Recently there has been some talk about gadget fatigue, or, more specifically, Apple gadget fatigue; the burden customers go through to enjoy the latest and greatest from Apple, despite the financial expense. Can we really afford to be an Apple customer?
What Price Glory?
Add it up. We pay a hefty price tag for the privilege of owning Apple’s well designed, desirable baubles. Apple just doesn’t do cheap, so if you want to play with big boy toys, you have to pay the price, right?
Supposedly we live in an era when electronic devices are going down in price because the cost of manufacturing has done down correspondingly. Look at the price of LED lights from a few years ago vs. now. Some PC notebook-tablet hybrids are available for a few hundred dollars.
Not only does Apple not do cheap, squeezing a bit of those enormous gross margins takes effort; Apple doesn’t even do sales, but occasionally will discount this or that if you buy something else, or don’t mind a refurbished product.
As it stands now, an entry-level iPhone 6s is priced the same as an iPhone 4s way back when. Worse, there are no longer cell phone company subsidies to help ease the burden of ownership. I cannot fault Apple for keeping the entire product line in the premium end of the product segment. That’s where the profits are and high prices do not seem to have done anything other than make even more people aspire to own Apple products.
Yet, I feel the pain. With Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, Apple TV, and a variety of accessories, my Apple life expenses are going up faster than my income, which, increasingly has more month at the end of my money.
What I need and you may want is an Apple Upgrade Program that works similarly to the iPhone Upgrade Program, but for other Apple products; monthly payments spread over time, but with the option to upgrade each product more frequently. the iPhone Upgrade Program gets you a new iPhone every year, but that could be expanded to the Mac, iPad, even Watch.
One monthly fee for each product on the list, a modest discount for adding all major products to the list. If a fully loaded iPhone 6s Plus can be had for about $45 a month (about $950 retail) how about a new MacBook every year for $65 a month? Or, a 128GB iPad Pro with cellular, upgraded every year, for a mere $50 a month. Or, all three for $150 a month, including AppleCare.
I love Apple as a company and prefer Apple products to whatever else is on the market, but I have monetary limits and financial constraints to consider. Apple has enough money in the bank to buy France, so why not an Apple Product Upgrade Program, a rental or lease plan with monthly payments, and an option to upgrade to the latest and greatest comparable product every year.
That may be the only way I can afford to remain one of Apple’s premier customers.