Open Letter To Tim Cook

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Mr. Cook;


I bought my first Mac in March of 1985, and I have been a loyal Apple customer ever since. I have been responsible for sales of hundreds of Apple products over the past 29 years through my passionate Apple evangelism.


However, over the past 2-3 years, I have been getting increasingly frustrated with Apple to the point that I am becoming very hesitant to buy any more Apple products. I am no longer passionately talking about Apple products. Trying to keep it as concise as possible:


  • I no longer feel like Apple is targeting its lead users like myself. Instead, it feels like it is targeting internet browsing consumers hanging out at Starbucks. Let me give you an example. I am a consulting professional and I used to have a 17″ MacBook Pro. Great machine to give presentations with around the world, as I have done countless times in the past. Now, I am stuck with a 15″ 2013 Retina Mac Book Pro, despite carrying the same price, lacking a remote control. And I have to carry 4 dongles with me around the world. And with inferior audio quality and volume. That is a real poor attribute trade-off for my purposes.
  • Software reliability. Totally tanked since Snow Leopard, the high water mark. As a recent example, my experience with Mavericks server and clients has been very disappointing. The software is so buggy, it is just as bad as Microsoft products I used to make fun of. I recently spent over 80 hours to make the Mavericks server limp to life. I frankly don’t have 80 hours to spend on half-baked products. I make a living selling my hours.
  • Hardware quality and reliability. My Retina was replaced two times for rattling audio. And also, why would the battery be glued to the top case? How do I maintain this machine? Well, that brings me to my next area of disappointment.
  • Planned obsolescence. I have a three year old iPhone 4 that I have been refusing to replace for the afore-mentioned reasons. Recently, I upgraded to iOS7, which is unacceptably slow on this phone. But there is no path to go back to iOS6. I now cannot use this phone. But, I will not buy another iPhone.
  • User interface degradation. Since Snow Leopard, I can tell you as a user, that the usability of the OS X has degraded significantly. As a product development consulting professional, I  can tell you that Apple has been trading away efficiency and effectiveness measures in exchange for satisfaction measures. This means that it simply takes more effort and time for me to get the job done.
  • Dumbing down the OS and key applications. As an example, I use Keynote extensively, and I am now questioning my commitment to this piece of software. But this applies to OS X equally, as well as iMovie, Pages, Numbers, and a whole slew of other Apple applications that I use daily.


I could go on for hours with all the issues that I have had in the last 2-3 years, but I believe the point is clear. My only question is, will Apple continue going in this direction? If so, I am no longer willing to be an Apple customer. I feel that Apple has become too unreliable and too greedy for my taste. A bad combination indeed, as these are the very attributes that discouraged me from purchasing Microsoft products in the past.


Thanks for your consideration, and kind regards.


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