Archive for Apple

Apple Fleecing Their Customers?

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Mobile Phone, Modern World, News, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 10/03/2014 by floroy1942

I have always known that Apple products are ridiculously expensive, but an article I read today really brings home how much profit the company is making on its goods.

iPhone 5S

iPhone 5S

The example given was for the Apple iPhone 5S 16G model which gives Apple a staggering 41.4% profit on each item sold. The production cost of this phone, which is sold in the UK for £549, is a mere £129. This includes the research and development costs, marketing and distribution, and VAT.

IPhone costProduction of the other models with greater memory capacity like the 32G and 64G versions give the company even more profit. The 32G model sells for £629, an increase of £80 for the extra memory, but the production costs are only £6 more than the 16G model. The 64G phone costs consumers an extra £160, at £709 with only a difference of £12 in production costs over the 16G model.

It used to be argued that Apple products were more stable and reliable than other manufacturers, but is that still true today? For many, to go that extra mile and buy an Apple product was worth it because they were superior to other models on the market, but those days are now long gone. With stiff competition coming from companies like Samsung, it is now more a question of getting value and reliability for your hard-earned cash.  In the past this has always been a good reason to buy from Apple.

I must admit that both my wife and I have iPhones, but there is now a big question mark over whether we will buy another one. My phone has been exchanged for a new one three times because of problems, and my wife has had hers changed twice. So to be honest, reliability is not a very good reason to continue.

There is little doubt that you cannot fault Apple on their product guarantee service, for there is no haggling or being brushed off with excuses, the item is exchanged for a new one on the spot. For this I applaud the company, for there are few with such a good reputation in this area. It can be argued however, that with such a huge profit margin they can afford to do this.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

In my view, since the demise of Steve Jobs the company has gone downhill in many ways, the most important being reliability. Apple is trying to pack too much technology into their phones. These days they can do just about everything except fry an egg.

It is a fact of life that the more technical things become, the more things can go wrong. I believe manufacturers should remain aware of this. But you see, it is the march of progress, and each company must come up with new gadgets to beat the competition. When I had my 3S phone I kept it for four years without a single problem, but ever since I upgraded I get problems, hence having it changed three times under the guarantee.

Too Much Technology Can Lead To Crash And Burn!

Too Much Technology Can Lead To Crash And Burn!

There can be little doubt that feeding the gadget hungry young people of today will continue with companies like Apple, and eventually we may well be able to fry an egg with the phone, but it will all come crashing down when people realise that reliability is also important.

Roy.

Come Back Steve Jobs – Apple Needs You!

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Mobile Phone, Modern World, Spain, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 21/05/2013 by floroy1942
RIP Steve

RIP Steve

I don’t know about you, but I think Apple has gone downhill like an uncontrollable landslide since Steve Jobs passed away. When he was alive, you knew instinctively you could trust their products as being extremely reliable, even if they were very expensive, but you got what you paid for. Nowadays, I’m afraid the Apple image has slipped drastically in my estimation, for they are not at all reliable these days.

iPhone

As an example, I had an iPhone 3S for a very long time and never had a problem with it, but ever since I replaced it with the 4S I have had nothing but trouble, and exactly the same goes for my wife who replaced her old phone with the iPhone 5. My 4S phone has been replaced free of charge a total of 3 times due to problems with it, and my wife’s 5 model has been replaced twice, also because of problems. A further example is that my wife has had to take her recently bought MacBook Air back to the shop three times so far to have faulty components replaced.

Despite all that hassle, we bought an Apple Airport Extreme a couple of days ago for her laptop to boost the almost non-existent Vodafone Wi-Fi signal we pay a fortune for, another bone of contention. Just two metres from the Vodafone box and she cannot get a reliable Wi-Fi signal.

The Airport box was described by the salesman in the Marbella outlet as very simple to install. So far so good! We spent three hours yesterday trying to get our two computers and my wife’s laptop connected, all to no avail. Today we tried again for a further three and a half hours, again without any progress.

Bloody Automated Answering Machine!

Bloody Automated Answering Machine!

In sheer desperation, my wife tried to phone the shop and spent the usual five minutes talking to an automated reply system (don’t you just hate those damned things), and when she finally got to speak to a human she was told she should press 2 and not 3. The woman on the other end could not redirect our call so she had to redial. Again with the bloody machine for five minutes before getting through, and shortly after she did, the phone went dead! Try again! It took another two tries before she eventually got through and was helped. After about fifteen minutes on the phone trying various things, she was told that the box may be faulty and we should change it at the store. ERRGGGH! I don’t know if all Apple stores are the same, but at this one we had to make an appointment just to change the darned apparatus, so I am waiting to see what happens this evening.

All Those Little Electrons and Things.....??

All Those Little Electrons and Things…..??

By this time our blood was boiling, and I realized we should both have stayed in bed for the day, if only for the sake of our blood pressure. Neither my wife nor I are computer illiterate, for we both know our way around in computer systems, even if we are not technically savvy enough to know what actually goes on inside, you know, all those little diodes and other things. We are both capable of changing boards and such when required.

When it comes to modern electronic gadgets of all types, I find that systems are becoming much too complicated for the average customer to handle. Even adding what should be a simple device is becoming more and more difficult. Whatever happened to ‘Plug and Play’? Even phones today are so complicated you need a Degree in Electronics just to operate all the functions.

Nice Helpful People In The Apple Store Marbella.

Nice Helpful People In The Apple Store Marbella.

We have been in the Apple store in Marbella many times, and I must say the staff are, on the whole, extremely polite and efficient which does them credit, but the ever increasing number of faulty products must be costing Apple a lot of money. I must also compliment Apple on their exchange programme, for they are quick to recommend replacement of the product under the guarantee without any hassle.

I have no idea if the current poor reliability is because they are all assembled in China, or just poor design. All I do know, is that we will be thinking twice before buying another Apple product, and if many people go through our experiences I can see Apple’s share of the market falling rapidly.

China’s Involvement In Western Unemployment

Posted in America, Britain, Europe, Immigrants, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , , on 02/11/2012 by floroy1942

Just take a look at the label on things you buy these days, anything from a coffee machine to designer clothes, and almost 90% of the time it will say, ‘Made In China’. There can be little doubt that the Chinese manufacturing sector is booming thanks to western companies, and has been for at least the last ten years. In the meantime unemployment rates in most western countries are climbing to an almost unsustainable level, and anyone with half a brain must see there is a link there somewhere.

Apple Production Line China

Apple Production Line China

I took a look at the box for my new iPhone 4S today and sure enough, it was assembled in China. Clothes my wife buys in well-known designer shops all carry a label saying made in China, and sometimes Taiwan, Malaysia and even Thailand.

While this may be good for company profits, it does nothing for the living standards of those who slave away day after day in the Chinese factories.

In many western countries people are beginning to blame the influx of immigrants for taking away national jobs, and naturally this is a factor, but by comparison to China’s contribution it is minimal. But before anyone starts waving the big stick at China we must analyze why manufacturing for western companies has moved to this communist country. The simple answer is economics! But to be honest, you have to dig much deeper to find the real reason, and those responsible. The short answer to that is we are ourselves to blame.

During the seventies and eighties trade unions were the strongest they have ever been, and never a year went by without some union or other going on strike for more pay, less working hours etc. etc. I admit freely that in some situations their demands were quite legitimate, but most were highly out of order. It is true that in many cases the union demands were based on high profits being made by the employing companies, but high profits generate growth and more employment whereas the reverse is true when profits are low. A look at history will show clearly that this incessant demand for higher and higher wages in the western manufacturing sector has generated the need of companies to examine their options for cheaper labour costs.

Designer Clothes Made In China

Designer Clothes Made In China

For manufacturers it is a “Catch 22” situation whereby if they raise their prices to cover the extra labour costs the items became too expensive, the market slumps and down go the profits needed for investment. Also, if prices went up the unions would be back demanding more money and it became a self-defeating exercise in futility. So to a certain extent it was our own fault that companies started looking overseas for a cheaper manufacturing process.

When you consider that the average wage paid by western companies to Chinese workers is something like a dollar a day, whereas in the west that would be a fraction of the hourly payment for a worker, you can see how it makes economic sense to  move your manufacturing base to such countries. Even adding on the extra shipping costs of the raw materials and the finished product it still comes out far cheaper than our own labour.

Unemployment Lines In Spain

Unemployment Lines In Spain

It is inevitable that as American and European manufacturing costs rise, more and more companies will see the sense in turning over their manufacturing processes to Far Eastern countries like China where goods can be either made, or as in Apple’s case assembled, in any country on the other side of the globe at a tiny fraction of the cost.

This will inevitably result in even more job losses in the future and with it will come increased unrest, but when push comes to shove, we will have no-one to blame but ourselves. It is all a sad fact of life that workers today must face up to, even though the truth may hurt.

Roy.

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