back to article Apple's Watch charging pad proves Cupertino still screwing buyers

Apple is now selling a wireless charging pad for its smartwatch. The $79 plate not only demonstrates Cupertino's commitment to design, it also confirms its habit of ripping off people. The magnetic charging dock is a small circular pad that the Watch can be placed on to recharge. It will only work with Apple's smartwatch, …

Anonymous Coward

Embrace

Extend...

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Facepalm

Bend over

Grab your cheeks and spread them

Grit your teeth and get ready for the Apple Tax

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Extort

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Re: Bend over

Do you have to pay extra for Apple branded lubricant jelly?

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Gimp

"Do you have to pay extra for Apple branded lubricant jelly?"

No, just apple flavoured.

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Re: "Do you have to pay extra for Apple branded lubricant jelly?"

Oh, I do wish you'd take your ring off before you put your finger up there...

Ring? That's my iWatch!

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Powering up reality distortion field now...

Really looking forward to hearing the usual fanbois' justification of this one.

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Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

Wireless charging is a complete waste of time and money.

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Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

I'm with Woz on this; market forces prevent the best possible device from being offered to users. That said:

All iWatch owners are iPhone users. Therefore it doesn't bother iWatch owners if their charging matt doesn't charge Samsung phones.

That seems a fairly straightforward logic... the way the article wilfully ignores the idea it comes across like a Daily Express article about Billy Connelly.

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Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

The $10 Qi chargers on eBay are garbage. They don't work well, if they work at all, and reviews suggest they might be a fire hazard. So let's not compare apples to oranges.

An Apple Watch replacement cable is $30, we all know these can fray and break. A wireless charger should be able to last as long as the device itself, considering there is no mechanical interaction with the user. Apple sells a wireless replacement, with (in this case) a $50 premium over the cable.

If Apple were to sell these for $30, they would cannibalize their own replacement cable sales.

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Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

most things based on convenience are...

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Facepalm

Re: it doesn't bother iWatch owners if their charging matt doesn't charge Samsung phones...

Way to miss the point! It's about the fact that you can't buy a generic Qi charger for your iWatch, and are instead forced to front up for the dubious pleasure of the £80 white teaplate.

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Re: it doesn't bother iWatch owners if their charging matt doesn't charge Samsung phones...

>are instead forced to front up for the dubious pleasure of the £80 white teaplate.

Forced? No, you're not forced, just don't buy an Apple Watch. If you do, the Apple Charger Dock is £65, not £80. And even then the Apple website will sell you a 3rd party dock solution that uses the original charger.

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Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

Probably the same reason that they won't let any old cable charge an iPhone. And there are reasons other than protectionism: Apple don't want to provide support for devices that have been affected by knock-off chargers. And they certainly want to minimise the number of reports where their equipment burns someone to death.

It's not really about the money. If you recall, there was a spate of iPhone 'accidents' a while back caused by cheap third party charging equipment. Apple offered replacement authorised (and safety-compliant) chargers for a handful of dollars to affected users. They certainly weren't making any money on that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

"All iWatch owners are iPhone users. Therefore it doesn't bother iWatch owners if their charging matt doesn't charge Samsung phones"

Great for you Dave. I'm sure you must live alone and rarely travel anywhere. However some people don't they have multiple gadget which may use a standardised platform, such as Qi. So rather than buying a couple of wireless chargers that you can use with any device, you now need to buy separate ones to look after the "precious".

Then you go travelling and the wireless chargers they provide in hotels or clubs etc. Do they

1) Just provide Qi so that all standard devices can charge

2) Just provide Apple Qi so only Applites can charge

3) Have to provide both in every area with instructions on which one to use

Say Samsung pull the same trick and you now need a Samsung charger, and then Blackberry, and LG and HP laptops and Pebble etc

There's a reason for having a standard and when people deviate it just makes it crap for everyone. Remember IE6 (and previous incarnations), we are only just getting over the legacy that left now.

As for dangerous, is there any reported case of a wireless charger harming a device? It is very easy to safeguard a device in wireless charging. So what if the £10 charger burns the user, they have the complaint with the seller not with Apple - they could still attempt to charge their Apple watch with a £10 charger and burn themselves regardless of whether it charges the watch or not. It's different to a mains charger where the phone itself could go up in smoke.

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g e

Re: it doesn't bother iWatch owners if their charging matt doesn't charge Samsung phones...

That was a obviously typo, I'm pretty certain *** $ *** 80 was intended not '£'

Still, always good to be a strong singer in the apple choir, regardless, eh? You might get selected for the i-factor

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Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

It's not really about the money

Really? I completely understand the need to limit the use of dodgy knock off chargers, but if that's all they cared about they wouldn't put such a huge markup on the official accessories.

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"I'm pretty certain $80 was intended not '£'"

If you live in the UK and talk technology prices, swapping $ for £ without adjusting the numbers is instinctive at this point.

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Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

@Dave 126 There must be households with a mixed bag of technology that would benefit from a generic charging system rather than a proprietary system that only caters for one manufacturers kit. Also what about public places like airports and hotels.

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Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

Yes, and not to mention the need to carry the i-Contraption with you if you travel abroad. So you end up with two worthlessly expensive appliances if you have a relationship at home that's a fanboi too (fanbois come in pairs).

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Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

You're attempting to justify Apple ripping off its customers by saying they ripoff their customers by giving crap cables anyway?

I think it's more that Apple feel that if you can afford to pay £350 for a... well, Watch that displays the time and text messages - like £30 Bluetooth ones do then you'll probably go for a plate to put it on.

Like the £100 car mats dealers provide. But at least you can eBay for cheap car mats if you want to without you car dying on you half way through the day because they're deemed 'incompatible'

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Hopefully the EU will eventually mandate interoperability - but that could be years away. Same thing they did for charger leads to cut down on the ludicrous number of different chargers.

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Maybe. On my drawer I have 3 distinct Samsung chargers, 2 Sony Ericssons, 2 Nokias, plus Mini and Micro USB. Its worth noting the Samsung and Nokia phones didn't even sport a standard 3.5 mm headphone/set socket, but made you use propriety shit.

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I see no reason that Apple should not maximize their income from those who are sufficiently enamored of their products that they continue to buy them. I have a PowerMac 8500 (gift) that still works and an even older Apple 68000 based computer that I think still boots, and mostly have been favorably impressed by their design and build quality (but less so with their prices). I gave up on them for good when, having obtained numerous patents that seem quite bogus, they went on to use them as a basis to sue for damages while ingesting huge amounts of money.

Those in thrall will pay the required price fairly willingly; that is their choice. The rest of us can go about our lives not caring very much.

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Like they did with the USB charging standard?

And then Apple just stuck two fingers up at them and made it so that iDevices *could* charge from USB, but only with a proprietary adapter that does not ship with the product?

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Trollface

>Those in thrall will pay the required price fairly willingly; that is their choice. The rest of us can go about our lives not caring very much.

True, you can, or could, but not all of "the rest" go about their lives "not caring very much"; there is, evidently, a vocal contingent among "the rest" who do care--very much, it seems--and can't give it a rest and just shut up about it. And they can reliably be called into action because conditioning is well understood. They're called 'twitchers', IIRC.

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I cannot think of a single reason that I, or anyone else not an owner of the equipment in question, should care what Apple charges for it. Money is generally understood as a measure of the economic concept of utility, but in actuality, two different people see that in exactly the same way. Among other things, that facilitates commerce. Purchasers of Apple products have a different view of their utility than I do, for reasons I do not know and do not wish to. They are free to act on their view of the products' utility, as I am not to act. It is their business, not mine. I am not entitled to an opinion in the matter and neither, in my opinion, is anyone else.

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IT Angle

Again?

They did this with their USB keyboards and extenders back in the day. There was a divet in the physical interface that only allowed Apple products to be connected via an Apple extender. And we used to curse M$ for not following standards.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Again?

Don't forget the chip in the iPod headphones to ensure idiot apple buyers could only use official iPod headphones.

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Re: Again?

>Don't forget the chip in the iPod headphones to ensure idiot apple buyers could only use official iPod headphones.

Oh yeah, Apple 'idiot buyers' who enjoy the largest range of 3rd party wired headsets from Sennheiser to Kilpsch... ohhh, the morons!

But seriously, 'Feature phones' from the time of the first iPhone didn't even usually feature a 3.5mm headphone socket. Even left to themselves, Android phones don't have a standard for wired headsets with remote controls... shit, even within brands they mess it up; Sony used two different resistances across Android phone generations (they are better now, the Z series now allow stereo microphones, even). If Android vendors, or even Google bashed their heads together, sorted this nonsense out then yeah, i might have an issue with Apple.

As it is, I'm just an Android user who can't believe the stupidity. Those of us who don't use Apple would do better expressing the things we want done better, instead of lobbing stones.

It's 2015 - where the hell is my one-click whole phone back-up and restore?! (Android does contacts, but apps and SMS messages require more effort)

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Re: Again?

Motorola do that.

Got my moto x play, put it on the same wifi as my Nexus 4, installed the moto transfer app on the nexus 4, away it went. An hour later my new phone was set up exactly like my old phone, photos, apps, SMS etc. intact.

Though I did have to sign into my apps again, but that's fair enough, I'd rather random apps not be able to copy that data.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Again?

"It's 2015 - where the hell is my one-click whole phone back-up and restore?! "

http://arstechnica.co.uk/gadgets/2015/10/android-6-0s-auto-backup-for-apps-perfect-data-backup-for-the-1-5/

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Re: Again?

Finally, a proper answer to iCloud! When I switched from iOS to Android this was the only serious thing I missed, although it has gradually improved since Android 4. Now all I'd have to do is 1) wait for an Android 6 build for my phone (probably via Cyanogenmod) and 2) for all my favourite apps to support the latest API version :-\

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Pint

Re: Again?

I'd curse them both...

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Re: Again?

My old desire z did that too and we're talk 6 or so years ago. Even spoke to a surprisingly large range of other phones.

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Re: Again?

My one click phone back up and restore is on my windows phone! Now if only someone else would buy one, it might not be more endangered than the panda...

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Not screwing buyers

Anybody who buys anything Apple knows it will be reassuringly expensive. They already have an iPhone to work the Apple Watch, so they know how much cables cost. If you read the comments on some of the websites (for a laugh) you will see people boasting that they earn so much that buying Apple is small change, they don't care how much it costs.

It isn't as if there were not lots of phone shops offering a variety of kit for different budgets.

I don't own anything Apple, but the whole point of Veblen goods is that the buyers feel validated, not screwed.

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Re: Not screwing buyers

Have and upvote for being so erudite. I hadn't realised that Veblen was a dirty word.

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Re: Not screwing buyers

"buying Apple is small change, they don't care how much it costs."

There is a marketing technique that dictates buyers have a false assumption that paying more, will get them more.

Look at how the suppliers work with Amazon. They all compete with each other of course, but not in the way you think. They mark the prices UP, taking advantage of the very false assumption of the buyer, that they will get something better. Even when you're dealing with the exact same product, there is the perception that something more for their money, like shipping will be faster. It won't.

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Veblen goods

Thank you for teaching me the name of something I intuitively knew but could never express clearly. I will be delighted to spread the knowledge around.

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Gimp

This kind of crap is why I won't buy Apple products....

As well-designed as their products are, they just so obviously design everything to extract every last nickel they can get out of you. My Android phone comes with a free mini-USB-based charger, based on a standard. I could take that same mini-USB charger and charge pretty much any non-Apple smartphone. If I were to buy an iPhone, I would need a proprietary Lightning charger that I have to buy for $20-$25.

It's just too much of a racket. I can understand the business value of being able to walk into a meeting room with Tim Cook or Steve Jobs and say "Boss! Good news! I've figured out how to increase our phone hardware sales by 4% or so by embracing a proprietary charger design!" Though I am not an expert on smartphone charging, I can accept that perhaps the Lightning charger does a better job than a mini-USB charger. However, I feel like a chump that is being taken for granted when I shell out extra $$ for something that just seems more intentionally designed to drain my wallet rather than charge my phone.

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Re: This kind of crap is why I won't buy Apple products....

"I can accept that perhaps the Lightning charger does a better job than a mini-USB charger."

What gives you that idea? The fact you paid more for it? You may have missed the fact that this article is about that exact thing.

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FIA

Re: This kind of crap is why I won't buy Apple products....

I can accept that perhaps the Lightning charger does a better job than a mini-USB charger.

It doesn't. It's just a regular USB charger, albeit better built than some of the really cheap stuff. It's the cable that's proprietry (and more expensive).

However, I feel like a chump that is being taken for granted when I shell out extra $$ for something that just seems more intentionally designed to drain my wallet rather than charge my phone.

Meh, I wouldn't worry about it too much. 'Apple stuff is more expensive' is just one of the decisions you've got to factor in when buying stuff. Some people are fine with it, some aren't. Horses for courses really.

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Re: This kind of crap is why I won't buy Apple products....

This may come as a surprise but a) they give you a charger with the phone and b) inexpensive third party lightning chargers are widely available.

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Re: This kind of crap is why I won't buy Apple products....

Aye, just when we thought that we could relax with micro-USB, we now have USB-C on the horizon... the one thing to look forward to is that it, like Lightening, can be plugged in either way up. That alone, for me, makes it worth phasing out my micro-USB gubbins.

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Re: This kind of crap is why I won't buy Apple products....

Lightning chargers are clearly better. They are reversible, thinner, and more robust, than micro-USB. Furthermore, lightning has now been engineered to support USB 3.0 (with the iPad Pro). Have you seen the micro-USB 3.0? It is a step backwards, comparable in size to the legacy Apple iPhone connector that made its final appearance on the iPhone 4s. The micro-USB 3.0 is on the Galaxy Note 3, it's big, it's fugly.

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Re: This kind of crap is why I won't buy Apple products....

That's an ugly socket, but the important point is that it's backwardly compatible with your old micro-USB stuff. Basically two sockets side by side (nowhere near as big as the original ipod one though).

Shortly to be replaced with USB-C on pretty much every new phone that isn't made by Apple though. Small, reversible and all that good stuff

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Re: This kind of crap is why I won't buy Apple products....

Given the unreliable nature of the MagSafe chargers as supplied with and from the first generation Intel macbooks I am not going to be surprised if/when any Apple designed charger turns out to be less than perfect.

A macbook bought in 2008 is now on its third (generic MagSafe) charger after the first two Apple branded ones failed. Failed as in just stopped working one day without any warning as opposed to the more usual failure brought on by the cable fraying where it enters the MagSafe connector. We have started buying the cheapest generic chargers with the best rating on Amazon as the Apple chargers seem to be no more reliable, just more expensive.

As a contrast two EEEPCs, one bought in 2008 and the second in 2009 (with similar uptimes to the macbook) are still running their original chargers.

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Mushroom

Re: Lightning chargers are clearly better. They are blah, blah...and more robust than micro-USB..

NO. They are not.

I have dozens of micro USB connectors from all sorts of products and a few Amazon purchases. All bar one are still working perfectly and have done since the day they were bought many years ago.

Every lightning cable I've had the displeasure of trying to use was flaky. Half were broken, and the other half were on the way out. A useless pile of kerrap.

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