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Rotten Apples

Ruth Miller

The way you see those little white wires dangling out of people’s ears, you’d think Apple was the Second Coming. The iPod succeeded in making Apple hip, but power corrupts, and how long will it be before Apple goes the way of Microsoft?

When you ask for computer purchasing advice at MIT, the likely answer is a thunderous “get an Apple!” I was computer shopping over the summer, and my friend/Apple intern had been pressuring me to switch to Apple since we met. I then ran into my GRT at my friendly neighborhood Apple store, who was also happy to see me preparing to switch. It seemed like everyone else I knew was chiming in to help me switch to Apple.

No one spoke for Microsoft, but can you blame them? The “blue screen of death,” monopoly litigation, and pain-inducing customer service are all trademarks of the greedy capitalist pig that is Microsoft. Apple, with its clean lines, pretty packaging, and posh everything is the epitome of cool. It’s the kinder, gentler technology giant that’s never too big to welcome another member. There’s definitely a feeling of camaraderie among Apple users. It started off as a necessity for survival when they were in the extreme minority, but now it’s a less exclusive, and less tightly bound, club. With that expansion, decline in service is an inevitability.

I was one of the poor fools to get a third-generation iPod. My battery life is currently 45 minutes, I cannot upload songs that I purchased at the iTunes store, and it doesn’t recognize playlists (uploaded or On-The-Go). A switch in banks and failure to keep a receipt means that I’m stuck with this $239 piece of stylish crap. I’m still hesitant to pony up another couple hundred dollars for a replacement, even if the market-tested products seem more reliable.

The new iPod Nanos are also reported to be problematic. The screen scratches very easily, and the Apple extended family is crying negligence — surely Apple knew of the flaw before it released the product, but released it anyway.

Worse yet, the Video iPod. I haven’t heard of any technical flaws, but I just don’t get the appeal of a 2.5” screen with two hours of battery life. The most disturbing part of this product was the fanatical media reception. One mock ad from summed it up best:

Apple iProduct. You’ll Buy it. And You’ll Like It.

Do you like Apple products? Do you live for every product announcement, every incremental upgrade, every rumor and screenshot? Do you wank and blare and drone and fucking gurgle about Apple products morning, noon, and night? Then get ready for iProduct. You’ll be blown away. No matter what it is.

Is Apple getting sloppy? Are they too excited by their success with the iPod to push the envelope, or are they just trying to cash in? Prior to the iPod, Apple was known for its customer service, sense of community, and well-made products. Microsoft would give anything for that kind of publicity. Hopefully, Apple will stop selling out and start getting back to its basics.