The Apple Fallacy

February 01, 2012

Mac’s are just better than PC’s. Everyone knows that. To a certain extent, I’d agree. Macs have established themselves as having a reliable reputation, and market themselves as “the Corvette of computers”. And everyone wants a Corvette, right?

But not everyone can afford one - least of all, students. And yet, walk into any given coffee shop, or even any given lecture hall on any given day, and you will see a disproportionate number of Macs being used by students.

Apple is the most profitable corporation in the U.S. today. That shouldn’t surprise anyone who looks closely at their hardware. A Macbook air has comparable hardware to a netbook, but retails for almost 5 times as much. How do they do this? Put it in an aluminum case, make it shiny, and slap an Apple on the back of the screen.

When it comes down to it, Apple has the highest gross margin of any tech company. When you look at the gap in the cost of hardware, you can see that Apple is obviously filling it with the excuse that “they have the best software”. For now, I must concede that they are correct - they have the best commercial operating system for the average end user.

This allows them to earn the trust of their followers. Apple customers become their own class of people. They are fanatics. It is a sliding scale, but I know of many Apple devotees who run out and by each hardware revision of the iPhone, have multiple Macbooks, and both versions of the iPad. This is when things get out of control.

If you are thinking of buying a Mac, step back for a minute and calm down. Chances are, you can use a chromebook for most things you do on your computer, for a fraction of the price. If you are looking for an iPhone, check out an Android instead. Rather than giving your money blindly to Apple, give it to a company that will work hard to provide you features for your money, rather than just assume your loyalty and take it as tribute.

So what is the Apple fallacy? The Apple fallacy is that Apple products are worth what they’d have you pay for them. If you are looking for reliability and value, go Droid, Chrome, or just try installing Ubuntu (it’s free! that’s an asymptotic cost to value ratio!).

Steve Jobs was not a god, he was a capitalist, and he left behind a capitalist company. Apple is top dog for now, but soon I expect consumers to wake up and stop drinking the kool-aide.

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