from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, or Facebook will not change one of them to do your bidding. It was an interesting thought exercise, but advantages seem to be rather thin.