I would say there was a three year period after I bought my first Apple product (17 inch Powerbook) in 2003 where Apple simply could do no wrong. Every decision they made, every course of action they took, and every product they released was the best option on the market. DRM? Simply a consequence of the music industry. Faulty laptop screens? Damn those Asian manufacturing plants. Unstable OS updates? It must be the 3rd party hardware, buy some new RAM.
Then sometime during my senior year of college it occurred to me that Apple, like all companies, makes mistakes from time to time. And sometimes, they flat out make bad decisions. Decisions that are bad for the customer, and consequently bad for their reputation. I learned that Apple may be: an innovator, a leader in design, and a class act at marketing, but they are not infallible.
To be honest, my feeling is that Apple gets it right about 70% of the time. This in-and-of-itself is not that great of a percentage. But the fact is that when Apple does get something right it’s usually pretty spot on (iPhone). And despite their smug cocky attitude, they do take user feedback into consideration.
For instance, the upcoming update for OS X (10.5.2) will fix two huge usability complaints from users. First, the ability to view docked folders in hierarchical view. And second, the ability to turn off menu bar transparency. While Apple would never tell you they screwed the pooch on both of these “enhancements” with Leopard, they have still given users the ability to choose if they want them or not.
This is why I can still love and appreciate Apple. Because the fact is, for the most part, Apple cares about their customers and their experience. I genuinely believe that.
So Apple, now that I’ve taken your back, buck up and give the $20 iPod Touch software update away for free. There’s no need to punish people for buying your products. It’s a sneaky and unjust thing to do.