Customers Ask: Is Apple Going Rotten? | iLounge Article

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Customers Ask: Is Apple Going Rotten?

Karma. Doing the "right thing." Thinking different. Apple's enlightened approach to building customer loyalty is now famous, generating big headlines every time CEO Steve Jobs takes on Hollywood or the music industry. Attempts to raise iTunes prices? "Greedy." A fight with NBC over revenues? "Give peace a chance." That's Apple, your socially-conscious corporate friend, who does right by you while standing up to big bullies -- sort of like a character from a Pixar movie.

But over the past two weeks, Apple's fans have been grumbling that the company they knew and loved is transforming into another Microsoft, making short-sighted, anti-consumer decisions and carelessly releasing products with user experience-diminishing problems. In response, an increasingly angry erosion of Apple's brand loyalty is beginning, with complaints mounting all over the Internet, including on the company's own discussion forums. This time, it's not just a cadre of Microsoft fans trying to anonymously stir up trouble for the Cupertino-based company, but rather legitimately upset Apple customers who are threatening boycotts of current and future iPod, iTunes, and Mac offerings.

Put aside Apple's $200 iPhone price drop, which generated a lot of anger but was quickly resolved by the company, and bugs in both new iPod and iTunes software, which the company is certainly working to repair. Instead, consider just four of the issues that are still largely unresolved by Apple, and the extreme anger and disappointment that its customers have been expressing as a result.


Apple Breaks 2005-2007 Video Add-Ons: No Warning, Just Buy New Ones

What Happened? Almost any "Made for iPod" accessory you've purchased with video output no longer outputs photos or videos when connected to the new iPods. This impacts in-car, home, and airplane accessories alike.

The Details: For the past several years, Apple has actively touted the growing iPod accessory market as one of the family's biggest selling points. Over and over again, the company has trotted out numbers -- 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 iPod accessories -- suggesting that iPod owners don't just benefit from great hardware, but the ability to buy add-ons that enhance the hardware's performance, and work across the family thanks to their use of a common "iPod connector" or "Dock Connector." It has also created a "Made for iPod" program, which is supposed to guarantee iPod compatibility.

That's why buyers of the new 2007 iPods were in for a shock when they learned -- not from Apple -- that the company had broken compatibility of virtually all the video accessories that have been released over the last three years. Speakers with video outputs, video-specific docks, portable video displays, and wearable video displays -- each typically expensive -- just don't work with the iPods. The "TV Out" menus, which enabled all past photo and video iPods to display pictures and movies on a connected TV, are now locked up, and the only way to unlock them is to buy new, stunningly expensive Apple-authorized video accessories. Old $10-20 video cables won't work.

Accessory makers have suggested that Apple is attempting to take control -- and extra profits -- on third-party video accessories; companies will have to purchase Apple-developed "authentication chips" in order for new video accessories to work. Besides requiring re-engineering of the products to include these chips, which do little more than serve as a padlock to prevent unauthorized accessories from working, this move will further increase already objectionable accessory prices for consumers, and most importantly require consumers to re-purchase speakers, docks, and portable add-on displays if they want to use them with the new iPods.

Customer Responses: "Almost Redmondesque in its audacity to lock-in buyers into a newly conceived ecosystem. Guess ‘Made for iPod’ isn’t all that it was made out to be, after all."

"I was considering upgrading my iPod video 5g to the 'classic', but not if I have to buy another cable to watch it on my tv... No thanks, Apple. This time, you blew it."

"Was seriously considering a Touch...now no way. I’ve bought into the Apple products hook line and sinker the last few years - iPod, nano, iMac… but if things go this way, with exclusion of 3rd party, I’m done."

What Apple Can Easily Do: Issue a software patch to restore compatibility with the majority of Dock Connecting video accessories. A number of accessories that used the iPod's headphone port will still not work, but they're a comparative minority, and few users will mind.

iTunes Store iPod Games: Buy Them Again for New iPods

What Happened? People who purchased any or all of Apple's past "iPod Games" from the iTunes Store have learned that, unlike music and videos, the games must be re-purchased to work on new iPods.

The Details: Imagine you bought a bunch of music from the iTunes Store, and after Apple released its 2008 iPods, you discovered that you'd have to re-purchase all the music again because it wouldn't play on the new iPods. "That's technology," right?

Wrong. Without backwards compatibility, no one would be stupid enough to purchase content from the iTunes Store. Who wants to buy the same thing twice just to use it on a new iPod? This week, Apple decided to find out.

Since 2006, Apple has been selling $4.99 iPod Games, a series of twenty different casual action, puzzle, sports, and quiz titles, releasing the latest one less than a month before new iPods were announced. As early customers discovered -- much to their confusion, and after downloading the games, as shown in numerous comments on the iTunes Store -- these "iPod Games" could only be played on one iPod, the fifth-generation iPod (with video), and not on the more popular iPod nano.

Apple acknowledged customers' concerns on September 5. "People would like to have games on their nanos," Jobs told the audience at a Special Event in San Francisco. "We listened to everybody's concerns, and we think we've nailed it with the new iPod nano." Prior "iPod Game" titles would be re-released in the iTunes Store for play on the iPod classic and the iPod nano, with the first three games -- Sudoku, Tetris, and Ms. Pac-Man -- arriving imminently. The games would also work on the iPod classic, Apple's renamed version of the traditional hard disk-based iPod.

"Great," thought past iPod game buyers, "now I can use the iPod games I bought last month on the new iPods, just like I can still play the music and videos I bought for my last iPod." Nope. Rather than letting past games work on the new iPods, or letting customers re-download newly compatible versions, Apple told past iPod game owners to buy the games again. The "reformatted" versions for iPod nano and classic are nothing more than version 1.1 of past version 1.0 games, with minor menu tweaks, and do not feature additional levels or other content changes. Reactions from past iPod game buyers have been profoundly negative: clearly, users believed that iPod games would continue to work on newer Click Wheel iPods.

Customer Responses: "Who are you and what have you done with the real Steve Jobs?"

"Yeah, way to go Apple. Just when I has going to upgrade my Nano, 5.5, and switch to a MacBook Pro. I guess success has now ruined Apple. No longer 'hip'. Just another generic faceless corporation. Trade the jeans and t neck for the PC suit Steve, your transformation to the dark side is now complete."

"Repurchase the games with absolutely NO guarantees that they will function on the next generation of iPods? How stupid does Apple think we are? I guess plenty, cause we were dumb enough to buy iPods and iPod games to start with. Great way to destroy a market in it’s infancy, Apple!"

What Apple Can Easily Do: Let past iPod game buyers download versions that work on their new iPods, and either plan to use the same game code on future video-capable iPods, or rename "iPod Games" to "Click Wheel iPod Games" so that people don't assume they'll work on touch-screened iPods.

iPod touch Screen Problems: Deny Them, Charge Restocking Fees

What Happened? iPod touch units were shipped with defective screens. When readers tried to return them to Apple Stores, employees denied any problems and charged the customers $30-40 restocking fees.

The Details: When quality control dips on Apple products, and problems occur, the company has two ways of responding -- take responsibility, or try to pass it off on customers. Last week's release of the iPod touch was marred by significant screen problems, including improper displays of black colors, which have been widely reported and blamed variously on manufacturing mistakes, lower-quality display components, and faulty video display drivers. Readers have additionally reported the unusual presence of dead pixels on iPod touch screens. Several readers have noted that similar problems are popping up on recently built iPhones, as well.

Unfortunately, despite thousands of comments on its own and other discussion forums, Apple has not widely acknowledged the issues, and many of its retail stores have been imposing $30-40 restocking fees on customers who have attempted to return their faulty units. Though the problems affect even videos purchased from the iTunes Store, including Pixar's The Incredibles as shown in our iPod touch review, employees told customers that they improperly encoded their videos, or that the screens are supposed to look like that. The Wall Street Journal late last night confirmed with Apple that some iPod touch units were defective, but Apple has not offered further public comment or restocking fee refunds to affected users.

Customer Responses: "I showed them a side by side comparison of the black levels between the iPod touch and the iPhone. The difference was like night and day. They said the iPhone has a better screen and that I cannot compare the two because it was a different product. I was sooooo p---ed! They said since I opened it they would charge me $40.00! I tried to talk my way out of paying for the restocking fee. But in the end I had to pay for it. Did anyone else have such an awful experience trying to return the iPod Touch? Do you think Apple will realize that there is a problem and then I could get my $40.00 back?"

"Apple is really getting a black eye on this. They really need to quit pretending that it's not a problem. They need to admit it and fix it. I guess I'd settle for them just fixing it, since I doubt they will ever admit to it."

"I'm at the Apple store right now, showing the guy side by side comparisons, and he still wont admit and take it back without paying the $40. This is a... scam. ... I'm not asking for my money back, I'm asking for a STORE CREDIT, so I can buy a WORKING one when it comes in I'm coming back tomorrow to try this again. Apple may be looking at a Class Action if this doesn't get resolved."

What Apple Can Easily Do: Issue no-questions-asked, no-restocking-fee refunds or replacements to customers with screen problems, and refund amounts charged to those who previously came in with problems.

iPhone Ringtones: Pay Twice for Each Song; Forget Using Your Own

What Happened? Rather than letting users play any of their own audio as iPhone ringtones, Apple locked the iPhone's ringtone feature and requires users to buy both full songs and 30-second song snippets from the iTunes Store for $1.98.

The Details: The iPhone has a built-in speaker that can play back literally any audio that's coming from inside the device, including iPod music, the sound portions of videos, voices from speakerphones, and web content. It also plays back pre-programmed ringtones -- 25 of which are included by Apple on the device. What can't it do? Play back any piece of audio content in your iTunes library as a ringtone for your phone.

This limitation is entirely artificial: there's no technical reason the iPhone can't ring with, say, your girlfriend or boyfriend's recorded voice, a song you composed yourself, a sound effect from your favorite TV show, or a snippet from your favorite band. Any of all of these items can be played back through your computer, any digital music player, or the iPhone in iPod mode, and they're all routinely offered by average people, bands, and even TV networks as ways to remember them by.

People expected that 'consumer-focused' Apple would find a way to let them play whatever they wanted as an iPhone ringtone, but instead, Apple announced a completely different agenda: you have to buy songs once from iTunes, then pay an additional charge of at least 99 cents (international prices may vary) to get 30 or fewer seconds of the song again as a ringtone. Worse yet, this couldn't be done with most iTunes songs: virtually none of the Store's top 10 were eligible for ringtone use during our testing. Consequently, the ringtone creation feature, rolled out in iTunes 7.4, was immediately and widely denounced by iPhone owners, and people began to find ways to create their own iPhone-compatible ringtones.

Rather than ignoring the user-created ringtones, Apple has sought to block them, twice patching iTunes 7.4 (versions 7.4.1 and 7.4.2) to prevent users from adding their own legally-created ringtones to the iPhone. It has also closed discussions on its forums complaining about the restriction, though new topics continue to appear, with user comments such as these:

Customer Responses: "I take this extreme restrictiveness, which is uncharacteristic of Apple, as an offense; some ploy to get people to buy more songs from the Music Store. As such, I shall rebel and purchase no more music from the Store until I can be given a satisfactory answer as to why Apple is keeping us users on such a short leash, or until the Ringtone tyranny is lifted."

"There was another thread about this last night called 'Don't Tread on My Ringtones.' It had over 300 hits in the first hour, The thread was pulled by Apple. ... The original post in the 'Don't Tread' thread raised the question, 'Why can't someone use their own music or personally-recorded audio (for example, my wife's voice) as a ringtone?' And: 'Why does Apple seem so intent on actively (by means of 'upgrades' that 'downgrade' functionality) discouraging individuals and third-parties from accomplishing this?' These are fair questions, and ultimately, I think, about getting technical support for a particular feature."

What Apple Can Easily Do: Either unlock the iTunes ringtone creator, or stop blocking users from adding their own 30-second or shorter audio clips to the iPhone's list of ringtones.

Will Apple take the appropriate steps to satisfy its iPod, iPhone, and iTunes Store customers, or will it continue to engage in the same sorts of user-antagonistic practices that eventually earned Microsoft widespread scorn, consumer lawsuits, and international governmental intervention? Like you, we'll be watching to see what happens, and hoping Apple quickly does right by its biggest supporters.

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Comments

1

Very timely. I think the iPod games issue was the final straw here, as this “concerned Apple users” phenomenon seems to be reaching some kind of milestone this week.

In addition to what you cited, not everybody’s satisfied with Apple’s response to the iPhone price drop, so I’m not sure they’re off the hook for that one yet. I think you can also throw in the lack of calendar editing and e-mail in the iPod touch. And the fact that the iPhone doesn’t work with many third party line out adapters.

Will Shipley had a good post about this today too.

So yeah, I’m concerned. It’s looking less like isolated incidents (which have happened occasionally in the past) and more like symptoms of a larger problem. Let’s hope that’s not true, or that Apple turns this around fast. At this point, good alternatives to Apple are certainly lacking.

Posted by mattwardfh in Texas on September 20, 2007 at 3:02 PM (CDT)

2

or take this…

i recently upgraded some of my older iTMS purchases to the iTunes Plus status (R.E.M.‘s Green album, and a few random singles).

i had multiple problems downloading in the first place: iTunes would freeze, and I would have to force quit. this went on for about 16 hours, until they all ‘finished.’ lo and behold, after they ‘finished,’ i discover that none of the iTunes Plus tracks are in my library, nowhere, not even anywhere buried deep in my iTunes Music folder. it was like they downloaded, but not really.

i contacted iTMS support (via email, as its the only way) and explained my problem. this morning, i had an email saying that Apple would allow me to re-download the tracks. i did, and what downloads? the original, 128kbps, DRM-unfree tracks… the same ones i already have in my library.

now Apple is saying they won’t try again, that they’ve already made an ‘exception’ in my case and they can’t do another one.

Apple, that’s almost $15 total you have stolen from me. STOLEN. there is no other word for it. i walked through the troubleshooting, the ‘check for purchases,’ everything, and nothing. and now i can’t get my music that i paid for.

you want us to not steal music? don’t steal our money.

Posted by lukelucas on September 20, 2007 at 3:05 PM (CDT)

3

FUDtastic. Did you guys hire some Zune people to write for you or something?

Posted by ArtDecoDalek on September 20, 2007 at 3:20 PM (CDT)

4

Lukelucas, did you file a dispute with your credit card company? If you never got the merchandise you paid for, that’s entirely within your rights.

If you paid with a gift card, though, there’s no recourse.

Posted by mattwardfh in Texas on September 20, 2007 at 3:22 PM (CDT)

5

ArtDecoDalek: Considering that your posting history consists of messages telling people that iPod touch is fantastic and that their concerns over problems and incompatible accessories are overblown, it’s pretty obvious where you’re coming from on this.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on September 20, 2007 at 3:31 PM (CDT)

6

This article is a long time coming.  Good to see iLounge taking a stand against the apple-gone-bad.

ArtDecoDalek, you could maybe be the biggest Apple apologist I’ve seen ‘round here, and that’s saying something.

Posted by malren on September 20, 2007 at 3:50 PM (CDT)

7

Not yet mentioned is the EU-volume limit, apple has never talked about, pulled every discussion on this topic. Hopefully, gopod will relief this. I´m pissed!

Posted by rudolfraith1 on September 20, 2007 at 3:58 PM (CDT)

8

And don’t forget intentionally crippling features on the iPod touch such as adding calendar events and the mail app.

I have no issue if Apple wants to differentiate their products from a hardware perspective (no physical volume buttons, no bluetooth, no EDGE, etc.), but intentionally disabling features that work on the iPhone for the iPod touch is just petty and very un-Apple-like.

I hope they get the message,

Posted by Senturion on September 20, 2007 at 4:00 PM (CDT)

9

Great article! iLounge, you definitelly still are on the good side. I hope that Apple will come back there, too. :-(

Posted by Manuel Grabowski on September 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM (CDT)

10

I agree with some things, but I’m sure that the ring-tone thing has more to do with the music labels than with Apple.  Also, I think that some people are getting hosed on the iPod touch screens, but I think this is more in line with some jerky employees.  I know more than most of the employees at my local Apple Store.  Don’t get me wrong, it sucks that some people have to pay it, but this doesn’t seem to be the official stance that Apple is taking.  I thought they said that there was a quality control issue and they are resolving it?  However, breaking compatibility and making people repurchase games seems very greedy of Apple.  I find it hard to believe Apple could not have made an easy way o prevent this so that we wouldn’t have to buy all new games and video out accessories.  Very greedy.

Posted by zshuck on September 20, 2007 at 4:14 PM (CDT)

11

I originally thought the same about the ringtone issue as well, but Apple’s stance on the games has certainly left a bad taste about both issues, since it doesn’t exactly make them look particularly altruistic or innocent about the ringtone issue.

Further, selling ringtones on the Apple Store for those prices is one thing.  Deliberately and repeatedly blocking user-created ringtones is quite another, music label pressure or not.

As for the issues with the iPod touch at the Apple Stores, regardless of the personal actions of specific employees, the real issue is that Apple should be taking an official stance on this issue, and not leaving it up to individual retail store employees to decide how to handle the situation.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on September 20, 2007 at 4:21 PM (CDT)

12

I agree.  I loved APPLE and bought many of their products since the Apple IIe came out in the 80’s.  But my new 160gb ipod classic has “buggy” software.  And I’m not buying $40 worth of games again for the same thing.  I also suffered the iphone 200.00 price gouge.  I’m very dissappointed and not sure if I will buy any more of their products for awhile until I see where they’re going with customer satisfaction.  :(

Posted by iObsessed on September 20, 2007 at 4:30 PM (CDT)

13

I couldn’t agree with you more, Jeremy. What started as a few uncharacteristic, eyebrow raising, P.R. moves for Apple has escalated into a whole series of grade “A”, WTF!‘s.
When Mr. Jobs made the off the cuff remark that the iPod touch “was training wheels for the iPhone”, it spoke volumes about their agenda. It’s pretty clear to me that Apple’s long term plan is to focus on iPhone sales and production. It seems that the pricing and limited ability of the   “touch” have been designed to make the iPhone more attractive. Like many handset producers, they are getting into the habit of of “nickel and diming” their customers for every little extra on their product.
It’s a far cry from creating a great product for a fair price.  Which is truly a shame. The iTouch and iPhone have so much potential. I hope Apple comes to it’s senses in time to realize that potential.
I certainly won’t be buying any more of their hardware until then.

Posted by MirandaKali in D.C. on September 20, 2007 at 4:31 PM (CDT)

14

The interesting thing is that a consumers feel that Apple is making a number of these decisions in the overall interest themselves and not consumers. I tend to disagree with this notion, Apple has many logistical and operational issues that not only affect the 20,000 individuals that work around the world but their partners as well. In my opinion Apple has made these recent moves to bring a sense of order to the accessory industry and ensure consumers are provided with high quality products, and that these products allow Apple offerings to function as intended. In the world of consumer electronics very few companies even allow third party devices to work with their products, Apple has done so and created an entire ecosystem all for the benefit of the end user. Like many ecosystems sometimes bad elements are introduced that may be detrimental to not only consumers but the host device itself.

In recent news a number of bad products have been shipped from Asia to North America, when these products end up in stores it could potentially have a disastrous effect on your Apple product.

Imagine

-Battery chargers that damage your iPod battery by overcharging
-Speakers that create RF interference that may harm your iPhone antenna
-Cables that may be potential fire hazards or ruin the user experience by not providing quality video or audio

We can all think of other potential scenarios that may produce an undesired result for not only the consumer but Apple as well. The repercussions for unregulated items could cost people their jobs, income and potentially their lives. Sorry for my long winded and run on sentences but wanted to plant a quick seed for thought. Now back to making great products for you all.


Rishi Persaud
VP iSkin Inc

P.S So much more to discuss but this is not the forum, I understand the frustration.

Posted by R.Persaud on September 20, 2007 at 5:03 PM (CDT)

15

I don’t think it’s at all certain that “Made for iPod” is about quality control rather than profit.

Jeremy, in case I didn’t make this clear, this was a bold article for you to publish, but I want to thank you for doing so.

Posted by mattwardfh in Texas on September 20, 2007 at 5:36 PM (CDT)

16

Very good article…but will Apple read this???...Probably not.

Posted by AusPod on September 20, 2007 at 6:23 PM (CDT)

17

I took the liberty to post it on Apple’s forum:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=5398846#5398846

Posted by Don Trammell on September 20, 2007 at 7:06 PM (CDT)

18

Thank you for putting everything together in one article where it is best illustrated that something fundamental has changed.  I just wish it would result in a change.  I am genuinely surprised that Apple has seen fit to remove or disrupt so many features on what is really the second generation of video iPod.  Also surprising, the notion they believe that consumers will simply repurchase all these items.  Exactly how foolish does Apple think consumers are anyway?

Posted by sgrmba on September 20, 2007 at 7:07 PM (CDT)

19

Apple took my post, the article from this thread down. :)

The Apple Blackwater Police strike again. :)

Posted by Don Trammell on September 20, 2007 at 7:31 PM (CDT)

20

Dear Apple,

Now that you are no longer “cool” and have become the thing you love to loathe (big dumb slow greedy Microsoft), what concept will you embrace as your new advertising mantra? The old one is certainly outdated now that YOU are now the fat, greasy, “PC” guy. I hope the Apple dude finds work and can avoid the unemployment line. Maybe he can pick the pockets of Apple customers as they dance around with their crippled new ipods.

Posted by BlueGoose on September 20, 2007 at 8:17 PM (CDT)

21

Re: video out and games.  This is nothing new for Apple.  Remember when the 5G iPod came out and the top accessory port disappeared?  Time to buy a new iTrip!  Or when videos were upgraded from 320x240 to 640x480?  Want hi-res videos?  Have to buy them all again!  Frankly I’m not convinced that Apple is any less evil than Microsoft.  They just happen to make better products.

Posted by Phantom45 on September 20, 2007 at 8:26 PM (CDT)

22

I don’t have a real issue paying again for an UPGRADE, like LP’s to CD’s (tho I still like my old LP’s), but charging again for the same thing with a few minor tweaks is downright sleasy. Cripes I’m a switcher wannabe that’s having serious second thoughts about the whole Apple thing. I’ll just keep my XPS and 5.5 and be happy supporting M$.

Posted by BlueGoose on September 20, 2007 at 8:34 PM (CDT)

23

@phantom45:  While hindsight certainly gives a different perspective on those issues, they did not seem nearly as unreasonable at the time…

The change from top remote port to dock connector could be justified as a general design decision, regardless of the real reasons.

The video format change was less of an issue, as the 320x240 videos didn’t stop working after the upgrade, and paying for a higher-resolution version was certainly not unreasonable under the circumstances.

By contrast, when iTunes Plus tracks were released last spring, Apple did offer an upgrade path.

The bottom line is that this current behaviour, when looked at from all angles, is significantly different from Apple’s previous practices, and therefore all the more unacceptable by comparison.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on September 20, 2007 at 9:15 PM (CDT)

24

I still like Apple. . . call me a fanboy I don’t care. That word never had a negative connotation to me haha. I honestly thing everyone had their hopes up too high w/ the iPod Touch (including myself), so now we’re all crying because were disappointed. They still make an operating system 100 times better than Vista, and they have better taste in design. . . I don’t know, still too much to like for me. Anyways, to answer you’re question, no. They haven’t gone rottnen. The only really sleazy one is the video out. . . that was uncalled for. The ring-tones, to my understanding, is the record company.

Posted by Andrew Horn on September 21, 2007 at 12:33 AM (CDT)

25

This is a fantastic site and a wonderful resource for people such as myself.

I have felt a little disappointed of late like so many other people. I am a massive Apple enthusiast and have felt that subtle change in the company of late. I think success has changed something at Apple.

Whilst I think the Iphone is an amazing technology I am disaapointed they have intentionally made the Ipod Touch an inferior product to the Iphone. Surely Video and Audio quality on the Touch should be at least equal to the Iphone. I found the shift into the mobile phone business exciting but never in a million years did I think it would be at the expense of the Ipod. The Ipod was the product that turned Apples fortunes around. I simply don’t want to be locked into an 18 month contract to use an Apple product. For the first time the leading Apple product comes with strings attached. That is disappointing.

The Ipod touch should have been Apples leading and most advanced product because that is where the majority of the users are. This is why the Ipod touch has been received with so much negativity.

Posted by webbo.webster on September 21, 2007 at 4:44 AM (CDT)

26

Horwitz, you really failed to put these issues into perspective. ALL of them are 15 days old or newer, and that is far too early to be drawing a major conclusion about Apple. There hasn’t even been time for a critical mass of organized disputes to form to affect any change. You’re assuming that the sky is falling without looking up.

Or maybe you think of yourself as the next Jesse Berst or John Dvorak, trolling for a few extra adsense bucks.

Posted by gfair on September 21, 2007 at 6:27 AM (CDT)

27

You forgot to mention that even the original iPod video connectors were standard industry camcorder connectors with the yellow and red plugs swapped. That was devious enough as it was, especially since those industry cables are 1/4 to 1/2 the price.

Posted by mikeev261 on September 21, 2007 at 6:46 AM (CDT)

28

@gfair:  In my own personal opinion, this has nothing to do with how recent the issues are, but whether they should have occurred at all

We’re all still hoping that Apple will do the right thing, but there’s little to be gained by sitting idly by and hoping that they change their approach in the absence of any feedback.  As for forming a “critical mass of organized disputes” it’s generally important to generate awareness of these issues among the general consumer public in the first place.

This article is merely pointing out the issues to generate awareness, and proposing very reasonable potential solutions.

@mikeev261: The video cable differences were entirely due to technical differences between a camcorder plug and the iPod plug—one is used primarily for video output, while the other is used primarily for headphones.  Therefore, the first two connections in the jack perform a different function on each device, and the cables must be different by necessity.

This had absolutely nothing to do with Apple’s desire to sell a more expensive cable.  If Apple had wanted to make a proprietary cable, they would have.  In fact, they have now done exactly this with the current lineup, which is rather the point.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on September 21, 2007 at 7:37 AM (CDT)

29

Apple, in particular with the introduction of their retail stores, has always denied defective products and wrongdoing until they’ve officially been told that they can admit it. Until then, you could bring in a Mac Pro that shoots out burning poop and they wouldn’t acknowledge it—at least not until they heard from headquarters that it actually existed. Call it corporate-drone-syndrome or call it good legal business, either way it almost always sucks for the consumer.

As for Apple becoming the next Microsoft, like I said above, they’ve always been like this—they just have more customers, services and products now, so this is bound to happen more often. Apple will never become like Microsoft, because they’re not as dumb as Microsoft. Apple will continue to be their own flavor of evil, only on a grander scale.

Posted by jonhenshaw on September 21, 2007 at 8:10 AM (CDT)

30

This is nothing new with Apple. Apple has always killed old technology with every new release. What happened to all the people who bought Appleworks? Why did each iPod add software features not allowing older iPods update? Why is the computer I bought 2 years ago with iLife 06 built in not able to upgrade to iLife 08? (well I could but no iMovie and a usless iDVD)
I used to be a total Apple Fanboy, until I went to work for Apple retail. Now I almost hate them, they are Microsoft. They are just another big corporation sticking it to us saps. All the managers care about is how many Apple Care,  .Mac and ProCares you sell. They will yell at you for not kissing the customers ass, then deny a customer a refund when it is their right. One manager actually told me to hold the computer in the back so I have some more time to sell them .Mac. Needless to say I quit Apple Retail, it made me almost hate Apple, I still love the OS, but I am sick of their S%^t. Now you have to choose between the lesser of two evils.
PS, Apple needs to up the quality control too, they completly laxed in this area.

Posted by jawporta on September 21, 2007 at 8:29 AM (CDT)

31

There’s been a buzz about more and more different problems with Apple products on what seemed to be on a tiny scale here and there, but to have brief descriptions of a lot of them listed all together in an article like this should really start to turn some heads.

My thanks to Jeremy Horwitz on writing what I hope is a stepping stone towards an improvement of better Apple products

Posted by redbridgerd on September 21, 2007 at 9:40 AM (CDT)

32

iTUNES EMBARGO WEEK

I am a huge Apple fan and own many computers, laptops, and iPods, and even the AppleTV… mostly because everything just worked.

I am pissed about the VideoOUT issue and the games issues, even though I don’t use either one. However, I do see it as a step in the wrong direction and a clear example of Apple losing its focus and becoming monarchistic.

The iPod community should come together to have an iTUNES EMBARGO WEEK. We should let Apple know that the ultimate power still lies in the hands of its consumers, and that we can choose not to spend money at the iTunes Store. I think the issues are large enough that it could garner significant media attention so as to alert the average iPod user, not just the enthusiasts who read blogs.

Posted by veshman on September 21, 2007 at 10:29 AM (CDT)

33

Very timely article with logical solutions to the problems.  I hope Apple does the right thing here.  Steve Jobs responding quickly to iPhone users, and hopefully some of these petty changes like the video out cables for the new iPods gets corrected immediately.

I think Apple needs to hire some more people, to take on the additional customer interest in their products, and keep the positive traits that have helped them rise again. 

Let’s see how Apple handles this stuff, and make sure you let Apple know of your dissatisfaction with their recent decisions.

Posted by bgarlock on September 21, 2007 at 10:56 AM (CDT)

34

Here is another serious issue:

The iPhone Ate My Calendar (or: The Difference Between an iPod and a PDA)

Apple may have not understood a basic difference between an iPod and a PDA, making a design glitch that turns the iPhone into a very risky prospect for those who depend on their PDA calendars and address books.

Posted by davidn on September 21, 2007 at 11:17 AM (CDT)

35

I know this is an iPod-centric site, but this doesn’t seem limited to that line of products.  The new iMac 20” seems to have a serious problem with fading near the bottom of the LCD (plus weird color shifts when viewing at an angle).  I just bought one (my first Mac since the Mac Plus days) and it’s disappointing.  When the quality of a 3 year old Dell LCD beats an Apple LCD one starts to wonder.  Of course, OSX is vastly superior to Vista, but one has less options with Mac hardware.

See thread here (if Apple hasn’t shut it down, which they’ve done to a number of others on the topic):
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1073705&tstart=15

FWIW my wife and I both have iPhones too, and were pleased that Apple gave a credit for the early adopters (though they obviously weren’t obligated to).  I hope they do the right thing with the iMac 20” screens and admit and correct the problems.

Posted by aschro on September 21, 2007 at 11:37 AM (CDT)

36

Finally! One of the few articles starting to speak the truth. Jeremy H. is a rare voice not being drowned by (Apple’s) advertising money or blinded Apple fanatism.

I have been a Mac user and Apple fan for longer than I can remember. The recent success has changed our beloved “idialized” company and Mr. Jobs himself. The past 3 years Apple has produced software of dubious quality and lot of manipulation (if not false advertising). We have seen iLife go from a great FREE tool suite to a pay as you go-decreseng-return package. The same can be said about .mac. I’ve gone from “buy/download and install immediately” to a “I’ll wait for reviews thank you very much” policy.

People have an amazingly short memory. In the case of iMovie, people forget how, 1.5 years ago, Mr. Jobs announced to the world it was the era of HD camcoders. When HD camcoders are finally being adopted by common users Mr. Jobs announces camcoders are a thing of the past and cripples iMovie. iWork is a poor excuse to charge $80, still not doing what many free or shareware applications can do BETTER.

On the hardware side its down right shameful. Back in the PowerPC days we saw more Mac hardware updates than we are now. It took almost 12 months for the new iMacs to be refreshed (and they are more expensive not cheaper). I won’t even comment on the “extremely” reflective screens. Worst of all, the MacPro’s have not seen an update in nearly 14 months. 14 months without even dropping the price!!! When Macs had PowerPCs we saw more updates and significant price drops if refreshed models did not come out in 6-9 months.

I never thought I would feel this way, but I miss the days whne Apple’s future was uncertain and the company did whatever it took to keep its customers happy and delivered on its promises.

Posted by Kabuki on September 21, 2007 at 11:41 AM (CDT)

37

Apple is losing 2 things very important to Apple’s success. Impulse Buyers and Customer loyalty.

While most of us aren’t going to the extreme and jumping ship, many of it’s most loyal customers are definitely going to hesitate on purchases that they previously would’ve purchased on impulse. Most Apple fans are still going to remain Apple fans but it is increasingly clear that Apple doesn’t value “loyalty” as much as we thought they did and it is now exposed that we are looked upon as a resource for “quick cash”.

Maybe it’s a good thing that the reality distortion field is fading because as consumers then we need to start thinking more about our needs than that of a huge corporation.

Posted by mini.boss on September 21, 2007 at 12:47 PM (CDT)

38

Come on now… We’re jumping down the company’s throat before they—as a company—can even respond to the issues! You cannot base your perception of a company on the retail employees. Some of those people COULD BE WRONG and completely misrepresenting Apple. In the case of the iPod touch’s screen, there were a lot of Apple retail employees who were, indeed, wrong. The issue sprang up over a weekend, and they addressed it in the wrong way. Today, though, Apple—THE COMPANY, not the retail employees—acknowledged the iPod touch had a screen problem and said it has been fixed. They urged people to bring in their broken touch and exchange it for a model made in week 38 or later. End of problem. Apple dealt with it in a timely manner. No, they didn’t get it handled THE DAY it was noticed, but they did handle it within a WEEK. Is that fast enough for you?

The games situation is a bit more hairy, but I believe Apple will do right by their customers. Give them time.

The situation with the Video Out is not “Apple breaks video out” but “Apple upgrades video out.”—They are switching to dock-only because the dock is the only way to produce a higher-definition video signal, and the new iPods will all support HD video like Apple TV (which also doesn’t have AV connections). This is technology marching forward. Adapt or shut up and get out of the way. I would rather see them abandon old tech and force a change than keep watering down their tech to cater to the cheap-ass people who want to buy low quality accessories from Chinese dealers. Yes, the wide selection of accessories makes the iPod a great choice, and cutting those off WILL hurt Apple—But not for long. It’s worth the gamble to have higher-quality video, and better DRM so that more studios and content providers will allow HD content on the iPod, for viewing on your HDTV.

I suppose some of you “I wanna watch video through an AV cable in the headphone jack” people are also whining that the FCC is going to switch off standard definition signals in a short while. You’ll be standing there with your AV cable and 4:3 television cursing the rest of us who have moved on and invested in the new technology.

Stop expecting Apple to coddle you. They deal with legitimate problems in a timely manner, and they upgrade their whole line because it will benefit the consumer in the long run (and yes, because it will make a greater profit. Far be it from a company to be in business for profit!)

I was mad at Apple for the ipod touch’s problems, but they fixed them so fast that I decided I’d give it another shot. So far, they’ve had great customer service for me. My first 24” iMac had two stuck pixels, and Apple exchanged it with no questions asked on the same day at the Apple store. The remote control came lose in shipping and was not working properly, and they sent out a replacement NEXT DAY AIR as soon as I told them about it. The touch had screen problems, and they got their entire factory to fix the problem without so much as a hiccup. Week 36 was bad and 37 are mostly bad. Week 38 is good. Two weeks of technical difficulties does not a Microsoft make.

Stop whining. You all have the patience of a tsetse fly. Things get fixed—Just not always on THE DAY you notice them. Sorry, but your fast food mentality is the problem here, not Apple’s turnaround on finding out about a problem and fixing it.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on September 21, 2007 at 1:10 PM (CDT)

39

Wilder, does it hurt?

Bending over so far to kiss the backside of Jobs so often, I mean.

Posted by malren on September 21, 2007 at 1:17 PM (CDT)

40

I have been complaining to Apple all week about the iPod games and broken video out. I even received an email from Jobs himself, but still no resolve. What happened to this company? Does a bunch of short-sighted bean counters now run the place. I posted the incompatibilities of the games on the Apple Discussion Forums, only for them to be promptly pulled down!

Next I wrote about it on my blog. Thanks much for writing this article. I will link this story to my own. I agree that the complaints are NOT from Apple bashers, they are from legitimate customers, some of Apple’s best customers in fact. The only way to turn this anti-customer behavior around is to scream about this garbage.

Posted by digiprod on September 21, 2007 at 1:35 PM (CDT)

41

Well, I have to commend you on a brutally honest and revealing article. 

I’ve owned three iPods, beginning with the 3G back in 2002, and had been waiting for over a year to replace my old 60GB iPod Photo with what I was hoping would be an iPod Touch-like iPod with lots of storage space.  Based on the problems people have had, as well as the extremely sparse storage space, I’ve decided to replace my old iPod with a 160GB Archos 605 wifi.  For a little more than the 160GB classic I have a nice large (4.3” 800x480) touch-screen PMP which gives me audio, video, wifi connectivity, web browsing (with Opera browser), network streaming, DVR functionality, and a bunch more (still exploring features).  It’s much more open to all kinds of video and audio formats too.  The UI is nowhere near as nice as the Touch, and there are certainly some issues with it (what device doesn’t have any?), but I’m just tired of waiting for Apple to get their act together. 

I’ve been lurking in some Archos forums and it’s interesting that there are a LOT of former iPod users getting their first Archos device now…  I figure, by the time I’m tired of the 605, there will be a nice 160GB (or larger) iPod Touch available for a reasonable price with all the bugs and other issues worked out.  Until then, Apple won’t get my money and I’ll enjoy my Archos.

Ok, flame away…

eddie

Posted by diggityDawg on September 21, 2007 at 2:40 PM (CDT)

42

It’s kind of like fishing. You have to catch and release some smaller ones (earlier iPods) before you get that big fish (iPhone).

I feel bad for you guys, but early adopters and superfans of Apple, including those who do not see “down the road” when it comes to product design and apply a “gotta have it” to each and every thing Apple comes out with, are going to make the company rich and themselves broke.

You are just showing apple that you will continue to buy buy buy whatever they put out and when. So why should they change their behavior of double and triple dipping when you keep going back to the trough?

I wanted an iPod when they first came out early in the decade, and then when they made improvements, I wanted it even more, especially after video. But a square screen? I could tell that was not going to last. I knew they were going to do phone and wide(er) screen video, so I waited for what became the iPhone. In the meantime, I just had a cheap MP3 player I think it was like $20 bucks. I got a Blackberry from work so I had Google maps and EDGE already. That little $20 mp3 device played music through headphones and could store lots of songs. Hmm. At the end of the day, isn’t that really what they all do?

Now, I’m sure with the iPhone, higher storage versions will come out, but that’s not a big deal, because 8GB is all I really need. With compression today, I can store way, way more than the number of movies and songs I could ever play before I dock it again.

The iPhone device will have a long shelf life because its OS based and not locked down by its design. At least, that is my hope. I could be wrong.

But today, I will be buying movies, music and support gadgets ONCE and not 4x or 5x. I do think that “Apple only” video cables are a shame, but if people can unlock the phone, they can find ways around this (perhaps).

Not to sound like a grinch, but you folks who bought everything in the early generations, that’s the price you pay for going crazy locking yourselves into early generations of a product line.

I wish it was different but you’re not giving the company incentive to change their behavior.

STOP BUYING EVERYTHING APPLE when it comes out. Wait a bit to see what really works and what doesn’t. What the company will keep supporting and what they want to dump.

Same theory applies to everything electronic.

Posted by shawnchittle on September 21, 2007 at 3:07 PM (CDT)

43

Wilder_K_Wight must be an Apple employee trying to do some damage control. Anyway, this is a great article and dead on. I congratulate you Jeremy for bringing these issues to light in which many consumers may not have been made aware of until now. To the VP of iSkin, I buy your products for my iPods and think they’re great. But don’t you think if a reliable company wants to produce a good quality 3rd party product to make my iPod experience that much better at a fraction of the cost than that of Apple better for the consumer? I’m a gamer and I have a lot of great, well made 3rd party products for my video and pc games.

Posted by pc-videogamer on September 21, 2007 at 6:03 PM (CDT)

44

Apple just sent me a $30 iTunes Gift Card to compensate me for the iPod games I bought that do not play on my new iPods!

Posted by digiprod on September 21, 2007 at 11:20 PM (CDT)

45

Lotsa crybabies out there. Advice: Grow UP

Horwitz appears to be “biting the hand that feeds him”. Especially with that “rotten” headline. Something that Fox would do.
Attacking Apple by a guy whose “bread and butter” and, uh, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls, Bentley or whatever comes via Apple products and the third party accessories isn’t too bright.

And no, I do not now nor ever worked for Apple. I have used their products for 27 or more years - about as long as many of these crybabies have been alive.

Posted by avanti5010 on September 21, 2007 at 11:30 PM (CDT)

46

Avanti5010 and Wilder-

You guys are idiots.  Do you know how long we’ve waited for new ipods?  Do you know how loyal we “want” to be to Apple products?  You guys must like to suck on lemons.  Jeremy- keep writing great articles that stand up for people.  I canceled my iTouch after waiting for this new ipod for over a year (gave up last x-mas hoping for it to come).  Maybe these guys standing up for Apple have money growing out their a__, but coming up with $400 is not easy for me and I sure don’t want to buy a “Video” ipod that has a crappy “screen”.  I take the “crybaby” comments quite personal avanti5010-  oh, and I AM grown up—which is why I’m not going to settle for getting screwed over with corporate scams and crappy quality products.
C’mon Apple.  Get it right.

Posted by spudtak on September 21, 2007 at 11:59 PM (CDT)

47

This isn’t anything new with Apple…

My first experience as an Apple customer was buying a rev. B iMac with MacOS 8.5 At the time Apple was running a special deal, if you bought OS 8.5 you got a free copy of Quicktime Pro.

So I plunked down my money and called Apple. “Yeah, I just bought an iMac with OS 8.5, how do I get Quicktime Pro?”

“You don’t.”

“Excuse me?”

“That offer is only for people who buy the boxed operating system.”

“So… you’re saying if I bought a $99 software box I’d get the free upgrade, but because I bought a $1200 computer I don’t?”

“That’s correct.”

“Thanks for nothing.”

Then I went and unlocked it using a pirated code off the Internet instead.

Posted by jordanlund on September 22, 2007 at 12:18 AM (CDT)

48

I find it ironic that it’s taken this long for people to see this about Apple.

Other than OSX, they are nothing more than a marketing department based on hawking overpriced, overdesigned goods to people who care about aesthetics more than substance. 

Because of OSX, Macs have some substance.  Other than that, you are paying for a curvy case.

Also very funny to me that the only time customers gripe is when the products are not up to their princess-and-the-pea aesthetic standards. 

“I paid for this product to be the best of the best style and aesthetics, and god dammit, I expect a screen with superlative black levels!”

It’s not like Jobs is doing anything except laughing at you from his aesthetically appealing, mink-lined jacuzzi.  What are you going to do, buy a Zune?

Posted by ardak on September 22, 2007 at 5:52 AM (CDT)

49

“Then I went and unlocked it using a pirated code off the Internet instead.”


LOL! And people wonder why pirating is so popular! I will “pirate” the games I already paid for if I buy a new ipod. And that will only happen if mine breaks, that planned upgrade isn’t happening if I have to re-purchase them via corporate piracy. Hell I can still run DOS games on XP! Can Microsoft code better than Apple? It appears so…

Steve Jobs HAS become the greasy, fat “PC” that he loves to loathe…

Posted by BlueGoose on September 22, 2007 at 7:47 AM (CDT)

50

It’s payback time! This Christmas there will be no new iTouch no new iPhone no new Nano’s and absolutely no new Mac products under the tree for my good girls and boys this year. I for one am fed up with the way this company is lying, cheating and stealing their loyal customers money! The only way a company will respond to their customers is when they feel the heat. Christmas time is “THE TIME” to use the flamethrower! Jobs, I hope you have better luck with the FEDS or you just might end up bunking with OJ!

Posted by a3rdleg on September 22, 2007 at 3:17 PM (CDT)

51

spudtak, spend some time sucking on your pacifier, please. Calling me an idiot is NOT “grown up”.
So as said before: Grow up - or have your diaper changed before you come on here and whine.

Posted by avanti5010 on September 23, 2007 at 2:30 PM (CDT)

52

Damn, people. The screen problems on the touch are fixed. It took TWO WEEKS for the issue to be found and handled. How long were you waiting for Sony to deal with their exploding batteries (answer: months) and how long have people been waiting for Microsoft to acknowledge and fix the Red Ring of Death (answer—Since launch.)

If you have a problem with an Apple product, you can get it replaced or repaired. They’re great about it. They send you a box or replacement NEXT DAY, and they pay shipping both ways… What more do you want?

I’m sorry, but this isn’t a case of Apple fans being defensive—It’s a case of Apple haters piling on when someone expresses that there may be a chink in Jobs’ armor. So far, Apple’s been dealing with the problems and making decent compromises… And most of you just need to give them a chance to address each issue as it hits them.

I’m betting a lot of the complaints here are from people who don’t even own an iPod, or at least don’t own one of the new models.  Me? I’m on my second iPod touch, but I’m completely satisfied.

Of course, I wasn’t expecting a PDA. I was expecting an iPod, and that’s what I got. If you want the PDA version, it’s called an iPhone, and it’s readily available from the Apple Store or Best Buy, among others.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on September 23, 2007 at 7:38 PM (CDT)

53

I bought my iPod 60G 5th gen for two reasons: to hold my music collection and to have a transportable media for displaying my portfolio.  The iPod does both admirably and I hope it lasts awhile.  The change to requiring a special video cable for extra money is not prohibitive but annoying and insulting.  I enjoy the fact that I can hook up anywhere and show my portfolio and the use of common cables to do this is convenient.
If my 5th gen were to die sooner than later, I would definitely search out other possibilities before I bought this new series of iPods.

Posted by SouthernGothic on September 23, 2007 at 8:01 PM (CDT)

54

Hello all, I won’t say I’m a fan of Apple but I’m not a hater either.  I’ve read posts by disappointed people and people defending Apple (notably avanti5010 and Wilder.)  I don’t think any post I’ve read has Mr. Jobs sitting behind a desk twisting his mustache hatching up diabolical plans to rule the world.  By the same token, his shirts tails aren’t completely clean either.  It’s not one or two specific things that will start to persuade loyal customers to resent the company’s products, but rather the overtly obvious policies and product “disabling” that makes you wonder what the companies reasoning’s are? For instance, why weren’t products in the newly released lineup released to reviewers before launch? Apple was able to previously dodge these kinds of questions from coming up as it was generally believed that it was just how they do business.  With the kinds of corporate screw ups mentioned in Jeremy’s article, they will increasingly have these kinds of questions.

  I can tell you from personal experience, with a music library of over 16,000 songs, the new “Cover Flow” on the iPod classic was enough to prompt a purchase from me.  Being a company that in my view has always produced superior products it seems odd to me that my new iPhone and iPod “Cover Flow” is sorted by Artist, regardless of a specific setting in iTunes (Compilations) to prevent this.  Will I survive without? Yes.  Should I really have too? No.

  Apple at this stage of corporate development reminds me of two other young companies of the 1980’s, Microsoft and Sony.  Sony produces some of the greatest hardware known to man, then intentionally cripples it with proprietary software (have an increasingly familiar ring to it) and Microsoft of the 80’s, great software and marketing but once again, intentionally crippling it for the sake of profit.  I think Apple has made a fundamental shift in it’s corporate mission and lost perspective of what got it to where it is.

  My suggestion for Steve Jobs?  Go spend time with Warren Buffett and reset you companies priorities.

Posted by saidian on September 24, 2007 at 2:05 AM (CDT)

55

It’s a disturbing trend for Apple.

Take a look at Apple’s UK Store website.  See that ad for free ipod nanos for students?  It’s a lie. 

Student prices for the iPod nano are the same as normal retail prices £99 for 4Gb,  £129 for 8Gb.  Apple are offering an £85 rebate.  That makes the 4Gb £14 and the 8Gb £44.  I have confirmed with Apple that this is correct.  please phone them and check and post here if you get a different response.

Very very cheap , thank you apple, but NOT free.  Saying they are free is a lie.

Maybe it says somewhere deep in the smallprint that ‘free’ actually means a hefty discount but i can’t see it. And that still doesn’t excuse the blatant and prominent use of the word ‘free’.

I only realised when I phoned to buy my new iMac with free iPod Nano and was told that my ‘free’ Nano would cost £14.

Apple you have made great products that have enriched our lives.  Why the need to lie?

Who can we complain to about this?

Posted by island monkey on September 24, 2007 at 7:51 AM (CDT)

56

island monkey: Exclude VAT from the 99 pounds and look what comes out.. surprisingly near to 85 pound ;)

Posted by Manuel Grabowski on September 24, 2007 at 8:13 AM (CDT)

57

You missed to important BUGS found in the Ipod Classic and Nanos.

Coverflow bug where compilations show up multiple times, once for each artist.

Compilations bug where artist from compilation albums still show up under artist list.

Posted by olarte on September 24, 2007 at 8:58 AM (CDT)

58

My guess is that the new iPods (classic, fatty, Touch) are running the same OSX as iPhone. The games are therefore incompatible. I would agree wholeheartedly that Apple should allow users to d/l updated versions for free, but I don’t think it’s an evil plot to wheedle money out of people for a few new menu items or spiffier graphics.

Posted by kerpotsky on September 24, 2007 at 7:45 PM (CDT)

59

Firstly, a big pat on the back to Jeremy Horwitz, for his boldness in this article! I’ve proudly become a “ilounge” freak now!!
Secondly, i totally agree with whatever Mr.Wilder_K_Wight has said in all his comments. I dont know why u guys are complaining so much?!
I’m not a “Loyal Apple Fan” or anythin, my first relationship with apple started jus 18 months ago when my bro gifted me a 30g ipod video, and believe me, i hv cherished every single day that i spent with my ipod! Although now my ipod is havin some hardware problem(hd failure i think). I took it to the apple store in singapore, and they said it cant be fixed(as it is out of warranty) and they can only replace the ipod which will cost me as much as buyin the new 80g classic. Obviously, i was furious & angry, and cursed Apple to the core! But then i realised, that every electronic gadget carries the risk of failure, and thats the price you’ve gotta pay, whether u like it or not!
So i asked the store-manager whether a trade-in is possible if i purchased the 16g ipod touch, and surprisingly, he agreed!! He said i would get 150$(singapore) for my old ipod when i purchase the new touch after it hits the market later this month!
Apple is not all evil u guys! Ya no doubt that the games issue was kinda cheap, but give them a break! Evryone makes mistakes!
And why do all of you’ll complain bout the ipod touch not being up to the mark and not being an iphone!? Just lik Mr.Wilder has said, its a MEDIA PLAYER for christ sake!! not a PDA! so stop grumbling bout what all it doesnt hv, and start looking at what it does hv!!
I’m a total gadget freak, and i kno a good gadget when i see one. I’ve purchased numerous media players, but still there is nothin out there which can beat the feelin of havin an ipod! Dont blame Apple if u cant afford one! Wait for the price to drop or jus go buy some local chinese player!
No offence to anyone..
Nik..

Posted by Nikhil Raykar on September 25, 2007 at 4:34 PM (CDT)

60

I am a first time iPod user. I just got one for my daughter. Got the manual online and went thru it to make i understand all the features. Was excited about the video capability. So went out to buy TV cables and even got a higher model portable Philips DVD player because it was suppose to be compatible with the iPod, only to find out later that the TV Out function will not work. Called the Apple store and was told its suppose to work.. So now its money down the drain. Very bad Apple!

Posted by roland0707 on September 27, 2007 at 7:18 PM (CDT)

61

Article is pretty accurate but probably too gentle on the business realities developing at Apple. Apple has built a loyal customer base on an image and perceived culture that it can’t sustain. Apple has reached the breaking point where it has relied too heavily on past loyalty to carry it through its own short-term Company centric versus customer centric shift in its decision making. Finger pointing to the media for its business practices is a symptom of its eroding commitment to the customer. I stopped buying from iTunes a few months ago and am introducing my kids to competing, less restrictive products from more customer oriented organizations. They get it right away.  They are why Apple is in trouble. Not me.

Posted by SatisfactionSeeker on October 8, 2007 at 7:55 AM (CDT)

62

Although I am a bit late, I would like to commend you Mr. Horwitz. Since the powerpc 60 -with an astonishing 4 megs of ram- I was a Mac user. I understood the components were shotty, however, I willing to purchase because Apple’s customer service during the time period was exceptional.

Last year, I three times I had to send Macbook to Apple for the same issue.  Being a college student, trying to function without a computer is demanding. 

During my last visit for the same issue (refusal to sleep, no functioning bluetooth), I was told by a Mac Genius no work was actually completed on my computer according to the database. However, I had a work order stating my logic board and bluetooth modules were replaced worth approximately 1100 dollars.

In actuality nothing was replaced. Customer relations pretty much told me to goto hell whereupon I told them it is fitting to have an incompetent representative to work for an unethical corporation.

The components were finally repaired in store, with the sympathy of the mac geniuses.  Soon afterwards, the macbook was sold on ebay and I downloaded a torrent for kalyway and iatkos.

Posted by luv2h8apl on July 6, 2008 at 11:42 PM (CDT)

63

Sorry, but the fact is Apple was never a “good guy”, it was all marketing.
They are no different than Microsoft and never have been. I’m glad you guys are finally waking up though.

Posted by DK on March 20, 2010 at 1:30 AM (CDT)

64

Just wondering why there are no soccer goalkeeper games for the ipod touch.
pls reply

Posted by Matt on June 12, 2010 at 2:12 AM (CDT)

65

Wondering about APPLE business practices.  I purchased an iphone two weeks ago, opened it today and activated it (Dec. 26th - christmas gift). Speaker didn’t work. Went directdly to ATT who sent me to APPLE (saying they would exchange for new).  At APPLE, the rep said the swap was new, after getting home, noticed the paperwork said otherwise.  I paid $300 for a refurbished iphone 4.  How can APPLE do this?  A refurbished iphone 4 is $199, not $299.  I feel like they stole $100 from me.  I just want what I paid for.

Posted by Marla Turner on December 26, 2010 at 10:34 PM (CST)

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