After reading the title of this post, you might feel a sense of agreeance or a sense of complete and utter rage and an urge to sell your MacBook. In this rage you start to type:
“Apple is a mockery to computing! Their technology is rahh, rahh, rahh!” But let me stop you there.
Story at glance:
- What makes apple better: user friendliness and sleek design to say the least. Apple devices hold the best value over time due to their usability.
- Mobile developers prefer Apple. Apple offers better platform and support. Also apps look better on Appel devices. Apple software use is very intuitive. Whether used on laptops, phones or tablets, it’s super easy for new users to get started.
- Apple devices cost premium compared to most competitors. Are they worth more money and why explained.
- Apple buys back their used and broken devices just to keep the customers offering them new models and keeping the fan base engaged.
Later check out if:
This article isn’t necessarily intended to outright say why Apple is better than its competitors, but rather why Apple stands out so much in their market. If I were to tell some folks that Apple is better than Android or Apple is better than Dell we’d probably be arguing for hours.
For the sake of productivity, let’s talk about what Apple does right for their market, and consequentially, why this makes them stand out as a company.
Features making Apple devices stand out:
- User Friendliness
- Sleek Design
- Developer Preference
1. They’re King When It Comes to Being User-Friendly:
Plain and simple, whether you’re using the operating systems iOS or OSX, it’s very easy to navigate and learn. Apple prides themselves on slightly limiting overall customizability to make things more streamlined and easier to understand. In fact, it’s so easy my grandparents of 70-80 years old picked up and learned the basic functionality of their iPhone 7 within a month (with some help of course).
No matter what the user’s educational background is, Apple has created a straightforward interface that just about anybody can figure out. Windows users will argue that the customizability their devices have isn’t there, but Apple doesn’t want that. Because Apple stood their ground on simplicity, they’ve no doubt increased their sales to both the younger and older markets.
2. They Know how to Design a Sleek Product:
Say what you will about Apple’s interface, but you can’t deny that their products are beautiful. When Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone back in 2007 the cellphone game had completely changed. From the very start, Apple made it a point to have a clean and modern design.
It’s not just their phones either, their MacBook lineup completely revolutionized the way laptops look and feel. If you’ve ever had the chance to type on a MacBook or click around on their trackpad then you know what a quality laptop should feel like. I remember my first ever laptop, it was a Dell Inspiron that I got to help me get through high school and it was nowhere near the quality that my MacBook Pro offers. It felt cheap, slow, and unnecessarily heavy!
Now, the only downside to a pretty device is its lack of protection. A caseless iPhone sure is a beautiful thing, but when you drop it that beauty can transform into broken very quickly.
3. One Word: Continuity:
As a social media influencer, I love my Apple products. I can edit videos and photos on my MacBook and airdrop (a way of sending files instantly using Bluetooth technology) them to my phone instantaneously. This makes posting content to my Instagram and Snapchat a very thoughtless and efficient process.
Although that isn’t the only way airdrop has proven itself useful; teachers in schools that utilize MacBooks can have their students simply airdrop written assignments when they’re finished. On the other hand, teachers can airdrop new assignments to their students at any given time during class.
Apple’s continuity has also proven itself useful via their applications such as iMessage or iCloud. With iMessage, when my phone receives a text, it also goes to my laptop. I find this convenient as replying with a physical keyboard can be much more efficient for those occasional long texts.
If you’re unfamiliar with iCloud, basically it is Apple’s version of a cloud data storage. For only $0.99 cents per month, users can enable the iCloud functionality for 50GB of virtual storage. This is a breath of fresh air after vacations when all the photos I took on my phone are automatically backed up to my laptop for future editing or viewing purposes. These are, of course, only a fraction of all the ways Apple has made their devices interconnected.
4. Mobile Developers Prefer Apple:
This one might not make a lot of sense to some if it’s your first-time hearing about it, but it’s very true. One of the most prominent instances of mobile developer preference to Apple comes via the popular app Snapchat.
Many iPhone users will complain that Snapchat pictures sent from an Android are ugly and pixelated. The reason behind this is somewhat complicated, but I’ll try to make it easy to understand. At first, Snapchat was developed for the iPhone and its internal artificial intelligence/software surrounding the camera’s capability. Whether or not users have an iPhone 7, 8, or X, this technology has remained very similar… so Snapchat can count on it. The Android marketplace is filled with a variety of different hardware options such as the Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, or 1+ lineups.
Because each of these phones utilize different software options to help the camera take better pictures, it is not cost-efficient for Snapchat to try and work around each option. Instead, Snapchat on Android simply utilizes the camera itself and none of the backend filtration/correction software.
This isn’t true for every Android; Snapchat has gotten better about being more inclusive for some Android manufacturers.
5. Apple Believes that Security Matters:
When it comes to the safety of your virtual data, you can count on Apple’s encryption and belief-set to keep your data secure. Very rarely do you hear about an Apple product getting hacked or obtaining a virus. This is because the operating system Macintosh was built on Unix, a very old and very tightened-up (in terms of security) platform. Infecting an Apple product with a virus is both difficult and inefficient for virus-makers when compared to the vulnerability of a Windows machine.
Apple also proved their belief in security when they were faced with a request to access a locked device by the FBI. The FBI had obtained a cellular device from the San Bernardino shooter back in 2016 and the device was secured with a passcode. The FBI took the device to Apple and demanded that they unlock it to assist in their investigation regarding the attack. Apple declined to assist the FBI because they believed it would be an invasion of privacy and that it would set a negative precedent regarding the safety of their consumer’s data.
Regardless of where you stood on the issue, it took a lot of courage for Apple to stand up to the government on such a case.
No matter how you choose to view Apple, they’ve given several reasons for people to, at the very least, respect them. Hopefully, this list helped to make some of those reasons just a little bit clearer.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
– Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
Apple products are generally considered one of the most well-designed products, and as such, their electronic gadgets come with a premium price tag. Are consumer electronic critics correct, though? Are MacBooks worth the money? Let’s discuss that.
It’s no secret that the tech community loves Apple’s products. They are typically heralded as one of the best original equipment manufacturers out there. That doesn’t mean that Apple products come without criticism, though. If you ask any PC fan, they will typically say that Apple products are overpriced.
I’d like to take a moment to define that term here – over-priced. Over-priced is a very subjective term. If something is over-priced, that either means that you can’t afford it, or it doesn’t hold enough perceived value for its cost. We need to try and make this article more objective, so we are going to eliminate that first argument. If you can’t afford something, it’s always going to be over-priced. So, instead, let’s focus on that second part. Do MacBook’s have enough perceived value to justify their cost?
Let’s talk about the OS, or operating system, first. It’s true that Mac OS typically has fewer bugs than Windows OS. It’s also true that Mac OS can operate on slower hardware than Windows OS can. That makes sense, though. Apple controls the entire hardware pipeline for Macintosh computers whereas Windows doesn’t. That is the key difference.
Apple has a very strict set of hardware that functions with Mac OS. This is smart. Apple is controlling the variables that can make a computer not work. Microsoft, on the other hand, cannot control these variables. Instead, Windows is programmed to be as broadly compatible as possible.
Microsoft has started to do a better job of controlling the hardware landscape as of late. Windows 10 no longer supports processors over a certain age. Likewise, Windows users must upgrade within a two-year timespan now, or they will no longer receive OS updates. Microsoft is starting to push device manufacturers to a more limited hardware profile. This is something Apple has been doing for years.
Because Apple controls its hardware landscape tightly, it can highly optimize Mac OS to it. This is the reason why something like the MacBook Air was able to achieve such great battery life. It’s the same reason that the new MacBook (not the Pro model) can run so well on such low powered hardware.
Let’s look at the design quality next. Apple has long held design quality above anything else when making the Mac computer. There is a reason why every critic compared other laptops trackpads and screens to the ones that came equipped in the MacBook devices. Most Microsoft Windows PCs that are in the same price class as the MacBook have caught up, though. Apple computers might boast a Retina display and a large, comfortable glass trackpad, but many PCs also include high-resolution displays with a wide color gamut and a large, responsive trackpad now.
With all that said, we need to talk about the keyboard. Apple introduced a new keyboard a few years back with a butterfly clip design. This new design allowed Apple to create a thinner keyboard with a shorter keystroke. That new keyboard was met with a lot of criticism. Once again, critics compared every other PC keyboard to the new Apple keyboard, but this time the verbiage was, “…at least it’s not as bad as the keyboard on the new MacBooks.” It was recently announced that the new MacBook Pros would be moving away from this design due to the constant issues and complaints Apple received from customers.
All of this is good, but are Apple laptops worth the price? I’m not sure that they are. If you compare a base model MacBook Pro with a base model HP Omen laptop, that HP Omen laptop is almost a full $1000 less with beefier hardware. That means the HP Omen will be able to do more work quicker.
When comparing hardware in the $1000 price point, we see the same trend. Ultrabooks produced by various OEMs include faster processors, more ram, and equivalent displays to the MacBook and MacBook Air. These newer Ultrabooks also pack more features into the devices like Windows Hello compatible cameras, more USB ports, Thunderbolt ports, etc…
One might argue that the applications on the Mac OS platform are superior to the app suites provided on Windows. This seems to be an argument held over from the days when Apple was using RISC based processors. Back in those days, it was indeed the case that the Apple computer was more capable than a Windows PC. That train has long since left the station, though, and professional-grade applications have long since released products on both Mac and Windows.
Given that Apple has de-emphasized Final Cut Pro with its last iteration of the Mac Pro desktop PC (not the latest 2019 version known as the “Cheesegrater”, but the “trash can” design prior) and forced many media producers to move to the Windows platform, Apple seems to have lost most of its cache’ with artists. Many studios have moved to other products and Windows-based workstation PCs.
It doesn’t help Apple that its free, cheap application suite, like Garageband, do not work very well. Talking with support agents from various companies, these agents are often forced explaining to customers that they should move away from applications like Garageband or iMovie due to their poor quality and non-standard media encoders. Many of these support agents have helped their customers move to free, cross-platform applications like Audacity, Gimp, Krita, etc.. due to increased reliability.
We should note one last criticism with MacBook computers. As much as Apple creates a beautiful, well-designed device, they very much follow a form over function mantra. The hardware cooling systems in Apple laptops are subpar. Professional benchmarkers have proven this time and time again. Modern Intel processors depend on being able to hit and maintain boost clock speeds for an extended period for heavy workloads. Unfortunately, it has been found that Apple’s cooling systems cannot handle boost clock speeds for more than a very short time (i.e. 10-40 seconds). After an Intel processor reaches critical temperatures, it will start reducing performance to lower heat output and prevent damage to itself. Rendering times tend to be longer on Apple laptops because of this.
Objectively, the hardware included in the MacBook is not better than a similarly priced PC. Apple has several flaws that are hard to overlook at that price point. Whether a MacBook is worth the price becomes completely subjective when you consider the user experience, though. In many cases, the user experience should be as paramount in the buying decision as the objective build quality of the device.
Nothing in this world last forever. At least not electronic devices. Even if you think that your Mac outlasts PC it will eventually die. What to do when that happens? How to get some of your money back since you paid more for your Macbook than you would for a Dell or other brand?
Apple Inc. does offer a buyback option for its users through its new recycling program called “Reuse” or you could trade it for credit to your next purchase.
The new Reuse program is a recycling program which was created for its users who have broken or old MacBook’s or other apple devices and is willing to sell them back to the company. Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California is the place to dump all used up or broken apple devices, and you get paid for it.
With Reuse, users who own any IOS device or a Apple computer have access to a buyback option that gives them fair market value of the device they wish to sell. PowerON, a third party company which is in contract with Apple is in charge of placing value on the devices that come into the reuse program.
Apple uses this to help make the world a greener place. The devices that are repurchased will be dismantled during the recycling process, and valuable components like glass, gold, metal, and plastic will be collected and recycled for use in new devices. This initiative extends the useful life of products that have value in the secondhand market hence, saving cost and reducing the amount of e-waste.
PowerON determines the value
Apple stated on its recycling program website that “if your product qualifies for reuse- meaning it has a monetary value – you’ll receive an Apple Gift Card equivalent to its fair market value as determined by PowerON.” This gives the conditions that govern their buyback offer; users who want to sell their MacBook’s or any apple device back to the company must ensure that their device has value or it has components which are of value.
Hard dollar bills would have been preferred by many users, but Apple pays only in Apple Gift Cards. The problem with these gift cards is that they can’t be used everywhere, they aren’t generally accepted so you can’t spend them on many things.
“You can use your gift card for eligible purchases at any U.S. Apple retail store or the U.S. Apple Online Store. If your product does not have monetary value, we’ll recycle it at no cost to use”.
You could also trade your eligible device for credit so that you could add a few more dollars to buy a better device or a brand new model of the one you traded. This option isn’t open to all broken MacBook’s, but you could try your luck.
The buyback process:
The worth of user’s broken devices is valued online; then it is arranged to be shipped to PowerON at no cost. The company will then contact the user if the appraised value is different from the quoted value, which was previously given based on the user’s description of the product condition. The user can then choose not to accept the new value quote, and the device will be returned at no cost. Otherwise, PowerON will arrange to credit the user with Apple Gift Card within three weeks of receipt.
Once the device is in the process, all data on the device will be securely erased while it’s being prepared to be repaired, refurbished, or recycled and then it will be resold.
Users are most likely to sell at a better price to SellBroke or if they find a second-hand buyer for relatively new products in reasonably good conditions. However, older devices which are dysfunctional and have suffered damages, the reuse option may be the easiest and the best alternative.