The Macalope: An oldie but a baddy


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How can you idiots keep buying Apple products?! Can’t you see they’re ripping you off?!

Boy, if the Macalope had a nickel for every time he’s heard that, well, then he’d have another nickel today. He’d also be rich but still just as annoyed.

Minyanville’s Vincent Trivett says “Apple Inc.’s Pattern of Rip-Offs Forces Customers to Buy New or Pay Up” (tip o’ the antlers to Matt), because no one’s ever heard that argument before.

The Macalope wouldn’t normally pay attention to an outfit like Minyanville, but somehow they’ve gotten themselves into cross-publishing relationships with Yahoo and now Nasdaq and, sheesh, there’s only so much a mythical beast can put up with. Did Minyanville’s dad go to prep school with Yahoo and Nasdaq or something?

On one hand, everyone was aware that Apple trails its rivals in emerging markets where its devices cost exorbitant amounts of money. A low-cost device could really help it compete in countries like China, where subsidies for phones aren’t the norm. On the other hand, a cheaper device would wreck the sky-high margins that make the company so successful.

Sure. Unless, of course, the margins were higher on a lower-cost iPhone.

But another word for “high margins” is “rip-off.”

Uh, no, actually, it’s not. Yes, if you can get the same exact thing for less without incurring extraneous costs, you’re getting ripped off. But you can’t, in fact, get anything exactly the same as an iPhone from a manufacturer other than Apple. Users of Apple products have only been saying stuff like this for more than 30 years, it’s a wonder it hasn’t sunk in yet.

Well, look what we have to work with.

This has been on my mind since Wednesday when Mike Schuster wrote for Minyanville about the iOS 7 upgrade, and how third-party charger cables no longer work… If you bought a non-Apple charger, you are out of luck and you have no choice but to buy a new one, from Apple of course.

Wow, that’s really weird because the Macalope just plugged his iPhone 5c running iOS 7.0.2 into an Amazon Basics Lightning cable plugged into the charger that came with his Nexus 7 and it charged fine. But, please, don’t let facts get in the way of a good anti-Apple rant.

Of course, many chargers don’t work anymore and, gosh, it couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that some people were literally killed by knockoff chargers, could it? No, no. Certainly not, or Trivett would have mentioned those incidents.

Which he doesn’t.

You might think of it as a luxury strategy rather than a rip-off, but it’s certainly puzzling that we still regard Apple as a corporation worthy of love.

Hey, even the Macalope doesn’t love Apple unconditionally. In many cases its add-ons are usuriously expensive when compared to alternatives. But even when there isn’t an alternative or Apple blocks that alternative, its user experience is still better, its products are better made and their resale value is far higher than that of its competitor’s products.

But, of course, naysayers never want to talk about the total cost of Apple’s products; they just want to build a one-sided case about how the company’s “ripping you off.”

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