Thursday, 13 September 2018

An open letter to Tim Cook

I sent the following to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, yesterday.

Dear Tim;

I love Apple products. My first was a Mac 128, and I had a Mac SE on my office desk in 1989. I have owned a PowerBook 1400, an original blue clamshell iBook, a slate gray iMac, several MacBooks and MacBook Pros, and my beloved iPhone 4. My current slate includes a 2012 MacBook Pro (probably the best laptop you’ve ever made, your current claims notwithstanding), a 2011 MacBook Air, a 2008 iMac (still happily running OS 10.5), an iPad Mini 2, and a 2018 iPad 9.7.

My current iPhone is a 128 Gb 6, and while I like a lot of things about it, it is just flatly too big for my hand. I can’t operate it with one hand, which is critical for me; I am always dropping it or fumbling with it. I loved my iPhone 4, until it got so slow and so unable to run current apps that I had to retire it. I had high hopes for my 6 but... I hate it. It’s just too big for me.

Let me say that again: I, an Apple fan since the beginning, HATE an Apple product. I never thought I would say that. And the only reason I hate it is that it’s just way too big.

The 4” form factor on a phone is awesome for me; I can not use a bigger size. I appreciate that you try to continuously improve the customer experiennce, security and provide other features. But the short answer is that, as you make your phones bigger, my reluctance to use them increases.

Today, you announced a whole new range of iPhones in a bunch of X forms. Good for you. As an Apple shareholder, I appreciate you trying to improve the company.

But you discontinued the 4” form factor of the iPhone SE.

I was SO hoping you would continue it, and improve it. I would have been the first to buy one. But you didn’t. Now, the smallest phone you make is bigger, physically, than my iPhone 6, which is already too big for me. It would have taken nothing for you to introduce an iPhone SE based on the 7’s innards (much as it would be nothing for you to upgrade the pathetic processor and 7 year old technology in the Mac Mini — but that’s another conversation). You didn’t. You didn’t introduce a highly profitable, slightly better, moderately hobbled 4” iPhone for those of us who can’t stand bigger screens that make a phone impossible to use with one hand (your “double tap to cause the screen to move down” is a joke, you’ll have to admit). I cannot, and will not, buy a larger phone. From you, from Samsung, from anyone. 

So tonight, with the big announcement of your new XS, XR and others, do you know what I did?

I went on eBay and bought a 128 Gb SE. That’s practically no upgrade from my iPhone 6.  I bought it on eBay because, as of today, you stopped selling them. I would have happily bought a new iPhone SE 2 from you (or my local carrier) at some inflated Apple price. It is, after all, what I have been doing since the 1980’s.

But not today. As of today, you no longer make a phone I can use or now want. I would sooner have 6S technology in a form factor I can hold in my hand, than your state of the art technology, because the XS/7/XR/8 technology you offer doesn’t fit in my hand. Kinda basic.

I remain a shareholder. I think you will do well. After all, there’s more billlions to be made.

But, if I may make a suggestion or two: bring back the form factor of the SE and make it better. Upgrade the Mac Mini, finally. Keep the MacBook Air and make it better. Don’t take 3 years to make a Mac Pro. These are things that are SO simple, SO basic, and would be SO profitable, shareholders like me would appreciate them a bit. And users like me would appreciate them a lot.

Thanks for listening.

1 comment:

Mike Barer said...

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