Only suckers switch to Samsung.

I’ve never ever been to the Genius Bar before. Because I find I can fix most problems myself. The web is a cornucopia of information, if you can’t find the answer in the Apple Support Communities, you don’t have a problem. But finally at my limit with my Mac Pro, I made the journey. And when I went to pick up my machine today, more about that later, I decided to…

Tell them about my phone.

The truth is Americans are abusers. Give ‘em an inch and they’ll take more than a mile. The best example is Costco, that bastion of consumer-friendliness. They had a generous return policy they had to eliminate, because people were buying new iPods and then returning them a year later, when the new model came out, even though there was nothing wrong with the first. So unless something craps out completely, unless it’s a slam-dunk case, I don’t want to deal with customer service. Because I feel I’ve got to justify myself, since everybody who’s preceded me is a lying, cheating, scumbag.

Like that husband of an old friend who no longer liked his car so he drove it south of the border and reported it stolen.


Yup, I’m too embarrassed to speak up for myself even if I do have a problem. But today I did. You see the battery on my iPhone no longer had the juice. Oh, the device worked, I never would have scheduled a special trip, but while I was there…it’d crap out at 20% and the journey down to that number was oh-so-fast.

So Hunter hooked it up to a program, and voila! Turned out it was failing. Not gone, but borderline. So he gave me a new phone.

But it gets even better than that, the random freezing problem I was having, only in e-mail, was gone too. So this is a win-win.

But I’m still gonna get a new phone in the fall. Because this one will be paid for. And it’s not about the device anyway, but the data, and the utility. As in you need something that works, but what’s on it and what it can access is more important than how it looks.

So, if you’re getting something spiffy, ask yourself, what are you gonna do when it breaks? Call Korea?

Or if you cheap out, buy one of those knock-off Android devices, same deal.

And you know how it works, it’s never their fault. Even Apple pooh-poohs third party software. You’ve got to convince somebody that they’re responsible, and if you think that’s easy, you’re David Boies, and even he’s got a spotty track record.

Sure, I bought insurance, known as Applecare. Might be expensive, but I want no questions asked. It’s less about the money than the service. I want to be covered, the same way I pay house insurance, it’s about what if? What if I’m stuck with a lame device that’s my lifeline? And that’s what smartphones are, a lifeline. If you don’t feel this way, believe me, in a couple of years you will.


And the truth is we’ve got no time. Which is why I didn’t schedule a special trip to begin with. Which is why not only was it great to instantly get a new phone, but to have all its data instantly synch from the cloud. That’s what you get when you’ve got one stop shopping, when you buy everything from one place, i.e. Apple, it all works seamlessly.

So if all you want to do is make calls and text, you’re fine with another device, maybe. But what if you get a bum app? What if you’ve lost functionality? Who you gonna call, Ghostbusters?

What we’re all looking for is a safety net, even the 1%. Although theirs is all about health, that’s the one thing money can’t buy. But the rest of us, we don’t want to be waylaid by a problem, we don’t want the wind taken out of our sails, we want to believe someone will be there in our moment of crisis.

And the last resort should be and is the government. Which is why the uninsured go to emergency rooms and get service, because as a society we don’t want our citizens to be lame and maimed.

But the government doesn’t cover everything. It’ll give you some food, some health care, but it won’t give you a phone and service. For this you’ve got to pay.

So who are you going to pay?

Pay Apple. Because you’re paying anyway, it’s built into your contract. The phones are not free, even though you think they are.

Because someday you’re gonna want answers. And the Genius Bar is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

And you’ll be glad.

P.S. As for my Mac Pro, they tested it and said it was fine, which means…it won’t be, but I’m gonna find out. (They tested the hardware and the software, found no problem. Then they said a hard drive failed, then they tested all four and said they were fine. Then they installed a new OS on one and…I’ve got absolutely no faith the problem is gone. I’m gonna buy a new machine, hopefully this one will limp along and get me through.)



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Category: Technology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

19 Responses to “Only Suckers Switch to Samsung”

  1. Stock Soup says:

    I remember when everyone knew buying insurance when you bought an appliance or gadget was a total rip off. I mean, weren’t these products supposed to work as advertised???

    Now Apple has found a way to make you feel good about spending all that extra money, even when two of your most expensive gadgets had hardware failures. That’s what I call innovation.

    Way to go Apple!

  2. Hey Bob,

    have you, ever, heard the term: Asshat ?

    have you, ever, wondered how fitting it may be to you?

    or, differently, why BR believes that your, increasingly, obtuse ‘Insights’ are worthy of of his Bandwidth remains a Curiosity..

  3. VennData says:


    You CAN’T switch because Apples got you locked in. They are a closed system. That’s what you pay so much more.

    Go with Samsung, or any Android phone. Apple is a tar pit, a roach motel. It is not cool. It is dumb.

  4. jbegan says:

    I dunno. I know there are plenty of Apple fanboys, but I’ve bought Apple products (as has my son and daughter). Between us we’ve had two iPads, 2 iPods (one died early) and an iPhone, with which I paid to end my contract early so I could buy a Samsung Galaxy 4. I’m not the least bit impressed with Apple’s overpriced products. They all seem to under-perform the competition at a higher cost. You couldn’t pry my very functional Samsung Galaxy 4 out of my fingers with the offer of another iPhone for example. As to the iPads..Always a problem linking to the Internet and disconnecting, and we have a very solid and powerful router with 250GB of data per month at download rates in the 15MPS range… Our 3 Samsung CellPhones..No problem.. Our 5 various laptops and PCs (some as early as XP), no problem..They all stream video flawlessly. And then there’s my iPods..One just died for whatever reason and I laid out another $250 for another one. But seriously? The sync to my PC is atrocious. 5, 6, 7 hours? And then sometimes it fails? Thankfully there’s a free program called “Sharepod” which allows you to use the iPod as another harddrive, so you can just drag and drop music and videos to it. For the record, i didn’t buy a 2nd iPod because there is nothing like it, i did so because I’d already installed a $300 car stereo that was wired particularly for it. IMO, once you begin to buy Apple products, they have you like a hooked fish.

  5. Iamthe50percent says:

    That’s why I run open source software. I won’t get a smart phone until their is a Linux phone and I can fix it myself.

    You point out a real problem with complexity in our environment. I used to be able to fix my car. Granted, just like the computer it took specialized training which I have. But today’s cars require specialized test equipment and tools such that even with training, it takes a huge investment to do a repair. So I trade in cars when the warranty expires instead of buying a cheap car at 70,000 miles and fixing it until it rusts about around 200,000 miles.

    Apple is very very good, but a gouger. They want way too much control over my possessions to suit me. I’ll take freedom and bit less utility.

  6. bonalibro says:

    When my old iMac desktop screen started getting vertical lines in it back in 2009, it was just out of the extended warranty. I took it to the Apple store and they said they could fix in for $500 bucks and guarantee the repair. They sent a courier service to the house with a box to pack it up in and delivered it a few days later. The new screen crapped out with two days, so the courier came again, they replaced the screen and the motherboard and delivered it to the house. When that crapped out within minutes, they asked if I’d like a new computer. I said “I suppose that would be alright.” and it came a few days later, delivered free of charge. I have had it ever since. Still works great and it even took the latest version of OSX in 2013. Will it work with the next one? Do I care? Apple might have a lock on you, but they also have your back.

  7. WanderingTao says:

    To each his own, but I agree with Bob that Apple is worth every dime I’ve spent. In 2001 I retired from a computer intensive job with a full IT support staff and opened my own shop. 90% of my system has been Mac hardware and software, which I abuse like a rented mule. Never had a serious problem, no downtime, and most important, no worries. My little hobby company has billed many millions over the years with no IT support except AppleCare and occasionally Genius Bar, . “Overpriced” for some, but for me, priceless. And the “asshat” comment, tasteless. Let’s keep it classy here, folks.

    • DeDude says:

      How about lets keep it as classy as the headline?

      • WanderingTao says:

        I didn’t like the headline either, although typically in journalism the headline is not written by the author of the piece. Still, no excuse to use it as a race to the bottom.

  8. Joe_T. says:

    Short version:
    “I’m not a techie. I bought phone insurance from Apple. It worked exceptionally well for me. What I’ve heard about Android is that Samsung is the market leader. I have no evidence to offer about any other phone insurance plans, but I will make the suggestion that you shouldn’t buy anything but Apple, based solely on my experiences of joy with a gadget, although I really don’t know anything about what other gadgets in this class offer, nor what your requirements are.”

    Next article (assuming The Big Picture continues its series of fanboy columns): “Why you must buy a Toyota Camry.”

  9. Joe_T. says:

    You say “But today’s cars require specialized test equipment and tools such that even with training, it takes a huge investment to do a repair.”

    You might be interested to know that there’s an $6 Android app, Torque Pro, that is a very functional OBDII Bluetooth scanner (add a $30 Bluetooth plug-in module). It comes in very handy when your shop says they have to have a scanner connected when the intermittent fault occurs.

    Not available on iOS.

    • Iamthe50percent says:

      Thanks, Joe. I already have an OBD II scanner, but the info is appreciated.

      Actually, a bigger problem is everything being in proprietary modules keyed to your VIN. Then GM (and Ford) want $500 for a module that you can see contains about $5 in electronic components. I’m still boiling over $1400 for a complete dash cluster to fix a fuel gauge on my Impala. I should have followed my shop steward’s advice and drilled out the spot where the pin fell out and inserted a sheet metal screw. Ugly, but much cheaper. If this isn’t clear, the 2001 through 2007 Impalas had a cheap stop pin on the fuel gauge that falls out with vibration. A known problem they didn’t fix like the the Cobalt ignition keys.

      “Not my father’s Oldsmobile”? Hell No! That was a solid tank that could be relied on, looked good and passed everything but a gas station. I’d buy a 1963 Starfire in a heartbeat.

      • Joe_T. says:

        Thanks for the education. I didn’t realize car repair had gotten that proprietary. (Though love having no points to adjust, tires that go 60K without flats, etc.)

  10. bear_in_mind says:

    I concur with several comments regarding the click-bait headline. I also expect a bit more thought from guest authors, though I appreciate why Barry includes disparate perspectives.

    As for the tenor of Lefsetz’s commentary (and many replies), they seem to reflect the polarization of discourse overall, which has about as much utility as a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

    I generally agree that Apple gear provides much greater value overall, but that doesn’t mean other products are junk, crap or absent of utility. If a given product performs as advertised, it should be meeting one’s expectations assuming a purchaser has done any due diligence whatsoever.

    Lastly, am I the only one who noticed that the author’s own experience with his Mac Pro (including the “P.S.” comment) undercuts his own assertion… unless one’s TIME is of no monetary value?

  11. Molesworth says:

    @Joe T,
    Thank you.
    My sentiment exactly. But the way you approached it made me smile.
    No facts. No back-up data. No experience with Samsung. An uninformed opinion with a scurrilous headline.
    I saw the article yesterday before anyone had commented.
    I thought that if no one commented, maybe BR would stop posting his stuff.
    Once, a long time ago, one of his posts provided some interesting insight and perspective about the music business, (I can not remember what it was now).
    Since then his posts are weird opinionated absolutes, often with a sexist bent that the author probably does not perceive.

  12. DeltaV says:

    Actually, as someone who works in the industry and is familiar with both Apple and Samsung products, I would have to disagree. For the last 3 years (i.e., since Jobs left) Samsung has been innovating far past Apple. It is really not even close.

    HOWEVER, there are signs that Apple has turned the corner and is back on the road to innovation recovery. If so, that is a new ballgame.

    But please do not, just because of your own Apple-chauvinist attitudes, assume that Apple always has the best technology, or performance, or reliability, or usability. It does not automatically have any of these things, and for the last 3 years it has had none of these.

    • Joe_T. says:

      Agreed. My year-old, $350 off-contact, made-in-America Motorola Moto X is still the most advanced phone, according to Tech podcaster Leo Laporte. Do any Apple people even realize what’s out there? Even Windows phones offer a nice experience that many prefer.

      Hey, Apple makes great things too. I’d consider buying one if they had some of the apps I like/need (developing for Apple has a higher cost of entry, keeping less mainstream apps from appearing on iOS), and if it offered Swype and SwiftKey and all the alternative keyboards that Android has (my big hands make tap typing error-prone and have thus made the iPhone a non-starter for years). I personally like the additional capabilities you can get by rooting an Android phone, like undetectable-by-carrier tethering, that I wouldn’t have on a non-rooted phone (or an iPhone).

      As to the future, the meme going around now is that Google is getting better at design, faster than Apple is getting better at the internet.

  13. subscriptionblocker says:

    Hmmm…guess I’m your polar opposite?

    Within a life long ago, my job was to take thousands of varied consumer electronic products and return them to health for my large company employer at a high volume depot repair facility.

    To this day, I rarely buy anything new…instead going after the returns safety seeking buyers like yourself make available. I still refurbish many of those units…an easy task – since most defects are pattern failures. Stupid little things which fail again and again…. But increasingly, I’ll just buy a batch of returned items and simply select from the 50% or more which were never even defective.

    Bad silicon does exist, as does bad software…but the biggest culprit these days seem to be batteries and hard drives. Batteries I can understand as we still don’t know how to build them, but drives? Those things were standardized 20 yrs ago and every one contains a built in computer designed to fix the failures which are continuously produced. Unfortunately, those systems don’t always work, and they’re rendered less effective by deficient OS software, and an antique disk error correction algorithm. So what you write to a drive may not be identical to what you read from it. As you can imagine – this causes problems.

    The goofy workaround because we’re not smart enough to fix the source? Do what Google suggests and just replace the drive after it generates that *first* error (drive computer keeps track of it). Drives are cheap and time is expensive. Yes, this doesn’t fix the real problem…but that’s nothing you can touch just yet.

    And batteries can also be replaced before they lead to something worse. Some mechanics change out auto batteries religiously every 2 years – because they don’t like surprises.

    Now can you really delegate such stuff? Can you see *any* service institution knowing your machine as well as you do?

    If you believe this – why are you handing “free money” to others if you know they can’t handle such duties? Is that just a lucky rabbit’s foot prayer?

    Can you see that you might be better off just buying new again – instead of pursuing service at all? This time watching for models with easier battery change capabilities? And perhaps an ability to flip a “return to new” software switch (re image)? Sure you might do this 3 or 4 times before hitting that sweet spot with a durable product – but you’re also not subject to fools with their hands in your pocket.

    (shrug)Drives and batteries….Well over 30 PCs in this household, all of em work, rarely need service. Have a 1996 thinkpad running 24/7 for years between reboots. 8ea ReplayTvs (also from the late 90s). Never buy warranties. Never.

  14. subscriptionblocker says:

    The problem with the Apple, Google, Microsoft debate?

    It’s all over scraps. Each of these companies seeks to control it’s users. Each of these companies spies on their customers.

    So as much as I may hate most public software – I still use it. Because the alternatives are so terrifying.

    Thirty years from now, we may learn public software was creep infested too. But we don’t know that yet. And we *do* have a chance.

    And real pricks will find ways to turn those government “experts” on themselves. By using things like this:

    Being Eloi is a choice. One still has options. You aren’t required to feed your tormentors.