back to article Apple: I love to hate, and hate to love thee

I want to hate Apple. The company takes the most egregious of Microsoft's monopolistic practices and raises them to an art form. It's aggressive litigiousness threatens to impede innovation in the mobile industry for years to come: innovation that isn't Apple's, that is. And Apple's lust for control makes it a very poor centre …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "innovation that isn't Apple's, that is"

    Please enlighten us as to what exactley are Apples innovations?

    They looked at what had already been produced and refined it. What exactley was new or hadn't been seen before?

    And remember, I don't believe the hype!

    1. g e

      Patent litigation

      Have they patented that yet? ;o)

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Patent litigation

        Too much prior art.

        Rambus, SCO.........

      2. dssf

        Re: Patent litigation.. they didn't patENT it, but they might be about to be...

        PATTED by it in South Korea... As i said earlier this week in another thread here, there WILL BE consequences for apple. See this:

        “ The nation’s anti-trust watchdog said Wednesday that it will beef up the monitoring of multinational corporations to keep them from abusing their patents here amid growing intellectual property feuds between local and international companies.

        The move comes at a sensitive time ― just days after Samsung Electronics suffered a setback in its patent dispute with Apple.

        “We have launched an investigation into unfair practices regarding patents,” an official from the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said. “Nothing specific has been found yet, but we will take a legal step against any irregularities.”

        He said there are an increasing number of cases where multinational corporations abuse their intellectual rights, especially in fields such as information technology, medicine and machinery as local firms are vulnerable to patent lawsuits in those fields.

        According to the Korea Intellectual Property Protection Association, the number of international patent lawsuits involving Korean firms has increased by over 80 percent from 154 in 2009 to 278 last year.

        Patent lawsuits are increasing as domestic firms depend heavily on exports and many local firms produce patented products through licensing.

        The FTC also plans to look into aggressive and allegedly unfair patent lawsuits filed by some multinational firms as a way to hinder the advance of Korean businesses in their markets or to profiteer by requesting too high licensing fees.

        “The reason (behind the investigation) is that multinational firms have reportedly enforced their patents in an unfair manner through discriminative royalties policies, tie-in sales and unfair conditions in licensing contracts,” the official said.

        In fact, Apple is being investigated by the FTC for forcing application developers to use Apple’s payment system when they register their products in its app store.”

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      They bring existing tech together in a decent package.

      It may not be tech innovation, but it probably is an innovation in consumer electronics.

      Their problem is that little of what they do is technically new (worthy of a patent) so they probably feel the need to litigate or what they do will be instantly copied. Welcome to globalisation.

      What we need is a wider discussion in society as to what constitutes "innovation" and what we want to protect. The bad feeling comes from the fact that the definition is being fought out without public input (a jury doesn't really count) by highly paid lawyers using mostly spurious arguments, using a legal basis for technical innovation which being twisted to protect things it was never designed to protect.

      Plus it stops us getting cheap cool things we want. It undoes all the benefits of globalisation for the consumer. As a society we need to decide how protectionist we want to be.

      1. Chris Miller

        @ P. Lee

        "Welcome to globalisation." This isn't a global phenomenon. The weird patent rules are purely a US game (though NordRhein Westfalen seems keen to join in). The rest of the world is still free to carry on innovating (I'd have to add currently, given the UK's propensity for copying only the really bad ideas from the US).

      2. Mark .

        Indeed, though bringing tech together in a "decent" package is not unique, it's what most tech companies do. Millions more people think that Samsung and Nokia do a better job of doing this for phones, than Apple, for example.

    3. Big_Ted

      Well lets see, the iPhone was an innovation as it was unlike almost anything else out there.

      The iPad was an innovation, look at what passed for a tablet at the time and compare them.

      Innovation is different from new patent able hardware like say the LTE wireless chips, its look at what is there now, improving it and making something that is better and hopefully more desirable.

      Lets be honest here, I don't like Apple kit myself but they are a great design company who understand how to make something that just works and is easy to use. If I was asked to recommend a tablet to a total novice I would have to point them to an iPad. For anyone more technically minded I would advise them to look at Android due to its non walled configurable UI.

      And if you want a simple media device that you can use for browsing and email etc then the 64GB Playbook at £129 at the moment has to be considered, I took my goddaughter down to Curry's for her to try one and she loved it. Her touchpad will be going on ebay soon to finance the change. If as has been reported BB10 gets to the playbook it will be even better.

      Its down to what you want to use it for really and already having a BB its a perfect fit.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        "...the iPhone was an innovation as it was unlike almost anything else out there."

        Actually no. It was just like any off-the-shelf WinMo device with a decent[1] third-party shell on it. The only bit Apple did was to spot that actually consumers wanted the fancy front end included with the device and stick the results in a nicer case. Yet again taking bits off the technology shelf, bundling them and adding clever packaging.

        The iPad is basically a bigger iPhone. They day that you can claim to be innovative by adding a bigger screen to a known successful product and OS is the day that innovation can be officially called dead. Spotting a marketing opportunity that you can adapt your existing products to take advantage of is not technological innovation, just marketing and a bit of basic product development.

        [1] And not using all the features. Most WinMo shells could do "wall of icons", but only if you eschewed the cleverer widgets.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Actually no. It was just like any off-the-shelf WinMo device with a decent[1] third-party shell on it."

          Rubbish. Windows Mobile was using the WIMP UI paradigm. You had start menus, tiny buttons and a mouse pointer substitute in the form of a stylus.

          It was a scale down Windows desktop UI on a mobile device. There was no finger gestures or anything remotely comparable to the iPhone. You even had a file manager and task manager just like desktop Windows.

          Windows Mobile was using all of the concepts of a desktop OS on a phone and calling that a Smartphone.

          The iPhone threw all of that away, it was the first phone touchscreen UI designed for use with fingers only and has gestures you use with more than one touch at a time.

          If iOS is such a clone of Windows Mobile why did Microsoft throw it all away and start again?

          1. johnnytruant

            "If iOS is such a clone of Windows Mobile why did Microsoft throw it all away and start again?"

            Comment on Ars Technica the other day - "Why would anyone want to copy iOS, it's years behind"

            Sometimes chucking it all out and starting again is a good idea, especially when the underlying technology has changed so much. Current WinMo, much as I'm about as far from an MS fanboi as you can get, represents some impressive innovation in UI design. iOS, meh - not so much. And that's fine - mainstream users don't want cutting edge design, they need their hands held and that's perfectly OK. Smartphone users are not all geeky types who want the newest everything all the time, or are prepared to learn something different just to use a phone. Which is exactly why iOS is popular. Because it's simple, familiar, safe and easy. I can hand it to my Mum and she's fine with it. Me, I prefer something more modern - because I'm prepared to put in the effort to get the rewards. Neither is more right, it's different things for different people.

            Oh, and you're wrong about it being the first touch-only UI. Symbian UiQ and s60 were perfectly happy just getting a finger. Seem to remember a few other devices were too, back in the day. iPaq, anyone?

          2. Mark .

            Well you're right that IOS wasn't like Win Mo, but you're talking nonsense to say it was the first one to do so.

            Win Mo was unique on phones in trying to put a desktop OS on them - all other platforms, even bog standard feature phones, used a dedicated mobile UI, not a desktop one.

            "it was the first phone touchscreen UI designed for use with fingers only"


            "and has gestures you use with more than one touch at a time"

            True. So Apple introduced one minor feature. Not sure why that's more important than loads of other features, like single-touchscreens, apps, 3G, Internet, email, web browsing, video playback, video calling, cameras, video recording, GPS, maps, sat nav, texting, MMS, or millions of other thing that other companies did first. Can you name those companies? If not, take a moment to learn them, rather than going on about Apple all the time. We're fed up of hearing about the one single thing that Apple did first, 5 years ago.

        2. Riccardo Spagni

          I see. So they took a device that you could really only operate with a stylus (and let's be honest, the WinMo phones of the time were all trying to be like the TyTN II) and that could do a wall of icons only if you were technical enough to install a third-party launcher (trust me - as a technical person I can tell you that it was beyond the capabilities of most)...and out popped the iPhone. A device wholly different to the TyTN II and other devices of the day, that had a capacitive (and not resistive) screen, and that was intuitively easy to use and operate.

          I can't for the life of me see why you weren't asked to join Samsung's crack legal team.

        3. Mark .

          And there were other platforms with the easy "grid of icons" front end on them anyway. Even bog standard 2005 feature phones hand them. The 2007 Iphone was no different to other phones of that time - yes it had some features others didn't, but those other phones had important features that the Iphone didn't (e.g., apps, copy/paste, 3G).

          Agree about Ipads. It's making things smaller that's hard in technology - taking a phone and making it bigger is the easy bit. If Windows 8 tablets take off, that will be the true innovation - taking a full blown PC, and making it smaller.

      2. JoeSmooth

        Apple does not innovate... they renovate and tell the world they have made wine from water.

        1. dssf

          If apple are not held in check, curtailed...

          They most assuredly might ENERvate...

      3. rogerpjr

        Dear apple corp.


        apple corp's BLATANT HYPOCRACY.... YET the system,the press, as well as the buying public does NOTHING about it.... THIS is a GENUINE travesty....

        A sad but true story first..

        He so happened to have heard of this exciting and new IP from a very successful, and serious company X. He arranged thru some of his closest contacts, to meet this comüpany and bring along his best and brightest employees to have some meetings with the company X so he can really discern the IP behind this, as well as verify this unbelivable stroke of luck. Guess what. The company agrees. He take his employees with him and charms the company to really open up as to what they have, as well as to how to begin to understand the nuts and bolts of the IP associated. He would later proclaim this SAVED his company, who up till then only had a command line ( c: ) and an ugly green screen to type in commands.

        His people then really DO slavishly work on this new GUI from company X for a year.... He admits it. Freely.

        GUESS WHAT???? One year later The MAC is born.....

        The COmpany stolen from, is XEROX Palo Alto Research Center in Palo Alto California. Their ( XEROX ) milions ( in 1970's money) poured into THEIR GUI started The Paperless Office revolution. And XEROX invented it, and owned it..... At least that's what XEROX thought before they showed off their IP to Steve JObs. apple stole Xerox IP and never really looked back. The Computer based office equipment XEROX was selling was doomed. Why buy a $50,000 solution, when these young guys sold one doing roughly the same thing with an exact RELICA GUI, for a small fraction?

        Jobs later says ( seen in an inrterview, now on Youtube ( under I hired the wrong guy ) Good artists copy, GREAT artists STEAL. The sentences before and after refer to and pertain to his visiting XEROX. As he was refering to XEROX when he says he has NO compunction to steal.

        Xerox later sued apple. Why, you ask? ( You'd think, right )

        Seems Apple was trying to sue Microsoft for stealing what was ACTUALLY XEROX' IP... XeEROX says How can YOU ( apple ) SUE ANYBODY over OUR ( XEROX) IP.. The MILLIONS XEROX poured into research over the years will NEVER be recouped. Apple ACTUALLY owes XEROX BILLIONs according to accounting. Sad... Think apple will ever admit that.. Oops... Actually apple's founder did.. Here...

        Oh... By the way... The GUI was so ahead of it's time.... That apple is STILL using XEROX IP..... As well as ms, and everyone ELSE utilizing a similar GUI...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You can ask that of Microsoft, Samsung or many other companies.

      There was something rather innovative about creating a phone UI that allowed for finger control for everything. I don't remember any phone with a touchscreen having that before.

      It's not the first touchscreen phone, it's not the first UI you could touch with fingers. But it was the first one for smartphones and I don't remember seeing multi-touch or gestures with finger based control anywhere else before. Although of course the iPhone 1 wasn't strictly a smartphone at first, you couldn't add new apps.

      My smartphone history goes from Nokia communicators in 2001, through to Windows Mobile, Nokia's S60 and then the iPhone. Where were the multitouch finger operated phones prior to the iPhone 1?

      Touchscreen phones were a pain in the butt before 2007. Silly styluses, tiny buttons and even Start menus!

      Where was Android in 2007? oh yeah, it was a Blackberry style prototype!

      1. johnnytruant

        Multi-touch and finger gestures were around in Fingerworks devices for years. Back in the day I had just saved up enough for one of their awesome Touchstream LP keyboards when Apple bought the company and discontinued all their products. Sure they weren't phones, but the technical innovation of multitouch hardware wasn't Apple's work. They just bought someone else's patents.

        I had a touchscreen phone in 2006 and it was perfectly usable. Sony Ericsson P900, iirc. No stylus needed (although one was supplied), no buttons, no start menu. The handwriting recognition was so good I could even send email with one hand, with the phone in my pocket. Yes, it wasn't as slick as modern devices, but it was certainly good enough.

      2. Mark .

        "Where were the multitouch finger operated phones prior to the iPhone 1?"

        Congratulations, you've hand-picked the one feature that Apple did first (and that is just multitouch - earlier touchscreen phones could be finger operated). Why is that more important than zillions of other features important to phones today, that appeared in other platforms first?

        Where were the apps in the Iphone 1? Or the simple UI features like copy/paste? Or the ability to multitask?

        You're right, the Iphone wasn't a smartphone. So it's not even relevant to the discussion.

    5. Riccardo Spagni

      I think you're confusing innovation with invention. Collins defines it as "to introduce something new; make changes in anything established." In fact, the word "innovation" comes from the Latin "innovatus, which is to renew or to alter. On the other hand, Collins defines "invent" as "to originate or create as a product of one's own ingenuity, experimentation, or contrivance." Can you see the difference?

      Thus, I would argue that a great many of Apples products and services are innovative. Take multitouch, for example. As a technology, it already existed. Thus Apple did not *invent* multitouch. But they implemented the technology on a mobile phone in a successful manner - true to the Latin root for innovation, they renewed or altered the technology.

      Whilst I respect that everyone has an opinion, your poor grasp of the English language coupled with the accusatory tone of your post makes you sound like an imbecile - or worse, a deluded fandroid.

      1. Intractable Potsherd
        Thumb Down

        @Riccardo Spagni

        "Whilst I respect that everyone has an opinion, your poor grasp of the English language coupled with the accusatory tone of your post makes you sound like an imbecile - or worse, a deluded fandroid."

        I was initially hovering over the Upvote button because you are correct in your analysis of the difference between 'innovate' and 'invent'. However, the wholly unneccessary ad hominem got you a downvote.

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    The Devil

    has all the best iTunes

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drug Addicts

    No generally drug addicts will not experience the 'love/hate' you talk about, it's more necessity and instant relief they think about.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The service is absolutely 10/10 - my wife had a tiny hairline crack develop on the back of her 3GS - replaced without issue. The gasket on my 4S slipped slightly obscuring part of the lens (quite possibly after being dropped - cannot be sure) - booked a slot at the Apple store - they asked me to come back 20 minutes later (as they were exceptionally busy) - went and got a coffee - came back - phone fixed.

    The service from Apple is far, far and further above anything you get from Samsung or others and there is a REAL value to that. To compare - a friend had a Samsung - developed a fault - after 3 phone calls and over an hour on the phone they 'reluctantly' agreed he could return it. They sent out a pre-paid bag (which arrive about 4 days later), he sent it back - they had warned him it could take 3 weeks to be returned. True to their words it was about 3 weeks - so basically he was without a phone for a month. THEN the one they sent back was a refurb and in worse condition to the one he had sent back (his was less than 3 months old). Poor.

    1. Chris Miller

      I haven't had a problem with any of my Samsung phones (one of them is over 10 years old). But when my Samsung PVR started playing up about a year or so after I'd bought it, they collected it, tried to repair it and, when that failed sent me the current equivalent model. The process did take a few weeks as you describe (it was over Xmas).

    2. nematoad Silver badge


      "The service is absolutely 10/10 "

      So it should be, the price you are paying for this stuff.

      1. QuinnDexter

        Re: Bah!

        @nematoad - so are you saying with Apple you get what you pay for? What does that mean for Samsung and other similatly proced Andriod phones where the service is nowhere near as good or timely?

        I don't get trolling. Maybe I'm just young enough to be a geek and into all electronics but old enough so as to not have my eyes bleed every time I read a positive missive about a piece of hardware I don't own. Can't Fandroids and Fanbois just learn to get along?!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bah!

          When I needed a laptop repair (due to faulty GPU from NVidia) I went to the Apple store after booking it in via an app. It let me pick a time to be seen and date. They tested it and said it would be a few days. I collected it the next day!

          How do you do this for Samsung, where are their retail shops? or do you post it off or have to go and deal with the wonderful people at PC World?

          1. Simon Harris Silver badge

            Re: Bah!


            Well, I'd go to the Samsung website, and under Support, I'd click on 'Find Service Locations' and take it from there.

            It's not rocket science!

          2. Mr. Great Sage

            Re: Bah!

            @Apple Store "Repair"

            Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this whole "go into an apple store, and have them repair my device" a pay for service? How is this any different then me opting in my Cell Phone service carrier for an insurance plan, that lets me completely replace the phone if something goes wrong?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bah!

        For people who like good service and who have plenty of money this sort of service is what they want.

        We all know there are faster cheaper cars than a BMW or a Mercedes, but premium brands often have better service.

    3. charvolant

      That's the experience I had with my iPhone. It developed a problem with the display, was away for 1 week for evaluation (by the network provider) and 3 weeks for repair (by Apple).

      I did get the repaired phone back, rather than a refurb, so I suppose that counts as better service.

    4. Intractable Potsherd

      Apple stores

      This is the one area Apple have, to my mind, innovated. Having their own stores means that they have an investment in everything from production, supply, sales, and returns. This ownership of the whole channel means that there *will* be better service - the staff are identified with the goods they sell, and it is to their advantage that the customer is satisfied. I may not like the actual style of the Apple Store model (I went in once, came out feeling dirty), but it is worth a fortune to the company.

  5. Jedit


    I'll make no secret of it that I despise Apple for the vile techniques they use in their desperate attempt to gain a monopoly on handheld computing. Their plan to have devices that do everything not quite as well as the specialist devices has failed now that other manufacturers are capable of producing devices that do everything just as well, and being unable to keep up in innovation they have resorted to stopping their rivals joining the race at all.

    Unlike you, Matt, I have not bought into Apple. I have considered an iPad, I won't deny, but ultimately Apple's business practices are too revolting for me to stomach. They have enough money to behave the way they do; they do not, therefore, need mine. Should they start playing nice, I might change my mind. But they won't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Counterpoint

      I'm similar, I refuse to buy any Samsung products until they end the monopolistic corruption of South Korea.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Counterpoint

      Who else are you going to buy from?

      Samsung are suing people, Motorola (acting on behalf of Google) are suing people. Microsoft are suing people.

      The only people who don't seem to be suing is RIM. So are you getting a Playbook?

      1. Comments are attributed to your handle

        Re: Counterpoint

        There's always the option of not buying one at all.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Friend had a Macbook Pro - probably 4 years old and at least 6-12 months out of warranty. Hard drive failed - took it to the Apple Store - they replaced / fitted the new hard drive with a new 1Tb one and reinstalled the OS and backup data rom TimeMachine. They charged him around £100 which at the time was the cost of a replacement bare drive from Amazon - you can't really ask for fairer than that.

    I also know plenty of offices that have moved over to using Macs and made cost savings far in excess of he cost of the hardware by lower 'support' and time lost by downtime. Purchase cost is not the TCO.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Shoddy support

      I also received very shoddy support.

      My iPhone 3GS stopped working the second day I had it. I took it back to the store, they sent it off for repair. 2 weeks later, it came back with the note "no fault found."

      2 days later, it stopped working again. The next morning it worked for a couple of hours, then stopped working again, back to the store, they sent it away, 2 weeks later, it was returned "no fault found."

      2 hours after I got it back, it stopped working again!

      I went back to the store and balled the sales assistant out in a fully packed store, saying that Apple were incompetent and that the phone had now been sent back twice for repair and they had failed to even find the problem (the phone wouldn't switch on). I said I wanted a replacement device.

      They sent the phone away, again, and 2 weeks later I received a new phone, with the comment that they had found the fault and replaced the handset!

      So, from the first 7 weeks of ownership, I spent 6 weeks running round with a Samsung slider phone as a replacement for my iPhone!

      Then my bosses iPhones started breaking down, same procedure, the phone was collected from the office and returned 2 weeks later - standard Apple operating procedure at the time. He went through 3 iPhone 3GS and 4 iPhone 4 phones in 5 months. each time, we had to wait 2 weeks. After the second 3GS broke down, he took an iPhone 4 on somebody else's company contract and we kept swapping back and forth. His 4S seems to be of better quality, he has had it 8 months now, without any problems.

      At the same time, my htc Mozart 7 died after a firmware update. The defective handset was collected and they left a replacement handset behind.

      Unfortunately, at the time, going to an Apple Store and talking to a Genius wasn't an option, the nearest Apple Store was in Paris, an 8 hour drive away, and they speak a different language!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shoddy support

        So by your own admission, you didn't buy it from an Apple store. The retailer you returned it to (not Apple) are responsible for replacing faulty goods. They didn't and sent it to Apple for inspection and Apple found nothing wrong (which is likely not to be their fault, intermittent faults are always a tech support nightmare) and you have now introduced this story to blame Apple and not the store who were actually responsible for the shoddy after sales care.

        This is precisely why Apple have been introducing their own stores; so they can control the customer experience because other retailers are so often crap and unthinking users blame them instead of the retailer who has been responsible for the bad experience.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Shoddy support

          There were no Apple Stores to buy from. They didn't exist...

    2. Mark .

      And my anecdote is that they needed to charge £100 to repair an Ipod, even though it was also paid for with their insurance.

      Why do I need "support" time? Maybe you do on Apple, but not with other products. You can harp on about your anecdotes all you like, but remind me the market share of OS X again?

      Plus, to spin the Apple-arguments back - if other products cost more than Apple, I guess that means they're better as luxury products, right? I'm sorry you're too poor to afford that.

  7. Shardik

    An opposing viewpoint!

    I have an iPhone 4, had it 20 months and the home button got gradually less and less responsive. I know LOTS of other people with this same problem and the forums are full of complaints, so this is not my mis-treatment of a device (as opposed to dropping it and cracking screens, flushing it down the toilet, etc etc...)

    I went to the Apple Store and they told me, sure they'd fix it, £139 for a replacement refurbished phone! :-o Excuse me, I'm within my 2 year contract, Goods in the UK should last a REASONABLE amount of time, please fix your shoddy manufacturing fault. No sir, we can't do that.

    O2 volunteered to fix it for free, but they'd have to send the handset away. At least they know their legal responsibilities. So I ended up with a kid down the road who runs a repair business fixing it for £17 quid while I waited.

    Oh and my (coincidentally) 20 month old 27" iMac with 1TB Seagate driver started showing signs of drive failure with messages in the log on regular intervals. Apple have a recall for this exact same drive in the 6 month newer model. My one? No. They want me to cart a huge iMac back to the Apple Store, then estimate £200+ to replace the hard drive, and are unable to tell me how long they need it, whether they have a replacement in stock or any of that malarky until I've physically lugged the most unportable machine imaginable on a 10 mile journey. What double-galls me is I could replace it myself if they hadn't changed the pesky drive firmware for their own temperature monitoring (What? Is SMART not enough of a standard for you guys to follow?).

    Apple Customer Service? I don't think so.

    I came to Apple 6 years ago after many years of Windows ownership. I find their attitude to customers appalling and if it wasn't for MS shooting themselves in the face with Windows 8, I'd be outta here.

    Just another perspective, YMMV as they say.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An opposing viewpoint!

      "I'm within my 2 year contract" (but not with Apple?)

      If you bought the phone from O2 then would assume they are your first port of call? Apple give you a 12 month warranty by default and you can extend it (for about £50 if I remember) with AppleCare to 2 years (3 years on some devices). If you bought it from O2 and they said they would fix it for free - not really sure where your issue is. I buy my phones direct from Apple and do get AppleCare (as it's vital I have my phone available) and if I have ever had an issue / question it has been resolved quickly.

      1. Shardik

        Re: An opposing viewpoint!

        That is true, but UK consumer law states a device should last a "reasonable" amount of time. A "reasonable" amount of time for a mobile phone is the length of the contract that you purchased the phone with. I believe (from lots of reading around at the time) that this has actually been tested in law.

        Would you honestly not expect a "quality" item that has absolutely no marks on it and has been well treated for 20 months to still be working? Funnily enough, I would. I wouldn't have thought I was setting my expectations too high.

        I am offering an opposing view of the "going beyond their obligations" kind of CS that is being touted in this article, it certainly is not the way Apple treat all their customers. It's very much luck of the draw.

    2. Big_Ted

      Re: An opposing viewpoint!

      um the 2 year thing is with the retailer, ie if its a phone from O2 on contract its them that are required by law with the 2 year bit.

      Sale of goods act is the other one you could use but again only with the company you purchased from not the manufacturer.

      Get in touch with them unless you purchased direct from Apple.

      1. Shardik

        Re: An opposing viewpoint!

        The retailer? I purchased it from the Apple Store. The same one I went back to...

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: An opposing viewpoint!

          I'm confused:

          You bought it outright from Apple, wouldn't that make it not a contract phone?

          Subsequently, O2 offered to fix a phone they had no financial interest in - for free?

          1. Shardik

            Re: An opposing viewpoint!

            It's not that confusing... I bought it from the Apple Store on launch day and signed up for a 2 year O2 contract in-store at the time of purchase. I didn't say it was purchased "outright", but the purchase was made in the Apple Store.

            Besides, the objection here is that the article implies Apple go above and beyond in the Customer Service. They do. SOMETIMES. I know people who've gone in with old iPods they bought as non-working off eBay and the Apple Store have fixed them for free. But don't EXPECT it's going to happen. For a while I thought it may have been based on customer profile, but it doesn't appear to be that either (over the years I've bought multiple iMac's, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Apple TV, Airport Express, surely a good "profile"). Maybe if I change my career to "Journalist" in my Apple profile it'd make a difference... ;)

            1. Steve Todd

              Re: An opposing viewpoint!

              In which case then no, you didn't purchase it from the Apple store, you entered into a hire purchase agreement with O2. Apple sold the device to O2, not you.

              1. Shardik

                Re: An opposing viewpoint!

                <shrug> Doesn't make a lot of difference what the fine-print is regarding contractual retailer, we are talking about out-of-warranty Customer Service for Apple hardware. The original article is not talking about in-warranty CS, it is specifically referring to gratis CS issues

                1. Steve Todd

                  Re: An opposing viewpoint!

                  You were trying to claim that the Apple Store, as the retailer you purchased from, owed you a free two year warranty. O2, the people you actually had the contract with, offered you a replacement, but at a speed you weren't happy with. O2's problem not Apple's. I suspect that the amount of out-of-warranty support that people get is inversely proportional to how aggressive they get at the shop.

      2. Michael Jennings

        Re: An opposing viewpoint!

        In my experience O2's warranty repairs take about three business days and they give you a loan phone while it is away. Usually the loan phone is just an ordinary phone for calls and texts rather than a smartphone. Yes, one is without one's phone for two or three days, which can be mildly irritating. Still, I don't consider that bad service.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An opposing viewpoint!

      Ever heard of Applecare? It's a pretty cheap warranty extension and well worth it for anything 'critical'.

      1. Peter Johnston 1
        Thumb Down

        Re: An opposing viewpoint!

        You mean Apple charges you for something you should het anyway and you see this as good service.

        If a phone is on a two year contract it should last two years.

        1. Psyx

          Re: An opposing viewpoint!

          "If a phone is on a two year contract it should last two years."

          Rather longer than that, I feel.

          Cars come with a three year warranty quite often, but I'd be pissed off if the wheels fell off for at least twice that!

          All of my mobile phones have lasted at least five years. It's what I expect.

          1. dlc.usa

            Re: An opposing viewpoint!

            Indeed. And if they fell off on the Autobahn and you managed to survive, you'd likely be in a litiigious mood regarding the matter. Unless you missed the merchantability and fitness for purpose caveats in the purchase agreement, of course; then, you'd have no case.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: An opposing viewpoint!

        And therein lies the problem. Build cheap fragile products (but overpriced) and then have "wonderful" aftercare - for a price that is.

        Is it just me or does anyone else think that making a phone with glass front and back is insane? (obviously not from Apples we can replace it - for a charge perspective)

        I can honestly say I do not know anyone that has an iphone which does not have a crack in it in some form or another.

        What utter crap.

    4. dz-015

      Re: An opposing viewpoint!

      "I have an iPhone 4, had it 20 months and the home button got gradually less and less responsive. I know LOTS of other people with this same problem and the forums are full of complaints, so this is not my mis-treatment of a device (as opposed to dropping it and cracking screens, flushing it down the toilet, etc etc...)

      I went to the Apple Store and they told me, sure they'd fix it, £139 for a replacement refurbished phone! :-o Excuse me, I'm within my 2 year contract, Goods in the UK should last a REASONABLE amount of time, please fix your shoddy manufacturing fault. No sir, we can't do that."

      I had exactly the same problem and same awful experience. My iPhone was less than 18 months old and they still wanted to charge me an absurd amount of money. I too ended up paying someone to repair it for a much smaller amount of money, then I made a massive nuisance of myself in the Apple Store, emailed Apple's CEO and COO of Apple repeatedly, and generally kicked up a massive fuss and kept complaining until they gave me Apple Store vouchers of a pretty high value to shut me up. I recommend others in this situation keep doing the same thing, and eventually Apple might learn to show some respect for the consumer rights law in the part of the world where they are doing business.

      1. dz-015

        Re: An opposing viewpoint!

        Oh, and I now buy Apple products in John Lewis because they give a two-year warranty included in the price, unlike the Apple Store where it's only one-year and they refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Sale of Goods Act.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An opposing viewpoint!

      The most common reason for the home button becoming non-responsive, is using it whilst eating crisps. Salt is a highly corrosive and works it's way in around the edge of the button. The button is on the PCB so it is expensive to replace. Bubble contacts are highly reliable so if it has packed up, it is almost never going to be for any other reason than the ingress of material you shouldn't be getting on the phone. If you bought it from an O2 store, then they are responsible for replacing kit that is faulty within the warranty period, not Apple. Having said this, I think they should provide warnings about the dangers of salt ingress, as it is such a common problem and one really that is the responsibility of the user to avoid (just as you should avoid dropping it in the loo), however many people don't understand just how damaging salt is.

    6. Mark .

      Re: An opposing viewpoint!

      I upvoted your post, though:

      "I find their attitude to customers appalling and if it wasn't for MS shooting themselves in the face with Windows 8, I'd be outta here."

      Why do you not like Windows 8? You don't want to support MS because they add support for touchscreens in additional to keyboard/mouse, but you'll continue to give money to a company that wants everyone to be throwing away their PCs/keyboard/mice for 10" touchscreen-only tablets? And it's Apple and the hype they get to thank for why MS is under pressure to add touch support.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I have considered an iPad, I won't deny, but ultimately Apple's business practices are too revolting for me to stomach."

    ... playing nice? And you really reckon Samsung et al are ANY better - grow up and don't be so naive.

    Buy the device you want (Apple or otherwise) that suits you as any of these corporates will screw each other over to make profit. At least Apple do innovate (more) and have great customer service which is what you should be more concerned with.

    I bought an iPad as it was far and away the best device FOR ME at that time - do you really see Samsung or others as these altruistic corporates with a conscience - no - they would screw each other and you given a chance.

    1. tom dial Silver badge


      It might be that they would, if they could. But they can't, and they won't. My business, should I ever figure out how I can use an *pad for effective work against the seriously damaged US patent regime, probably will go to Asus or Samsung. Apple's innovation is in the same category as that of Louis Vuitton

  9. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Apple service for Android

    If Apple have annoyed you that badly, buy Androids and put the difference in cost into your insurance account. When you break an Android buy a new one with money from your insurance account.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple service for Android

      Difference in cost - last time I looked the equivalent Samsung / Motorola phone or tablet was about the same price. Insurance for an iPhone / Galaxy can cost £10-15 per month - perhaps I'm just careful so I self-insure. A friend smashed up their iPhone while skiing - Apple replaced it for about £120 - will Samsung do the same?

      1. Peter Johnston 1
        Thumb Down

        Re: Apple service for Android

        Only an idiot pays for dedicated phone insurance - it is covered by most home insurance policies and by travel insurance.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Apple service for Android

          > Only an idiot pays for dedicated phone insurance - it is covered by most home insurance policies and by travel insurance.

          You might want to look closer into the exclusions and excess on most home policies these days.

          Accidental damage to phones is not usually in base policies. Also covering personal items out of home is again an added extra, so not really free - may even be more expensive than a dedicated phone policy.

          Plus you lose your home insurance no-claims bonus if you claim.

          I wouldn't rush to label people who choose to take them as 'idiots'.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must say that I only reluctantly buy Apple products because of their business practices. I also really struggle to understand how they get away with so much vertical integration and anti-competitive practices - Microsoft got taken to the cleaners for including a browser in their OS, Apple get away with having almost complete control over what can be installed on their mobile devices, and on top of that, control much of the retail channel.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Business practices - and Samsung are better how exactly?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Where does Samsung get mentioned in the post - Surely someone wouldn't take money to post anti samsung comments on Apple stories? D- Must try harder.

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Microsoft had a monopoly and tried to extend it using shady business practices. Apple doesn't have a monopoly (yet) and is using shady legal process to attempt to attain one.

  11. Peter Johnston 1

    Good customer service - Hah!

    I had three Apple products - a laptop, a desktop and an iPhone.

    The laptop broke down at 13 months. Hard drive. Couldn't buy the part - had to be fixed by an Apple Service Centre. Service Centre told me I could pay £95 to jump the queue otherwise it would take 3 weeks.

    The desktop broke down at 13 months. Very simple repair - power supply - a part I could have been down to Maplin and had fixed in an hour for £13. They wanted over £100 to repair.

    During that time I also spent over a hundred on "upgrading" the operating system - basically bug fixes which elsewhere would be free but were packaged by Apple into a must have release for $99.

    The iPhone 3 was lovely when new. Then they launched the G and "upgraded" the software - no choice whether to have it. Suddenly things which worked fine became so slow as to be unusable. It got worse with each new product released.

    I also found that, although I deliberately bought it from a store where it was not locked to a particular carrier, Apple allowed that carrier to lock it to them as part of one of these upgrades.

    I moved back to PC and on to Android. The Sting in the tale - Adobe insisted I pay all over again for their software - over £1000 - because I changed platform.

    1. Callam McMillan

      Re: Good customer service - Hah!

      I'm not an Apple fan, however £100 to replace a PSU out of warranty isn't too harsh. Just because you can do it for £13 from Maplins doesn't mean you should. Hell I wouldn't use a £13 Maplin PSU for much more than a paperweight. If I need to replace a PC PSU then I would be looking to spend £70-90 for a standard desktop and for a high end machine £150-200 (Although the original drive would probably be replaced under the long warranties now offered)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For years I've put up with crap service

    For years it has seemed like every PC company has been a total rip-off. The despair at dealing with faceless corporate entities who didn't give a shit about any follow up care. Printer manufacturers deliberately hiding the option to print black and white and hiding it 5 levels deep in the printer driver options dialog box - and making it default back to colour every time. Installed crapware on PC's, deliberately with the uninstall app disabled so you would be forced to keep it. The experience of trying to return a faulty item at PC world and being treated like a criminal trying to get away with a scam, or being argued with by some idiot tech support guy. The hours wasted on tech-support phone-lines only to find the whole experience a notional nod at the concept, with no real attempt or desire to provide an actual service outside of the most basic basic scripted troubleshooting steps a 4 year old could have figured out before making the call. And all that without even listing years of Microsoft annoyances, where like a messy room - if the mess is left for long enough it is no longer noticed (I can't believe, that still, in this age of iPad and computer as appliance, where the software almost always just works, still if you work with the document navigation map open on a MS Word document, within a couple of hours your long document is highly likely to get corrupted, and highly likely to be irrepperably so - how many years of wasted hair pulling, user rage and frustration does that represent).

    Then having experienced that for years and years and hating it with a passion, I switched to Apple and all those frustrations, overnight evaporated. I know many hate Apple, but personally, as a customer getting good customer service (and my experience completely matches Matts), I hope people can understand why I don't care if they are a ferociously competitive business. After all, they are channeling that ferocious competition into making the best stuff for customers like me they think they can. They simply get what it means to be pro-customer and avoid all the above anti-customer practices and I am entirely happy to pay the Apple premium for them doing so.

    Reflecting Matts experience, I had the same thing with a 27" iMac. Two things that went wrong with the machine and I had to take it into the shop twice. The first was the disk drive failed, and was found to be one of a known faulty batch, for which a recall had been issued, Then I had a problem with the fan becoming noisy and the base plate screws were stripped when this was fixed and the base plate refitted. I complained to customer services the screws had been stripped and the customer services rep was only empowered to say "bring it back in". I said I wasn't happy seeing as it had already just been returned and it was Apples fault. Just as I was starting to get the "damn them" feeling, I received, unprompted a call from the Store manager.

    "I've been told your not happy", he said, "I hear the base plate screws have been stripped. Sir, that is unacceptable,so we will swap it out your machine the new latest [upgraded and more powerful] model. I'm very sorry you've had this experience with Apple kit." Result, one delighted customer.

    1. Peter Johnston 1

      Re: For years I've put up with crap service

      The head of sales at Currys/PC World has now moved to head up Apple's Retail Division. Shows their commitment to customer service.

      One reason I moved away from Apple was that intuitive things didn't work. I lost count of the number of times I just wanted to move a file but the box was greyed out. No help, no way round.

      The idea that Apples are easier to use is just Apple hype.

      1. Euchrid

        Re: For years I've put up with crap service

        "The head of sales at Currys/PC World has now moved to head up Apple's Retail Division. Shows their commitment to customer service."

        Actually, Browett was Chief Executive of Dixons Retail, which is the parent company of those companies. Anyway….

        Anecdotally, these days I don’t hear much bad word of mouth (I’m struggling to think of any) about either of those stores – I don’t use them myself (other than occasionally popping in), but a lot of non-tech colleagues do and their feedback tends to be pretty good – far better than it used to be. One of my mates bought a laptop from a PC World a couple of weeks ago and said the service was actually rather good and the guy serving was very open that the price (which had had come done a lot) and actually been like that for quite a while, rather than pretending it had suddenly come down. As I say, I only pop in now and then, but my impression is that things have improved somewhat – particularly with staff .

        Last Christmas, PC World/Currys was one of the few high street retailers that actually did well. Maybe Browett hadn’t done too badly there? The Dixons share price went down when he left for Apple, which indicates that investors didn’t think it was necessarily going to be ‘business as usual.’

        Browett’s also been credited in taking a fledging service and nurturing it into a major retailer.

        If you want to have a pop at Browett and Apple’s customer service, I think you would have been far better looking at the recent news stories (and arguably, this reflects more on Tim Cook than Browett), rather than the reason you gave, which I suspect would have carried more weight several years ago (overlooking the obvious fact that Browett was actually at Tesco).

    2. johnnytruant

      Re: For years I've put up with crap service

      Protip: shop at John Lewis.

      Their customer service is peerless. Their technical knowledge too. Plus they stock more than one brand of electronics and won't push you towards the most expensive. I went in all ready to buy an ultrabook/MacAir because I wanted the screen size, but the chap steered me to a non-ultra 13.3" Toshiba which was half the price.

      1. Peter Johnstone

        Re: For years I've put up with crap service

        I briefly worked for John Lewis; unlike PC world their staff are not on commission and don't have individual sales targets, although there are department targets. I often surprised first time computer buyers by advising them that all computers on sale would be capable of connecting to the internet and directing them to the cheepest one so that if it ends up sitting in the corner gathering dust, they'd have wasted less of their money.

      2. Mark .

        Re: For years I've put up with crap service

        Indeed - and I thought of this when I read the story about that recent leaked "Genius" Apple employee training programme booklet, which basically amounts to brainwashing the customers. Go to JL or PC W, and say you'd prefer a 7" tablet, they'd show you a Samsung or Google/Asus one. Go to Apple store, and they'll tell you why you need a 10" one. Say you want a 10" ultra-portable to do some computing, and you like a keyboard, with long battery life but you don't want to spend a huge amount, in most shops they'll point you to a netbook, from many companies. Go to Apple, and they'll tell you why you don't need a keyboard, and insist that with 10 billion "apps", that must mean therefore there's more productivity software than Windows. And you'll pay more for the privilege too.

  13. batfastad

    I just want

    I would just like to be able to buy a device and do whatever I want with it and put whatever I want on it. Unfortunately there's no smartphones or tablets for me. The next best alternative is Android.

    Not that I even want a tablet, I prefer something with a real keyboard, better battery life and ability to run all my desktop programs (Asus Eee 1005HA-P). It seems like I'm in a minority these days.

    I guess I've just never found computers and gadgets difficult to use. Most people buy iWhatevers safe in the knowledge that they will just work. They are designed for the lowest common denominator to be able to operate with minimal technical knowledge needed. And that's a very good thing in consumer electronics. They look different enough from all other devices to stand out from the crowd so there's more of a brand awareness, plus more expensive is always better, right?!

    What I don't like is closed ecosystems and Apple is the boss of closed ecosystems these days. Most companies operate a closed ecosystem to some degree, it's a natural way to exploit sales, but Apple is the boss. I also don't like shoddy, slow, bloated software and iTunes is the boss of shoddy, slow, bloated software.

    Each to their own but Apple's products are just not designed for people like me.

    <Ducks the inevitable downvotes>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I just want

      It's called EACH TO HIS (or her) OWN. I don't want to spend my life tinkering or re-ROMing or jailbreaking - I want a phone, pad, notebook that works - for that Apple works very well. iTunes is much better than it was and having your music (and now films) available in the cloud is a real benefit - I have my whole music library with me wherever I am and iCloud also does a great job of keeping my to-do list, calendar, contacts etc. up-to-date across all devices. Mountain Lion is generally 'better' for most people - although Windows 7 is pretty decent these days.

      Since using Mac stuff I have a lot more time, my data is more secure - win - win. I even tested a full disaster recovery to imagine losing my Macbook (but still having the external backup drive) - was back and working in less than 40 minutes - never seen that on Windows (out of the box).

      1. batfastad

        Re: I just want

        Using the word "their" avoids the embarassment of stating someone's gender incorrectly. It's especially useful in a faceless internet forum where you are likely to have a mixed gender audience.

        Also the phrase may originally have been TO EACH HIS (or her (or their)) OWN.

        That's right, as I said, Apple stuff does just work with other Apple stuff with minimal fuss. Closed ecosystem. Not for me thanks. Good for you on the secure backup thing though!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: " I don't want to spend my life tinkering..."

        You make it sound like an android phone has to be bought as components and built at home. Believe it or not, they work when you buy them!

        All the tinkering, like over-clocking a PC for instance, is utterly optional. I don't want to over-clock my PC, nor do I want to change the system on my phone, but, above all all, I value the fact that I can if I want to.

      3. Mark .

        Re: I just want

        " I don't want to spend my life tinkering or re-ROMing or jailbreaking - I want a phone, pad, notebook that works - for that Apple works very well."

        Er, you don't have to do any of those things on other platforms. And on the contrary, it's only Apple that you have to jailbreak to do basic things - it's on other platforms you have freedom without doing that.

        "having your music (and now films) available in the cloud is a real benefit "

        Good for you - you can do this on any platform.

        "Mountain Lion is generally 'better' for most people - although Windows 7 is pretty decent these days."

        Pure opinion, and not sure why you have scare quotes. I'd say Windows 7 is generally better for most people, though OS X and Ubuntu are pretty decent these days.

        "Since using Mac stuff I have a lot more time, my data is more secure"

        I have more time with Windows, and have no trouble with data security. No idea about your benchmark, but I hope you tested with identical hardware.

    2. Mark .

      Re: I just want

      I share your view - although it's not all bad, most people aren't buying iWhatevers - Android dominates massively over Iphones. I do get annoyed about the absurd and unfair amount of hype and free advertising that Apple get from the media though (The Reg is a rare exception that covers other platforms in a more even manner) - it's like the entire media are trying to steer computing into a vision of something that many of us hate.

  14. Steve Williams

    Apple's attitude to knock-offs doesn't really surprise me...

    ...I saw what Microsoft did to them in the 1980s. And got away with it and made a huge amount of money. One reason I dislike Microsoft with a similar amount of bile that others reserve for Apple.

    By the way, where relevant, Apple licenced what they used from Xerox Parc.

  15. Mike Manship

    Congratulations friendly fruit!

    I for one would like to offer my congratulations to Apple on such an historic achievement!!!

    I'm not talking about winning the game changing court case against against Samsung based on the incredibly flakey US software patent system, or even the march to the top as the most valuable company in the world.

    What I'm talking about is stealing Microsoft's crown as most hated Corporation in the world, I didn't think it could of happened any time soon but I've got to hand it to you!

    Well done you guys, I hope it all works out well in the end....

  16. fizz

    No addiction...

    ...simple low-grade hypocrisy: the comfort of the immediate moment is more valuable to you of your ideals.

    Oh, it's perfectly natural, everybody does it... the same way people that knows oil is depleting have no troubles driving cars even when not strictly necessary, religion believers routinely sins, etc. etc.

    Somebody mask this cognitive dissonance by denying that's a problem in the first place (very common feature in this website), some others recognize it for what it is and struggle to find a balance between inconvenience and what's right.

    I would say that, while sharing your beliefs about Apple being bad for the industry, I have absolutely no troubles avoiding their products like plague, but I've to admit that I find their systems quite unusable from my point of view, so that's not a big effort on my side...

  17. Paul 181

    I bought a macbook in the states in 2008

    Last year the edges on the keyboard started cracking

    Took in into the Apple store and they replaced they keyboard FOC even though it was over 3 years old

    They even asked if I wanted UK layout instead of US !

    I expect most other manufacturers would not repair 'grey imports'

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The difference is Apple do innovate and actually license / buy in a lot of the technology / IP they use - i.e. they do it 'right'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yeah but they facilitate massive IP theft

      How else could you fill a iPod that can hold 8000 songs? 99c persong? I don't think so.

  19. sproot

    I took an 18 month old macbook air with a faulty screen in (there's a line down the middle, one side is a different shade to the other - common enough fault if you search), £380 please sir. Fuck you, I'll see you in court.

    They'll never see another penny from me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So I take it you have found a computer company in the UK who repairs notebooks older than one year for free, if you don't pay extra upfront for it?

      I can't find it. Have looked at Dell, HP, Samsung even the expensive Sony - all just have 12 months warranty in the UK.

      If you're going to pay for an extended warranty, Apple is hard to beat with their repair speed and network of stores.

      1. John Dawson


        Lenovo offer a 3 year carry-in warranty on their T series machines - I swear by these and have owned them back from the IBM days. The warranty is transferable too, so if you buy one a year old on e-bay you still have two years left. So far I have never had a machine fail in the three year period anyway.

        IBM/Lenovo also have comprehensive service manuals on-line so you can fix most faults yourself outside warranty.

        Works for me :)

  20. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Apple buys you peace of mind

    you get good technology at a premium price.

    you get good service and almost all Apple clients are happy with their purchases.

    Just don’t look at the existing and alternative technology, or if you do pretend its no better or you will have to spend your time slagging it off forums.

    Peace of mind is best achieved through not using it.

  21. Shardik

    Interesting stories...

    What I find really interesting about these posts is the huge range of experiences here.

    What is the deciding factor on whether Apple are helpful or not? I don't believe it's customer attitude (at least, not in my case anyway, I went in to see what they could do, not to shout at them, and got shown how to enable the on-screen home button replacement... yeah, we just thought we'd write a replacement for the home button, y'know, just in case people have problems with it... errr, not that anyone would have problems of course, cos we don't have a manufacturing defect there at all ... ;)).

    Yet we see total opposites on whether a non-warranty repair is handled FOC or not.

    Consistency... oh hang on, that would imply transparency, something Apple are notoriously devoid of... seems to be the issue here. Is it simply the sales target for the day? The "genius" that you speak to? The store you go in to? If anyone can shed any light on this I'd love to hear it.

    The AC who got his 27" iMac hard drive replaced, Paul 181 who got his 4 year old macbook fixed FOC

    as opposed to ...

    sproot's 18 month old Macbook Air with the faulty screen, my iMac HDD and iPhone home button, Peter Johnston with his 13 month old iMac and laptop troubles.

    Doesn't seem to be cost of the repair, or the age of the hardware, so what is the deciding factor?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting stories...

      Maybe some people are telling porkies - god forbid. As in - oh I had a Apple and it was crap so I buy Samsung now and never looked back or vice versa. I have had issues with Mac and non-Mac hardware - after all it all goes wrong - but overall I have found the 'experience' with Apple to be much better. I always get Applecare (which may make a difference) and buy it direct from Apple but never had an issue they have not fixed quickly and easily.

      But of course YMMV - really need one of those Which or JD Power type surveys to get an 'overall' view on a large number of devices - would be interesting to compare failures on iPhone 4S with the equivalent Samsung Galaxy S2 and then how quickly those faults were resolved as sending off my phone for replacement and being without it is a TOTAL NO-NO.

      1. Mark .

        Re: Interesting stories...

        Of course, the people telling negative stories must be telling porkies(!)

        Or more likely, there is no magic consistency, and it depends on the shop, the employees, the circumstances and so on - as well a the expectations (e.g., some people may think it amazing that Apple repair something they've paid for with insurance, even though that's normal - apparently because Apple have given it a magic name "Apple Care", it must be something completely different to insurance!).

  22. Dave Perry
    Thumb Up

    Mac resellers helpful too

    When I wanted a bigger drive in my MBP, I bought one from a Mac reseller (KRCS) who fitted the drive for free - I was told there would be a £20 charge, but I'm guessing it was waived as I did the Time Machine restore myself (which helpfully didn't need a full OS X install to run, just popping in the 10.6 DVD then attaching my USB drive).

    I've not found a PC reseller that will replace a laptop hard drive for 0 labour charge (although if you don't buy the laptop from them, suppose it's fair game to charge).

    On that note, can anyone recommend a PC equivalent of time machine? I use disk imaging in PCs I maintain, and hardly touch the desktop PC now but would just backup to external what I valued, but for standalone systems I think Time Machine's simplicity is superb.

    1. Peter Johnstone
      Thumb Up

      Re: Mac resellers helpful too

      I agree, Time machine is absolutely superb, and they say that apple do not innovate! For a Windows equivalent you could take a look at Genie Timeline, it's probably about as close as you'll get.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mac resellers helpful too

        Genie Timeline looks good - but look it's a 3rd party solution, £45 and you get that feature for free with your Mac. I also just updated my Macbook Air and iMac to Mountain Lion - cost about £13 in total (not even per machine) and was a painless process. Last time I updated a Windows machine it cost a hell-of-a-lot more a was a pain to do. It's not a Mac vs Windows battle here but the sticker price is not the TCO.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well good for you that the genius bar worked...

    Unlike my colleague who had a pristine iPhone (Seriously, it was a year or so old but looked like it was straight out of the shrink wrap) where the headphone jack didn't work.

    When he took it to the Apple store on Regent Street, the 'genius' took out some device to look into the jack and confidently said that there was water damage 'so tough for you buddy'...

    He now has a Samsung Galaxy S3 and is amazed at how much better than his iPhone it is...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well good for you that the genius bar worked...

      It may have looked pristine but he may have dropped it in water for all you know. My experience of Apple has been superb and consistent with other friends who have Apple gear.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well good for you that the genius bar worked...

      Ah a "colleague" story. Now, Samsung would never fake something like that would they?

      Samsung hired a marketing agency to fake blog about its products.

  24. roblightbody

    At the price Apple charges, customer service MUST be superb

    At the price Apple charges, customer service MUST be absolutely superb, and best in class. Its one of the few ways they can justify the extremely high price of their products.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: At the price Apple charges, customer service MUST be superb

      Except that is not really true - bought a Macbook Air and it was pretty much the same price as the nearest equivalents. When I bought my iPad it was about the same as a colleagues Motorola Xoom and my wife had a iPhone 4 which was about the same price as the equivalent Galaxy II at the time. There really is not that much difference when you compare like-for-like - yes you can get cheap netbooks but they are not the same as a Macbook Air.

      1. Mark .

        Re: At the price Apple charges, customer service MUST be superb

        There are some deals where an Iphone might match the equivalent other phone, but in general, the range of prices on Iphones is far more expensive than those you can get the equivalent other phones. And which is it - we hear hype all the time about how wonderful special Apple are because they can charge more and make more money? But now you say that Apple are wonderful, because it isn't true?

        I don't think there's anything special about Apple being able to make PCs at no more expensive than other companies though. For heaven's sake, most of us could build desktop PCs at a similar price to commercial ones. Small companies like PC Specialist can do great deals on powerful laptops I should think a big multinational can do it!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Matt, it seems that what you're saying is that you're willing to continue to reap benefits yourself even though you are contributing to the coffers of a company you deem ultimately immoral and destructive.

    Whilst on a very different scale, this sounds like the same selfish argument that drug-takers use, even though they know that the ecstasy they take is destroying communities in central and south America. Or smokers who know that their children are passively smoking in their homes. Or drunk people who decide to drive home.

    Is it really so hard to make moral decisions?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Weak-willed

      What is the right moral alternative? Samsung?

      1. dlc.usa

        Re: Weak-willed

        Possibly the right [pun intended] answer is "None of the above." If you want to motivate good global citizenship by corporations, you have to "vote" in the only terms they understand. Or perhaps you could motivate government to motivate them on your behalf. Unless the right answer to government is also "None of the above."

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple service

    A 4 year old Macbook Pro died with the NVIDIA issue that was going around back then, took it to the local Apple Store which accepted the machine (done in 10 minutes) and apologised saying it would take about a week as they didn't stock such old parts in store.

    Three days later I got a call saying they after replacing the motherboard and running further diagnostics they found out that the hard disk was starting to show a fault. "Can we replace your hard disk too, and do you have a backup?" Yes of course.

    End of that same day I was picking up the machine back fully repaired. No charge.

    1. Mark .

      Re: Apple service

      Sorry, but who cares? Load of us could share stories about how we love other companies, either the product, the service, or both. But what relevance does that have?

      This is what I don't get - since the Apple vs Samsung story, we've had Apple fanatics using it as an excuse to evangelise - as if they didn't already try to shove Apple Apple Apple down our throats every other day of the year. Sorry, we're not interested. The issue here is Apple's disgraceful behaviour in the courtrooms - and if you want to use that as an excuse to shill about Apple products, giving benefit to them, you're part of the problem.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A colleague had a Samsung Galaxy Note - it hard to go back to Samsung and they had it for nearly a month before sending back a refurb. Due to the length of time it was away he had to buy a new one - can you honestly be without your smartphone for weeks?

  28. Tringle

    The after sales care is so well oiled . .

    . . because the products are so fragile they are always breaking. And the profit margins are so big that even if they had to replace every single thing they sold free of charge there would still be a gross profit in it.

    Personally I prefer to buy things that don't break, but that's just me being picky.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The after sales care is so well oiled . .

      Always breaking - really? In my experience the Apple stuff has been better made, more reliable etc. than any other manufacturer I have used. I've got old iPods that are still going after 10 years perhaps, an ancient 'Mini' that still works fine, have friends with 4-5-6+ year old Macbooks still in use.

  29. Christopher Rogers

    Painfully true.

    Apple benefited from Jobs's OCD approach to his vision of consumer technology. By micro-managing every part of the user experience right down to aftercare etc etc, Jobs created an all encompassing experience for the user that lasts from walking into the Apple store/going to Apple website, right throughout the experience of using that product during its lifespan. This has not even been remotely replicated by any other firm. I mean, walk into a Sony shop and see how comfortable your made to feel. Because Sony don't directly control the experience in the shop, most Sony store employees treat you with contempt (in my experience). The Apple experience hammers everyone and frankly other high street names in different industries could learn a lesson.

    Apple products are not always the best on the market, but they are usually not far off. Its telling that any new laptop/ultrabook/tablet/smartphone that comes out is nearly always directly compared to the equivalent Apple product. This comes from OCD jobs and one of the worlds greatest product designers Jonathan Ive. They don't necessarily re-create the wheel with every product but what they seem to do is take the technology that exists and pull together the best combination of bits to produce the best version of that product they can. And thats fair enough. They take the spoils because they happen to be good at that.

    This however is not necessarily innovation. This is just doing the same thing as everyone else but appealing to more consumers. This should not be something that allows Apple to bring everyone else to court for doing the same thing. Maybe its the American patent system that is at fault for allowing such a position to exist, but really what we seem to have here is Apple being the spoilt child at the game. the one who picks up the ball, says everything is not fair and goes home. For years Microsoft were ripped to pieces for this, but as Apple is America's darling, bias and a blind eye seem to be letting this attitude problem slide.

    1. Mark .

      Re: Painfully true.

      "Its telling that any new laptop/ultrabook/tablet/smartphone that comes out is nearly always directly compared to the equivalent Apple product."

      The only thing telling about that is the ridiculous amount of bias and Apple obsession in the media. It's nothing to do with objectivity. The clue is that the hype appears *before* products are even announced, let alone released.

      Just look at how even now, the massively successful Nexus 7 has to share story space with "But there'll be an Ipad Mini, honest!" It's sickening, really. This is free marketing that apple get - nothing to do with technology, or OCD.

      1. Christopher Rogers

        Re: Painfully true.

        "The only thing telling about that is the ridiculous amount of bias and Apple obsession in the media. "

        And who do you think engineered the blanket of bullshit that covers the media?

  30. jshardlo

    Lucky you

    I just had a less than brilliant Apple customer support experience. I bought a new Macbook battery in May 2011. Recently I noticed it was displaying an error on the power menu saying "Service Battery". Since I rarely look at that menu the message may have been there for some time.

    But when I phoned Apple initially they said it would be replaced - but when I took it to the Apple authorized service center they said they'd have to check with Apple. I phoned Apple again to make sure they were giving the required response but was then told that my battery would not be replaced because it is 3 months outside the warranty period (despite the previous person saying it would be replaced).

    So I'm afraid so far not that impressed especially as this is the second battery I've had to buy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lucky you

      And how would Acer or anyone else be different? If it's out of warranty they have no obligation to replace it. May I suggest Applecare - it's not expensive and would have covered the lot for 3 years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lucky you

        You may suggest Applecare, I would suggest the even less expensive sale of goods act / standard EU law (that same EU law that has resulted in Apple being fined in Italy)

      2. Andrew Jones 2

        Re: Lucky you

        Warranty is a voluntary contract that the manufacturer of a product makes available at the time of sale and may last for however long the manufacturer deems necessary. However in the UK - the Sales of Goods act takes precedence over everything else - and a Battery that is less than 2 years old clearly does not meet the UK rules. Whether the company is Apple, Acer, Samsung or whoever - they may argue with you - but you just have to make them aware you know your rights as a UK citizen and they will back down - they know full well they only get away with this sort of practice because most people do not understand their statutory rights, they know full well that if they were taken to court - they would lose and would be fined for misconduct (or whatever the appropriate term is)

  31. Glostermeteor

    Each to their own. I own both apple and android devices, iPad for work and Android tablets and phones for all my personal stuff. I despise what Apple is doing, they are trying to shut down all competition in the courtroom rather than trying to compete fairly in the marketplace. I personally will never buy an Apple product again

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't get it - Samsung blatantly copy the iPhone / iPad and it's wrong for them to sue - yet if someone did that with your product it would be ok? Guess Mr. Dyson is fine with a Chinese / Korean company ripping off his IP after all it's flattering isn't it?

      1. Glostermeteor

        Yeah but the issue here is that Apple also copied and build on previous products to produce the iPad/iPhone, as nice as they were when they came out most of their concepts were already in existance, for example I had icons with rounded corners on my old Palm Tungsten which was in existence 9 years before the iPad even came out. The so called bounce back has also been around for yonks. That's the point Apple did not invent these concepts in the first place so why should they be able to sue people for also reproducing them?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Or they made a Smart phone and a tablet.

        Lets face it, they are all going to look fairly simular. Like all monitors look fairly simular, etc.

  32. a cynic writes...

    Is it just me?

    ...or are there a lot of AC's in today?

    1. Grikath Silver badge

      Re: Is it just me?

      Not just you..

      And in this kind of discussierrrmmm.. ragefest most of the AC's seem to be in the Fanboi camp.

      Same old, really.

  33. TheOtherHobbes

    The tragedy is

    that sometimes Apple approaches acceptable levels of build quality and customer service.


    But the spin machine makes this out to be some kind of epic win, when really it's barely approaching the minimum service level consumers have a right to expect.

    And this is only true because the service levels offered by the competition are often (usually?) even poorer.

    The entire consumer electronics industry has trained the public to accept bad work and minimal innovation and treat it like a life-changing revelation.

    1. Mark .

      Re: The tragedy is

      It's like anything with Apple really:

      "Apple are amazing that they sell millions"

      "Apple are amazing for being able to make a product that people want"

      "Apple are amazing for being 3rd place in the market"

      "Apple sometimes give okay customer service, amazing!"

      Apple are like the 9 year old kid in the family that comes 3rd in the egg 'n' spoon race at school. You clap, but it's not better than what other kids have done. For some reason, Apple get ridiculous praise, for doing what's normal for many if not most multinationals do.

  34. ArkhamNative

    Apple's biggest fault

    I suppose Apple's biggest fault is spending lots of time and money to package so many eye-catching features together in unique combinations. They release them all at once in a new product to receive two reactions: consumers swoon and competitors copy. Some, like unwise Samsung, copy so much, so closely, and leave a paper trail documenting that that was their intent all along, that a jury of self-described "PC people" and Samsung feature phone owners found them in violation in record time.

    Which is what I don't understand about this "threatens to impede innovation" claim. How is innovation served by copying, not just a feature or idea here or there, but whole suites of technologies, behaviors, and styles at once? In other industries such products are called "counterfeits", "fakes", and "knock-offs". If these ideas were so obvious, why did no other company release products with even a fraction of these features before Apple did?

    Surely it must anger even Apple haters that most mobile phones and tablets so rapidly switched to look and behave like iPhones and iPads? At least now, with the release of Microsoft's new phones and OS, consumers will finally get the chance to vote with your pocketbook, both against Apple and for a new, innovative mobile experience.

    1. Glostermeteor

      Re: Apple's biggest fault

      ArkhamNative, I can understand the argument if Samsung's physical devices looked exactly like Apple's and saying that is copying, but the gestures and other features that are being argued over are far too generic and were in existence long before Apple even came up with the iPhone or iPad. As to the point of crippling innovation, if it was just Samsung producing an exact replica of the iPad I would agree with you but in this case it's the actual concepts that are being argued over that Apple simply did not invent in the first place so why should they have a monopoly over their use? For example, the swipe to unlock feature that Apple tried to claim was theirs, people have been swiping or moving their hands to unlock things for centuries, that wasn't Apple's idea! Or another example, they also tried to claim that icons with rounded corners was also their invention, I have a Palm device from 2000 that has icons with rounded corners in it so its blatantly not Apple's invention!

  35. The New Turtle

    Do they have fanboi detection built in before deciding to help you?

    I bought a new Unibody Macbook end Dec 2008, and within a couple of months the mini-display port system for driving an external monitor failed. I took it to a genius bar and not only they would not accept there was a problem, but I was told that if they sent it away for 'testing' and nothing was found wrong then I would be charged. Despite paying £300 for an additional 2 years applecare. The problem was well known by the time I got there, the apple forums being full of others with similar problems.

    It came back with a replacement Mobo.

    Do they have some secret means of testing whether you're a fanboi before giving you this 'exemplary service' that some seem to get?

  36. dz-015

    "Apple ... takes the most egregious of Microsoft's monopolistic practices and raises them to an art form"

    Not really, since Apple don't have a monopoly on anything so far as I am aware, as opposed to Microsoft who were successfully prosecuted for having a monopoly _and_ abusing it.

    The other difference is that Apple make decent products, whereas Microsoft make pretty poor quality products then rely on monopoly abuse for profit. Not saying Apple are perfect, but this is a very important distinction.

    "Apple is toxic to the computing industry"

    I don't really see how this can be true when they make great products and don't have a monopoly on anything. People always have a choice, and Apple leads the way in terms of making huge efforts to make things people really want, thus driving the computing industry forward rather than holding it back. Whilst Apple aren't perfect, it seems a bit silly to say that a company behaving in this way is "toxic" for the industry.

    1. Glostermeteor

      They don't have a monopoly YET, but what this whole court case is about is whether Apple should have the patents to create a monopoly, if they continue to succeed they will because even if Samsung, Microsoft and others create devices that are different, they will still have to pay money to apple for gestures and other generic concepts which Apple did not create yet pass off as their own.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The products are nothing special. They still have their faults.

      In fact the article mentions an iphone 4 with broken glass... How many of these have you seen? I barely manage to make it through a week without seeing at least one.

      It is a design flaw, they are delicate. They might not scratch, but the slightest impact and they shatter.

      I've dropped my 18 month old non-iphone several times, and the glass has never shattered or even scratched. It just has some character scars on several parts of the casing.

      And as for a monopoly... Have you tried swapping out the video card on a Mac Pro for a better one, a better one that is generic and not subject to the 150% Apple tax? It's a fight I can tell you.

      1. dz-015

        "the slightest impact and they shatter"

        I've had an iPhone 4 for over 18 months, dropped it numerous times, and it doesn't even have a scratch on it. I don't even keep it in a case.

        The buttons, sadly, are not as robust, though they are quite easily repaired.

        "Have you tried swapping out the video card on a Mac Pro for a better one"

        Indeed I have. I paid the extra for an Apple one in order to avoid all the hassle of buggering about with the firmware etc. The point is that THIS WAS MY CHOICE, and I could just as easily have bought a Windows/Linux PC instead of a Mac Pro and had the choice of doing things differently. This is why Apple DOES NOT HAVE A MONOPOLY. You might want to read up on the definition of the word "monopoly".

  37. This post has been deleted by its author

  38. batfastad


    Ok then I'll bite with a bit of pointless trolling...

    Well done to Apple for sticking a SIM card inside a Dell Axim.


  39. Tom 11

    Oh, aren't they just a bunch of little sweethearts!!!

    They gave you new handsets which you have already paid for several times over, nothing is for free, not even rehashed tech in pretty packaging....

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you're just a consumer.. that's why apple loves you.

    i'm sure you spend money with them everyday in itunes, buying apps, etc... good for you.

    me, i prefer choice.

  41. Steve Evans

    "And yet... and yet... I can't stop buying into the Apple experience"

    I'm told the experience of taking heroin is also very calming and pleasant.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Patients should not be able to be sold, or transfered.

    They should belong to the origional inventor/innovator, or to the company if specified in contract.

    In instances where prior art is proven, the patent is automatically void.

    Patents are only applicable for the first 5 years, and then void.

    Anywhere this would not work?

  43. stanimir

    No everyone is a happy customer:


    Overall a nice write up. Yet, one of the favorite stories on terrible customer service . If you have missed the battle of a little guy vs big bad/rotten apple lawyers, have a look.

    Drying a phone -- 1st you need to remove the battery, guess it won't work for apple's stuff. Then blow it w/ cold air, i.e. the hair drier would do, just do not turn the heating. Works for phones dropped in the water closet just fine.

  44. Mark .

    If you want alternatives to Apple, then open your eyes.

    If Apple replaced it free of charge, I assume you were paying the insurance. The same exists for any other phone. (And for anyone about to reply anecdotes about how other companies don't replace them - I've also had experience where despite paying Apple the insurance, they don't replace them unless you pay a huge additional repair fee.)

    Why define yourself by Apple? In this house are two Samsung phones, one Samsung laptop, one Samsung camera, one Samsung set top box, three Samsung hard disks (one desktop internal, one laptop internal, one laptop external), as well as numerous Samsung components such as RAM in other laptops. But that doesn't mean this is a Samsung house. When I buy a new product, I look at what's best - e.g., recently I bought an LG TV and a Clevo laptop, as they fitted my needs better, even though I love Samsung.

    I never saw any need to buy anything Apple, and I find their products no better at best, and infuriating at worst. But even for a company I liked, if they tried the tactics Apple did, I'd stop buying from them in a flash. I entirely agree that Apple are far more a danger to open computing than Microsoft.

    There are loads of other successful multinational companies doing a phenomenal amount of good for their customers, who love their products, including companies selling far more than Apple, that do so without stooping to what Apple do (e.g., Samsung).

    "dominates the tablet market, and has the high-end of the smartphone sector locked down"

    Android dominates smartphones, even at just the high-end. And smartphones are tablets - Apple only lead (hardly dominate) in the realm of 10" non-phone tablets, which aren't something that most people want compared to smartphones and laptops. They're only the most valuable in the metric of shareholder valuation - hardly surprising, for a company that lives on hype.



    Regarding Apple's customer service, look at their margins!

    It is easy for the conqueror to be magnanimous.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So to summarise the article:

    They're cunts and litigious wankers who don't really innovate and manipulate a broken patent system to monopolise obvious inventi---OOOOOOHHHHH SHINY!!!!

    Seriously Matt? Fuck you.

  47. ofutur

    At first I thought I should just suggest to the author to grow some balls and make the decision once and for all to move away from that company he hates so much. With the money saved, he could probably pay for tech support for the entire family fleet and not have to worry about a thing. He would then be able to enjoy innovations provided by other companies instead of looking at the same OS everywhere he looks in the house.


    good luck finding a better customer service level, if you can live with the condescending attitude the Apple employees exhibit towards mere mortals.

  48. Chris Parsons


    This sugary confection had me wanting to throw up.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wonderfully written article

    Matt... I read all of your articles at the register and wherever else you publish. It was so refreshing to read your candid, honest and objective article. It resonated deeply with me. Being a Canadian (West coast) I'm surrounded by apple monoculture. Almost everyone I know uses apple mobile devices, and they ignorantly, incessantly sing apples praises. Most of them have absolutely NO idea what makes their magical devices tick, what the hell the cloud is et. etc. etc. I used to try to spark intelligent conversations with folks to show them how apple has out microsofted microsoft, and that instead of being a cool alternative, they are being lead down a road of eventual technological entrapment etc. I am a huge activist and user of open source software, use multiple android mobility devices etc. but... I am growing tired of trying to sell folks on android and what the future will look like if people continue on down the road apple is leading them down. maybe people just need another five or so years to realy start seeint where this is going. for me it is showing paralelles with politics... what happens when there is only one dominant political party? I chose android for a number of reasons but one was simply to "vote with my dollars". Apple may have been the easier choice but im happy to lose a touch of integration to be a part of change. Douglas Rushkofs book program or be programmed should be essential reading for every apple consumer...

  50. MarkW81

    I.T. for the rich

    Apple very good at what it does but its I.T. for the rich and fashion people in the world. Sounds to me that it’s a case of peer pressure ie a lot of people you know have them so you have them too. Maybe if I had more money I would have apple to or maybe I just like to be different and not follow the crowd, let see were they are in 5 years time and Microsoft to.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Being a former drug addict

    I can tell you, what you're experiencing is exactly how it feels. And your dealer is of course more than happy to fix any issues to make damn sure you keep coming back to him just like in the cases of your kids phones.

    You may hate everything about it, how much money it costs, how it makes friends and family feel about you, your own stupid behavior (Ive often thought that Apple Fanbois and Girls lining up for a new product look and act like a bunch of junkies waiting on their fix), and how the dealers act toward their competitors, but you keep going back no matter any of that.

    The only way to get around that feeling is to quit cold turkey and deal with the inevitable withdrawal. It sucks, and its gonna hurt, but its the only way to get over the addiction.

    AC for the obvious, Id prefer people didn't know about that rather dark period of my life.

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