A few weeks ago I took Lenovo Carbon X1 into use with Windows 64 Pro. There’s no turning back. After fifteen years of using Apple products starting and ending from a Mac laptop my dependency with that company’s products is over for good.
I bet many other so called pro or power users have come along a similar journey so here’s mine. I’m 42 and belong to the group of users who have coded as a kid and used computers all my life for work and fun. From 1980s home computers to modern PCs and all kind of gadgets in between.
The first Apple product I bought must have been the original iPod back in 2001 or that time frame. I started following Apple and considered OS X a winning concept on paper. Unix basis with all the needed desktop apps in a visually nice looking package. Most users were stuck with their PCs and Windows systems which I felt didn’t develop anymore after Windows 2000. Linux sounded great but was not an option for desktop.
The first colleague demoed me his Powerbook (Macbook’s name at the time) back in 2003 and I was sold. After long consideration I went with 12″ Powerbook and never looked back. It was top notch hardware with the best OS available that just delivered. A no brainer. Apple was on an accelerating road to renaissance in the tech industry and it felt great to be in the forefront.
More Apple hardware and devices followed. I got the Airport Express when it came out and connected my speakers wirelessly over Wifi. This is innovation. New stuff. I got more Apple stuff. Couple more Airports including Airport Extreme where I plugged a harddrive and had a minimal NAS set-up. Another innovation delivered. Then came the big thing. I was among the first wave of guys buying iPhone back when it was released in 2007. Apple stores had still no lines at that time. It needed to be hacked so I could install European SIM card. When it was all set-up it was huge. Groundbreaking innovation right there. Delivered.
Laptops followed after another with 2-3 year cycle. I got a couple of 15 inches and after that settled with the 13″ line. I had also Apple’s Cinema display from the first version, which I also updated a few times up until the 27″ model. At some point, I think this was in 2011 or so, we had as a secondary home computer an iMac 27″. And of course I had iPod minis and then shuffles’ for running. And yes, the very first iPad as well for kids. It was just great. I was all-in for Apple.
I speculated with many friends at the time who started to gear towards Apple too that every company, ecosystem and platform in the tech business must come down at some point. When would be Apple’s time? It didn’t seem to happen anytime soon though I noticed I got less and less thrilled with each new Apple product update. And somehow it looked like after iPad there was nothing new coming. Just more of the same.
Looking back Apple’s peak in my life came and went without me even properly noticing it. Somehow the peak coincided Steve Jobs’ passing away and the time the company dropped Computer from its name. I got eventually bored with Apple. iPhone4 was my last iPhone from where I switched to Android in 2013. It felt like the innovation platform of the future. I had sold the iMac and Cinema displays already in late 2011 and switched to first DELL and now to LG and ASUS screens. They had more connectors and just overall better features for better money. IPod shuffles broke down and I didn’t get new ones. Now I have a TomTom sports watch which can also play music. The kids used up the iPad and I had cheaper Android tablets to spare. Airport products I switched to Zyxel and ASUS stuff again because they just delivered more.
Why did all this happen?
Back in the day, and we are talking now about 15 years ago, Apple was in the forefront of computers. The company was first and foremost a computer manufacturer. Apple made servers, workstations, laptops and peripherals like screens. iPod was the first new category defining radical device innovation. It delivered on top of Apple’s strengths which were great software & hardware in a nicely designed package. More followed: routers, phones and tablets.
Today Apple is all about highly priced phones, watches and other gadgets sold in masses to middle class families worldwide. Macs and pro users have become a side story. The product categories have shrank based on what sells to the masses. To me Apple looks like a new Mattel or Lego. It is a Toy Company. Delivering modern mediocrity and consumer statistics.
The best BBQ in New Orleans at The Joint. Pulled pork, brisket and ribs w Malbec. Hard to beat w Pablo in the team! pic.twitter.com/rZIYDLCxO0
— Mikko Välimäki (@mvalimaki) January 14, 2016
The best “hotel” in New Orleans. We live in that bus! pic.twitter.com/Gy1ykeApQR
— Mikko Välimäki (@mvalimaki) January 13, 2016