If Apple wants to raise prices, it must do better with Quality Assurance

Having watched yesterday’s Apple Event in New York unveiling the next generation of iPad Pros and MacBook Airs, it was hard not to notice that the entry price points of these devices have risen – just as they have for the iPhone and MacBook Pros.

Also released yesterday was a plethora of updates for iOS, tvOS, WatchOS and MacOS Mojave.  ALAS!  Apple seems to have bungled the WatchOS update because there are reports of the update completely bricking Apple Watch series 4 devices, requiring the user to visit an Apple Store for a complete replacement.

While my Apple Watch updated just fine, I have experienced poor QA releases with Apple – particularly with the first generation iPad Pro which the firmware update reduced nearly £1,000 worth of tablet to a brick.  This required a trip to an Apple Store (I went to the Regent Street branch which was undergoing renovation and was a nightmare) only to have to then make my way to the Covent Garden store before they closed because Regent Street had run out of iPad Pro replacements.  When I got to Covent Garden I was bounced between Apple Store employees left, right and centre before being directed back to the same people I first saw upon entering the store.  Several hours and some £50 in transport fees later I had a working iPad Pro again.

Apple releases developer and beta versions of its operating systems for people to test, alongside internal testing.  But when you’re spending thousands of pounds on Apple hardware I don’t expect to product test for them.  If, as Tim Cook mentioned in yesterday’s event, there are some 70,000 Apple Store employees worldwide – why doesn’t Apple give them free devices in exchange for testing the hardware and software – including beta and developer releases (dependent on skill level)?  As I understand it, Apple Store employees don’t get stuff for free – but are heavily discounted.  But if Apple expects to raise prices of its products, it MUST do better to ensure that the quality of its hardware and software meets the high standards users expects.

Trying to upgrade Mojave to 10.4.1 yesterday also proved problematic.  Mojave’s new App Store and updating system is, quite frankly, terrible.  The updater seemed to suggest that the update was 3.68Gb, before getting stuck at the end.  A reboot later saw the update appear as 4.01Gb.  When it completed, I clicked the Update Now and agreed to two EULAs.  Nothing happened.  Another reboot and Mojave freaked out, asking me if I had forgotten my password?  No.  I had not.  Another reboot and it rebooted into Recovery Mode where it had to verify the disk – which requires an internet connection.  Provided Wi-Fi details, unlocked hard drive and rebooted.  Back to Mojave where I attempted a third update of the OS.  It worked, thankfully.

Apple – please do better.  You can do better.  But at these price points?  Bloody hell, you make yourselves look like amateurs.  If you want people to test your latest and greatest – pay them – not the other way round.  There is absolutely no way I’m going to install a beta or developer product on my Mac or iOS devices regardless of age.

I was curious to see how much it would be to replace my second generation iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and smart keyboard with the latest and greatest – same specifications (cellular model with 512Gb storage).  I nearly had kittens, a puppy, some chicks and a baby moose.  I’ll see what EE can do for me later next year, but this is stupid money: