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Why does everyone love Apple?

There have been a couple of articles in the last few weeks which reflect the same genuine bemusement that I have around Apple – one by Dave Penberthy and one by Charlie Booker. Both reflect the same sort of thoughts that I have had, for a very long time, but culminating more recently in the arrival of the iPad and the hysteria around the next generation of iPhone. Sure, we all love a gadget, and I totally love my little Acer netbook which I can take anywhere, but what is it about the deep brand identification with Apple that makes people who rarely defend corporations, defend Apple and its knick knacks so passionately?

Let me just say, I’m not opposed to Apple any more than I am opposed to other corporations. I love my iPod, I’m not going to argue that they are evil and I certainly wouldn’t bother to boycott them or so forth as I have other corporations which I think are particularly evil. Mostly I feel relatively indifferent. But I am fascinated by the fact that lots of people feel differently and it is interesting to try and understand why.

I wouldn’t in any way say that Apple are worse than any other mega corporation, it is just that they are not particularly better. And what is it about the worship of Steve Jobs? Is it the turtlenecks? I mean, Bill Gates goes off and donates all his income and time to charity, and he still can’t come close to the adulation and worship. And the products, they are good, but it isn’t like they are life-changing. Despite whatever I keep being told about how brilliant the iPhone is, whenever I try to use my partner’s I end up wanting to throw it against a wall. Which may say something about me, but nonetheless.

What I particularly wonder is why many (but not all) Apple users seem to take it so personally when one questions the brand or product or the absolute need to have the newest of its products immediately. Or bristle and get defensive when one suggests that the iPod-iTunes nexus is not much better, and possibly worse, than some of the monopolistic practices engages in by Microsoft. I mean can you buy iPad apps elsewhere?

I wonder whether it is that the way that Apple has been marketed is so much about identity. And coolness. And having a cool identity. I know that many people use Apple products because they find them useable and convenient – but I wouldn’t go to the mat to defend something because it is useful and convenient. Perhaps it is that Apple has made us think that owning their products really does make us a little cooler or better or something.They certainly make aesthetically pleasing products – even the packaging is carefully beautiful. One person told me should had bought a Mac as a home computer for the aesthetics alone.

Like the whole Ford-Holden identity battle in Australia, there definitely seems to be an identity-position in being a Mac person. Perhaps if I had had one of those really ugly boxy things that were about in the early 1990s I would have been captured then, before aesthetics and market domination became the overriding features of Apple. But in the end, I am with Charlie Booker – I want two buttons on a mouse damn it!

Update: Because this is so funny, and demonstrates some of the one-eyedness assosciated with Apple, I just have to share. Not entirely safe for work due to language however.

5 responses to “Why does everyone love Apple?

  1. Oh, how I despise the mac laptop trackpads and their excessively annoying hidden buttons. How the fuck is that ‘more useable’ than a god-damn two button mouse, exatly?

    Ipods are fantastic, and I love the expensive little buggers because they ARE easy to use, and work. But I’m less convinced by the apple app store as compared to the google app store – the number of non-game apps is not relevantly higher and I think I’d like to be outside the walled garden.

    (Although charlie brooker should get his PC games history right; doom was not the ‘first shooter’ released on the PC; even if you mean ‘the first first-person shooter’ it fails by several years as compared to Wolfenstein 3D, made by the same company. Also, Myst was the best selling game on the PC for about 4 years, so not a good comparison!)

  2. i do think that there’s an element of sexiness to apple products but that’s a fairly recent development.

    When I first started going out with my husband, he had a mac. I learned to use it, over a decade ago, and became quite taken with it, despite the fact that no one around us seemed to use them. By the time their products became cool and sexy, we were long time users. So for us to cool factor doesn’t really ‘compute’, so to speak. And there are loads like us. But there are loads who have fallen for the cool factor too.

    • godardsletterboxes ⋅

      There is definitely a long time user thing too – which goes to that PC/Mac thing – like the Ford/Holden battle. And because Macs were the outsider to begin with, I think it creates an additional sense of “being a Mac person” as an identity position. And I think it might be this identity position which drives the enormous Mac love.

  3. bluerose ⋅

    My MacBook just… works.

    I am grateful for that every time I have to help a customer with Windows Vista Home Premium on a laptop. WVHP is *horrible*. Even trying to log onto a wi-fi network is difficult because network connections are often managed by a shortcut on the taskbar that’s very hard to see.

    WVHP (Spanish edition) is a true nightmare: not only is there the unpredictable smooshing-around mess because WVHP has to prove it’s different from XP, without being necessarily any better than XP – and figuring that out in Spanish is an additional nightmare for any mostly-English-speaker trying to help – but the Spanish-speaking WVHP owner also finds that at the 3rd level of an operation such as adding an image to a Power Point presentation, WVHP’s Spanish instructions are… no longer in Spanish.

    I agree that Mac mice are bad: astonishingly un-ergonomic as well as lacking the extra button. I have always been puzzled as to why Apple seems to have ignored the clumsiness and relative uselessness of its mice.

    I have never come across Mac laptop users running anything in a language other than English. I have no idea how Mac programs in Spanish would perform in comparison to Windows’.

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