The brand promise of Apple

This is an Apple ad:

Done by Apple. More on that later.

So, last night I was out to dinner with a bunch of smart people. Folks who run their own companies. Folks who have helped many companies get started. Tech companies.

Of course people started talking about my Apple problems. Everyone at the table is a Macintosh user. What was fun is that at one point people started telling me about the problems they have had with their Macs. Many with far more serious problems than I have had.

I tried to turn on my video camera. They all instantly shut up and said “no video.”

Why not?

I dug a little more. It was because they all blamed themselves for the problems of their Macs and I think they also bought into the “Apple cult” which says that if you use a Mac you must be cool. Heck, look at that ad again. Who is cool? Not the PC user.

Now THAT is “brand promise.”

We believe Apple’s marketing so deeply that we aren’t willing to question it.

And then there’s something else. Apple has an ARMY of people who are anonymous who will come and call you every name in the book. I know. They hit yesterday here. I deleted them all, but, dozens, if not hundreds, of comments calling me every name in the book.

They hit over on Andy Beal’s site too. He got tired and just closed the comment thread over there.

The common thing about most of these comments is that it’s MY FAULT that my Apple machine is having trouble.

See, on my Windows machine I’m willing to accept this. After all, I know that Microsoft can’t really test every combination of hardware out there. My Windows machines can take dozens, if not hundreds, of different video cards, sound cards, hard drives, memory configurations, etc. The thing is on my Mac I didn’t load any third-party RAM — Apple’s brand promise is that you never will need to open your box to customize it. Heck, the iPhone goes further. You CAN’T customize it and if you try you have to “break” into it. I’ve never opened the box, or tried to do some weird stuff. I’m even pretty protective about what I load on this system. Why? Cause my world has moved to the Internet and browser-based apps. No need to install tons of software like I used to on my Windows boxes.

I watch that video over and over again and I get really pissed.

Pissed enough to say “screw you Apple” all over again.

Some of you (hi Fake Steve Jobs) misunderstood my point about Apple PR’s not wanting to give me free or loaner hardware. See, I know Apple sends free or loaner hardware to certain journalists. But only those it deems “important.” Steven Levy. Walt Mossberg. Those types. They got iPhones two weeks before those of us who were “unimportant” could BUY them in the stores.

The point isn’t that I want free (er loaned) hardware. It’s that Apple uses that free hardware to MANUFACTURE the “myth” of Apple as being great, and good, and “cool.” Also, if these guys want to get more free or loaner Apple hardware before the rest of us they need to make sure not to point out too many flaws in it. Yeah, they can point out a few, but they know they got picked because they generally write pro-Apple stuff. It’s a reason why I don’t want free stuff and why I waited in line to be among the first in the Valley to have my own iPhone.

Again. Brand promise of Apple. Only those who will give Apple a fair shake will get the goods. When Fake Steve Jobs says I’ll never get invited to another Apple press conference again he isn’t too far from the truth! Retribution is a bitch.

UPDATE: That’s not totally fair on my part. I know these journalists will report when they are sent something that doesn’t do what it promises. I need to correct this post. The journalists don’t get free products that they get to keep (most of the times). They do send them back. I’m sorry to the journalists who I made this point about. Walt Mossberg has an ethics statement where he talks about this.

UPDATE 2: Ryan Block, who writes for Engadget, has a good set of replies to my claims above.

It’s the brand promise of Apple. You will have to BUY your Apple after those “famous journalists” get to use one for free for two weeks and you vil like it. Oh, and you’ll beg to be let into a Steve Jobs keynote because you vil want to sit at the feet of Jobs and drool on the floor like the idiot blogger you are.

Just remember the brand promise of Apple, OK?

1. If your machine behaves badly it’s your fault.
2. Any idiot can use an Apple machine (that’s what they tell you before you buy one) but if your machine crashes then you must be a “genius” to fix it (they have bars at stores now where you can “borrow” a genius, but only after waiting in line — my son twice has been turned away from genius bars because they were too busy and was told to “come back tomorrow at 10 a.m.”). Oh, and if you are having problems at 10 p.m., and dare tell people on your blog about your problems you’ll get tons of abuse back “how DARE you be an Apple user and not know you needed to flash your PRAM.” Translation: any idiot can use a Mac, but not really.
3. If you dare complain about the brand promise you’ll get pounced on by hoardes of annonymous astroturfing Apple FanBois.
4. If you don’t get the brand promise of Apple don’t attempt to point out that the ads are ridiculous. Instead, just leave the cult and go back to using that “inferior” machine you used to use.
5. Check out my new Mac, with its cool brushed metal surface and the light-up Apple logo.
6. If you use an Apple machine you will be as cool as Kevin Rose.

Baratunde has it right when he says “I hate the smugness of Apple.”

Oh, and to the guy who says I’m a Microsoft shill. You better check your facts there. Over the past year I’ve spent more than $10,000 on Apple products of MY OWN MONEY and if you include the machines I’ve bought for PodTech, I’ve spent more than $20,000. Not to mention my son and I spent two days in line waiting for our iPhones. Now if THAT is what you call “shilling for Microsoft” I wonder what “shilling for Apple would look like?”

I guess I just am not cool enough to like my Mac. I’m back on my Sony Vaio, which has never crashed the way my Mac did the other night. It also never has needed to have its memory and graphics controller replaced the way my Mac did. And its USB ports work, unlike those on my son’s computer. But it decidedly isn’t cool.

It doesn’t come with the brand promise of Apple.

Oh, and back to that ad at the top of my blog? Have you ever met the PR guy for Microsoft? That’s Frank Shaw. A really nice guy. He even has a blog (idiot! — Apple hires all the “cool” PR people and they never will do a blog) Who does PR for Apple? Katie Cotton. She’s a LOT closer to the PR lady in that video above, which is TOTALLY ironic — watch this video again and compare to the ad above. Brilliant marketing.

416 thoughts on “The brand promise of Apple

  1. Yes – the Mac has problems and some religious Mac-Fanboys ignore that even if there is evidence. But – in 7 years with my Macs and OSX, there was only one device that I couldn’t plug’n play. That was an USB-Scanner from Canon, so I had to download drivers from the website.
    All the other devices Digicams, printers, webcams and – yes – even videocams worked right out of the box and required no driver installment.

    So I still think that a Mac is for most of the people the right device. Installing something on Windows – regardless of the version – is alchemy. Mostly drivers and software have to be updated before installing. And most of the things on Vista do just not work. That’s why my company couldn’t switch to Vista.

  2. Yes – the Mac has problems and some religious Mac-Fanboys ignore that even if there is evidence. But – in 7 years with my Macs and OSX, there was only one device that I couldn’t plug’n play. That was an USB-Scanner from Canon, so I had to download drivers from the website.
    All the other devices Digicams, printers, webcams and – yes – even videocams worked right out of the box and required no driver installment.

    So I still think that a Mac is for most of the people the right device. Installing something on Windows – regardless of the version – is alchemy. Mostly drivers and software have to be updated before installing. And most of the things on Vista do just not work. That’s why my company couldn’t switch to Vista.

  3. Y’know, I did tech support at Apple for about a year, and on the first day of training, during the creepy touchy-feely getting-to-know-you stuff we were herded into talking about the OS we use at home; we were divided early on into those of us that owned macs and those that didn’t. “So, what do you use?” “Well, I’m using Debian right now, but I’m kind of interested in Gentoo. Oh, and OSX is kind of cool, too.” This caused problems: macinistas (or at least macinistas who work in call centers in Texas) don’t like having anyone think more ‘different’ than they do.

    The regular call center evil was in full effect: call metrics designed to be unmet by a percentage of the group in order to keep the turnover moving, and Apple’s unique documentation style. For example, “the scope of support for the first-level tech is the first-level scope of support for the product”; however, “the first-level scope of support for the product is the scope of support for a first level tech.” I saw many of my training group comrades fall victim to this well-placed loophole, and my manager always defended the fairness of it with great fury when we dared to say anything. Strangely, the first people to get the axe were always the non mac users and those who didn’t particularly live the iLife or wave the iFlag, and if the important metric of the month didn’t justify selling us downriver, another metric would become important for the group.

    More than anything else, the powers that be in Cupertino are selling an image. When you call tech support, they want you talking to a loyalist, when you go to the Apple store they want you dealing with a partisan. If you get your machine fixed or your needs met, it’s a happy bonus, but not particularly important.

  4. Y’know, I did tech support at Apple for about a year, and on the first day of training, during the creepy touchy-feely getting-to-know-you stuff we were herded into talking about the OS we use at home; we were divided early on into those of us that owned macs and those that didn’t. “So, what do you use?” “Well, I’m using Debian right now, but I’m kind of interested in Gentoo. Oh, and OSX is kind of cool, too.” This caused problems: macinistas (or at least macinistas who work in call centers in Texas) don’t like having anyone think more ‘different’ than they do.

    The regular call center evil was in full effect: call metrics designed to be unmet by a percentage of the group in order to keep the turnover moving, and Apple’s unique documentation style. For example, “the scope of support for the first-level tech is the first-level scope of support for the product”; however, “the first-level scope of support for the product is the scope of support for a first level tech.” I saw many of my training group comrades fall victim to this well-placed loophole, and my manager always defended the fairness of it with great fury when we dared to say anything. Strangely, the first people to get the axe were always the non mac users and those who didn’t particularly live the iLife or wave the iFlag, and if the important metric of the month didn’t justify selling us downriver, another metric would become important for the group.

    More than anything else, the powers that be in Cupertino are selling an image. When you call tech support, they want you talking to a loyalist, when you go to the Apple store they want you dealing with a partisan. If you get your machine fixed or your needs met, it’s a happy bonus, but not particularly important.

  5. I’ve read most of the comments and I think I have to align myself with #202. He has the best summary and criticism of your post. I think a lot more is expected from you, especially regarding professionalism and integrity, but it doesn’t come through in your writing on this matter.

  6. I’ve read most of the comments and I think I have to align myself with #202. He has the best summary and criticism of your post. I think a lot more is expected from you, especially regarding professionalism and integrity, but it doesn’t come through in your writing on this matter.

  7. Robert – You are like Paul Thurrott – you like to pretend that you’re one of the cool kids because you’ve got a Mac. And now you’re pissed off because you are having problems – because according to the “brand promise” Macs are supposed to run flawlessly. And, oh yes – you’ve had to wait while for a “genius” to help you. And what about the brand promise from HP – isn’t that the new cool? Jerry Seinfeld, Gwen Stefani, the snowboarding guys – aren’t they presenting a brand promise? It’s fun, it’s cool, it’s hip to use an HP?

    You’ve also pointed out that if you have a problem with your Dell PC – they just send you a new one. Hmmm, Mr. Scoble – how much extra have you paid for that level of support? $500 on top of your purchase price is the going rate for Gold level, which means you don’t have to wait on hold for more than 2 minutes, and you may be lucky enough to get a North American based. And if you didn’t pay extra for GTS, what do you get? Three and four HOUR hold times before speaking with a with badly trained call-center drone in Bangalore, who insists that the only way to fix your optical drive problem is to wipe out your hard drive and re-install Windows. You can’t take that Dell over to that local Dell kiosk or even to Wal-Mart and get warranty support. While phone-based support is minimal for OOW products, the folks at the Genius Bar will work on your Bondi iMac until the DogCow comes home.

    I’m not a fanboy – I don’t irrationally hate Windows PCs. I use one every day, Monday – Friday. It works fine, rarely crashes. But there is nothing compelling about it. It’s a dull hunk of grey and silver plastic – about as aestetically pleasing as a patch of crabgrass. XP feels about the same – a hunk of gray plastic. It gets my job done, but there’s no joy in using it.

    I take your criticism with a hefty grain of salt – scratch the surface and you’re nothing more than a MS apologist.

  8. Robert – You are like Paul Thurrott – you like to pretend that you’re one of the cool kids because you’ve got a Mac. And now you’re pissed off because you are having problems – because according to the “brand promise” Macs are supposed to run flawlessly. And, oh yes – you’ve had to wait while for a “genius” to help you. And what about the brand promise from HP – isn’t that the new cool? Jerry Seinfeld, Gwen Stefani, the snowboarding guys – aren’t they presenting a brand promise? It’s fun, it’s cool, it’s hip to use an HP?

    You’ve also pointed out that if you have a problem with your Dell PC – they just send you a new one. Hmmm, Mr. Scoble – how much extra have you paid for that level of support? $500 on top of your purchase price is the going rate for Gold level, which means you don’t have to wait on hold for more than 2 minutes, and you may be lucky enough to get a North American based. And if you didn’t pay extra for GTS, what do you get? Three and four HOUR hold times before speaking with a with badly trained call-center drone in Bangalore, who insists that the only way to fix your optical drive problem is to wipe out your hard drive and re-install Windows. You can’t take that Dell over to that local Dell kiosk or even to Wal-Mart and get warranty support. While phone-based support is minimal for OOW products, the folks at the Genius Bar will work on your Bondi iMac until the DogCow comes home.

    I’m not a fanboy – I don’t irrationally hate Windows PCs. I use one every day, Monday – Friday. It works fine, rarely crashes. But there is nothing compelling about it. It’s a dull hunk of grey and silver plastic – about as aestetically pleasing as a patch of crabgrass. XP feels about the same – a hunk of gray plastic. It gets my job done, but there’s no joy in using it.

    I take your criticism with a hefty grain of salt – scratch the surface and you’re nothing more than a MS apologist.

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  10. I have owned many computers over the years and by far any Apple OS has been the best and WinME the worst with Linux being just OK. I have been using Apple hardware for over 10 years with only one serious hardware problem in all that time. Don’t get me wrong I was ticked but mostly at myself for being so lazy as not to make good backups. So while Apple is not perfect I would not give OS X up for Vista…

  11. I have owned many computers over the years and by far any Apple OS has been the best and WinME the worst with Linux being just OK. I have been using Apple hardware for over 10 years with only one serious hardware problem in all that time. Don’t get me wrong I was ticked but mostly at myself for being so lazy as not to make good backups. So while Apple is not perfect I would not give OS X up for Vista…

  12. I would be what you call a “Mac FanBoi”(or girl). My family has had apple computers since 1984, before they were “cool” or had ANY software to use with them, and I have never owned anything else. But I use PC’s as a necessity of our society. My immediate family of five (parents and siblings) have purchased every latest product they have come out with in the last 10 years. I would say my overall opinion is great, and not because nothing breaks (which I must admit, is hard to ADMIT) but because when it does, there is excellent customer care and the warranties are effective. My genius bar experiences are glowing ( I make appointments). Unfortunately, my family in the last year has had to change our cult-ish ways a bit because of the frequency of problems with our purchases in the last year alone. 3 of our new computers (all different) have all had crashes and motherboard meltdowns. And my same laptop, had two hard drives fry (one in June, one this month in November). Neither time did I pay for the cost because they were thankfully under warranty, which guarantees a replacement of a NEW one. I came to find out that my second was due to the fault of a replacement of a refurbished (and not wiped-clean) hard drive installment after the first. (I claim that as the fault of that particular Genius Bar.) And when I brought my laptop in the latest time and asked “why the high occurence of hard drive crashes in this years products alone (and that battery mal-production, remember) ?” They wanted to know what I had done to cause it, and that laptops are unsuited to be carried around. Why the hell did I buy a laptop then?! Why the trend of failure so recently? Have they sacrificed quality of their base products for the production of the new (iPhone,iPod touch) ? They even pushed Leopard back a year, and it still sucked the second it was released. Where have their standards gone? My rant is that I love Mac. But I have come to distrust their usual commitment to a quality product in leu of a cash cow innovation.

  13. I would be what you call a “Mac FanBoi”(or girl). My family has had apple computers since 1984, before they were “cool” or had ANY software to use with them, and I have never owned anything else. But I use PC’s as a necessity of our society. My immediate family of five (parents and siblings) have purchased every latest product they have come out with in the last 10 years. I would say my overall opinion is great, and not because nothing breaks (which I must admit, is hard to ADMIT) but because when it does, there is excellent customer care and the warranties are effective. My genius bar experiences are glowing ( I make appointments). Unfortunately, my family in the last year has had to change our cult-ish ways a bit because of the frequency of problems with our purchases in the last year alone. 3 of our new computers (all different) have all had crashes and motherboard meltdowns. And my same laptop, had two hard drives fry (one in June, one this month in November). Neither time did I pay for the cost because they were thankfully under warranty, which guarantees a replacement of a NEW one. I came to find out that my second was due to the fault of a replacement of a refurbished (and not wiped-clean) hard drive installment after the first. (I claim that as the fault of that particular Genius Bar.) And when I brought my laptop in the latest time and asked “why the high occurence of hard drive crashes in this years products alone (and that battery mal-production, remember) ?” They wanted to know what I had done to cause it, and that laptops are unsuited to be carried around. Why the hell did I buy a laptop then?! Why the trend of failure so recently? Have they sacrificed quality of their base products for the production of the new (iPhone,iPod touch) ? They even pushed Leopard back a year, and it still sucked the second it was released. Where have their standards gone? My rant is that I love Mac. But I have come to distrust their usual commitment to a quality product in leu of a cash cow innovation.

  14. Dude you are taking this computer thing way too seriously. Macs and PCs, and every other consumer product in the world, advertise and try to make their products look cool. They are JUST COMPUTERS!!!

  15. Dude you are taking this computer thing way too seriously. Macs and PCs, and every other consumer product in the world, advertise and try to make their products look cool. They are JUST COMPUTERS!!!

  16. Microsoft has 95% market share and Apple around 2-3% worldwide.

    What is Apple’s growth curve looking like these days? Most places I read claim it’s trending upward. Continued growth would indicate general satisfaction with the product. Those who are not satisfied and leave the Apple platform are fewer than the majority who ARE satisfied.

    I see the personaes represented in the Apple ads as the average PC and the average Mac. In that context, the ads are not misrepresenting the realities of the majority of these two camps.

    It seems some elites have the privilege of having their personal soap boxes on which to rant. But let’s see how the market reacts to Apple’s lies.

    Wouldn’t you expect a deceitful campaign by Apple would be corrected by market forces? All those burned customers would eventually return to the Microsoft fold? If that’s the case then you can take comfort in knowing there will be an uptick in Windows adoption coming soon.

    If you subscribe to mass hypnotism then you’re better off categorizing this blog with Illuminatiism. Fundamentally you’re going to have to trust that people are in control of their own choices.

  17. Microsoft has 95% market share and Apple around 2-3% worldwide.

    What is Apple’s growth curve looking like these days? Most places I read claim it’s trending upward. Continued growth would indicate general satisfaction with the product. Those who are not satisfied and leave the Apple platform are fewer than the majority who ARE satisfied.

    I see the personaes represented in the Apple ads as the average PC and the average Mac. In that context, the ads are not misrepresenting the realities of the majority of these two camps.

    It seems some elites have the privilege of having their personal soap boxes on which to rant. But let’s see how the market reacts to Apple’s lies.

    Wouldn’t you expect a deceitful campaign by Apple would be corrected by market forces? All those burned customers would eventually return to the Microsoft fold? If that’s the case then you can take comfort in knowing there will be an uptick in Windows adoption coming soon.

    If you subscribe to mass hypnotism then you’re better off categorizing this blog with Illuminatiism. Fundamentally you’re going to have to trust that people are in control of their own choices.

  18. I heartily endorse your statements about Apple – As a former Unix user who reluctantly had to give up his SGI for something cheaper and with wider application choices, I assessed Apple and Windows – neither really came up to anything near the standard that pure Unix did – Linux comes closest, but the commercial applications are limited. Apple is a crippled version of Unix, which gives it advantages in certain areas ( virus defense, etc) but overall, neither Apple nor Windows are any great shakes.
    Yes, it’s cool, but I think my Sony Vaio is also pretty cool, but nothing is cooler than an SGI, so anything else is a step down from ultimate ice-chill, but consider this: application wise, one can still do more with a Windows based system and be reasonably sure it will work – there are fewer applications for Apple, and fewer third party applications or add-ons that truly show compatibility.
    Secondly – if something goes wrong with an Apple, you’d damned well better be Unix guru to figure it out (and why they hide access to a command-line terminal is beyond me – I want to talk to my machine directly!) – with Windoze, mostly , you crash and reboot….
    Thirdly – hype is hype, and that is why Apple survives – the question is hype and religion, not which is a better OS.
    So, hype aside, is Apple a better system and OS than Windoze and Intel/AMD? No, it isn’t. Each has strengths and weaknesses, and it behooves one to be honest about them – true – Vista sucks, and is a resource hog of unbelievable proportions, but if you want something that doesn’t suck and doesn’t use up masses of resources, try Linux before you spend the dosh for a Mac. I have a brother who is an Apple support engineer, and even though he swears by Apple, he also swears at Apple an awful lot, and recently had me configure a PC for him to use on the side. So even from the happy home of Apple – well, even they know that they have a long way to go. And by the way, try logging into both Apple’s and Microsoft’s web and mail servers ( it’s fun!) – both still use SUN (Unix) servers for all web presences instead of their own products – and that says A LOT!

  19. I heartily endorse your statements about Apple – As a former Unix user who reluctantly had to give up his SGI for something cheaper and with wider application choices, I assessed Apple and Windows – neither really came up to anything near the standard that pure Unix did – Linux comes closest, but the commercial applications are limited. Apple is a crippled version of Unix, which gives it advantages in certain areas ( virus defense, etc) but overall, neither Apple nor Windows are any great shakes.
    Yes, it’s cool, but I think my Sony Vaio is also pretty cool, but nothing is cooler than an SGI, so anything else is a step down from ultimate ice-chill, but consider this: application wise, one can still do more with a Windows based system and be reasonably sure it will work – there are fewer applications for Apple, and fewer third party applications or add-ons that truly show compatibility.
    Secondly – if something goes wrong with an Apple, you’d damned well better be Unix guru to figure it out (and why they hide access to a command-line terminal is beyond me – I want to talk to my machine directly!) – with Windoze, mostly , you crash and reboot….
    Thirdly – hype is hype, and that is why Apple survives – the question is hype and religion, not which is a better OS.
    So, hype aside, is Apple a better system and OS than Windoze and Intel/AMD? No, it isn’t. Each has strengths and weaknesses, and it behooves one to be honest about them – true – Vista sucks, and is a resource hog of unbelievable proportions, but if you want something that doesn’t suck and doesn’t use up masses of resources, try Linux before you spend the dosh for a Mac. I have a brother who is an Apple support engineer, and even though he swears by Apple, he also swears at Apple an awful lot, and recently had me configure a PC for him to use on the side. So even from the happy home of Apple – well, even they know that they have a long way to go. And by the way, try logging into both Apple’s and Microsoft’s web and mail servers ( it’s fun!) – both still use SUN (Unix) servers for all web presences instead of their own products – and that says A LOT!

  20. Hi Robert,

    I have been following these conversations around your Mac problems and the sum advertising campaign. As a binlingual user (trilingual if you count my pure unix stuff, though that’s not mainstream), I find these problems prevanlent throughtout, and maybe it’s OK to say “we expect his as Windows users” or maybe it’s par fo the course with complicated unix commands, but what really got me were a couple things, and I think the first has been covered:

    1. You are very experienced with technology and know that things can go wrong–what happened to reading the manual, using the web (for god sakes of all people, you should) to find these answers (because they’re there). You now that nothing works perfectly, and certainly not to the level an ad claims. I think you took a lot of heat for this, and personally I think you deserved it because it was a bit too annoying. But, enough has been said about that… let me focus on the second, which I find a little unreasonable.

    2. As you know, it’s not ethical to accept or expect gifts from vendors. Harping on that point as you did in your earlier post (no free stuff from Apple) shows a bit of disregard for journalistic ethical standards. Most of your readers don’t get any freebies, and true journilistic impartial reviews pretty much rule this out. Why the complaints? Why even go down that path? Your arguments outside of this made much more rationale sense, but that whole thing harping on Apple about not sending YOU free stuff, when everyone else did, was just downright disrepsectful of what you should stand for (if you place yourself above a standard blogger and consider yourself part of the media, which you should).

    Your concern about the ad campaigns and the slamming agains MS, well they are legit. But you can’t expect sympathy as someone who does get a lot of free stuff anyway, and in most people (probably not you) this could cloud your views, or in a worse case scenario, cloud your real journilistic analysis of Apple’s marketing position (“it just works”). Plus, this should even be an issue with you if you have any journalistic integrity. And, you have all the know how, contacts and reason to figure this stuff out, whether it be a trouble shooting thing, or just knowing when you’ve been dealt a bad hand on the hardware.

    I could have gone on the same rant about my Vista experience, but I just plowed through and finally figured out my problems and eventually the fixes. Didn’t blame it on MS (though I am like many, and my Mac problems are far less than my Windows issues).

    For me, it wasn’t an issue of unsubscribe or to tell with Apple, it was where does Robert Scoble see his role, and does he stick to the principles that he should probably adhere to as a well respected commentator on everything tech. Those posts seriously had me doubting this, it was almost like you had been pounding a bunch of beers and decided you were just going on an unprofessional tyrade.

    Please keep up the commentary on tech markeitng, your experiences, and maybe a little more about how this stuff is fixed. And then stick to your principles and let that shine rather than the “Apple hasn’t sent me a fricking thing” which came off like you expected them to in order to retain your support (and yes, I know, you’ve spent thousands of dollars at Apple, which should speak for itself, but we really don’t have access to your online banking statements, nor care about that). We want to hear the analysis, what the problems are, and if you get them, what are the fixes, because we may be facing the same problems.

  21. Hi Robert,

    I have been following these conversations around your Mac problems and the sum advertising campaign. As a binlingual user (trilingual if you count my pure unix stuff, though that’s not mainstream), I find these problems prevanlent throughtout, and maybe it’s OK to say “we expect his as Windows users” or maybe it’s par fo the course with complicated unix commands, but what really got me were a couple things, and I think the first has been covered:

    1. You are very experienced with technology and know that things can go wrong–what happened to reading the manual, using the web (for god sakes of all people, you should) to find these answers (because they’re there). You now that nothing works perfectly, and certainly not to the level an ad claims. I think you took a lot of heat for this, and personally I think you deserved it because it was a bit too annoying. But, enough has been said about that… let me focus on the second, which I find a little unreasonable.

    2. As you know, it’s not ethical to accept or expect gifts from vendors. Harping on that point as you did in your earlier post (no free stuff from Apple) shows a bit of disregard for journalistic ethical standards. Most of your readers don’t get any freebies, and true journilistic impartial reviews pretty much rule this out. Why the complaints? Why even go down that path? Your arguments outside of this made much more rationale sense, but that whole thing harping on Apple about not sending YOU free stuff, when everyone else did, was just downright disrepsectful of what you should stand for (if you place yourself above a standard blogger and consider yourself part of the media, which you should).

    Your concern about the ad campaigns and the slamming agains MS, well they are legit. But you can’t expect sympathy as someone who does get a lot of free stuff anyway, and in most people (probably not you) this could cloud your views, or in a worse case scenario, cloud your real journilistic analysis of Apple’s marketing position (“it just works”). Plus, this should even be an issue with you if you have any journalistic integrity. And, you have all the know how, contacts and reason to figure this stuff out, whether it be a trouble shooting thing, or just knowing when you’ve been dealt a bad hand on the hardware.

    I could have gone on the same rant about my Vista experience, but I just plowed through and finally figured out my problems and eventually the fixes. Didn’t blame it on MS (though I am like many, and my Mac problems are far less than my Windows issues).

    For me, it wasn’t an issue of unsubscribe or to tell with Apple, it was where does Robert Scoble see his role, and does he stick to the principles that he should probably adhere to as a well respected commentator on everything tech. Those posts seriously had me doubting this, it was almost like you had been pounding a bunch of beers and decided you were just going on an unprofessional tyrade.

    Please keep up the commentary on tech markeitng, your experiences, and maybe a little more about how this stuff is fixed. And then stick to your principles and let that shine rather than the “Apple hasn’t sent me a fricking thing” which came off like you expected them to in order to retain your support (and yes, I know, you’ve spent thousands of dollars at Apple, which should speak for itself, but we really don’t have access to your online banking statements, nor care about that). We want to hear the analysis, what the problems are, and if you get them, what are the fixes, because we may be facing the same problems.

  22. Anyone who likes Apple is a “FanBoi”? – really this juvenile crap needs to stop. There are shills on both sides of the OS divide – cracks about “FanBois” do nothing to further understanding. A computer is a machine that doesn’t always behave as expected. Since computers were invented, they have exhibited some degree of fragility … Nothing is guaranteed – your computer will not change your life – if you buy a computer because of “Brand Promise” and the expectation that it will somehow transform you then you have REAL problems. Buy the best tool for the job – if that tool doesn’t work properly, buy a different tool – it’s that simple.

  23. Anyone who likes Apple is a “FanBoi”? – really this juvenile crap needs to stop. There are shills on both sides of the OS divide – cracks about “FanBois” do nothing to further understanding. A computer is a machine that doesn’t always behave as expected. Since computers were invented, they have exhibited some degree of fragility … Nothing is guaranteed – your computer will not change your life – if you buy a computer because of “Brand Promise” and the expectation that it will somehow transform you then you have REAL problems. Buy the best tool for the job – if that tool doesn’t work properly, buy a different tool – it’s that simple.

  24. of course, I’m a mac user… found out that americans in average spend 12 hours per month fixing their computer. then i thought, “no wonder, 95% of computers run windows”.
    I spend about 20 min on computer “problems” which, in 9 out of 10 cases, just means that I need help figuring out how something works.
    but it all depends on how you use your computer. I spent a good 9-10 hours on it every day and use at least a dozen applications regularly. but I don’t need to EVER fiddle with a graphics card (they have hundreds of those??) or add’l RAM or what have you. my computer just WORKS ;-)

  25. of course, I’m a mac user… found out that americans in average spend 12 hours per month fixing their computer. then i thought, “no wonder, 95% of computers run windows”.
    I spend about 20 min on computer “problems” which, in 9 out of 10 cases, just means that I need help figuring out how something works.
    but it all depends on how you use your computer. I spent a good 9-10 hours on it every day and use at least a dozen applications regularly. but I don’t need to EVER fiddle with a graphics card (they have hundreds of those??) or add’l RAM or what have you. my computer just WORKS ;-)

  26. Apple says, “Macs just work” If I had a Mac and it did not “just work”, I would be pissed too.

    The primary reason I do not have a Mac, is that I like the ability upgrade my systems hardware.

  27. Apple says, “Macs just work” If I had a Mac and it did not “just work”, I would be pissed too.

    The primary reason I do not have a Mac, is that I like the ability upgrade my systems hardware.

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