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Apple pulls all customer reviews from online Apple Store (appleinsider.com)
203 points by minimaxir on Nov 21, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 115 comments

The only thing remotely surprising here is that they lasted this long. It was frankly idiotic of them to have it there in the first place. No one is happy to spend $80 on a replacement MagSafe charger because the previous one frayed, so of course the listing was marred by 1-star reviews.

The community Q&A also tends to be garbage. I understand that the average consumer is not going to have the same level of technical knowledge, and so I don't fault them for asking the questions. But it seems very strange that Apple allows their product page to be polluted by often confused questions, and also allows random people to answer those questions instead of qualified salespeople.

I think whoever originally architected the Apple Store website assumed that, because the Store carried a few third-party products on it alongside Apple's, it would end up evolving into a full marketplace where people would comparison-shop between different third-party offerings of the same product. In such a use-case, reviews and ratings would be useful.

Of course, that didn't wind up happening; the Apple Store website has basically exactly one product in each product category, with that product being a third-party one only if Apple themselves don't make a product for that category. There's no comparison-shopping to be had, and so no justification for reviews or ratings.

Now there I can't agree. If I were a first time potential Apple buyer, outside the Apple bubble, I would absolutely want to know if Apple's own charger has a cheap cable that frays, or a video dongle can't handle certain common modes, or something is simply crap. Comparison with a third party doesn't enter into it. It might even help get a feel for how common an issue some site's major news piece actually is.

Likewise a 2017 Macbook Pro attracting lots of negative reviews because Apple forgot how to make a keyboard resilient enough to outlast a warranty are equally legitimate.

Pulling them to present an "all is lovely in Apple World" view is incredibly buyer hostile. Even if many remain that are irrelevant complaints and misunderstandings - where there should be some effort to clean up, there is legitimate need for ungamed, unsanitised reviews and ratings.

> I would absolutely want to know if Apple's own charger has a cheap cable that frays

Of course, but why would Apple want you to know that before you shell out the cash?

> "all is lovely in Apple World" view is incredibly buyer hostile

They're laughing all the way to the bank.

Because now everyone can refer to Appke as dishonest and be exactly correct. "Don't believe apple's lies, their quality is awful, they know it and lie about it. Pulled all the reviews from their customers who found that out at their own cost." Difficult for Apple to argue with that without looking even worse.

Sometimes being honest about your faults enhances both your reputation for integrity and quality. Honesty really can be your most profitable policy. Especially when you charge a premium for quality.

Apple are a huge tech company. Apple are being very arrogant. Historically that has been a time to sell.

> Comparison with a third party doesn't enter into it.

Sure it does. Mathematically. See my other comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21600914

Reviews and ratings only function as a pairwise ordering. If there's only one of something in a category in a marketplace, the reviews don't have any signal to them. (Before you say "maybe the numbers don't, but the text does!"—consider a true monopoly product provider, like a bread line in the USSR. Would you trust a review of the bread, given that the bread line itself is the moderator of bread-line reviews?)

Mind you, I'm not saying it's impossible to accurately review these products. I'm just saying it's impossible to accurately review them in this particular marketplace (the Apple Store website.) If you want real reviews, you need an efficient market. Try eBay.

Interesting 1985 article about bread in the USSR: When it comes to bread, Russians don't loaf https://www.csmonitor.com/1985/0916/obread.html

So now instead of getting the cheap cable that frays, buyers get the half price cable on amazon that literally bursts into flames. It's clear that these cables at least from apple are considered wear items in their eyes, but the alternatives are almost worse, sometimes catastrophically worse.

Apple products get so much press and so many reviews compared to their market share that it’s not hard to find detailed reviews and iFixit tear downs of everything Apple sells.

Apple’s products also cost enough that I doubt most people purchase them on a whim without research.

That sounds similar to their original attitude around the iPhone 30 pin connector.

> No one is happy to spend $80 on a replacement MagSafe charger because the previous one frayed, so of course the listing was marred by 1-star reviews

As an Apple user, I would suggest that is a legitimate complaint, as the cable cannot be replaced separately from the power brick. Fortunately when that happened to me (twice) and I brought it into an Apple store, Apple replaced the entire power adapter even though it was out of warranty.

And yet other Apple users complained about Apple moving to an open standard (USB-C) with replaceable, standard cables and a charging standard that allows for safe usage of 3rd party alternatives.

But those particular users were upset because they lost the magnetic nature of MagSafe.

When you are as big and successful as Apple, literally any decision will meet some form of backlash.

Electrical tape also fixes a fraying charger.

I think that's beside the point. if you're going to spend that much for a charger and cable that should be really well designed and last a long time. Electrical tape leaves sticky residue quite easily and is pretty horrible after a not very long time.

To a point. Electrical tape doesn't do anything for a cable that is pulled 1/8" out of the brick and ruined internally (what has ultimately killed my 'zebra' taped up magsafe chargers).

Every laptop should ship with a charger and a roll of electrical tape.

Worse, many reviews were not about the product, but around Apple design decisions. Yes, I know everybody hates only having USB-C ports, but does this USB-C to xyx thingy work?

The worst about the Q&A section is seeing that your bug has been around since the Big Cat years and there is still no fix or answers, just a few thousand "I also have this issue"

There is something there. I think it's good to give customers a voice, and I think it's fine for Apple to ignore them as it often does.

Apple loves to move forward and drop support for legacy technology (USB A and 32-bit apps being two recent examples) but this inconveniences users and they tend to scream loudly.

You're absolutely right about the Q&A, and Apple isn't remotely transparent regarding bug reports. They also tend to prioritize new bugs over longstanding issues. Will it get fixed, ever? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on which way the Apple winds blow. However if it's more than a few years old often the answer is "probably never."

I understand your point.

Still, I think that these reviews were helpful to Apple by collecting the bitching in one central location. It kept the product team on their game.

Of course at some point, people stop trusting reviews in general and so maybe it's time to moveon.

I'm pretty sure the product teams have access to Amazon reviews.


You got a source for that?


I wouldn't say that it's designed to fail - but it's clearly not designed to last. It does seem like, with Ive's departure, that Apple may start to make their accessories (and cables, hopefully) as long-lasting as their products.

Apple badly needs a post-Ive strain relief philosophy.

And people need to stop thinking that Ive was responsible for every design decision.

They have a hardware engineering team who are far more culpable.

Have you spent any time working at Apple? Because that's not even remotely how things work. Designers are minor deities at Apple; engineering is a remote 2nd.

I just can't see them making those ugly ribbed strain reliefs that everyone else uses.

I agree that this is not a good reason to give a 1-star review, but it still conveys information to me as a potential buyer. Are there more of these reviews, is the device prone to failure?

They pose a problem for a low number of reviews, but with enough of them it can indeed be a valuable metric. You have to know how to read it though.

Community Q&A always feels like bad satire to me: Customer q: how do I do X? Customer a: sorry, I don't know.

At least on Amazon Germany this pattern is extremely common.

thats caused by amazon mailing random people that bought the article when a question is asked with a message like "xyz asked a question to << article >> you bought some time ago; << question >>"

these people use the reply function of their email client and send back "i dont know" ... which makes amazon append this answer to the question.

Seriously? I never got such a mail, but that seems like as horrible an idea as it turned out to be…

There's definitely been tons of completely legitimate, justified, and useful bad reviews for bad products. Usually those reviews just get deleted. I guess the effort to pay staff to constantly delete Noahic deluge sized floods of legitimate honest and sincere bad reviews from actual purchasers was deemed not worth the effort and the reviewers can be dismissed to a Siberian Gulag for their thoughtcrimes of accurate evaluation. Welcome to Happytown where every product is perfect and there is no dissent.

The Apple store reviews were mostly unhelpful 1-star reviews. Apple didn't seem to be removing any of it.

You should share the source of your accusations.

Sure just go to the Ratings & Review section on Apple's site and browse there to your heart's content.

You made the claim that "Usually those reviews just get deleted", referring to bad reviews. You made further comments suggesting that Apple sanitized the reviews.

But that does not appear to have been be true. As you say yourself, there were tons of bad reviews all over the place.

> It was frankly idiotic of them to have it there in the first place.

exactly, you have to be stupid to buy apple products...

It boggles my mind why Apple doesn't have any engagement at all with the community. Their community Q&A is full of questions like "How do I play notifications through the phone speaker instead of bluetooth speaker" and the answers are just community members with the same problem, also wondering how to do it. Zero engagement from Apple.

This is one area where they could learn something from Microsoft. Microsoft use UserVoice for product feedback. Outdated list of UserVoice product sites:


UserVoice allows voting on what issues impact people most and allows the company to provide feedback to those issues/ideas. This isn't to say that a company must do all upvoted ideas, Microsoft certainly don't, but it is a useful outlet for both parties.

Microsoft aren't the only major company using UserVoice: https://www.uservoice.com/customers/ and there are competing services offering similar benefits. The concept is maybe more important than that specific product.

Apple seems to lack basic communications channels in both directions. This is a problem regardless of company policy.

There are multiple input channels (feedback.apple.com, support.apple.com, twitter, etc.) but few if any official replies from Apple.

Also bug reports are private (due to personal and/or proprietary information as well as potential security issues) so it's hard to gauge whether other people have run into similar issues or if Apple has uncovered the same bug in their own testing. I'd like to see a vetted "parent bug" that would be publicly visible, but Apple would never do this because they don't want third parties to mine their bug reports (which could potentially be exploited maliciously against Apple or its users, or for financial gain.)

It's sadly the same even on https://forums.developer.apple.com - a lot of questions just collecting cobwebs without any responses. :(

There are engineers who answer questions there.

Recall this though: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15800676

Which was posted on their forums but apparently went unnoticed: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15803700

I kind of wish they'd deploy a posse of geniuses to support.apple.com to address some of the more prominent issues with thousands of "I have this issue too" upvotes.

This leads to an interesting, possibly reusable turn of phrase: a few geniuses short of a posse.

There are rumors that Linc Davis is a cover for exactly that.

Every time I look up a Macbook problem for my wife it's 16 pages of this.

Absolutely painful. Commenters with staggering post numbers come in to see if they've tried restarting their computer.

I've resorted to appending my google searches with site:reddit.com or site:forums.* just to filter out all the fucking noise.

I've found the reviews on a brand's own store page to be next to useless. The whole page is meant to sell me on a product, why would I trust "reviews" that are likely curated? Although, if I do find negative reviews on a retailer's site, it does engender some trust.

Many ‘accessory’ products had overwhelmingly negative reviews, because Apple's form-over-function philosophy means that they're genuinely hot garbage.

… so they fixed the glitch.

¹ e.g. one I'm familiar with http://web.archive.org/web/20191113224149/https://www.apple....

Apple may choose form over function, but the power adaptors are a good example of how they still spent more time thinking of function than any competitor.

For the typical "elongated black box" notebook charger, a cumulative sum of exactly zero effort was spent on improving it in either form or function. Meanwhile, Apple had MagSafe (which is nothing but function), the extendable prongs to wrap the cable, or the little clip to fix the cable into place. Both Apple and non-Apple adaptors usually have detachable cables, but for the non-Apple variety it's only purpose was to streamline internal processes to provide country-specific plugs, whereas Apple used the opportunity to allow the adaptor to be used with a long cable or a cable-less plug.

Their adaptors are also smaller and lighter, both Watt-for-Watt and even more so considering competitors often choose overpowered adaptors because they happen to be cheap to procure or they already use it and want to keep their inventory simple. And if you search, you'll find that semi-famous deep dive examine the inside of one of their adaptors, and how they are spending at least twice as much on components to safely isolate the high- and low-voltage sides and provide constant quality at any level of power draw.

But yeah, the cable fraying sucks.

All you say was kinda true for the magsafe ones, I recently saw the adapter that comes with a new macbook air:

- no little clip anymore

- no long cable anymore

- not the smallest Watt-for-Watt anymore (the new GaN ones are smaller)

- and of course: no magsafe anymore...

But I'm sure that three years from now they will have the "courage" to go back to their older superior design.

They’ve managed that courage for their keyboards now.

All Magsafe chargers I've seen fell apart in a few years time. Even chargers that were used only on a desk and saw no stress had their cable expand a little near the connector (enough for the small clip got stuck), then turned yellow, then yellow-green and sticky, finally becoming brittle and just eroding away.

I have never experienced anything like this with other brands nor with no-name brick chargers. Even Chinese knock-off replacement cables for Magsafe chargers didn't fail like that.

Cables turning yellow and sticky is a uniquely Apple experience.

I have boxes of cables accumulated over decades. Every other brand of cable is basically in the same condition it was when it went into storage.

But Apple cables are fucking disgusting (there is simply no other way to say it). Why are they so sticky? Why are they so yellow? Every Apple cable seems to be affected--headphones, power supplies,and dongles.

My guess is it has something to do with the "soft" touch finish and the white coloring.

IIRC the thing that makes BPA plastic yellow over time is the gradual oxidation of a fire-retardant chemical added to it. You can reverse this process with bleach+UV light, reducing the chemical back to its non-oxidized form (sort of like how you can use activated charcoal to absorb moisture from the air, and then bake it to re-activate it.) If your 30yo white plastic isn't yellow, that's because the manufacturer skimped on the fire-retardant and it's likely highly flammable.

No idea about why some plastics get sticky, though. I'd imagine it's the plastic's polymer literally breaking down, but it might also be some additive "sweating" out. Maybe it's the very same fire-retardant chemical. (Old yellowing hard plastics don't get sticky, but they don't tend to have plasticizers in them, so they need far less flame-retardant.)

Somebody told me a while back that Apple cables self-destruct when other cables don't because a while back Green Peace talked Apple into no longer using PVC for their cables. The replacement plastic is presumably better for the environment but is less durable (possibly negating any environmental benefits by increasing the amount of e-waste produced?)

I don't know how much truth there is to this theory though. It doesn't seem to explain the poor strain relief.

If that were the case, I’d expect that Apple would use it in their marketing. A more environmentally friendly cable could be a good selling point.

I never knew that! From their "Integrating Toxicological Assessments in Material Selection for Apple Products" white paper:

"Removal of BFRs and PVC were challenging since alternatives were not readily available at the time. The largest obstacle was identifying a replacement to PVC in AC power cords, where strict safety standards favored PVC and created barriers to its elimination. Apple worked with multiple material suppliers and tested dozens of different formulations until the right combination of performance and safety were achieved with lower toxicological and ecological risk than PVC. Apple then had to persuade dozens of safety agencies around the world to allow it to certify the alternative materials. Millions of PVC-free power cords are in use today with Apple products."


> "Every Apple product is free of PVC and phthalates with the exception of AC power cords in India, Thailand, and South Korea, where we continue to seek government approval for our PVC and phthalates replacement."

Investigating magsafe cable durability in those countries might be a way to corroborate or refute the PVC theory, though I wouldn't know where to start.

The first generations of magsafe adapters did not have stress relief at all, because form over function was still in full swing. Every charger had the cable completely break apart at the connection to the brick, because stress relief ruined the pretty minimalist design.

To say it's nothing but function means denying the evidence.

    Every charger had the cable completely break apart at
    the connection to the brick, because stress relief ruined
    the pretty minimalist design.
I had one of these. Mine didn't break. A lot of them broke, to be sure - but that's because the users don't understand that a multiwire cable isn't a shoelace and shouldn't have knots and zero-radius bends inflicted on it.

I've always been careful with my magsafe chargers, and I'm a former recording studio engineer so I'm not a newbie about cables and strain relief. However, using my laptop on my lap provided too much exercise. The insulation on every magsafe I've ever owned has failed eventually.

These things were spec'd to go on table tops and then never move. It's a crying shame because otherwise magsafe was a really elegant design.

You don't have to be careful with laptop charging cables from any other manufacturer. This is not a problem intrinsic to multiwire cables. It's a problem limited to cables from this particular manufacturer. You could strangle an elephant with a charging cable from Dell or Lenovo and the cable would be none the worse for wear.

the problem is not just when you wrap it, is that if you move the cable in any way (say, move your laptop around, trip on the cable, etc), it will bend in that spot.

If you tie up your cable in the loop-up-then-down-then-sidewise it will improve things, but then you will put it in your bag and it will bend at that spot anyway as soon as some pressure is applied on the up-loop.

This is why every manufacturer uses strain relief, including apple now.

Saying "users are using the product the wrong way!" is the epitome of form over function.

I'm convinced the heating of the brick is a contributing factor to the cable 'sliding out' near the brick. I treat my charging cables like they are made of spiderwebs and I'm on my third magsafe.

I try to keep the brick laying flat on my tile floor for this reason. The tile surface is a reasonably effective and convenient heat sink; moreso than a carpet floor or wood table anyway.

I wish they'd just make these things properly.

They might be lighter, but I consider not having a cord in between the heavy transformer and the wall plug to be a design flaw. Unless you have receptacles with vicegrip like prongs, like they are when they brand new, the transformers tend to unplug themselves over time due to their weight and gravity.

Edit: Oh, and whatever they put in that white rubber seems to really attract cats. Not sure what it is, but it's the only cables in my house that the cats like to chew on. Friends/family have experienced the same.

I’m pretty sure MacBooks come with a cable that extend its range. The official name for is a “power adapter extension cable.”

New ones do not include this cable in the box anymore.

The Apple Tax, aka spending $60+ on a new adapter for each Macbook you own every 2 years.

I'm and Android user, my wife uses iPhone and Mac. Ive a pretty decent LG phone (the camera in particular is better than hers in low light conditions) and my phone cost about half of hers. She goes through 2-3 cables per year. I have never had to replace a cable (although I primarily use wireless charging). She is rough on the cables, as she charges on the couch with our dog and cats coming charging through. Plus, she's a little rough on things to begin with (she drops her phone while charging a lot). Still, I cannot understand buying 3 cables per year.

I do buy spares for my phone, but so I can have one for each place I spend a lot of time: bed, home office and work office. But, I only buy them once, and only when the port changes (e.g. Micro USB to Type C). Also, having now had several devices with wireless charging, doubt I'll ever buy another phone that doesnt have it.

Having my wife buy nearly $200 of apple chargers each year is certainly a tax of sorts.

> Although, if I do find negative reviews on a retailer's site, it does engender some trust.

A marketing friend of mine calls this "verisimilitude."

Hah! It's hilarious, and sad, that this is a concept in marketing.

Unsurprising, given the (now very old) issue of selection/hidden-information bias in voluntary reviews. The people that are happy with the product are exponentially less likely to leave a "review" than the people that are unhappy, including outright trolls. The whole vibe that creates is not very "Apple".

In fact I'm not sure the problem has ever been "solved" - raw sample size of reviews is helpful, but nowhere near eliminates these biases.

How could it even be improved further in theory? I think you'd at least have to incorporate the number of total products sold into the review rating. If there were 10 terrible reviews on a product with 1,000,000 sold, that means something very different than one with 20 sold.

Baseline though, dealing with people, it will probably never be perfect unless the reviewers have "skin in the game". People with positive experiences need some incentive to leave reviews that is as compelling as the negative experience. Lots of Amazon sellers offer some kind of free product or coupon in their follow-up emails - maybe that works?

You underestimate the tricks online marketers use to source positive reviews. I guess Apple just cannot be bothered to game them since their success is not dependent on their contents.

One example is the classic dark (or at least grey) pattern many mobile app use: Showing a popup with a question whether you enjoy the app or not. If you don't then you are asked to send private "feedback" by email. If you do then you are encouraged to leave a public (likely positive) review and redirected straight to the app store.

By removing the reviews, it's possible that Apple will be seen as less credible to potential buyers.

How could anyone disagree with this. Just look at Amazon for a shining example of reviews done correctly. They are always so credible, never gamed, and you never have to worry about fake products especially if you buy products labeled as “Amazon’s Choice”.....

I've never understood why online reviews, at least on sites as large as Amazon with a competent technical team behind the company, aren't better. First step, if I review a product, then you should immediately be weighting the visibility of all reviews by reviewers who posted a review which agrees with my own. So if I rate Avengers: Endgame bluray a single star, guess that I have similar opinions to the others that rated it the same, and when I go look at some other Marvel film bluray, if those others have reviewed it, push them to the top. As I review more and more things, the weightings should get better and better. And gaming it would be basically impossible unless you managed to tailor bot posts to match the way I rated dishware, movies, books, videogames, food products, and the dozens of other things I've rated. Fake reviews would get pushed to the bottom with almost instantaneous speed if they would do this. If they cheap out and decide to aggregate and 'bucket' reviewers rather than training a recommender engine per-customer, its performance will fall short and still be gamed, but even that would be better (and seems to be the way big companies handle the computational load per-user systems would incur... personally I'd prefer they push the calculations clientside, but they haven't gone that way).

I have sometimes had amazing smiles and laughter reading amazon reviews. It tends to remind me that people are pretty diverse in their lifestyles and opinions. When sizing up a product, that gives nothing at all of value: this guy hates it, but seems slightly crazy; this other one loves it but what do they know? So I just have a good laugh at how different these people are from each other, and likely from me, and make gut decisions based on pretty much nothing anyway.

When reading online reviews anywhere, it's always fun to see what fraction of 1-star reviews are "this sucks and/or readily fails at what its supposed to do" versus "I'm using this wrong".

Somehow, I must believe you are being sarcastic, or you are terribly misinformed.

100% satire.

I'm not surprised. Most of them were just bitching about Apple, and not reviewing the product. Most of the reviews of the USB-C dongles were just complaining about USB-C, for example. Useless.

> Useless.

Isn't it on Apple to assign resources to fix the problem instead of going nuclear on it? Surely, not all reviews are useless?

> Most of the reviews of the USB-C dongles were just complaining about USB-C, for example.

I've seen this problem with PlayStore too, but Google takes forever to delete the reviews: Even the ones that are unrelated. I wonder why AI isn't employed to weed out or help automate the process of flagging such reviews. May be someone should build it?

> Surely, not all reviews are useless?

What am I going to do with the review? If I need a new Apple charger then I need a new Apple charger. I’m not going to read a review and decide not to buy it am I? It’s useless noise.

This assumes only one product that meets your needs.

I think it would be very difficult/expensive to build a system that wouldn't be called censorship. (I'm not even sure that would ever be successful, even assuming unlimited talent and budget)

Is that really useless, though?

If I'm about to drop $3-6k on a laptop, I want to know beforehand that it's going to be a PITA connecting things to it.

The fact that lots of people think it's difficult, and that Apple responded to their problems, is also useful to see.

Products are rated relative to one-another, though, not on any absolute scale (because everyone uses a different personal subjective scale, so all a review or recommendation system can hope to do is to normalize each person's ratings against their own learned model of rating criteria such that the person's lowest score becomes a 1 and their highest a 5.)

If people don't like USB-C, they're just going to rate everything Apple makes as a 1.0/5, which, as far as a normalization algorithm is concerned, is the same as rating everything a 5.0/5. It carries no signal and gets completely dropped from the algorithm.

I don't think anyone has a psychological issue with USB C.

What they have is a perfectly legitimate issue with not being able to use their existing peripherals with a supposedly top-of-the-line professional laptop/desktop with an unquestionably professional price.

Removing the reviews is PR sterilisation. It's appearance management. It's wilfully turning a deaf ear to any feedback that suggests the Emperor may not be fully clothed.

It has absolutely nothing to do with raising the SNR in the store.

Let me be clear; I was mostly talking about ratings re: SNR. Ratings, in a very explicit mathematical sense, become literally undefined when you aren't comparing them between things, but just comparing something to itself. You can't have a vote with one candidate; you can't have an auction with one bidder; etc. The results are all undefined. In the exact same sense, you can't have a ratings system in a marketplace with one product in it.

Or, for a direct analogy: you can't have Hot or Not where it's just one dude. Is he hot? Is he not? Undefined.

Now, freeform text reviews: sure, they might hold some meaning, even in a single-seller marketplace. (For subtle behavioral-economic reasons, I would hypothesize that they probably don't, but let's pretend they do.) I would posit, though, that whatever's in those reviews is already the result of "PR sterilization." What you're seeing is what Apple wants you to see. It's their store.

Reviews only "work" (i.e. have guaranteed real signal, rather than "maybe real, maybe fake" signal) when incentives in a marketplace are aligned such that even the marketplace owner has no incentive to tamper with which reviews are or are not visible. That is not true here, and so the reviews are not, and never were, trustworthy. They were noise from the start.

I'm skeptical people are maliciously rating products 1/5 because they have an agenda against USB-C.

More likely, they dislike it because it's inconvenient and difficult to use with their devices.

Hell, APPLES OWN DEVICES don't even support USB-C.

It used to be when apple came out with a fancy i/o, they would just give you the new port and take out something vestigial, keeping the half dozen other ports.

Now apple has wiped the laptop clean and introduced a port that they don't even support with their own product lines, despite it being the only port on a macbook pro for nearly 4 years.

I honestly suspect Apple's completely lost without Steve Jobs and instead of innovating and building quality products they're pivoting into a fashion symbol and trying to push their margins as high as they can and eke out as much money as possible before people realize what's going on and abandon them in favor of better, cheaper alternatives.

The most painful part is the overtness of the money grubbing from apple, a trillion dollar company. Dongle tax, mandatory touchbar, base storage and memory stuck in 2012, extortion tier upgrade pricing, and the hardware falls apart if you look at it wrong.

Try to read about the features inside their custom chips. Personally I am amazed.

This is nothing new for Apple; back around 2007 it removed the complaints of hundreds of iMac owners that regions of their display screens were failing, a year or two after purchase.

I was one of those owners (the hard drive had already failed). Last straw for me. GrrrApple.

Why any website puts review and rating on their own website has always amazed me. It seemed to start happening during the social media frenzy of the mid-2000s, and really should have gone away by now.

I genuinely think that USB-C (the connector) has a huge problem, and I’m pretty sure most of HN knows it. Users everywhere expect that physically compatible plugs in normal consumer devices imply some degree of comparability. Unfortunately because we use USB-C (the connector) for almost every imaginable kind of interconnect these days, most devices have a complicated matrix of things they will and won’t support, and so do cables. I don’t know how users are expected to become educated about this. “Why won’t my display work when I plug it in using x cable, on y single, but will work when I use z cable on q dongle” is such a common question I hear, and I don’t know how to explain it to people other than just to use trial and error. Apple needs to come up with some way of at least commonly labelling things to imply compatibility if they don’t want to confuse and alienate people. I am aware it isn’t just Apple with this problem, but USB-C (the connector) is perceived by most Apple users as an Apple thing.

Do it for my apps on the App Store too, Apple.

Came here to say that. Unless you're bringing an already popular product into the store or have a large marketing budget, you're really at the mercy of the handful of people who seem to live to give bad reviews. It's even worse for a free product, which suggests that it's a % of people who have nothing better to do.

So, you either try to push through it or buy reviews -- and risk getting kicked out of the store entirely.

Reviews are 33% of the reason I shut down my app biz. (And then 33% dealing with the college dropouts in the review department and 33% for taking 33% for making my job harder than it would be without their help.)

Cutting out reviews would be helpful for probably everyone but the top 1%. It would certainly make it less of a shit show for most developers.

How would a large marketing budget solve the issue with the people that "live to give bad reviews"?

Agreed. Convenient for Apple to absolve themselves of these things, but when my app gets a bunch of hateful reviews simply because the user doesn't want to pay, or provide an email, Apple lets all that stand.

You can flag irrelevant reviews.

If you think that process is fair or efficient I'd say you've never tried it. It's a half-measure meant to appease developers. In practice it's nearly worthless.

On the other side, as an user, I install some apps on my phone and the ones with bad reviews really deserve it. Poor Android ports, crap interface that didn't improve in 5 years and so on.


this article used app reviews as its source, maybe apple didnt like that. I dont know if the timing makes sense though...

I liked the reviews and am disappointed that they removed them.

> By removing the reviews, it's possible that Apple will be seen as less credible to potential buyers.

That ship has sailed. Who still expects things to work as advertised?

This probably has more to do with Google algo changes and de-ranking user-generated content than anything else

It should be clear that this is a USB-C specification issue and not just an Apple issue.

3,2,1... Apple uses COPPA as explanation of why comments removed.

Good, more sites should do the same. Customer review systems tend to just get abused and paint a confusing picture. That said, I still wish we could give customers a good way to share feedback at least somewhat publicly...


Pretty irrelevant.

Darn! Some of those were pretty funny... though when they contradict the prevailing reviews at Amazon it's obvious that allowing comments on Apple.com just invites the trolls.

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