Product Experience/Advice

UPDATED FEB 2016!

Apple designs and creates top-quality products. This in itself makes the role of advertising for the company that much easier.

Some people will first be introduced to the Apple experience via the iPod or iPhone. For me, my first Apple device was the first generation iPod Nano in 2005. The day 11 July 2008 marked the launch of the iPhone 3G, and this was my next expansion into the world of Apple. The path to purchase had been a no-brainer for me as the iPhone offered the simplification and rationalisation of two devices to one. In October 2008, I took the next step up the Apple product chain, with my first Macbook — at the time, the Macbook was launching with its first unibody model (second generation). I upgraded my Macbook in 2009, 2010, 2012 and most recently in 2015. Over the seven years, I have gradually downsized the screen size of the Macbook laptops, originally using a 17-inch screen. From 2009 through to 2015, I settled for a 15-inch screen but as of April 2015, I have taken the bold step to try a 13-inch Macbook Pro.

MacBook_Pro_Retina_2014_review

In 2010, with the purchase of an iMac, all active household machines were of the Apple persuasion; the former PC devices relegated to the spare room. Since then, the old iMac has been traded in for the Retina Display iMac in December 2012. In February 2016, I completed the sale of this iMac to a good church friend and topped up the sale amount to get a current generation iMac, the late 2015 basic model.

Since the iPhone 3G, I have continually upgraded with each new generation/release, through the 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5S and most recently the 6. The iPhone pathway has, since 2013, been challenged with greater choice – whilst the choice between 5C and 5S was a no-brainer, the dilemma between 6 and 6 Plus saw me choose the iPhone 6. With the 6S iteration/release in 2015, I continued down the pathway and have now become accustomed to the iPhone 6S Plus. In this way, my iPhone journey has been a gradual shift in screen size – following the natural product form-factor between iPhone 3GS – iPhone 4 – iPhone 5 – iPhone 6 – iPhone 6S Plus. For people who have stuck with the iPhone 4 models, if you have resisted the one/two year upgrade cycles, the screen-size and overall form-factor differences become really obvious whereas my gradual adoption, aligned with the annual launches has made my experience of the differences feel natural and not as obvious. My experience is obviously the ideal from the Apple perspective, but they have to be mindful of creating jumps between several years’ worth of older product models which then become perception barriers for customers in upgrading.

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A less aggressive upgrade pattern was adopted for the iPad, partly because Apple was releasing new hardware every 9 months and to keep up with that kind of lifestyle was ultimately too hard and expensive! However, to date, I have owned every major model/generation release of the iPad, including the short-lived iPad model where the LTE capability lacked Australian compatibility. Currently the household has two iPad Air 2 units, both of which have the TouchID capability.

ipadair2_ipadmini3_2014_2x

Naturally, with the impending announcement of the Apple Watch in 2014, I became an early adopter of the Sports 38mm edition; having pre-ordered it online on the day of launch. Later that same day of launch, I visited the local Apple store to see the display units, test it out and confirm my purchase decision. The plan for 2016, assuming certain factors and circumstances are aligned both from my end as well as Apple’s delivery to market of the next Apple Watch, I will explore a new Apple Watch and pass on my current unit to my dad…

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Apple products generally hold their value; I have continuously sought to extract the maximum value by selling my Apple device (Macbook / iPhone / iPad) at the first major upgrade announcement. In this way, I have managed to maximise the resell value and minimise the difference in additional cost required to purchase the newer model.

  1. Year 1
    1. Spend $3500 on Macbook model 1
    2. One-third depreciation/deduction on spend — $1100
    3. Out-of-pocket cost: $2400
  2. Year 2/onwards
    1. Sell Macbook model 1 for $2000
    2. Spend $3500 on Macbook model 2
    3. One-third depreciation/deduction on spend — $1100
    4. Out-of-pocket cost: $400

For Year 2 and beyond, whilst the cycle repeats, it can be spread out to ease the amount of spending each year, but this needs to be offset the action 2A whereby the longer you delay selling a device, and the older it gets from the current generation, the lower the value will drop. Generally, Apple Macbooks hold their value quite well, with the main price drops induced by the annual product launches announced by Apple.

Case in point, this model has seen me pay out-of-pocket $600 for the last three years’ worth of use for the current iMac that we own in the household. $600 over three years equates to $200pa – now that is a great deal in my opinion.

Other Apple hardware which I have hands-on product experience in, include:

  • Time Capsule
  • Airport Express
  • AppleTV

Whilst the focus has been heavily on hardware, it should not be overlooked that Apple is also a software developer, with considerable attention on their in-house $1B+ development of OSX. Specific Apple product experience worthy of mention here, with tips and tricks are:

  • OS X
  • iOS
  • Garageband
  • iMovie