Apple Atrocities


Everybody has an iPhone, and everybody hates their iPhone. But everybody who hates their iPhone buys another iPhone, or an iPad, or an iMac. Why do so many people complain about their Apple product, but then turn right around and buy another one? If there was no other option, it would be more understandable; however, in a market teeming with alternative electronic options, it’s bizarre that the infamous Apple products reign supreme.

I’ll be honest, I love my iPhone and treat it with far more respect than it deserves; however, I’ll be the first to admit that Apple doesn’t have the best track record. The most prominent problem, admittedly endemic to all electronics but largely an issue with Apple products, is that they create their devices so that they become obsolete, thus forcing consumers to continue buying more of their goods.

In order to download the latest and greatest applications, you have to update to the newest iOS. At the same time, updating slows down your phone. As a result, after a few years, you’ll have both the slowest and most up-to-date phone on the market.

This ultimately forces you to buy the newest iPhone to keep it running and inevitably spend hundreds of dollars that just falls into Apple’s pockets. Despite the short life-span of these phones, consumers are so eager to trade in their old iPhone for the newest model that’s destined to simply follow the same path, forcing them into a never ending cycle of spending. The question remains, why do buyers come back?

Not only do Apple products have a short life span, but their accessories don’t last very long either, oftentimes dying before the product does. All Apple users can identify the direction this complaint is going in: Apple chargers are terrible. The “unfortunate” rip in the wire that inevitably happens to every charger is (sorry to break it to you) another marketing strategy Apple uses to force consumers to spend more.

I’m not an engineer, but if Apple truly cared about fixing this problem, the solution would be to just invest in sturdier material when crafting their chargers in any of the 10 different updates they release each year. Maybe they can ask Samsung; they seem to be adept at it.

For me, it’s been relatively easy to look past these blatant marketing strategies because I just love my Apple products that much. However, recent reportings of Error 53 have me re-evaluating my investment in this company.

If someone isn’t a follower of tech or a victim of this newest “update,” they’ve probably never heard of this new feature. With an upgrade to iOS9 comes a new feature known as Error 53. In short, it has the ability to “brick” your phone if you get your cracked home button repaired by anyone who doesn’t work at Apple. To brick your phone means (as the name suggests) to turn your phone into a literal brick in which nothing works and nothing can revive it.

Apple justifies the use of this new update by claiming that it’s for the security of your iPhone, but sorry to break it to you, again, it’s really not. They claim that it’s dangerous for a third party to repair your home button because they may alter your security settings and subsequently grant themselves access to your phone. Instead, Apple suggests that users come to an Apple store with their broken home button to get it safely repaired by a professional.

To be honest, Apple couldn’t care less about the security of its customers, and what this really is, is a poorly disguised method of getting more money. Not only do they create phone screens and home buttons that crack easily, but also those broken buttons may only be fixed by Apple so that all the proceeds of this marketing scheme go to Apple. Genius.

What’s worse is that victims of Error 53 don’t seem to learn from past mistakes. Take journalist Antonio Olmos, for example. This Guardian reporter was in Macedonia during September of 2015 covering the Syrian refugee crisis when he cracked his home button. Because there are no Apple stores in Macedonia, he was forced to take his phone to a third party repair shop that fixed up his home button within a day.

Unfortunately for Olmos, his home button was fixed but his phone was broke. He became one of the first victims of Error 53. Now he found himself stranded in a foreign country with a brick for a phone.

Instead of taking his money to a competing brand such as Samsung, however, Olmos paid upwards of $200 for a brand new… iPhone. This brings me back to the original question: Why do buyers come back? What is it about Apple products that keep consumers happy despite having their wallets abused time and time again by these obvious marketing strategies?

The answer isn’t a clear one simply because this type of behavior is unusual. Regular consumption patterns indicate that if a product isn’t satisfying the needs of consumers, they switch to a different version of the same product.

Logically, Apple should be following the same trend, but it isn’t. Something keeps buyers coming back, and if it isn’t the lifespan of the product, it must be what it has to offer when functional. Apple users and nonusers alike will admit that when putting aside all of the logistical failures associated with their goods, Apple products are both aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.

Sure, a Mac may not be the fastest computer, and an iPhone may not offer all of the features a Samsung does, but in a culture obsessed more so with how things look rather than how things work, Apple has found its niche.