Friday, March 21, 2014

Total Cost of Apple Ownership...

Occasionally my friends ask my why I spend so much on Apple computers rather than buy an equivalent Windows or Linux based system for much less.  Below are my typical responses:
  1. At the hardware level, a truly equivalent laptop is typically priced about the same or more than an Apple product.  The problem is that most people compare lesser quality and lesser performing products to compare with Apple's offerings.
  2. Apple computers typically last 4 or more years without issues.  This is good for those like me that like to amortize the cost over a LONG period of time.  For the impatient that can't wait to buy the next shiny model laptop, they can often sell their old laptop for a reasonable price thus reducing the purchase price of the new version.  This article from 9to5 Mac provides some good examples of this use case.
  3. A new Mac includes for free both office software (e.g. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) and comes with many products for personal use (e.g. Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Messages, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band, Reminders, and others)
  4. Any software that you purchase through the Mac App Store is amortized over up to 5 computers.  For example, when I purchased some of my favorite professional grade apps like 1Password ($50), OmniFocus ($80), OmniGraffle ($100), Pixelmator ($30), Day One ($10), Apple Remote Desktop ($80), Paprika ($20) and more..., the total cost is spread across 5 computers rather than just one.  Purchasing equivalent professional grade software for Windows costs about the same but you can only put it on one computer.
  5. Its tightly integrated and just works.  All of my essential data effortlessly syncs between computers and iDevices without issue.
  6. When you do have issues with software or hardware, just schedule a genius bar appointment at your local Apple store and they will work hard to take care of you.
  7. For those of you that are newbies to Apple computers, I HIGHLY recommend that you pay the extra $99 to get a full year of scheduled appointments at any Apple store through the One to One program.
  8. For geeks like me, the real tipping point came when Apple switched their underlying operating system to based on UNIX.  UNIX is highly resilient, reliable and offers my favorite working environment: bash shell script.
Hope that helps anyone that might be trying to figure out the pros and cons between getting a Mac versus something else.

Blessings to you and yours!