Why People Love Apple Products

July 20, 2022 — Jt Spratley

MacBooks and iPhones have become more common every year since the early 2000's. I went from only seeing pretty iMacs in the library to bulky iPods replacing Sony Walkmans to now some of everyone is on macOS.

Why? I can think of three simple reasons.

It Isn't Windows

This isn't a random diss against Microsoft. Think about it. Most homes, schools, and workplaces have the Windows operating system (OS) installed, even today. Most people who want an unique PC experience won't be satisfied with free software for Windows. They most likely don't know about Linux either. If they do, they likely assume its still just a command-line interface (CLI). What other options will they see? FreeBSD? That community is more RTFM than Linux these days.

There is little money going into marketing Linux versus Apple products across commercials and other mainstream media (MSM). Linux distribution community projects aren't spending money for a TV commercial slot. Android and Chrome OS are exceptions because they're developed by Google, a less restrictive vendor locking company, and packaged with physical devices for everyday consumers by other manufacturers.

How often do you see advertisements from System76? ThinkPenguin? KaiOS? Ubiquiti? Advertising on social media and other sites is far cheaper. But since these products using Linux and other Unix-related OSs are so niche, you usually only see their ads on platforms frequented by people who already know of free open-source software (FOSS). Remember, awareness is the top of the sales funnel.

Why I Love Linux

There are hundreds of Linux operating systems available for different niches. There are over a dozen desktop environments (DEs) and window managers. I can harden Linux kernel security by removing hardware features I don't use (e.g. FireWire). I love the customization. However, deeper customization means a higher chance for technical issues. I have the time, energy, and overall willingness to research "how to" guides, forums, and IRC channels to resolve issues on my own. Its a tinkerer, or hacker mindset. Most often, Apple users share a mindset that can summarized as "I just want something that works."

Proprietary macOS devices don't have technical issues anywhere near the same extent of Linux because the hardware and OS are developed to work together. There are few changes you can make to Apple hardware. Hardware built for Windows might have issues that stem from loose compatibility standards to work with other hardware. Techies won't mind learning how to fix it. Those who "just want it to work" might take it as an omen to make the switch to the big Apple. And everyone despises the blue screen of death (BSOD) due to poor system resource management.

Acceptable Vendor Lock-in

The high stability of macOS software makes the price bearable, I'm sure. Apple has official brick-and-mortar stores in major cities and licensed dealers. Those vetted stores have Apple cables and other accessories for the most common use cases. The tech support representatives likely have a consistently high knowledge of fixing products because you can only make so many changes on your own.

This equates to Apple community members having, again, less options to sift through to find what they need.

The elder woman who doesn't want to learn how to fix anything just needs to drive her workstation with a valid warranty to a physical location.

The freelance content creator worries less about whether a multimedia cable is a low-quality rip-off.

Anyone who goes all in with an Apple computer and iPhone have native syncing features available. One Apple account syncs data across Apple product you own. No privacy concerns near the depths of with Google. Your laptop doesn't require internet access to function like a Chromebook. Your digital life is flirting with the highest amount of automation possible today.

That's a major win.

Loyal Community

Sleek branding, marketing, and product design all make Apple products easy to spot on accident. The Motorola Razr is the last mobile phone I remember for always having that silver shine. We Linux'ers constantly have arguments about which distro (there are over 300 Linux OSs) is better for this and that. Sometimes, they're beneficial. Meanwhile, Apple users greet each other with the raise of a Starbucks cup and maybe talk about whether they need to trade in their "outdated" laptop or phone for a newer version. At least they're not using materials related to war.

No, I'm not a new Apple lemming replacing my FOSS for paid software. Just switching it up before going back into Black community content.

Tags: IT

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