Yes, we certified Apple watchers and fan folks love Apple kit. We’re aware of the Apple Tax and the difference between cost and price. Yet, look around. You’ll find the great unwashed masses of non-Apple customers spending far less money to accomplish most of the same functions on their non-Apple gear.
What does is cost to be an Apple customer?
Most of those I know who are Mac owners have been Mac users for many years. I’m old. I can say that. Yet, Apple claims to have more than 100-million Macs installed in the customer base. iPads? Let’s take a guesstimate of around 250-million. iPhones? Perhaps 750-million. That total of more than 1-billion is in keeping with Apple’s own guesstimate of 1.4-billion-ish products in use.
The only issue in such numbers isn’t much of an issue. Overlap. Apple’s customers are of such loyalty that most– based upon my unscientific survey of family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers– have more than one Apple product, and many have multiple Apple products.
Our household is packed with technology gadgets– including Windows PCs, a Linux PC, Kindle and Fire tablets, but the ones that get used the most are from Apple. iPads. Macs. iPhones. Watches. AirPods. Beats headphones. And our fair share of accessories to keep them running.
Did I mention AppleCare?
That ongoing expense once was added only to the most expensive new Macs, but now with Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, we’ve taken to adding AppleCare to every new product?
Fear. It costs plenty to be an Apple customer and, well, things happen; products break, and all the hardware gear has become sufficiently expensive that out-of-warranty costs can be hideous sticker shock.
How long do you keep each of your Apple products before upgrading?
Mac – 3-5 years, on average, but staggered out so we’re never required to buy multiple Macs at the same time. Macs have not increased in price in recent years and we’ve offloaded some of our work to iPhone and iPad, so the need for a more expensive Mac has lessened.
iPhone – 2 years, on average, but only because of the iPhone Upgrade Program which includes AppleCare. Otherwise, we would extend the upgrade period another year. This is one of Apple’s ongoing dilemmas. Customers are holding on to their iPhones longer.
iPad – the company’s unofficial tank, iPads last five years or longer. We have two older iPad Air models, two more recent iPad Pro models, and lust after the newest, but they’ll need to wait because what one accomplishes on old iPads is roughly the same as the newer models with MacBook Pro power.
Watch – Series 4 is the one to want because the first three model years were sluggish by comparison, but since Apple upped the price tag, we’ll need to hold onto this model a few more years, and Apple will need to put in blood glucose reading capability for us to give consideration to a newer model.
AirPods and Accessories – We have an aging AirPort Extreme and the local cable company’s router. AirPods have taken the place of Beats headphones, and while we may look forward to a newer model, there is much to love about Apple’s distinctive wireless ear buds, despite the price tag.
Do the math.
Three Macs, two iPhones, four iPads, two Watches, two AirPods, and some other gear; all of it in some kind of ongoing and overlapping annual upgrade plan that segregates our family from our money for the pleasure of living within Apple’s ecosystem.