Opinion: Why take offense at the new (new) MacBook?

20 April 2016, 08:09

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At the risk of sounding like Jerry Seinfeld: “What’s the deal with people who get upset when Apple launches a new product?”

The introduction of the iPhone SE and the new (new) MacBook yesterday has been polarizing. This isn’t that unusual with Apple’s robust approach to design. However, a significant number of people are genuinely offended and hurt that Apple is manufacturing a product they don’t like. Sadly, this isn’t unusual either.

The sour feeling explodes into conversations. Friends fight against friends. Brothers against brothers. Division and strife.

What’s happening in people’s minds when they feel this way? My theories are as follows:

1. Apple’s producing something that’s outside of their personal usage scenario – and this offends them terribly;


2. Apple’s producing something not using the hardware choices they would make – and this offends them terribly.

Seriously? You’re claiming to be the platonic, ideal user for whom Apple should design all its hardware?

You’re claiming to know more about design, component choices, and the marketplace than the many experts at Apple?

Apple doesn’t even know you exist. The only thing it knows for sure about you is your credit card number. That’s all it wants to know.

This degree of offense can be used as a measure of brand loyalty, of course, but here it’s more symptomatic of loving an institution. And the trouble with loving an institution is that the institution cannot love you back. You anticipate faithfulness but you’re setting yourself up for repeated, consistent betrayal.

Apple once betrayed the very man who we consider to be its epitome. Steve Jobs was forced out of the company he founded in 1985. If it treats its own founder like that, how is it going to treat you?

Go outside. Get some fresh air. Feel lucky to be alive when even the Apple products you don’t like are being made. Many of us have in our pocket an insanely useful computing device that can do just about everything – from taking amazing photos to letting us destroy scaffolding with birds. And that is positively amazing.

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I’m not angry about Apple’s products, but I do understand the people who are. I think it’s pretty simple: Apple is changing who they target with their products, and that means that a lot of long-time Apple users no longer find anything in Apple’s lineup that fits their needs. For example, there are no pro-level desktop computers anymore in Apple’s lineup, except for the Mac Pro, which, for many people, simply doesn’t qualify as a pro-level desktop.

It’s true that Apple knows what’s best for them. Of course they do. But the fact that Apple’s component choices are good for their profit is completely irrelevant to me. I don’t own any Apple stock. I’m not their CEO. I don’t work for them and get bonuses based on their performance. I just buy their stuff when it appeals to me.

Given the choice between an Apple that barely stays in business, but makes products that I like, and an Apple that makes a ton of money, but produces nothing that I like, I’d rather have the former than the latter.

This leaves a lot of long-time Apple users in an odd place. They can either buy an Apple product that doesn’t really suit their needs, or they can switch to Windows or Linux or Android.

No wonder many of them are unhappy.

— Lukas · Apr 21, 12:12 AM · #