But it's this, broken MBP keyboards, broken MBP hinges, bent iPads, the MBP core-i9 thermal issue and probably a few I'm forgetting.
Nintendo doesn't have these kinds of failures, they're pretty analogous to Apple. Hardware and software. What's the difference? Nintendo cares and Apple doesn't. (Not to say Nintendo is issue free by any means).
Maybe they should put some of that $250b in cash to work upgrading their processes.
Their focus is on building cheap but durable goods, e.g. plastic scratches more easily but is less likely to shatter catastrophically.
They have definitely had their own industrial design failures - the Wii would sometimes overheat in sleep mode, the 3DS would scratch its own screen when placed under pressure in a pocket, the Switch supposedly can have its screen scratched by a bent dock. The initial run of switch controllers had an issue where the left side controller could disconnect very easily. Of course when your product is $149 or $299 replacing it or living with a scratch doesn’t hurt as much...
Apple has an entirely different brand they need to maintain which is why they use metal, make their devices thin, have edge to edge screens, etc.
Personally I have no problems with “toy” style design but I think a lot of apple’s premium is based on their sense of style and the feeling people have that iPhones, iPads, Macs are a “premium” product due to the industrial design. As an old school Mac user from back when Macs were beige boxes I personally don’t care about that stuff.
Are you sure it's not because their products are literally toys?
Incidentally, there is no shortage of real honest to god tools which are made out of plastics. Glass reinforced plastic can be a very robust material, particularly for its weight, and the weight of a tool is often an important consideration. Fetishizing metal for the sake of metal is often done in the domain of luxury goods where feeling and appearance count for more than objective practical physical properties.
Right now my primary computer is an aluminum macbook. The aluminum certainly looks nice, although I've found that the hard edge hurts my wrists when I rest my hands on it. Would putting a slightly larger radius on that bevel really negatively impact the supposed physical strength of the metal design? Nah. But it would negatively impact the aesthetics of the laptop. Apple made it sharp because sharp looks thin and looking thin sells well.
Contrast this with the T60 I was using a decade ago. It's not thin and it's pretty damn heavy. It's also got a metal skeleton but plastic exterior. But for all the faults of that laptop, its plastic components do not make it fragile. I dropped and stepped on that thinkpad more times than I can even recall but not once did the plastic break. Plastic, the right plastic, is actually pretty damn durable.
The thinkpad of course is still a typical consumer good. But next time you're walking past a construction site, take a look at the tools being used by the workers. There are a lot of plastic parts among those tools, and the tools hold up just fine in an environment far more demanding than anything you put your Apple product through.