19 Aug

Dear Apple

Dear Apple,

I dearly love your brand, your marketing, the way your products look, and the way they make me look, but… is there any chance you could start making MacBook chargers that aren’t sh*t, and don’t break in under two years?

This (what I’m currently typing on) is the second MacBook I’ve had, and – yet again – within two years the cable on the charger has split, frayed, exposed the wire under the plastic coating… and then stopped working (the first one ‘went’ within 18 months).

I wouldn’t mind if this was an isolated problem, but it’s clearly not (1.5 stars out of 5… on your own website?):

Apple1 copy

Apple3 copy

Apple4 copy

All of these poor reviews are about exactly the same issue: the charger cable splits/frays within 1 – 2 years, rendering the charger useless.

In fact, much as I love Apple products, it seems that they’re almost deliberately built not to last (I’ve heard of hard drives going within 18 months – just outside warranty – and batteries)… which guarantees Apple (enforced) repeat purchases from customers, within 18 months.

A charger splitting within a short period of time, guarantees that – as a consumer – you get at least another £65 out of me, every couple of years.
This doesn’t make me a repeat customer though… it just p*sses me off.

Luckily, I had 3-year warranty on my MacBook, so – after a few ‘debates’ – 85% of the cost of a new charger was met by the retailer I bought it from.

I had to go through the ridiculous conversation about a charger being an ‘accessory’ – and Apple stores tow the same line – so it’s not covered by warranties.
To be clear, an external hard drive is an accessory… headphones are an accessory… a charger is an absolutely essential piece of hardware: no charger = no working MacBook. Not having a charger renders the Mac unusable.
It’s akin to calling a petrol tank an ‘accessory’ / non-essential on a car.

Millions of people love Apple products. They’re not necessarily essential, but they’re seen as ‘cool’ and desirable. It’s an image thing. When I go into a creative studio or see a client, it’s important – as part of my image as a copywriter – that they see that bright Apple logo and brushed chrome surface on my MacBook. It puts them at ease, it makes them think ‘creative’ or ‘he’s one of us’ … but, as a copywriter, I don’t need a MacBook.

If it comes down – just for the sake of image – to hard drives, batteries, and chargers breaking every 1 – 2 years (and me being forced to shell out £65 here, £150 there), I’d rather just get a Dell or an Acer laptop and know that their charger cables aren’t known for splitting.

Apple is a brand revered as ‘cool’, put on a pedestal by the opinion formers, the creative individuals; musicians, designers, artists, directors.

But… if the idea is that things are built not to last, just to increase the number of repeat purchases (or the speed with which they’re made), people will look elsewhere: the hassle and the additional cost just isn’t worth it.

Apple: I love you, but please sort it out.

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