Few Things for Apple to Improve On

As much as I love Apple and the ‘stuff’ they make, there are few things they really need to work on. Here’s the top 5.

1. Cable and earphone durability and pricing. Each Apple notebook I’ve ever owned have had it’s charger fail. Each pair of headphones I’ve owned with my iPhones have failed (either the rubber around the edge of the ear piece haas come off or the bit closes to the bit that connects to the phone has broken). These are not cheap to replace; charger goes for about £60 and iPhone headphones almost £20(!). Twenty quid is a lot of money for something that literally costs about 10 pence to manufacture. Talk about nickel-and-diming customers.

2. Battery pricing. We gave Darina’s three-year-old MacBook to my mum for Christmas. A few days before wrapping it up, the battery gave up. Fair enough, it was old enough to fail but when I started looking for a replacement I was in for a shock: £99 for an Apple branded official battery! One hundred pounds for a laptop battery! What a rip off. I ended up going to eBay and getting an aftermarket battery that came in at £40 including delivery.

3. Time Capsule. When I first started using it for backups I quickly realised it wasn’t very good at all. Backups of only few megabytes might take hours to complete and it was really susceptible to backup failures if the computer was put to sleep. But when I started using Backblaze for our off-site backups I realised how terribly implemented the Time Capsule really was. Backblaze backups that go over our broadband connection are faster and more reliable than the local network Time Capsule backups using Time Machine. Adding to this that ours has started to drop the regular wifi connection about five or seven times a day, the Time Capsule is a total failure. I talked to Apple about this, but as it was a few months over it’s 12-month warranty, all they could offer was to sell me a new one. It does comfort me to know that I’m not by myself in this.

To this I might add that if you’re not using Backblaze or some other similar offsite, over the Internet backup system, you are clinically insane. At $5 a month it’s a total no-brainer.

4. Crackidy crack, they can’t do plastics. Back of my iPhone 3G is cracked from few places where it wouldn’t crack when dropped (around the dock connector area and between the metal rim and silence switch). This is a common problem most people who haven’t dropped theirs and/or keep it in a case, have their plastic backs cracked.

Everybody I know who owns or has owned the plastic MacBook has had a crack on the front right wrist rest area. In the corner. Yes. You’ve seen this. Darina had her keyboard replaced twice because of this. No wonder they’ve moved to machine carved aluminium for most of their notebooks.

Plastic failures also might have played a role in the plug being pulled on the Cube.

5. iTunes Store pricing. May not be completely Apples fault but why is it that my local Sainsbury’s or Amazon has many of the titles for less money than on iTunes.

Let’s look at the bestselling top 5 film sales on iTunes Store:

(iTunes Store UK/ Amazon.co.uk)
1. Saving Private Ryan (£3.99 / £2.98)
2. District 9 (£10.99 / £9.98)
3. The Taking of Pelham 123 (£10.99 / £11.98)
4. The Hangover (£10.99 / £9.98)
5. The Hurt Locker (£10.99 / £11.98)

It’s not too apparent in new releases but once the film has been out for few months, Amazon prices tend to fall to £5-8. This isn’t the case with iTunes, those prices stay at £10.99 until there’s a promotion. For example, WALL-E is £10.99 on iTunes and £7.98 on Amazon UK for 2-disk special edition. Bargain.

I know this isn’t necessarily Apples own fault as their pricing policy might be somewhat dictated in their contracts with film studios but if they were to fix this, I’d definitely buy more films from there.

So, there we go. Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have anything to add? Let us know!

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