Some thoughts on the latest Apple product release

I haven’t shied away from acknowledging in the past that I’m an Apple fan, and won’t do it now. Our household has I-don’t-know-how-many Apple products in use, and personally, I make heavy use of Apple products at work as well. Those include an iPad and a MacBook Air, and the fact that I can have these devices for work is an important element of satisfaction with where I work.

Even so, I can’t stand to watch another Apple product release show. The latest Apple product release show was on Wednesday of this week and I don’t intend to watch the video. It’s too much. Too much hyperbole, too much slick marketing schmaltz for me to stomach. If I have to listen to yet another weirdly intoned Jonny Ive promo, I think I’ll scream. And let’s face it, the general media reporting of such events is way too much, also.

While on the topic of too much, that is also how I feel about Apple’s iPhone pricing. Their latest models are priced at a point that is way beyond my means, and the price is only going higher. (I find the model name, iPhone XS, to be particularly ironic when pronounced “excess”). When considering the iPhone X earlier this year to replace my iPhone 7 Plus, for example, I could not justify the premium price. Instead, I went with the iPhone 8 Plus, mainly because of a special carrier deal that made it affordable. I am quite happy with that device, although I really wanted the iPhone X.

Of the devices that were revealed at this week’s event, the one that most stood out to me is the Apple Watch Series 4. I purchased a used Series 1 device two or three years ago, and although I felt guilty about the expense back then, I love it and use it every day. It is an essential device for me. The newest version is the first iteration that seems worthy of consideration as a replacement, mainly because of the larger screen size. But again, there is no way I can afford a new Apple Watch at this point. My best hope is to someday trade up for a newer, used model.

When the Apple Watch first became available, I poo pooed it as an extravagant and wasteful luxury, and I thought I’d never want to shell out the money for it. Clearly, I changed my mind (although again, keep in mind that I purchased my device used, not new, at a significant discount). Another Apple device, the Apple AirPods, is in the same category. Initially I questioned the price tag of about US $160 as way too high. Now, I’m at the point where I’d really like to have them, and I’m hoping to save up any money I might receive for my birthday to be able to purchase a pair.

Why the change of heart? Well, mainly it’s because I think they will be perfectly suited to my needs. I listen to a large number of audiobooks on my long commutes, for example, and they seem well suited to that. I have a very nice pair of noise cancelling, wired headphones made by Bose that were a gift from one of my brothers, but you can’t easily wear those everywhere, including in bed, when I sometimes fall asleep while listening to an audiobook at night. And having a fully wireless set of earphones seems so much more convenient, especially for travel. From what I’ve read, Apple’s AirPods are the best such device, by far, even more than a year after their initial release.  For instance, I want to seamless connect to all of my several Apple devices (including my watch), and nothing beats the AirPods for that functionality.

So while I remain an Apple fan, what this post makes clear, hopefully, is that I have mixed feelings about the company and its products. Sometimes, I change my mind, but I doubt I’ll change my mind about the price point of those latest iPhones.

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