OK, I admit it. I am kind of an Apple fan boy. For a decade and a half, my purchases for most of the technology that I have the most contact with have been Apple products. Every single day, I use multiple products and operating systems under the Apple flagship.
The First Look Astray
All of this has sort of changed in the last few months. My first dalliance away from Apple was when I broke the yoke and bought, dare I say it, knock off Air Pods. Instead of hundreds of dollars, I spent less than $40 and bought a brand I’d never heard of from Amazon. I lose headphones left and right, so I couldn’t see risking the expense of official Air Pods, only to lose them weeks later. But, something happened. The user experience of these black bluetooth “ear pods” was just as magical as I expected Air Pods to be. They were trivial to set up, sounded great, supported Siri and worked just fine in my lifestyle. They weren’t disappointing. They weren’t frustrating and they weren’t expensive. Something inside of me began to doubt. Quietly and deep inside, at first, but doubt nonetheless.
The Battery That Broke The Spell
Then came that Saturday morning when I got ready to go hiking with my wife. I picked up my Apple Watch (bought on launch day, 1st Gen) and the screen came off in my hand. I gulped. I looked closely and the battery had swollen and pushed the watch screen away from the casing. I trudged downstairs and called Apple Support.
Now, it is very fair to say that my 1st gen watch had a good life and a good run. Apple Care had long expired. The support Genius explained that the watch was out of warranty and that replacement cost would be $200.00 for another 1st gen watch. I quickly opened the Apple Store app on my iPad Pro and saw that new 3rd gen watches were selling for just over $200.00. When I explained that to the Genius, they replied that I was correct and left it at that. Apple might want to check the recording of that call, because they might actually hear their spell being broken audibly. Something changed in that moment. I continued my calm and polite manner, thanked the rep and told them to have a great day. The call ended amiably, to be sure. But, the world was different for me now somehow.