Apple is Destroying the World while Pretending to Save it
Updated: Feb 13, 2022
Nice try, Apple. But we don’t believe you.
To be fair, their carbon neutral initiatives are fine. (At least in theory.) And I should really start off by saying I’m a huge Apple user and fan. In fact, I just ordered a new MacBook Air to be delivered to my house. I’ve been using MacBooks and iPhones for well over a decade. They are solid tools of technology. I’ve had very few problems with my Apple products. Well done on that front.
But that is precisely why I’m so frustrated. They come up with these great products and then start taking features away in an attempt to force change upon the technological landscape at large. They come with almost everything you could want in a computer. I get it. They want to be trendsetters for the industry. But they’re also greedy monsters.
Besides being a writer, I’m also a music and podcast producer. I remember back in 2014, I decided to get a mid-2012 MacBook Pro instead of one of the newer models because it still had a DVD drive and I wasn’t quite ready to give that up, as it would’ve meant having to use an external one for burning and playing CDs and DVDs. Did things change? Eventually, yes, as streaming became more prevalent and I could just as easily save and send files to people with cloud-based storage and/or flash drives. But that took a few years. Those years would’ve been a bit cumbersome if I went with a newer model. I would’ve had to buy an extra device instead of having it built into my MacBook directly.
Despite the surprising staying-power of DVDs and Blu Ray Discs, we all knew they were on their way out of the limelight, even back then. But it didn’t stop there.
As far as my new Air, I had to purchase a USB-C hub. The one Apple had was nearly $70, so I’m getting one on Amazon for under $40. What’s a USB-C hub, you ask? That’s what you need if you expect to plug up any external device, whether it be an SD card or anything that uses the more standard USB 3.0 or the older 2.0 connection, as Macbooks come stocked with only two Thunderbolt USB-C ports. What external devices have USB-C connections? Hardly any, last I checked. Oh yeah, your new iPhone. But anything else, you won’t be able to connect, unless it’s wireless. That’s fine if all you want is to hook up some Bluetooth speakers, but Bluetooth can be glitchy. This is particularly frustrating for modern musicians and producers like myself who rely on Apple products to record and very much need to connect audio interfaces and other external devices to computers via USB 3 and 2 (not USB-C). To be fair, USB-C connectors are faster for data transfer. But by the time USB-C becomes indispensably universal, Apple might have already removed that or yet another feature from their MacBooks. (Or so I fear.)
Similar issue with a new iPhone. You get a charging wire without a power brick to plug it into. So if you don’t have one, you’ll have to go out and buy it. And guess what? If the power brick you do have doesn’t have a USB-C connection, you can just throw that old school power brick in the landfill. Isn’t it cool to get new earbuds with your new phone? Forget it. Not happening anymore. And to be clear, an iPhone user needs both of these items. That’s more money coming out of the customer’s pocket and more garbage potentially going into landfills. Apple is not the only one doing this, by the way. Samsung and Google have taken similar measures. But we’ll leave those guys out of this…for now.
So let’s do some math here. According to statista.com, there are currently 113 million iPhone users in the U.S. alone. If all those people have to buy earbuds and power bricks–assuming they only buy one of each–that’s 339 million pieces of plastic and boxes potentially going into a landfill if they don’t recycle. Multiply this by all the garbage created by MacBook users. We can build a ski resort on that mountain of trash!
I understand good business when I see it. I respect the hustle. But It’s insulting, this idea that you’re making your customers buy extra products and thus increasing–albeit indirectly–your carbon footprint on this earth and adding more trash to landfills under the guise of “saving the environment.” In a word, it’s bullshit. Kind of like all these companies announcing they will be raising prices to combat inflation. God forbid they cut into their excessive profit margins. But perhaps we’ll save that rant for another post.
Is the title of this article a bit dramatic? Sure. But the point remains.
Here’s an idea, Apple, and any other company following in their footsteps. How about including whatever a customer needs to operate their device without forcing them to go out and buy extra products with extra packaging that can very well end up in a landfill and thus contribute to destroying the planet instead of saving it?
Furthermore, it’s only so long you can make customers unhappy until they’re no longer customers at all. But for now, I will continue raging and ranting against the machine on my brand new MacBook Air.
Hopefully not my last.