Rotten Apples

By Andrej Mrevlje |
Apple Store, Georgetown, D.C. Photo: Andrej Mrevlje

Is it time to ditch Apple? As I arrived in Washington, D.C., my iPhone 6 Plus went comatose. Back in New York, the phone had started to rebel while charging. It would not charge from any source or at any given time. Nothing wrong with the cables or outlets — the phone just would not do it. It needed to be convinced. Busy with moving, I had no time to visit an Apple store to figure out what the cause of this behavior was. Dust in the charge port, maybe?

Then, on my first day in D.C., the phone just would not charge for more than one or two percent of the battery capacity. Which means that I could make a brief call, but could not do anything else that smartphones were created for. So after I did my first round in the car around the new city, I drove straight to an Apple store in Georgetown — the nearest one to the place I live at the moment.

The Apple store looked great. There weren’t many people, and I got an appointment for a half an hour later, noticing that one of the genius folks marked the way I was dressed. So anyone could identify me when I come back.

It was a hot day, and Georgetown was glittery bright. The area felt like Beverly Hills — equally rich, with the same kind of shops. Driving along P Street, I noticed the different areas and layers of the city. It all ends up in Georgetown. A paradise. And the Apple store, with an even more minimalistic design than in New York, is in the center of this paradise.

During my appointment, I was helped by a young man named Norman. Norman was nice, but when he looked into the charge port, he said that the phone should be replaced. Just like that. No hesitation or prolonged attempt to diagnose the software that is listed as one of the major causes for failure to charge.

Miraculously, I told him, the phone got charged up to 18 percent when I was driving to the shop. That was the last time it charged. However, instead of paying $329 straight away, I tried to convince them to give the phone a try, considering that this was already the second 6 Plus I’ve gotten. Seven months ago, the first one had a stroke, as I was told in the NYC Apple store where they replaced it. Norman would not give in. I went home with the sick phone, trying to restore it, as if — somehow — the phone would start to charge again. It did not.

So the next day — the day that Apple announced the arrival of the new iPhone 7 — I biked to the shop again to change mine. Considering all the options, I learned that the replacement does not come as a brand new phone, as I was told previously. It would be as shiny and clean-looking as a new one, but in reality, it would be a repaired one, like mine will become after Apple repairs it and sells it to someone else as a replacement. I was forced to take and pay for the replacement — how else can one move around a completely new city? The replacement cost me more that newly purchased iPhone 6 Plus that I had bought when I upgraded my AT&T contract, but it came with only 90 days of warranty. Basically, what Apple is doing is fraud. But I had to go for it, because I needed the gadget — it is a vital tool for my work, and I had no time to go out to look for a new phone.

But I will next time. And I have no intention of buying an iPhone 7 with new, expensive bluetooth headphones. I no longer want to feed the already super-rich Apple coffers. And why should I, with the attitude they seem to have? Amanda Rosenberg illustrates it perfectly on Medium:  

Hello World. It’s us, Apple. You crying because we took away your headphone jack? Pshhh, grow up. Do you know how innovative you have to be to remove a headphone jack? Very fucking innovative is the answer to that question. People don’t realize how much courage it took to make that decision. Sitting in meetings where people would say “people want better chargers” and “the chargers are shitty” and “we should just make better chargers” and to have the bravery to say “no, let’s remove the headphone jack”. That takes some goddamn brave balls right there. And now look at us now. At the forefront of technology. With these fucking awesome AirPods. Beautifully designed white sticks that’ll make you look like your ears bleed cum. Sure, they’re easy to lose but we’ve come up with an ingenious solution for that, we call it Buy Another Pair, Idiot. Can’t believe there’s so much fuss over a headphone jack. If we had more time we would have removed so much other shit. We were going to take away the home button and replace it with Forehead TouchID so that every time you wanted to go back, you’d have to tap the screen to your forehead. CAN’T YOU SEE HOW FUCKING COURAGEOUS THAT IS? Probably not, because you’re not Apple, you’re person. Now stop whining and buy this goddamn phone and these goddamn white bluetooth-headset-looking motherfuckers, because what’s your alternative? Any other phone? LMAO. Buy it you fucks.

☆ Support this work via Venmo

Yonder is a weekly newsletter from Andrej Mrevlje that connects global events in the news, delivered every week. Learn more »