You’ve heard it said, “Nothing improves without change.” Mac customers are saying Apple’s changes cause problems.
Some are telling Apple, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Problems? Apple has plenty.
No one expected perfection of Apple’s massive change from PowerPC chips to an all Intel CPU platform.
By most accounts, professional prognosticators, customers, and developers, the major switch has gone faster and easier than expected.
Any major change in complicated systems can uncover some glitches and issues. Right now, Apple has plenty.
From batteries that cause Mac PowerBooks to catch on fire, to noisy new Mac Books, to the new iTunes 7—customers are unhappy.
Apple has always been a company that pressed the edges of normal, never content to let things be as they are or were.
That’s one aspect of the Apple personality that we, the so-called Kool-Aid Kids, love about the company; hardware and software.
In the past, we’ve paid a bit of a premium for such new, chic, and bleeding edge cool; whether it me new Macs, or new software.
Changing an entire line of computers from one CPU to a completely different CPU, and doing it a year early and in barely 10 months after the first new Intel Mac shipped is no mean feat.
Apple’s stellar reputation is in danger of bruising because of a bunch of problems with MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and the new media savvy iTunes 7.
David Morgenstern of eWeek says Dell might be happy to have some of Apple’s customer support and new product problems. Why?
Many of the new MacBooks run hot. Not just in sales, in temperature. Hotter than hot.
Shortly after that, some MacBooks had random shutdowns. Everything just quit. Apple’s customer support message boards were crowded with angry customers.
Did the recurring heat problem cause the recurring shutdown problem? Such things are not easy to pin down.
Had Apple’s normal higher-than-normal quality control taken a big hit? The answer was yes.
Such a major shift in a whole line of products is bound to have glitches. Pity poor Dell.
They didn’t shift anything in their quest to make mediocre cost even less. Who needs quality and support when it’s easier to buy a new Dell?
Web sites and message boards have lit up concerning Dell’s enduring and recurring quality problems, which, in comparison, make Apple’s seem like a minor irritation.
Even the original MacBook Pro had overheating problems, a whining noise problem, and cooling fans that either wouldn’t run or wouldn’t shut up.
That’s just the hardware side of Apple’s product equation. Whither art thou, oh favored iTunes version 7?
To be fair, iTunes 7 is a major enhancement of the world’s most popular computer music player.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, called iTunes 7 the “most significant enhancement to iTunes since we introduced it in 2001.” It may have the most problems, too.
The new feature list is awesome, but many Mac and Windows iTunes users are reporting major issues with what may be a rushed job to get iTunes 7, and movies, to market.
Online forums are blasting Apple about crashes, hangs, slow performance and distoring music playback.
Other users found that iTunes 7 would slow, or crash when used with 3rd party software, or other accessories such as sound cards, and plugins.
Roku Labs said the new iTunes will render all their SoundBridge products incompatible with your Mac.
iTunes 7, like the new MacBooks, MacBook Pros, is a different beast than predecessors. The interface is new and more complex.
The integration of CoverFlow, while heavy on the eye candy, is also heavy on resource usage.
Are all these problems the result of less-than-stellar quality control issues at Apple? Has the rush to market new hardware and software leaving Apple’s customers as the beta users?
The answer is a resounding yes, though it’s probably not Apple’s intent to develop products that have problems. I doubt if that’s Dell’s intent, either, but I could be wrong.
When you pay a good price for a new product from a company with a great reputation for quality control and superior products, you don’t expect problems.
Right now, Apple has a few problems. The holiday selling season is just around the corner and we can expect most bugs to be worked out of the Macs and iTunes by then.
After all, the next four months will see another 15-million new iPod owners, most of them running iTunes on Windows. Maybe they’re used to grief with new software, but they will expect more of Apple.
Mac users expect more already, and Apple has so many irons in the fire these days that problems could become more commonplace.
At one time, I would run out and buy any new Mac that came along, or install every update or new version of Apple software. Now I wait.
I feel for those MacBook Pro owners with overheating and whining noise problems. I feel for the iTunes users who experience music distortion, hangs, or broken features.
After many years, many products, and many upgrades from Apple, are we now expected to be suspicious when Apple totes out something new?
Unfortunately that may be the future modus operandi if Apple’s struggles with quality control continue.