Why I shall never buy (another) Apple iProduct

Summary:Apple products are not designed for the proletariat student, rather the silver spoon wearing graduate with more money than sense. Gratuitous rant

Forget the iPad for a moment. In my eyes, the iPad is the rare exception to the rule in the line of products that Apple has to offer because of the price to features ratio. But bearing in mind buying an iPad would be part of the perpetuation of the Apple brand and the consumerist smug levels that users seem to have, I will no doubt be avoiding it anyway.

Over a year ago, I bought myself an iPod nano - the fourth generation version which had just been released. It was a birthday present to myself and it was the cheapest iPod for a long time. I may as well give it a shot, I thought.

A couple of days later, I get a phone call from my bank, supposedly being the fraud department. I was suspicious of the call, so I called my bank back directly and yes, it turns out that in fact it was the fraud department. Better to be safe than sorry. As soon as the transaction went through from my debit card for the iPod touch nano, my bank had cancelled my card and stalled any transactions taking place, citing "suspicious activity". When I confirmed that it was in fact a genuine payment and it was a birthday present to myself, they put the order through and I got the iPod the next couple of days.

It wasn't as if I had bought a dozen of the same thing and sent the delivery to my non-billing address, but I should have seen that as an omen, frankly.

Since then, the scroll wheel became faulty and the battery lasts only so long. The absolute necessity to install iTunes to manage your music detests me (though SharePod works a treat, but not sadly it is not widely known about), and frankly the sound quality was knocked into second place by a BlackBerry of all things.

Switch for a moment from the iPod to the wider picture. The two are not necessarily connected or mutually exclusive to each other. An argument for poor build quality or raising the issue of a device which barely makes it through the year, perhaps. It boils down to one thing, in my opinion. Social class.

This isn't about Windows or Linux, or even Mac OS X as such. This isn't an argument of who should use what or the comparison between the operating systems. No, most definitely not. In fact, just to make a point to those who say I'm simply anti-Apple because I'm pro-Microsoft (which frankly makes me laugh), I would definitely advocate open-source technology and operating systems over Windows since my last experiment. The problem is, it'll never happen.

Though many will no doubt argue that I could not possibly comment after buying a lone iPod nano. Over the last few months, I have experimented in great deal with Mac OS X, the iPhone, and other Apple products. I can surely appreciate the technology, the user interface and experience, the quality of the devices and suchlike. But the technology world seems to have infiltrated the class system in my view, meaning those who buy an Apple product - in particular the notebooks such as the MacBook Air or Pro - use it as a tool of raising their place in the social hierarchy. A device for fashion and statement, rather than that for function and necessity.

To see the technology and specifications packed into say, a MacBook Pro, a relatively powerful device which let's face it, could be far cheaper and more powerful from another hardware manufacturer. Apple products are staunchly overpriced for what they offer and are not designed to be bought and therefore used by the average student.

Only the other day, was it pointed out to me the privately owned and run Seton Hill University expect students to pay thousands more for a degree programme than most other universities in the US, while at the same time jumping on the Apple bandwagon and offering every new student an iPad. The private university rakes in the tuition fees and spends it on technology of the upper classes - their students who can afford it. The tuition fee debate was sparked off in the comment section a couple of days ago, with my reply also.

They may well be perfect for the silver spoon student who has their tuition fees paid by their father's trust fund, but to the average, proletariat, working to middle class background student who just about makes it through each academic year, "disposable" devices which are cheap and just about get the job done will have to suffice.

And that's Easter for you. Have an egg.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Banking, Hardware

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.