Allow me to paint a more realistic picture: many of those PCs are junky, dusty boxes, running some outdated version of windows, filled with bloatware and riddled with security issues. Inside them are a bunch of spinning platters just waiting to fail. And when they do eventually fail (due to wear, or a virus, et al), someone's Grandmother is going to be shit out of luck, with no way to get at her email, saved photos, or anything else.
A properly configured iPad, leveraging iCloud for device backups, photo backups, email credentials etc, solves all of these problems. And they'll even configure the iPad for you in the store, so grandma doesn't need to know how to do any of it. Do YOU want to be the poor sap attempting data recovery on a failed disk, then realizing that even if you do recover grandma's data, you've still got to go buy a replacement drive, find a copy of windows that grandma knows how to recognize, and install everything exactly as it was before you got there? I've been that guy before, in both a personal and professional capacity. You will eventually fail, memories will be lost, tears will be shed.
We must not gloss over the fact that the iOS ecosystem does solve some very real pain points for real people.
The kicker? Those two 10-year old "PCs" are actually MacBooks. They still run fine & do everything I need those machines to do - but I had to install Windows 10 on them, because Apple stopped supporting their own hardware. A machine that maxed out at Snow Leopard is capable of running Windows 10... I think that says something about the way Apple now treats its customers.
I also have a 64-bit Core 2 Duo that Apple no longer supports. OS X Lion was the last release for the 2007 MacBook 3,1.
I would also say that Microsoft's End-Of-Life security update promises mean a lot less now that they've demonstrated willingness to subvert that system to force-upgrade people.
they are actively pro-consumerism
they are actively pro-waste
they actively don't care about your slighly older product.
you are advocating holding them to a lesser standard of culpability and support than M$ and I find it ridiculous.
There's a palpable issue here. One shouldn't try to deny it.
It might not be fair to expect it, but it's absolutely fair to count it against how Apple supports their customers.
This isn't even close to what he said, and it only makes sense if you have an extremely reductive black-and-white view of the world. There are places on the spectrum between "perfect support" and "absolute shit support", and the phrase "count against" simply implies that supporting decade old hardware is a notch higher than the same support setup without that advantage.
Computers have slowed down. Basic support for for 10 years is not a crazy idea.
 iPhone 6S available 25 September 2015, iPhone SE available 31 March 2016
Might not have been measurable, and might just cost an extra engineer without really harming anything.
If they had gone 64-bit-only, I'd be much more in agreement with you. But if you're still supporting a 32 bit platform, you have a lot of restrictions put on you, and the marginal cost of keeping support for a second 32 bit platform is not a big deal.
At minimum, slow systems require gracefully degrading GUI, which increases complexity by an order of magnitude. The graphics card capabilities are a much better first approximation than the word width.
If it took just a few extra engineers, or a few thousand, to fix the bugs that they have, Apple would have done it. The Mythical Man-Month, and all that.
So yeah, it doesn't look great when Apple says "replace your 5 year old computer" but as a whole, they do a great job of making products that last. Also, news flash, they are in the business of making money.
My PC, however, has components that are oh, 10 years old? Sure, it has a 1-year old motherboard, CPU, 3 year old RAM, a 2 year old GPU, and a mix of SSDs and HDDs, but the case I bought in 2006, as with my MX518 mouse.
This kind of longevity of components is good for us. Throwing out your appliance every 5 years because Apple decided to solder RAM instead of sacrifice 1mm of thinness and provide a slot is good for Apple, and Apple alone.
There's one single screw that sets the trackpad's click sensitivity. I loosened the click even during the warranty period because it was too strong (and loud) for my taste.
A tiny bit of rotation and ideally loctite to fix it.
(Incidentally, when I last went to buy a replacement battery from an Apple Store, they wouldn't let me install it myself even though the polycarbonate MacBooks had user replaceable batteries. They insisted I bring in my MacBook and leave it with them overnight to have a Genius install it. I ended up cancelling it and getting a NewerTech battery replacement, which is both cheaper & has better battery life than the Apple model.)
Have you had any problems?
The main glitch is that the backlight doesn't always activate on login. The first Windows logo appears, but at login the brightness is set to zero. I can type in my password, hit enter & then the backlight activates on logging in. So it's just a glitch, but it is annoying, and I wish either Apple or Microsoft would fix it.
Otherwise, it's fine and everything else seems to work - Boot Camp Assistant works, and even the Apple Remote works to control volume. I don't think I've tried the webcam though. But I have got Cortana to work (even on a 10 year old MacBook!) and it's been fun calling out across the room to ask it questions. It's a little fiddly to get running, but it definitely works.
Edit: that said I am a little sad Im gonna have to do something about my 2007 mac mini now that chrome is ending support for lion.
You are basically arguing "for many people an iPad is a better computing device than a PC because there is less that can go wrong with it". Which I think is a very valid point, however it does not hinge on how old these PCs are - your argument works just as well for new PCs without properly configured backups and anti-virus protection.
If you read Phil Schiller's statement in this way - "it is sad that many people are using PCs which were better off using iPads" - then one might still disagree, but it is not offensive, especially coming from an Apple executive. :)
What the author of the article finds offensive - and which also put me off when watching the live presentation - was the suggestion that using old hardware is "sad". When you read Phil Schiller's statement as "it is sad that many people are still using five-year-old hardware" (which was my first interpretation as well) it really reads like advocacy for blind throw-away consumerism. Which also makes a mockery out of the picture Apple was trying to paint just 30 minutes earlier during the same presentation: That Apple products are built to last so that you do not have to throw them away every other year to replace them with something new because they stop receiving upgrades, their hardware fails, etc. (Which, unlike the author, my experience by the way supports - my old iPhone, old iMac and old iPad still work flawlessly, especially when I compare them to the number of Android / PC devices my friends have already rotated through in the same time period.)
Using old hardware is sad. I work in a depressed area and we constantly fix our students computers. 5 years is a long time on a hard drive and the forced Windows 10 upgrade has been a pain to people on 5 year old hardware. Its fine for technical people, but for the nontechnical that HD failure is devastation. Having your stuff stored on iCloud or the Google equivalent is a life saver.
The economics of apps on iOS and Chrome while painful for developers are great for normal people. With the better security and lessened management requirements, these computers make a fairly good replacement case. Technical people often forget what a pain in the butt Windows, OS X, and BSD/Linux are to maintain. Also, the iPads are lasting a fair bit (making for some interesting iPad sales numbers).
Chromebooks are viable, and if Apple sold an Apple TV with a keyboard and mouse (or other pointing device) that had Pages, etc., I would recommend that. As is, iPads are fine. Heck, if Microsoft had got their stuff together a Microsoft Continuum style device would be great.
Plus, the author is using the "I have an agenda and will be twisting your word" version of a quote. I'm a bit sick of people pulling this stunt since its wall to wall in election coverage.
How is this confusing?
Ultimately, there is nothing noble about "good hardware" in a vacuum. Hardware and software can achieve nobility only when they're serving humanity, be them rich or poor, technical or non-technical.
i see that apple and their ilk are expressing pure altruism.
because that's what consumers need, more convenience...
well, Apple has created a good deal of inconvenience, what with iTunes confusing "management" of all iOS devices and all... but god forbid anyone be inconvenienced on the way to the cash register...
Compared to the machines I see, Apple tech is green and recyclable.
> i see that apple and their ilk are expressing pure altruism.
Nobody said that, but you go with the hyperbole
> because that's what consumers need, more convenience...
Yes, they do. Time spent on computing maintenance is time they could be spending getting work done or trying to learn something new.
> well, Apple has created a good deal of inconvenience, what with iTunes confusing "management" of all iOS devices and all..
The people here with iPads and iPhones don't use iTunes at all. It might be a crappy experience, but it is avoidable.
> but god forbid anyone be inconvenienced on the way to the cash register...
People want stuff that just works. Forcing people to invest time to fix and learn arcane things is not a solution and impacts poor people's ability to do things. They don't have the spare time or resources.
sounds like a Mac Mini to me
The iPad first came out in 2010. How many of those iPads are still being used? The original iPad can't even run the latest iOS anymore, while you can still load Windows 10 on five-year-old PCs, or many modern versions of Linux.
To add to your grim picture, those PCs that came out five years ago were starting to get Windows 7 installed by default. Maybe in the time since, people owning those PCs didn't upgrade to Windows 8 because of the cost, but Windows 10 was released as a free upgrade to Windows 7 users. Either way, Windows 7, 8 and 10 are still receiving security updates, and Windows 7 still looks and feels like a modern operating system.
Also, buying a replacement drive and copy of windows will still come out a lot cheaper than buying an iPad, and with an iPad there's no way in hell you're going to "install everything exactly as it was before you got there".
At least 1 that I know of. My moms. Looks antiquated running IOS 5, but it works for her needs (showing other old people pictures of my kid).
That said, the Ipad2 released ~1 later, runs 9.3 just fine. Apple screwed up with the first iPad in that regard. They've since corrected that mistake.
At some point, we'll probably get a newer iPad - almost snagged an iPad mini 2 at Black Friday prices, but meh. No compelling use cases for our too-many-devices-already family.
Laptops for most work. Chromebook is really popular for getting school internet stuff done. Android devices and an iPod Touch for entertainment. New iPad would be solidly in the "entertainment" category.
> I also own a desktop PC that’s five years old. I haven’t upgraded that either. Why? Because it’s a desktop PC: I can pull out parts and replace them with newer versions as they age. I don’t need a wholesale upgrade.
In the course of 3 sentences the standard went from "upgrade" to "wholesale upgrade", which is of course not what Phil Schiller said. A PC that has had a bunch of new parts installed is not what Schiller was talking about.
That said, I largely agree with the author that it was a dumb thing for Schiller to say. It doesn't make any point about the iPad Pro, and it makes Apple look like they are mocking people who can't afford their products--never a good look for any company, and undercuts the "doing good" message the rest of the keynote attempted to deliver.
I wouldn't go as far as saying that I'm angry or shocked by Phil Schiller comment but I too find it a bit condescending.
First, many people are happy with their 5-years+ hardware because it still works.
Second, there are people that unfortunately can't afford new hardware (schools, developing countries), and I don't think Apple is in the business of helping them.
EDIT: Tim Cook -> Phil Schiller :)
Exactly why they shouldn't have even brought the "issue" up.
I think that's a big piece of what makes the original quote from Apple seem so off-putting. They don't create hardware that's at a reasonable price point for people who are struggling with their crappy old Dell and keep paying the guys at Best Buy $300 to keep it running for another year. Your MIL has a lot of good options that she could try, but none of them are from Apple, and they give no indication that they plan to change that.
I'm sure a large percent of the PC users are content also. It's not like iOS is some magic piece of software. I've been using it since iPhone 1, and it has really regressed a lot since iOS 6. My parents have trouble doing a lot of things that should be and used to be easy. I have trouble too from time to time.
As for me, I am still using a 6.5 year old, 11 inch MacBook Air. I have wanted to upgrade for a year or two now but Apple has yet to give me a compelling reason to do so.
It is unbelievable that they have not been able to produce an air with a Retina display in that time. The 12 inch MacBook is the closest they have come, but that has its own shortcomings that have kept me away (no MagSafe, single USB port, keys that barely move when you type on them). The MacBook pros are nice but even the smallest, thinnest one still weighs more than my old air.
If Apple had made an 11 inch air exactly the same body as the one I bought over six years ago and added a Retina display I would have bought it immediately.
I think if Apple expects people to upgrade every couple years then they should give people more compelling reasons to.
Marketing of old was "I am a PC" which always left me feeling like the PC guy, not the wise ass Mac guy. Apple has always had this snottiness about PCs, which probably appeals to the hard core Mac audience but is mostly impenetrable to the "I am a PC" guy because he is going to look at the iPad Pro, see it has no keyboard and no mouse and costs however many hundreds, and he's not even going to think of buying it despite whatver snottiness Apple rains out.
They quoted such a high price for repairs that I was able to purchase a Chromebook with 4GB of RAM and an Intel NUC with 16GB of RAM for the same amount. Both are running Linux, and I'm very happy.
My mother has an 8 year old computer, and Windows 10 runs just fine on it.
Apple very much plays the class warfare card. Lets stop excusing sociopathic corporate cultures.
(Am I the only one who thinks of desktop computers when reading "PCs"?)
I read the article and did not get this "modder" subtext into my head anywhere. There is simply none of that there. He is talking about regular people.
There is one small blurb about parts being replaceable. So are parts in cars. Not everybody who goes to a mechanic to have a part replaced is a "modder". When my 70-something parents, not techies, have issues with their PC they take it to a local shop and they replace a bad disk or whatever.
Maybe you just throw out entire machines when they break but I think you underestimate the extent to which other people, yes regular people, try to avoid that if they can.
An iPad Pro is very good at filling in the gaps for MANY MANY people. The only problem with it is that its much more expensive than a second-hand computer (a relatively new Dell refurb with low end, but "good enough" parts, costs ~$400 with a monitor. Same deal with a cheap laptop).
I'm currently using a PC that's about 10 years old (bought it used a few years ago for super-cheap). Hardware has never been upgraded, maintained, or modded (although it was upgraded from Vista to Windows 7). Only pain point is that the RAM is maxed out for what the motherboard can handle (4GB) and some of the newest software is too bloated for that. So I'll probably replace it this year.
But an iPad doesn't seem to solve any pain point. Would it provide more than 32GB of RAM, a better mechanical keyboard, better 24" monitor, better 5-button+scrollwheel mouse, better compatibility with legacy DOS, Windows, and Linux software, better compatibility with modern software? No, it would fail at all of the above. That's why a 10-year old PC is better than a new-model iPad. Go ahead, call it sad and laugh, I have good enough reason to call the latest iPad sad and laugh.
And if drops it or leaves it on a bus? It costs half and iPad to replace, and the new one is completely reconfigured, software installed, and personal data all ported by...turning it on and logging in.
If it's for watching videos or reading, an iPad might be a better choice, but if it's a replacement for a PC for writing your memoirs, responding to email, doing a budget in a spreadsheet, and other basic, productive work, a Chromebook is better.
Why don't poor people just eat something from the fridge when they're hungry?
Things are improving, but many components in a PC are known to eventually give out — the metric for hard drive longevity is literally known as "mean time to failure," batteries have cycle counts, etc.
Nor is the gap between quality components and inferior alternatives bridged suddenly because someone heard Phil Schiller say something they didn't like. An $150 Acer trackpad is going to be significantly worse than a $1500 MacBook trackpad. I highly doubt this article gets published if the author had tried to use a 2011 budget PC laptop.
Its actually incredibly relevant today, and is low 10%ish slower than a modern machine. 5 years ago, PCs were running... erm... Windows 7, which has a free upgrade to Windows 10. So... software isn't out of date at all.
Making fun of 2nd generation 2000-series i7 owners is... kinda dumb. Really. Just because you iPad users have to upgrade your system every year doesn't mean you get to make fun of reliable work-horses like an Intel 2600k i7 / Windows 7 (free upgrade to Win10) box.
Note that Windows 8 is a 4-year old OS (out in 2012). PCs simply have a longer lifespan than iPads. This is a problem of iPads / tablets, not a problem with PCs.
I have a 2011 13" macbook pro that works fine, but I must remain on Lion for various software versions I own (purchased licenses, some are not upgradeable at all)
this means: no XCode past 4.2, which means no iOS dev past 6...
Chrome and numerous other apps are no longer supported
and when M$ tried to retire WinXP after over a decade of service they were still met with resistance...
apple gets away with a lot...
So I think, in general, we REALLY need to start (I need to start) becoming more conscientious of how we consume personal electronics.
EDIT: I just want to point out that your comment is fantastic, and you make great points! I just wanted to state that I didnt perceive "anger" in the OP article.