What it is: When comparing products from Apple to products made by rival companies, most people only look at price, which is the wrong way to make comparisons if that’s your only criteria.
Everything costs something. The easiest way to measure the cost of anything is in dollars (or whatever currency your country uses). The harder way to measure the cost of anything is through less distinct criteria such as productivity, time, and emotional satisfaction.
When only use price to compare two products, the cheaper product always looks like a better bargain. After all, why bother paying $25,000 for a Ford or Toyota when Yugo once sold cars for only $4,000? Therefore the Yugo must be the superior product, right?
Yugos were basically horribly built cars that caused more problems than they solved. Sure they are cheap, but they were unreliable with poor resale value as well. If you know the common excuse people use to buy Windows PCs over Macintosh, you’ll start seeing the commonality already.
Many people buy a Windows PC because of the price alone. In most cases, it is cheaper to buy a Windows PC and you do get better hardware for your money. Now here’s the question. Will that better hardware give you a superior user experience as well?
If you can’t answer that question within one second with a definite answer that nobody can dispute, then you can’t answer that question.
Will a Windows PC with a 2.7 GHz processor give you a vastly superior experience than a Macintosh with a 2.0 GHz processor? If you can’t see the difference, then does it really matter what the technical specifications say if the user experience is the same?
One reason why Windows PCs are less expensive is because manufacturers booby-trap them with bloatware, which are utility programs that a third-party pays the manufacturer to pre-install. Such bloatware takes up disk space and wastes memory while being difficult to remove. The existence of bloatware lowers the price of a Windows PC, but its existence is for the benefit of the manufacturer, not for the customer.
Is the tradeoff of bloatware worth the lower price? If you know better, you can buy a PC from the Microsoft Store and avoid bloatware, but most people don’t know this. The fact that bloatware exists for the convenience of the manufacturer and the irritation of the customer is a huge problem right there. When companies think of ways to make the customer experience worse, that’s never a good sign.
There’s always a price to pay for everything, whether you pay in dollars or in time. Taking time to uninstall bloatware is possible, but that takes time, and what is your time worth? If you need help, most Windows PC manufacturers cut costs by outsourcing technical support to third-parties run out of overseas countries. Trying to listen to a computer technician guide you over the phone to troubleshoot your computer is as frustrating as trying to fix your car by listening to instructions over the phone from a car mechanic.
Once again, what is your time worth? Do you have time to be put on hold, then talk to a computer technician over the telephone? Or would you rather take your computer to an Apple Store and have a person fix the computer (if possible) for you while you wait?
If you save money buying a product but lose time maintaining and fixing it, what have you really saved?
If your time isn’t valuable, then feel free to look for the cheapest products possible to save money. Don’t bother eating in restaurants or living in a house or apartment because it’s cheaper to live on the streets and eat out of a dumpster instead. That’s assuming price is your only criteria.
People who value their time are willing to pay more to save time. People who don’t value their time are willing to pay less today and pay more in time tomorrow. It’s up to you to decide what’s more important to you, money or time?