Summer repeats: Rehashing the same old arguments


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It’s not even summer yet but already we’re being subject to repeats. This time it’s repeat arguments about Apple.

Did you know that Apple products cost too much?!

Writing for Fast Company Design, Mark Wilson asks the already answered question, “Why Does Apple Think It Can Get Away With Selling Overpriced Stuff?” (Tip o’ the antlers to Joe Rosensteel.)


Just because it’s worked before doesn’t mean it can work today.

[continues to work for decades]

If something you think shouldn’t work continues to work for years and years, maybe it’s because you don’t understand why it works.

I want to tell you a story about three amazing products.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the rights to make a hologram of the late, great Billy Mays.

Spoiler alert but, as Wilson points out, Apple does not sell more home speakers, laptops or smartphones than any other vendor. Shocking, isn’t it? Other than having been told for, like, 30 years how Apple doesn’t sell the most of anything, it’s very shocking.

And, yet, Apple is still somehow the largest tech company and makes more revenue and profit than anyone else. So unfair! Surely gravity will kick in at some point and people will realize that computers and smartphones are commodity goods now.

Aaaaany second.

Just wait.


Nope. That wasn’t it.

Weird, it’s almost like there’s something else at play here.

Most investors and fans will assure you that this isn’t a problem.

Most people who can read will assure you that this isn’t a problem.

The $650 iPhone 7 has a build estimate of $220…

What a ripoff!

…(not counting research and development)…

Oh, well, how much could that be? Seriously, human beings are made of a handful of chemicals that can be commercially bought for just a dollar! And yet the white slave trade is so expensive!

Wilson does not link to this piece at PC Gamer which notes the price difference between the iMac Pro and a build-it-yourself PC with the same specs is only a little more than $300. Yes, Apple often charges more than its competitors. But you almost always get something that’s substantially better.

Say what you will about those margins, but consumers have deemed it fair with their wallets, paying a surcharge on industry-leading industrial design, commonly dubbed the Apple Tax.

By Microsoft-funded white papers, yes, continue.

Apple reveals its ultimate strategy: put fingers in ears. Sell its latest product, the smart home HomePod speaker, for $350–or about the cost of 2.5 Amazon Alexas or Google Homes.

Wilson knows these companies make it up by making you the product instead of the customer, but that’s a topic reserved for the second to last paragraph, of course.

And then the kicker?

…people will continue paying more than they should for hardware, with the hope that it’s not just nicely designed, but that it operates with discretion, too.

Apple products are better designed, hold their resale value better and are made with a concern for your privacy; in short, they’re basically just better. But somehow people are “paying more than they should” for them.


It’s not really OK. At all. But…


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