Apple losing this long-time loyal customer

The good – I’ve been a loyal Mac user since 1997

The bad – Apple kills my MobileMe account

The ugly – Apple throws me under the bus

 

I switched from the Windows/PC platform to the Mac in 1997. Since then I’ve purchased 7 Apple Macintosh desktop computers, 2 Apple iBook laptop computers, 4 Apple LCD monitors, and many Apple hardware accessories. I’ve purchased many Apple OS upgrades and applications. I’ve sent thousands of dollars Apple’s way, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Apple.

Apple pushing me away
One-by-one Apple has dropped support for all of the Apple products I have purchased. Because of this, a few years ago I built my own PC system which runs Windows XP Pro. Apple’s total disrespect and arrogant behavior towards their long-time customers, and the premium price they demand for their products, has pushed me away from buying any new Apple products. I’ll use my existing Apple products as long as I can. But any new computing products I purchase will most likely NOT be Apple products. Sorry Apple, you’ve screwed this long-time customer one too many times.

Apple’s focus on consumer electronics
Apple seem more interested in customers who buy their electronic gadgets—like the iPhone, iPod, and iPad—than serious computer users. I suppose they’d rather I buy one of these cheaper devices than a maxed-out Mac Pro desktop computer. Problem is, I really don’t care about having the latest consumer electronics toys. I’m more interested in having powerful computer systems, which seems to leave me out of Apple’s marketing plan.

Apple pulls the plug on paid MobileMe subscribers
Apple recently announced that it will soon be ending its subscription-based MobileMe Internet services. Apple’s replacement will be a new service named iCloud, which will be free. However, iCloud doesn’t offer all of the features provided by the paid service—most notably, web hosting—leaving customers to find their own replacement services.

Apple’s heads are in the Cloud
Apple’s free iCloud service is supposed to compete with similar services from established Internet companies like Google. Based upon their track record with .Mac and MobileMe, it seems that Apple has a LOT of ground to make up. Perhaps Apple’s iCloud will prove to be a success, but I’m skeptical.

Apple throws its older hardware customers under the bus, again
Based upon information from Apple, iCloud will only work with Apple mobile devices that run iOS 5, and Mac computers running Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion). Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) requires a Macintosh computer with one of the following Intel processors: Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon. So if you, like me, don’t own one of Apple’s newer hardware products, you’re out of luck.

Apple’s history of providing sub-standard Internet services
Apple launched their iTools collection of FREE Internet-based services in January 2000. iTools was replaced by .Mac (dotMac), a $99/year subscription-based service, in July 2002. Apple changed the name from .Mac to MobileMe in July 2008, still priced at $99/year.

iTools was priced correctly, since it was free. However, when Apple started charging $99/year they were ripping off their loyal Macintosh customers. Apple’s .Mac and MobileMe services were low on features, but high on ease of use. This combination was perfect for some people, especially those who proudly wore their Apple hearts on their sleeves. Apple has a long history of taking advantage of loyal Apple customers, demanding a premium price for their products.

Bye, bye to my @mac email and .mac web site
I have a .Mac/MobileMe email account, but Apple is cutting it off with the release of iCloud. Since I don’t have an Apple mobile device or Apple Mac computer capable of running Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), I won’t be able to access Apple’s new iCloud service. So I lose the @mac email address that I’ve been using for a long time. This creates many problems for me, and I’m sure for others as well.

Apple will kill my .mac web site, which was also included in my paid MobileMe account. I’m much less concerned about losing the .mac web site, which I’ve maintained since 2001. It was my first web site, and I was thrilled to have it back then. But I soon found out that Apple’s web hosting service was sub-standard, offering no more than what was available with most FREE web hosting services. I’ve since moved my “active” content to this web site, using the .mac site for “static” content.

Apple was ripping off MobileMe subscribers
I suppose Apple is actually doing MobileMe subscribers a favor, in a sense. I felt ripped off paying $99/year for the MobileMe/.Mac service, which I’ve had since its launch in 2002. I was going to let my subscription expire many, many years ago. But my significant other kept buying me annual renewals as a Christmas or birthday present, so I wouldn’t lose my @mac email account. So my subscription has remained intact all this time.

Apple’s history of ripping off their Mac computer customers
Apple has a history of making you buy a new Apple Mac computer every five years or so, in order to use their latest version of the Mac OS.

I was first bitten by this when Apple released Mac OS X, which Apple wouldn’t allow to be installed on pre-G3 PowerPC Mac computers. However, smart and enterprising computer experts proved that Mac OS X could be successfully installed and used on pre-G3 Macs, if the Apple “lock out” installation code was circumvented. This proved that Apple’s decision to “lock out” older Mac computers was done solely to force their customers to buy new Apple Mac computers, and had absolutely nothing to do with hardware requirements to run the new OS.

Then Apple did it again when they released Mac OS 10.3 (Panther), which “locked out” “beige” G3 Macs. Apple did it again when Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) “locked out” Mac systems which didn’t have Firewire ports, even though the ports themselves are not a functional requirement. The story continues as Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) “locked out” all G3 Mac systems, and G4 Mac systems with clock rates below 867 MHz.

Then Apple drew another major line in the sand with the release of Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard), which will only run on Intel Macs, leaving all PowerPC Macs in the dust. I suppose this move was, at least somewhat, understandable, since PowerPC and Intel processors require different programming code, thus raising Apple’s cost to develop and maintain two different code bases. However, this was the breaking point for many long-time Mac users, especially those whose three year old G5 Macs were no longer supported.

Farewell Apple
I’ve enjoyed using my Mac computers, and still do. Apple has made, and still makes, some great desktop and laptop computers. They’ve also made a few not-so-great computers along the way, but their over all track record has been impressive.

But I’ve grown tired of paying premium prices for their products, only to have Apple pull the plug on them way too soon. I’ve grown tired of the way Apple treats their long-time loyal customers like dirt beneath their feet. They seem much happier catering to “cool” and “hip” customers who think nothing of buying a new iPhone or iPod every six-to-twelve months. This plays right into Apple’s hands, as they can now sell “throw-away” products which they don’t have to support for more than a year or two.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t continue to support a company that behaves the way that Apple now does.

…jf…

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