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[flagged] That awkward moment when Apple mocked good hardware and poor people (techinasia.com)
1078 points by nkurz on Mar 23, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 567 comments

That slide was really bad. It's not about being easily offended (I have no reason to) - but it pokes a hole into the first half of the event, where Apple tried to present itself as a green and caring company.

It's such an obvious mistake that I wonder nobody at Apple has pointed that out during the rehearsals? The thing about old PCs being designed 'before social media' was dumb, too. This is a "pro" tablet, right? How does it matter if it has a Facebook app?

This is the same Phil Schiller that is now in charge of the App Store, and as an iOS developer, I find the carelessness a little worrying.

>>It's such an obvious mistake that I wonder nobody at Apple has pointed that out during the rehearsals?

Maybe this isn't a mistake ? maybe, deep down, Apple knows that the number one thing they sell is status and a false feeling of superiority ? So why not give their users who replace their devices often, some of that feeling ? a feeling that they are less able to supply via highly differentiated innovation ?

So who knows whether this method will work or be deemed as too crude - most of us here aren't good at marketing as Apple.

Apple says this shit every time it has a major press event. Saying it mocks poor people is digging around for something to be offended about. Is the author really offended every time they see an ad for a newer car model when current and prior models work just fine? Saying it mocks good hardware isn't out of touch. Seriously, what did they think Apple was going to say:

> Buy a new iPad pro.

Schiller turns around, goes back to the slides, stops midway, turns to the crowd and says "But I still use an old PC, because if it ain't broke, don't fix it!", winks, and continues the presentation.

Come on, this article is grasping at straws.

I miss the olden days when people were reading tea leaves before an announcement to divine from invitation phrasing what new products Apple is going to offer. As opposed to nowadays when after the announcement people are looking for words to latch on and twist their meaning to be offended about.

I bet they're not as much offended about the pageviews and ad impressions a link titled like that brings in.

IMO, this is a typical Apple troll article.

"<vendor> mocks poor people" is the dumbest possible analysis of this data. I work for an organization with something like $1.5B in IT spend. Our 40th percentile PC is 8 years old. The 80th percentile PC is 4. Our desired refresh for a desktop PC is 40 months.

Why? The post 2008 recession killed discretionary spending. Then Microsoft failed utterly to deliver a compelling desktop strategy from 2008 to the present day. They finally got their shit together with Windows 10, but their fantasy world where the universe is transitioning from Windows 7->8->10 makes that more friction-prone than it need be.

Consumers are in the same boat. People skipped upgrades because of the friction involved in the transition, which is why Microsoft is dragging you to upgrade kicking and screaming.

Personally, I use my elderly in-laws as a proxy for non-technical consumers. They are technophobes -- a retired fireman and nurse respectively... not rich, not poor. When I met my wife in 2000, they were still leasing a telephone from AT&T. They made the PC->Mac transition in 2009 and were actually able to use their computer without worrying about the typical PC woes (AV, updates, etc). That Mac is aging and it's was starting to turn into the time to go.

With the iPad Pro, my father in law ran out to the Apple Store by himself, got the stuff he needed and got everything going on his own. Long story short -- he loves it. It does everything that they need to do, and is a more convenient form factor than the laptop. He hasn't touched the computer other than syncing music from the Mac to the PC since.

The superior attitude of Apple execs is nothing new. Even right at the start of the company that's a culture Jobs started with, looking down on all its competitors.

What's rather sad is the laughing audience, to me, who left their brains at the door and laugh and applause when they are told to. Just like in 1984's iconic Apple ad, by the way. The loop is complete.

Apple has always sold elitism. They'll frequently add bullet points to products for some superlative to facilitate this. It doesn't matter if users have to throw away their old accessories or they have to trim out useful features like mouse buttons or a headphone jack. Getting to put on the box "thinnest" or "lightest" or "first" is more valuable to Apple than product utility. It's a strategy that has served them very well. As long as a market exists that values snobbery and luxury signaling, they'll have non-zero sales.

picture is worth a 1000 words, the photo of the laughing audience tells the demographic tale.

it seems to me a lot of comments here are focusing on the tech aspects of this (no surprise i guess) instead of the point: this is a marie antoinette moment, a la "let them get an ipad pro"

Yeah, that attitude is off-putting. But man their hardware is nice.

It's kind of like the artist and their art. Leni Riefenstahl and her propaganda films.

In addition to the point the author makes about the benefits of modularity, this strikes me as environmentally tone-deaf as well. Do we just expect devices to enter the waste stream every 5 years now? Can't we do better?

That, sadly, is something Apple really doesn't support or encourage, by and large they've kept moving away from reparable and upgradable products[0] even though that's by far the most ecological option (short of not using industrial products in the first place)

[0] to trade them for form (soldered RAM, fused display panels), for assembly convenience (tons of adhesives, thankfully they've at least started moving to adhesive pull tabs for iOS device batteries) or for no fucking reason whatsoever (custom SSD connectors, proprietary/security screws). As far as iFixit is concerned, the only thing less repairable than an rMBP is an orange.

Do they expect us to believe that the parts will be reused, like it is implied in the video? Of course not, there is not chance the parts will match the next model and even if they do they would have to undergo inspection and testing. That is way to expensive and time consuming. Instead they will be melted into raw components, which is not shown in the video.

What will happen in reality is the phone will go into a industrial shredder and then the process of separating/recycling will begin. The robot seems like a marketing gimmick (they even have it a name), and will not be involved in 99% of the recycling process.

I really want to be proven wrong.

They talk about harvesting the raw metals and elements in the video... The hard part in ewaste recycling isn't collecting the devices, it's breaking them down into their isolated components. The robot's aim is to do that instead of a shredder so that they can have a much higher re-use rate.


And of course this is also a project to have a robot do the reverse--assemble iPhones.

Interestingly enough, mandarin oranges are used by medical students as practice for laparoscopic surgeries. The task is to remove the pericarp (white stringy stuff) from the orange with minimal damage to the outer peel, then suture the opening.

So oranges might, in fact, be more repairable.

I don't think you're doing it on purpose, but you are comparing Apples to oranges.

At least oranges are delicious.

Exactly. The comment was specially awkward when you consider that they spent a decent part of the event talking about how environmentally friendly they are and how they reuse and recycle.

That "joke" was terrible in many different ways.

Sell them or give them to poor kids.

At least where I live people drop working stuff off at FreeGeek instead of tossing them in a dumpster.

PDX? :-)

Did you know there are over 600 million Honda Civics over 5 years old still on the roads? Hah! Clearly, their owners should replace them with Porsche 911s instead.

I know the car analogies are tired and cliche but that's not too far off. I used to work for a guy who was an Apple zealot whereas I was more the type to do price comparisons and buy whatever I could afford without going overboard for bells, whistles, and extra layers of polish. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that the guy was a business owner who got his start via a nice big trust fund his family had set up for him whereas I was paying my way through college working for him.

Either way, this wasn't a tech company but more like a retail shop with an attached cafe. People frequently would chit-chat about computer stuff and several times people would complain that their old or severely underpowered/low end PC was too slow or crapped out on them. Boss' answer: "Get a Mac!" Every time without fail.

It really made it hard not to bristle at the sentiment or take it out on Apple in general since they had similar themes in their ad campaigns at the time (this was the "I'm a Mac" days). Essentially people were either using the equivalent of aging Camrys or newer models at the extreme low end of the market like some 3cyl Ford Fiesta and the solution to their problems was obviously to buy a Mercedes.

Of course a luxury car (or computer) is going to run better than something old or low-end but there's a much wider range in between that will often cover your needs, sans some extra layers of polish that demand an understandable premium, for considerably less money.

So yeah, marketers will market. Fanboys will fanboy. I get it. But it doesn't make it less irritating when users and customers start parroting the lines from ad campaigns that seek to convince you that anything less than the Porsche or the Benz are just going to crap out on you and leave you sad and lonely.

I have a '99 Honda CRV, but given how much I drive it, if it ever dies, the replacement is likely to be Zipcar.

I also have a 6-yr-old iMac at home, and it definitely falls into the no-real-need-to-upgrade category (I do have a newer laptop, but it is running Linux--and I expect to be able to keep that for a while too).

Porsche 911? Rubbish I say! You should seriously consider a Tesla if you are to have something better, than an internal combustion engine.

I just bought a "new to me" laptop.

Refurb Thinkpad T420s from 2011. I added 16G RAM, two Intel SSDs, an Ultrabay battery, and an 802.12ac wifi card. Grand total: less than $325.

This will be my primary portable for at least 2-3 years, and it's already four years old.

Just because I can afford Apple doesn't mean I can justify the 2x price premium, or that "old" hardware isn't capable.

A month ago I did the same thing, a T420s with just slightly different specs. The sad thing is that in 2-3 years whatever we choose to replace it with will likely have an inferior keyboard.

I've been using a T410 for almost 6 years now. It's got 8GB of RAM, an SSD and the hard drive that it shipped with is now in the ultrabay. With the 9 cell battery I get almost 5 hours of battery life with normal use. I see no reason to upgrade. Sure a newer laptop might be a little thinner or a little faster, but for what I do I'd never notice. It's not like an ultrabook is going to fit in my pocket. I'd still need to carry it in a bag.

X200 user here. AC wifi, 3G for fallback, minipci-e 64GB, SSD, 1TB HDD, AFFS screen; ultra light, robust, battery replaced ~every 2 years. The only things it needs to keep up with the web today are uBlock and IRC gateway to Slack.

The best thing is that said a high end model of said T420s is more capable than, literally any 13" MacBook ever produced (with the notable exception of display quality).

I'm not the biggest fan of the x20 series Thinkpads due to many stupid niggles (electrical noise, fan noise, LCD quality, build quality issues, driver issues, bad trackpads etc etc etc), but if what you need is a computing tool... well....

My daily computer at work is a 6 year old Dell Optiplex. 4GB RAM and an SSD. Perfectly good for what I do.

My laptop is a 1st gen Macbook Air, inherited from original owner. Also perfectly good for what I do.

My car is from 2004. Perfectly reliable and meets all my needs.

There is a HUGE amount of retail activity that is caried out just because people want the newest and latest version of things. And I have no problem with that, but it's absolutely not necessary if you don't want to participate.

I'm usually pretty sensitive to this kind of thing, but this is an overblown reaction that reads too much into what was said.

There are enough people and situations to judge for disregarding the condition of poverty, we don't need to contrive any.

The problem is that everyone is commenting not on what he said, but what Apple is "really thinking." People really need to stop thinking that corporations think like people. They are composed of people, of course, and this one happens to comprise over 115,000 people, each with their own individual opinions.

Yes, some of them are elitist jerks. Some of them are not. I find lots of things Apple does offensive and other things I really like. But I have no illusions that there's some kind of corporate hive mind that speaks its hidden agenda through executive avatars.

I'm not surprised that there are parts of Apple that are focused on sustainability and other parts that couldn't care less. That's not contradictory, that's collaboration. I'm glad the ones that care about sustainability work in that department, and if engineers keep doing their jobs and make long-lasting products, whatever their opinions on old hardware happen to be, everything will be fine.

The idea that an entire corporation should share the same opinions on everything is just scary. I know plenty of them have been trying to push that kind of message, but we're smarter than that, aren't we?

Wow. Is this how far the author had to dig to find something to complain about? Yes, companies will frequently give you some marketing spin to get you to buy a new version of a product. And yes, you should use your head to figure out if you a) need it, b) can afford it. And no, it's not an insult to those that decide not to buy the new product.

I did not have the negative reaction to the same degree when watching, but did find the comment a little strange as well. He does not need to dig that deep.

Yes, it was a misinformed statement on the part of Phil Schiller, but I find it annoying that the author cherry-picks one line from an hour long keynote to write an overly dramatic holier-than-thou diatribe. If the author wants to make the case that Apple is elitist or out-of-touch, then he'll need to gather more evidence rather than rely on a few personal anecdotes and pretentious quips.

Since Apple sells hardware, of course they will find it sad if people don't buy new hardware all the time. But it's nice to see them being (unintentionally?) honest about it for once amidst all the marketing.

Didn't read Schiller's comment as a jab to users. More as the usual attack against the MS/clone industry.

My thoughts at that moment: 'modern digital like' is a sad joke. 4K video won't change your life, even 1080p. If your hardware isn't absurd, pop Linux, a SSD if needed, and enjoy the 80$ bliss. All from a guy trying to sell hour based color shifting .. come on.

This cuts particularly close to home for me. I work for an educational company with developers that actively mock schools with low resolution screens and poor JavaScript performance, not to mention Android and Fire tablets, while they sit on these brand new MacBook Pros with SSDs and Cinema Displays doing their testing. The schools don't have these low power machines because they're dumb or not tech savvy. The vast majority have them because they are poor. We are trying to help the poor and you are completely missing the point. If you can deliver the exact same content in a way that doesn't require a high performance machine that is the ideal. The more we can do server side the more we are giving instead of taking.

This is so silly. Apple is a company that makes money when you buy their products.

If there are 600 million people who are using something besides one of their product they are going to say that those people should use their products instead.

Get off your high horse.

Schiller is marketing his company's product. So what?

What he said was along the same lines of rhetoric as all the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials.

There's nothing to take personally about what an executive says about the products you choose to use in your home. That's your choice.

Right, this is an apple conference, he works for Apple. I'm sure I'm not the only one here that's worked somewhere that we liked to bash our competition all the time, because we thought it was funny and we all believed it at some level. I think the author is reading too much into this comment.

Teases people with 5 year old PCs, still ships Cinema Displays and Macbook Pros that are from 2011.

It kind of feels like the author was just looking for reasons to be offended. This comment didn't really seem that offensive at all.

My home PC is over eight years old and still functions adequately. I enjoy using it and maintaining it much more than I would fumbling around with a new Apple iPad. It cost about $2800 new, and I've spent about $300 on upgrades since then. So the total cost of ownership is about 390/year. I don't think this cost is much better than buying new iThings every couple years. But I get a much more powerful device, and it requires me to learn a few basic things about the computer to keep it up. So for me, as I suspect for a lot of people, a decision to maintain a PC system is not really as much about cost as it is about fun.

I just realized I'm working on a 5 year old Thinkpad (T420).

I upgrade just for the heck of it normally, but I gave my wife my T430 for grad school and I bought her a Surface Pro 3 as well (for notes and just for the hell of it). I'm tempted to buy a T460p (if they ever make it into the supply chain with nVidia FX) or a P50, but this T420 keeps chugging along just fine.

On my current consulting gig I'm working on a VM anyway for all development (interesting change of pace, works well locally but holy crap remotely). I think I paid $400 for this laptop used (bought it after the T430 since I couldn't ask for it back). Popped in 4gb more ram and a mSATA SSD for about $160 more.

I'd like to get an Apple to work on a iOS project on the side I've been thinking of. I just can't see spending $800 on a Mac Mini. I'll probably just do a Hackintosh instead (have a C2D Mini that works fine).

Time flies! I wish that Apple would open up their boxes to allow for a bit more tinkering. More of the Wozniak rather than the Jobs philosophy. I think that they could do this, allow for user modification, without giving up on their high-minded design principles.

Quicksilver Mac ~2001 was my favorite mac of all time: http://www.ixbt.com/cpu/mac-vs-x86/macopen.jpg

I have no idea how the two points in the article are the only takeaway the author had. On point one, Apple has never been the cheapest at anything. Although they have been offering more low end options as of late they are still not a 'budget' manufacturer and likely never will be.

On point two, it is absolutly possible that a 5 year old machine still runs fine. Depending on the machine! A 5 year old macbook pro is still pretty capable. A 5 year old acer laptop that you got at a black friday sale... not so much. I think this is the level of user they would like to have switch and it's not that far fetched.

My mother has been using exactly that - a 4 year old black Friday Acer laptop. 2 years in, she complained that it was painfully slow so I stuck an SSD and an extra 2GB of RAM in it. This past year the trackpad quit working, so we connected an old USB mouse.

Finally for Christmas I bought an iPad Mini for $199. It's so much smaller than the 15.6" laptop she had, so much easier to use, turns on/off instantly, the battery lasts all day. It's a huge improvement for her. Facebook, games, email, Facetiming her grandkids...

She keeps the Acer around for one thing - ripping CD's to sync to her SanDisk MP3 player.

Why didn't you upgrade her to desktop pc? Laptops, especially old ones with bad heat dissipation suffer immensely in performance. With middle of the road desktop + ssd she would not need to upgrade in many years, better ergonomics too. The way I see it, even non techie user can gain a lot in productivity just by learning a couple of keyboard shortcuts and using simple automatization tools that are more readily available on the desktop. The problem with ipads is that one would rely on apps that could quit working any time and you loose your data somewhere in the cloud.

>> Why didn't you upgrade her to desktop pc?

She doesn't want a desktop. She replaced the Pentium 4 Dell desktop I gave her 10 years ago with the Acer laptop.

You can't use a desktop on the couch, etc.

Good luck using that Mini for 4 years, when iOS runs worse and worse on it. You could mend that with more RAM, but hey that kind of luxury ain't "the Apple way".

My dad still uses my old first gen iPad and it does everything he needs it to do. It's been the greatest gift (for me) ever. He was never comfortable using PCs and I do FAR less tech support than I used to.

Can you replace the RAM in a Surface or a GalaxyTab?

> "On point two, it is absolutly possible that a 5 year old machine still runs fine. [...] A 5 year old acer laptop that you got at a black friday sale... not so much. [...]"

If you take good care of your computers they can last a very long time, even cheap ones. Still, the person that bought that acer laptop on a black friday might be one of the people that fall into door one.

Actually a lot of homeless are turning to smartphones to help with their day to day lives.



The only hardware in my house that needs to be replaced (which includes both PCs and Macs) of that age is...

... my original iPad. Because Apple left it to die - even the last update means it can't run Apple's own store or browser without crashing and I can't get versions of software that previously worked because they're not supported or offered any more as Apple forced developers to move up to all of the new API's.

Yes - I can see exactly why I should spend yet more money on something that will intentionally become obselescent in the future.

The comment appears even more heinous when Tim Cook goes on to brag a about recycling and Apple's environmental responsibility. Please. Apple is one of the most bourgeoisie and reactionary companies today, primarily pushing products meant for consumption, not for creating. At least be honest about it.

I use 7 year old PCs because they run Linux just fine.

Also, I think it's bad for the environment and humanity in general to buy new igadgets every year. So, I use a 4 year old refurbished dumb phone that I bought for $9.99. It works great (just like my 7 year old Linux PC).

> “This is an amazing statistic,” he says with a serious look before revealing that there are more than 600 million PCs in use that are over five years old. “This is really sad.”

Maybe people are still using old PCs because they still work and are fully functional? I'm using a 4 year old ThinkPad and guess what? It's not only still fully functional, it's still quick, snappy, the screen is still bright and looks nice (I did splurge for the upgrade at the time), and it's been super low maintenance (been running Linux on it the whole time). It could use a new battery (capacity has gone down over time), but hey, it's a removable battery so I can do that.

I imagine I'll still be getting a few more years of use from it, there certainly are no signs that I should upgrade at the moment. I mean, if I were to be a little greedy, I'd buy a new laptop with a wicked video card and give this one to my wife (after she made me throw out a fully functional 6 year old desktop we didn't use very often), but is that necessary, not really.

It's pretty plain that Apple simply plans for its products to be replaced quicker than 5 years, to make more sales, and they're speaking to the faithful.

8 years ago I bought a top of the range Sony Vaio. I used it till last month. Replaced hard disk one time. Replaced memory one time. Glued charger together one time.

I bought a new median range Dell this month....and meh. Basically those eight years have made no difference to me running Arch and/or Debian.

Imagine trying to say that about the 8 years preceding that (I.e 2000 to 2008).

In my case they mocked themselves, as I'm working on an old Macbook model. I'd love to upgrade, but everything is still working. The things I like about the new Macbooks barely affect my work and if I spec one out to my preferred options, then it ends up with an astronomical price tag. It just seems like they are advancing in some areas (screen, touchpad, ...) but are stuck in the past in several others (memory, HDD, ...).

I'll most likely be getting a new Macbook once my current one finally decides to visit its ancestors. With that said, I'm actually impressed with its longevity, as none of my other PCs (desktops & laptops) ever lasted that long. So, I actually see running on old hardware as an impressive feat (unless you're a gamer).

"Ending is better than mending"

For the uninitiated: http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/ending-better-than-mendi...

My Ipad mini keeps getting slower and slower. soon it will be a Kindle

Which model is it? I just bought one and still have the option of returning it.

Yeah it's a stupid comment; my PC uses a Core i5 2500K which is more than 5 years old. There's good reason; it's still plenty fast.

But saying this was mocking poor people is just ridiculous. It's trying to stir up outrage over nothing.

I'm not convinced the new iPad pro will even be usable for 5 years.

I gave up on the iPad 1 and iPad mini because they didn't have enough RAM to load many websites. The new iPad pro has only 2GB of RAM and even 5 year old PCs had 4GB or 8GB.

I felt the same as the author. The blog post, however, is a bit unfair to Apple and Schiller.

I think what he meant was "It's sad that these people don't know yet the wonderful news that they can use this fantastic new iPad instead"

Is the iPad Pro a feasible replacement for an actual computer? Not even close. Not until it runs a version of OS X.

Was apple mocking poor people? Of course not. It's 2016. Can we stop overreacting about every little thing yet?

> And I bought an easily moddable, upgradable piece of hardware that can adapt to new technologies in ways no Apple product could ever hope to.

Funny thing: the Apple ][ was the flag bearer in its time for that kind of upgradability. Wozniak insisted on this against Jobs, and it kept the ][ alive through the 3's flop and well into the Mac era -- the Mac did not succeed right away.

Is it so impossible for Apple to bring back some of that spirit of open design? The Jobs lockdown was and still is their greatest turnoff for me as a customer.

My 15" Macbook Pro will turn 4 this year. I don't see it being replaced soon, since it still performs quite well. The 13" MacBook Pro that my girlfriend uses is about to turn 6 years old. That one could be replaced, since it has some issues, but for her it does what it needs to do, so there's no real need. We might be able to replace it with an iPad Pro, but I doubt we will.

I wouldn't call myself poor, but I have no need to replace these devices every 3 years, since not much changes, except they get thinner.

Wow, this is reading way too much into the comment than it deserves. I guess if you have an agenda then you will figure out any way to make your point no matter how far a stretch it is.

Reminds me of the time Schiller dumped Instagram after an Android version came out.

A reader noticed Schiller deleted his Instagram account (@schiller), and then reached out to Apple’s most visible public speaker by Twitter for confirmation. Schiller told the reader that he quit the rising photo-based social network, because the app “jumped the shark” when it launched on the Android platform.


At the time, I thought it was a slap in the face to people who couldn't afford iOS devices but wanted to join the Instagram community. Schiller portrayed it as a drop in quality, apparently:

Another 9to5Mac reader, Clayton Braasch, claims to have emailed Schiller directly, asking him to elaborate upon the statement. In a post on his blog, Braasch writes that Schiller responded — 9to5Mac says it has verified the email headers — and that while Schiller still considers Instagram a "great app and community," he enjoyed the fact that it was used by a small group of early adopters. Now that its reach has expanded, Schiller allegedly wrote, "the signal to noise ratio is different."


Ive got a PC Thats one week old. I bought it straight after apple failed to announce any macs with a decent GPU. Most devs I know are switching back this year or last.

"Maybe Apple really does find the idea of hardware that can function for five years “sad” and funny these days."

Maybe? Is there even a question anymore? If there is, one only needs to look at the designs Apple has been pushing for the last seven years: un-upgradable, mass-consumer grade quality products. If anything has been crystal clear from the disappearance of all upgradeable parts in all their products over the last few years and their constant events (at least 3 a year) is that they want you to buy new shiny stuff and they don't care about supporting the old stuff. Apple will support you for one year or up to two or three (depending on product) if you pay a few hundred extra for Apple care. The fact that there is no Applecare plan longer than two years for iPads and three years for laptops should be another crystal clear indicator that their product aren't meant to last and be used that long.

That being said, at least with their laptops (haven't used the new Macbook) the hardware quality is generally very high (except for the trackpads). I hope it continues to stay this way.

Virtue signalling, the article.

Apple’s based in SF. An iPad Pro is like a week’s worth of rent, and to them “work” probably means scribbling a hipster poem while sipping coffee you can’t pronounce without 5 years of language study. How is anything the guy said different from how the conferences always go. The fact that the author found it worthwhile to write about this like this is an actual problem is astounding.

How about the other moment where Apple showed their "40 years in 40 seconds" video and scratched out the Newton?

You really want to mock the massive effort of that group - a group you believed in at one point in time? At least honor the memory of Ko Isono.

I didn't see the Lisa or the Apple /// get the same treatment. Maybe because Saint Steve backed those projects?

Good evidence that if you try hard enough you can be offended by anything.

I was passively listening to the keynote, and this comment caught my ear. My first reaction was, "Well damn, I'm pretty proud that the 2010 Macbook Pro I've been using as a 24/7 server for the past 5 years is still chugging along."

Though I suspect Macs might not be included in that statistic, it seemed out of touch nonetheless.

This story is a pretty good measure of whether you get offended by something very small.

A 5 year old PC is low quality. A company that makes high quality products wants people to have better experiences with computers.

At the event, they launched their lowest price phone. I bet that phone in a year is going to be even cheaper.

You can find offense in everything, but you shouldn't.

I disagree with this claim.

> There are really only two reasons why people might have a computer that’s more than five years old: > 1. They can’t afford an upgrade. > 2. They don’t need an upgrade.

There are many other reasons. Among them, upgrading hardware will force an OS upgrade that will break significant software and hardware.

That's reading a lot into a random joke. When some public person makes a pseudorandom comment and you perceive that as a mask being dropped to reveal confirmation of all your darkest suspicions about that person or the people he speaks for, you might be projecting, just a smidgen.

Reflects more on him than Apple

I just realized my gaming PC is almost 5yo. i7-970, 6 core, x58, 560 Ti, 24 GB, a couple SSDs. Was high end when I built it and still basically ok now.

Computers really have plateaued in a lot of ways. Phones for 2-4y vs 1-2y, laptops for. 3-6 vs 2-3, desktops for 4-8 vs 3-4y.

I think its easy to point fingers, but I myself is guilty of "mocking poor people". One memory that stuck in my mind was during college during office hours. A classmate was struggling to configure her assignment on her 5 year old PC, nobody really wanted to help her because her computer was so old and so irrelevant. Casually, I joked (with classmates around us) "You should burn your laptop and get a mac." Some laughed, but she didn't.

"Why don't you buy me one"

I was a little offended, her remark and body language felt a little hostile. We never talked again.

This memory stuck with me and I wish I could apologize to her. My seemingly harmless remark poked fun at her economic handicap for my amusement.

This reads like outrage for the sake of outrage. Like someone looking for offense everywhere.

No it actually doesn't, his commentary is more about the disposable gadget culture and Phil's inability to understand that not everyone is in a socio-economic bracket where they can participate in the never-ending gadget refresh. Maybe you should reread it?

It's the kind of elitist attitude stereotypical of iOS users. Just goes to show they got that attitude straight from Apple itself.

"Maybe Apple really does find the idea of hardware that can function for five years 'sad' and funny these days."

I don't think this is true. Apple just replaced the motherboard on my 2011 Macbook Pro for free. I've also upgraded the RAM, HD to a SSD, Battery, & Fans. Its running soooo good I love it.

The price of 5+ year old macbook pros, imacs, and mac pros on ebay is proof that apple does make hardware that lasts... Anyways, I'm interested in the relationship between apple releasing new products and the aftermarket value of older version. I think apple releasing newer ipads probably makes older used ipads more affordable..

> 2011 Macbook Pro

Now do the same thing on new Macbooks.

free? Does that happen only in USA? Apple care in India quoted me around 400 dollars for replacement with 6 months warranty. No way i am buying second hand Apple hardware in India if service costs so much.

It depends on the model you have! Here is the link for more information: https://www.apple.com/support/macbookpro-videoissues/

It's not the comment that was absurd. It was the fact that Apple seemingly has no answer as to why there are over 600 million people still using old PC's.

Instead of exploring why that might be the case they instead decided to mock these people.

Just bizarre.

I'm typing this on my home PC which is over 5 years old. I've replaced the gfx card, CPU and memory and it plays Battlefield 4 pretty well. I also use it for programming (I work in game dev). Why would I replace this very serviceable PC for a Apple toy which will be unsupported as soon as its manufacturer thinks they can get away with it in an attempt to get everyone on their must-upgrade-to-the-latest-thing merry-go-round. I appreciate quality hardware and fashion in tech a-la Apple makes me puke.

"nothing about today’s iPad Pro presentation made me rethink my position at all"

This is the only part of the article that resonated with me. Apple completely failed to provide any viable reason for 600m+ PC users to switch to an iPad Pro.

I agree with a lot of this in the personal world. Sure a lot of people don't have the money to upgrade.

At my old job, at an MSP, I used to upgrade a TON of people from XP to Win 7 or 8.1 in the small/medium business world. I could not believe how many companies absolutely had the money to upgrade their PCs but simply did not want to because they were afraid of the learning curve. It basically came down to that. They had no problem paying for us to "fix" their XP machines at $125+/hour. The same went for a lot of servers. Who knows how many of those are in the said 600 million pool.

The point of the throwaway remark was that there's pent-up demand for consumer goods due to the Recession.

Similarly, traders are speculating global new vehicle sales to increase, as the average age of a car on the road far older than the previous trend. It's north of a decade even in the United States.

The theory is that during tight times people deleverage and reduce spending, while during boom times the demand that accumulated during the tight times is released through extra consumption.

Getting from the Apple comment to the article's topic, much less conclusions, takes a spectacular amount of cognitive gymnastics.

I own a macbook and I love it but, what I really need is

Browser Terminal Python

That is it , to me is very relative ... i can work with a 5 year old laptop... no problem , most of my things run on servers etc etc. Ipad Pro? no way .. give it to kids.

It's funny because I'm still using a giant MacPro from 2008 (yes... the tower) as a home machine. It's crammed full of high density storage and I've added aftermarket RAM to the box to max out the slots. It's the last mac model that allows you to upgrade easily.

I think they continued to sell it until 2012 or so but then fixed the "oversight" with an art deco piece of a "desktop" computer with no room for upgrades. I still buy Apple laptops because work involves dealing with Xcode and iOS stuff but for any personal use, no more Apple hardware for me.

I think this person has missed the point.

The assumption here is that the vast majority of >5-year-old PCs are crap, and that the reason for continuing with them is that a new full PC replacement is too expensive. The iPad is supposed to be disruptive because it's a lower-cost machine that can nonetheless do everything the user used to do on a full-fledged PC.

You might disagree that the iPad succeeds in this, but it is nonetheless the way Apple thinks about where the iPad sits in the market. This was the point of Schiller's remark. It has nothing to do with mocking the poor.

The cheapest iPad Pro (the device that Schiller mentioned to replace PCs) costs 600$. You can get a fairly good windows laptop for that amount of money. So yes, either Phil Schiller was mocking people that don't buy into their "revolutionary" upgrade cycle, or he was mocking poor people. Both indeed seem off-putting to me.

>Even if you insist on a tablet, you could get Microsoft’s Surface 3, which boasts a slightly worse screen but offers double the storage capacity, for US$100 less.

It is well-documented that the Surface OS takes up far more space than iOS, which means that the available space is not nearly as disparate as it would seem (though the Surface still has a bit more): http://www.slashgear.com/surface-3-storage-space-still-limit...

I paid my bills from Nov 2006 to Feb 2013 with a HP nc8430. I let it go because it started to be annoyngly low on memory because of my new usage patterns: more VMs of more memory hungry OSes and more browser tabs, only 4 GB. Furthermore it run out of support and I would have had to buy my spare parts, no more next business day on site assistance. I got a Zbook 15 and I feel like I can go on with that for another 6 years (i7, up to 32 GB). No need to be on a 2 years update cycle, sadly for HP (or Apple) but not for me.

Maybe Schiller meant it was sad that PCs haven't improved substantially in 5 years, which is true to a degree that isn't just sad, it's seriously bad. As software historically continues to slow, app runtimes inevitably will too.

Is an iPad Pro 2 the answer? Obviously not. The unsaid lesson from this event is that Apple's products aren't improving as quickly either. Nor are the new features as interesting. So it's not surprising that Schiller would look backward instead of forward.

I do not agree with the author of the article. I think there also is reason #3: They think they don't need an upgrade.

There are a lot of people who own an old PC and think it's the best possible setup. But in reality they actually wouldn't need a full PC because all they do is browse the web and read/write emails. My opinion is that many people would be better off with an iPad than a PC. It's small, portable, intuitive, easy to maintain, has great customer support and so on.

Great support? My wife's experience with them has been terrible, I don't even want to talk about it. They basically blocked us from using warranty, and told us to pay fully for a new device. And I promised that's the last apple product that will enter our home.

And after the iOS update rendered many "old" devices unusably slow, the "great" customer support basically told them to spend more money on new models.

> wouldn't need a full PC because

Your pitch is wrong: people already own a PC, what they don't need is to buy apple gadgets, and replace them with newer apple gadgets every couple of years. My parents are totally happy with their ~10 year old PC with SSD, running LTS Debian, and are able to do everything they want freely.

As for myself, I do own an Android smartphone, but that's only because the phone company gave it for free, not that I asked for it, and such a "toy" system definitely isn't going to replace my PC, or a true POSIX environment.

I prefer a 5 year old computer that is open, repairable, I can run any OS I want than the "Ultimate PC replacement" that can only run software signed (and sold) by Apple.

In the last year we've seen Apple produce a pencil and a watch, whats next a paperclip? I found the comment condescending and yet not at all surprising. Seriously F them.

> whats next a paperclip?

Smart paperclip was a Microsoft thing ;)

You reminded me that I need to dig out and backup my Office 97 disk before it rots.

I'm not even poor, and I still do my research on a workstation from 2009. It's fast enough for what I'm doing, and why waste new hardware on bloated software?

There's a study I want to see done: take a bunch of people, dress them at a whole bunch of different overall "looks". Put them in different contexts holding several different smartphones of varying prices.

Then, bring in the subject group: and ask a question - how much do you think the phone is worth? How wealthy do you think the person is?

My hypothesis: people have no idea what phone's cost at an average viewing distance (say 3m+).

Reading this on a 2009 MacBook Pro with SSD, working perfectly fast for my tasks, with Thinkpad T400 running FreeBSD nearby. I think they're running out of ideas why would I need to upgrade. Definitely not doing it for a new fancy UI animation. Just imagine: a content that scrolls down and then smashes into the screen boundary, bounces back and then reaches equilibrium slowly. My ass...

Is it really any surprise no one is bothering to keep following the upgrade windmill money shakedown? My 5 year old laptop works just as well with gmail, youtube, and google docs as my 8 year old desktop etc etc. There's very little reason to keep on the upgrade bandwagon right now. The innovation of software has more or less flat lined for the end user machine... for now.

My wife's iPad 2 slowed down to a crawl after updating to iOS 8. She doesn't use it anymore because of that. Obviously Apple doesn't want iOS devices more than 5 years old to remain in use either.

In the meantime I've upgraded my parents' PC from Win XP to Win 10 and it runs as fast or even faster than before.

I agree with the Apple exec that it's really sad.

> There are really only two reasons why people might have a computer that’s more than five years old: 1) They can’t afford an upgrade. 2) They don’t need an upgrade.

There's a third: they wouldn't trust an upgrade :) Just where to draw the line isn't obvious. But it's probably closer to 10 years old than five.

This thread is so long that I may be repeating what has already said, but ...

I converted to Linux from Windows about a year ago. An unexpected but great benefit is that I have been able to pull PCs 5 to 10 years old out of my garage and now they run like brand-new. I should be good for a while.

iPad neds to change to the point where it wouldn't be called and recognized as an iPad, or just die. That device is in technological gap right now, getting beaten by newer more modern devices that evolved from iPad form. It annoys me as hell what Apple is doing right now. For first few years I thought "Thank you God Cook is keeping it simple and well defined as it was under Jobs", but now I am afraid off repeating history. Wheel always turn, and I would be really sad to see 90s Apple before Jobs came back. I enjoy in their computers a lot, and they will always be main thing from Apple, at least to me. I bought second iPhone 5s a month ago because it simply does the job for me... While I was Apple fanboy, every consecutive year I get more and more disappointed.

I understand why someone would feel this way but the unreconcilable reality is this: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/lifecycle

The majority of those machines Apple is "mocking" are running operating systems that have known exploits in the wild and people are doing their personal banking on them. The shitty, stuck up delivery doesn't change the fact that it actually would be better and more private for people to dump their unsupported windows xp/vista/7 boxes and use an iPad Pro. Then, at least, they'd have a semblance of security.

I'm not even willing to say that Apple didn't intend to mock the poor but the facts remain regardless of delivery or intent. I think we can agree that for the majority of the people we're talking about here, "They don’t need an upgrade" is simply not the case.

I'm preaching to the choir here, but the obvious third case the author omits is 'semi-technical folks who don't want to deal with the friction of a new environment', which is not so offensive.

And 600 million 5+ year PCs seems like a low number...

Is everyone here really acting incredulous at a giant corporation promoting consumerism?

This just reads like trying really hard to be offended by something. Literally any comment about legacy hardware (hell, even the word "legacy") could be interpreted this way if the author reaches hard enough.

This Apple Keynote 2015 video extract speaks for itself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4UOmR_xSBM

I am using a 2011 laptop. I am not poor. I understand Apple is being sad (it's a business) that I don't buy new hardware (I feel there's no more return over the investment). I also agree that tablets are closer to the present (not the "future", ha-ha) of computing but I am software developer and I will gladly switch to iPad pro only when I have an access to terminal, all the usual unix tools, homebrew and the ability to compile/run the usual web-dev software: servers, database systems, programming languages (and to easily connect my mechanical keyboard). Apple is not mocking the poor. Calm down, let's get back to work.

I bought a Mac Pro 4,1 from 2010, flashed it to the 5,1 firmware, upgraded the CPU, added a Graphics Card, 4x 3TB drives and a PCIe SSD blade.

Best thing I've ever did in terms of apple hardware.

I just did the same thing! I went with the 5,1 though, putting 5690s in there. I was going to buy a maxed Macbook Pro, but they didn't announce anything and I have work that needs to get done.

If you maxed out the RAM, have you thought about doing a RAM disk?

The correct solution would be to provide an x86 build of iOS (which they must have) with mouse support to install on these aging desktops. They'll make a cut on selling apps.

It's marketing - you pit the have-nots against the haves to make the have-nots want to have and the haves to want more.

If that makes you angry, then you need to upgrade your thin skin.

Story time! My gf and I went to take pictures of some expensive cars at an Audi dealership. While there one of the nicely dressed sales people started talking to us about the Q7. He quoted about 70k cdn as a starting price and argued, sure it was an expensive car but it lasts longer and you save money in the long run.

I think maybe that's what apple was trying to get across, buy some quality hardware that is updated regularly instead of spending low on cheap things. It's a poor argument for sure but I wouldn't call it out of touch because it is the defacto argument sales people try to use to get you to purchase more expensive things.

expensive car but it lasts longer and you save money in the long run is not equivalent to buy some quality hardware that is updated regularly instead of spending low on cheap things. You left out that part where it says save money in the long run. Which is also exactly the thing which is extremely likely not going to happen with Apple hardware.

Great argument for non-depreciating assets. But too bad computers probably depreciate more than cars! But I have been converted to the cult of Apple with their Macbook Pro's. I think a used one is probably a good value. I am using a mid 2012 MBP and it is still great. I won't be able to use a non Apple trackpad anymore I think.

Total Cost of Ownership on imports is brutal even when compared to similarly priced domestic cars like let's say a Grand Cherokee in this case.

So while I do agree that in some cases it makes sense to invest a little more (I'm typing this on a top of the line MSI laptop after all) - cars are not the best example here for a variety of reasons.

But as someone pointed out in a different thread, Apple doesn't support their OWN old macbook ;)

lol at luxury cars lasting longer and saving you money over the long run. Rare cars with rare parts.

Resale value would have been a better approach (perhaps not from new though).

I think the author's second point brings up something important:

If I've replaced every component in my desktop computer, even the case at one point, is still the same computer?

I have an i7 930, I bought in 2010. Like hell I could benefit from a USD 600 iPad Pro. His statement actually only shows me how preposterous it is to buy an iPad.

The sanctimoniousness in here is especially ironic given the general attitude of HN and YC about money and technology. It's hard to take you seriously.

Hmm. I use a 2011 MacBook Air and the thing performs (and looks) like it's brand new. With the latest OS. I have no plans to upgrade it whatsoever.

A 2011 Mac mini with a quad core processor has more processing power than any current model, while the price has stayed the same. Now that's sad.

There's a lot that those 5 year old PCs can do that those shiny new iPads can't. In most other cases, they get the job done anyway.

The elephant in the room here is that Apple support their products for longer than anyone in the industry.

Support for legacy iOS devices and macs is very impressive.

My well over 5 year old computer just got a graphics card that will push it into vive VR range.

Thanks for the advice of getting a ipad pro, bro.

5 years is a little short of a time frame but this wasn't mocking poor people.. this is a bit much.

Clickbait. Pure and simple. I felt the same way when my parents used PCs until I got them iOS devices.

"Let them use iPad Pros"

I think they forgot 'Innovations are based out of Tradition'

I saw the screenshot of the slide and thought they meant old software and mulled quite a bit about the wording.

I have a mac that's over 5 years old and I'm quite proud of the fact that the hardware is still good. Apparently I am bringing shame to Apple.

This is how much im going to spend on this stupid article.

The article is reactionary and click bait.

Never attribute to malice which might otherwise be explained by ignorance...

Though this might be a bit of both.

I'm upset that Bugatti doesn't make cars that poor people can afford.

Are we seriously that sensitive now? The guy is trying to sell computers.

I'd been exclusively with Apple since 1989 when I bought my first Mac (an SE with dual HD floppy drives and a whopping 400 MB external hard drive). I stuck with Apple through the difficult years and then even became the editor of a multi-title Mac publishing operation. Apple loved me so much they gave me a loaded iPod for my birthday one year. I don't know how many people they've done that for, but not many, I'm guessing.

But things started to change with the success of the iPhone and then the iPad. We Mac fanatics used to say that any success for Apple was a win for the Mac platform. But in reality, it hasn't played out that way. The Mac is languishing, and it's languishing in ways that I can only attribute to intent. It's becoming more frustrating to use. Files that you see right in front of you don't come up in a search. Software updates bring rapid obsolescence. Simple things like "Save As" have been changed in Apple's apps so that now Shift-Command-S, for example, is the command to "Duplicate" a file, which you then have to Command-S save. Then when you close out, you have the additional step of dismissing a save dialog on the original document. The hardware, obviously, is not being built to last. (Apple's laptops were always frail things, dating back to my PowerBook Duo and PowerBook 520c, but their desktops and workstations were always bullet-proof; they are not anymore.)

It's a bunch of little things and big things combined to make a very frustrating experience.

This December, I decided to jump ship. I bought a Surface Pro 4. The hardware is awesome (Core i7 with 16 GB RAM). The software needed some manual intervention, but it's coming along. (Microsoft didn't include the WinTab driver, for example, so there was no pressure sensitivity for some apps. And there was no documentation available for it. And frankly Apple's keyboard shortcuts for special characters are better than Microsoft's, but I've been able to emulate those.)

I don't even think about what platform I'm on when I'm working now (except when I use Dreamweaver CS6 because Adobe is freaking horrible and can't deal with Microsoft's trackpad and wants to force me to rent CC, which I will never do).

I never considered an iPad or iPad Pro for a second. They are useless to me. When I get a unit in, it just gathers dust. There's nothing "pro" about it unless your profession is typing e-mails and visiting Web pages. Plus, I actually like computers. I'm old enough that they are still like science fiction to me. I still have dreams about them. And I like to be able to get into the software guts of my computers and mess around in there.

I also refuse to consider the iPhone. Not as long as there are Android phones that have expandable storage and a removable battery. Plus every time I have to deal with one of my kids' iPhones, especially when I have to deal with iTunes on top of that, I want to punch Apple so badly.

And most importantly, I don't want to be at the bottom of the food chain in Apple's iTunes ecosystem. And that's all Apple's customers have become.

Being this mad over some random comment...

Either upgrade or not, no one cares.

You don't need to be the Pope to understand that money is the shit of the Devil and Apple is a big good carrier itself.

This brings hyper-sensitivity to a new level.

Perhaps to make sure no one's feelings are hurt, all ads for new products should be banned.

Give me a break! That was not a jab at poor people. It was explaining how a market there is.

If you want to see a jab at poor people look at Gainsbourg burn a 500 franc note (about 100USD at the time) on live television. That's a jab at poor people https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMq3Zr9_ARE

While I think the comments about laughing at the poor are on point, the other half of this seems a little "trying to be offended." Yes it could've been worded better but it's a joke around our office that the PC's need to be replaced after 1-2 years, where we have Macbooks that have been in service for more than 5 with little to no issues.

I think it's generally accepted common knowledge that Mac's age far better than PC's, maybe not so much on desktops, but laptops? Definitely. I have a custom built PC at home myself and I'd never trade it for a Macbook of my own, but after using a macbook from the company for the last few years, I can't ever go back to a Windows laptop.

but they don't need to be replaced if they are still in use 5 years. I do have a desktop OS I bought maybe 4 years ago, it's not super fast but I have no desire to replace it because its not broken and runs w10 just fine.

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