Apple you are starting to worry me !

Mountain Lion, IOS 6, Retina MacBook Pro – impressive line up of new tech and thats just the stuff thats been announced so far. However, I feel a dark undertone churning away in the Apple marketing department, why you ask ? Well lets take a look at some of the new tech.

IOS 6 – Ok, I am not going to list out all the features (especially as I am under NDA), but I can’t help but think Apple is starting to piss off upset its consumer base by limiting the features which can be deployed to legacy devices. So, FaceTime over cellular ? I understand why this is not enabled on the 3GS in IOS 6 (yes it’s still selling) and lets face it no one wants to see a blurry sweaty palm, but not enabling on the iPhone 4, really ? Hardware restrictions maybe ? Nope, the Jailbreak community has had FaceTime over cellular for sometime which works just fine. Creating a personal hotspot to an iPod touch can work – so why ? Apple wants you to buy an iPhone 4S even tho technically there is no good reason why the iPhone 4 users can’t have it !. FaceTime is nothing more fancy than a video call, to which many 3G carriers have offered in the past with much earlier tech which worked in a fashion.

Whilst on the subject of IOS 6, Maps – come on Apple, lets face it Google rocks here !

No iPad 1 support, but surely if the 3GS can run it … Apple says NO !. Siri on iPad 2 .. Apple says NO !, so we have to ditch all the barely 1 year old tech to get the latest IOS offering – Apple says YES !. Ok, it could be worse, I could be a poor schmuck Windows Phone 7 (or is it Windows 7 Phone ?) user and feel like I have been crapped on from a great height to find out no Windows 8 update – ever !, or I could be an Android user who is still waiting for my carrier to test/validate/bloatware the rom images which may never come. So to be fair, Apple has until recently provided pretty good support and has mass take-up of new IOS versions due to the simple upgrade path.

Retina MacBook Pro – love this machine, looks awesome and I had that initial I want it feeling, but then I started to think. Non upgradable RAM & SSD (well as far as I know) ?, Non user replaceable battery, No optical drive, No ethernet port. Ok maybe the last few can be overcome by purchasing via add ons, but anyone who has ever owned a MacBook has I am sure replaced a battery, upgraded the RAM and/or Hard Drive – as time goes on we realise we need more space or better performance. However, we all know that failure exists and these things can go wrong and have to be replaced to avoid writing off a £2k laptop ! So what happens in 2-3 years (if I don’t have AppleCare) and the RAM goes bad ? Its no longer possible to remove and replace, SSD ? Battery ? – are we to toss these units away once the warranty expires and purchase the new generation of Mac laptop ?.

The iPad I know is again another device to which you have to make the choice up front about the spec before purchasing i.e 16/32/64GB etc and if the RAM fails you are in the same boat, but where does this path lead us, where are the days of people understanding how these machines actually work, what RAM and disks are or should we be blissfully unaware of what hardware components lie inside and just enjoy the tech ?

Ok, I am probably starting to sound like an old fart who nostalgically nurtures his 6 year old 17″ MacBook Pro – but heck I can replace the battery when it swells up, I can swap out the RAM if it goes bad, I can increase the HDD capacity if I want. I do worry Apple are taking this future of locking the user out from the Hardware and enforcing Software limitations to a place which is only going to leave a sour taste and possibly push some of it’s consumer base away.

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