Have you bought any of Apple’s products lately? If you have, then you’re keenly aware of how much they cost. While I won’t get into pricing details with each, in late 2017, I purchased a new MacBook Pro, which was definitely more than I ever wanted to spend on a laptop, but here we are. I also upgraded my old, decrepit iPhone 6 to the iPhone 8. I could have gotten an iPhone X, but I needed it before they were going to be available, and I didn’t think I needed to spend the extra cash at that time. Then, this year, I bought a new Apple Watch Series 4, and a pair of Air Pods. All in, I’m looking at about $3,500. To anyone who doesn’t use Apple products, that number might seem insane. Even to me, I see it that way as well. But his this too much?
When I think about what some people in the world have, I think that spending this kind of money on electronics is absorbent. But from a technology perspective, there is something to be said about what we’re able to do now. Take the three products that I mentioned above. There isn’t a day that goes by that one device isn’t somehow connected to the other. I can unlock my MacBook with my Apple Watch. I can get notifications from my iPhone directly onto my Apple Watch, or on my MacBook if I’m using it. And while this kind of functionality might be limited to Apple right now, I’d like to think that this kind of interoperability is worth the price tag.
How does this compare to Microsoft or even Amazon? If you’re an Apple user, then you’re going to love Apple, no matter what. I don’t like Windows anymore, and the fact that I have to use it for work drives me insane. But that’s not something I can change. The one thing I will say about Microsoft is that their Surface laptops do give the ability to carry one device for tablet and laptop computing. While this is something that Apple has tried to achieve with the latest iPad, it’s not quite the same. That said, Apple still wins when it comes to tablets. Amazon comparatively doesn’t have the same level of products, but theirs are built well and cost a heck of a lot less. Which brings us back to the original question – are Apple products worth their cost?
To answer that, I think we have to think about what consumer technology will look like over the next ten years. What Apple hasn’t done is given any kind of major update to their Mac hardware line. But do they need to? Or is it a case of if it’s not broken, don’t fix it? Their iPad hardware is amazing, but the software lacks a bit when it comes to certain cases. The HomePod was a bust, so we’re not even going to talk about it. Apple TV is great, but it runs basically the same apps as devices like Fire TV, which cost 1/3 of the price. And Siri is not even a quarter as good as Alexa or Google Assistant.
What does this mean? While I am a fan of Apple, I do think their prices are a bit much right now. Not because I don’t think they’re worth it, but because I’m unclear where the prices can go from here? Up? Presumably, if Apple improves their Mac hardware line, then the cost will go up. But when will it start to level out because who will be able to afford them at that rate? I think we’re going to see better products from competitors where the cost is less. What will Apple do then?