It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m at a mall in Glendale, California for an appointment. Not just any appointment, mind you, but an appointment with a genius. And not just an anecdotal genius like how Bill Belichick is considered a genius because he won a bunch of Super Bowls. Or how Prince is a genius because he wrote, “Purple Rain”. Although, that cat could ball.
No, the genius I have an appointment with is named Martin, lives with his parents, and has seen The Hunger Games seven times (I’m guessing; we actually didn’t speak about personal stuff.) He is an Apple Genius. The reason for my meeting with Martin is that the 15” MacBook Pro I just purchased 1 month ago won’t stop making a metallic pinging noise. So I’ve presented good old Martin with a test of his skills, not unlike Katniss’, minus all the dying and stuff. Actually, it’s nothing like Katniss’ at all, but let the man dream, will you?
As Martin begins to run a few tests on my machine, I overhear the woman beside me discussing her issue with her computer. She appears to be in her sixties, has a very thick eastern European accent, which makes communicating difficult, and clearly doesn’t know a thing about computers. Her tech ignorance dwarfs mine or mine giants hers. Either way, she’s unable to figure out why her computer’s battery goes dead if she leaves it unplugged for days. I imagine most of the problems these guys hear all day are as silly as this one and I suddenly feel bad for Martin. I have a dirty little secret. See, real as my problem may be, I’m hoping Martin can’t figure out my computer’s ping. I’m hoping this ping will allow me to trade in my otherwise perfectly functioning machine for one after Apple’s WWDC on June 10th.
WWDC is often where Apple announces lots new goodies – the new gadgets it will begin to sell and the improvements to the ones it already produces. One of the most-reported rumors this year is that Apple laptops will be fitted with the new Intel Haswell processor that will offer a 10 percent boost in processing power, as well as significantly longer battery life – something my eastern European friend would love, too, I’m sure. But unfortunately for me I bought a laptop about two weeks before everyone and their mother was shouting from the rooftops not to. A “horrible time” to buy a laptop. Their words. Not mine. Well, thanks for nothing.
It’s not like purchasing a laptop was something I decided on a whim. I did plenty of research to determine if I should buy the totally-awesome-crystal-clear display or the mega-super-melt-your-face Retina. Ultimately, I decided that I didn’t need to be a part of the pixels arms race. The whole thing seems to me like Seven Minute Abs. One day, someone comes up with Six Minute Abs and then what was the point? I stared myself down in the mirror and admitted that word processing, web browsing, and emailing didn’t require more than 2.3GHz of processing power the same way a guy at the Ford dealership talks himself out of the Mustang and into the Focus. I made responsible decisions! I just didn’t bother to Google “When will my MacBook Pro be obsolete?”
This isn’t the first time my timing sucked when it came to buying something from Apple. Years ago, I was going back and forth between purchasing the 13” black MacBook or the 15” MacBook Pro. I certainly could’ve used the 15” screen, but ultimately decided to save a little coin and went with the black one. Two months later they lowered the price of the 15” version to exactly what I paid for the 13 incher. And unfortunately for me, it’s true what they say – once you go black, you can never take it back.
But luckily, my computer started to make this ping sound and while Martin may be a genius on his W-2 he’s no Belichick, and definitely no Prince. In fact, I doubt he has anything in his wardrobe that’s purple.
I made responsible decisions! I just didn’t bother to Google “When will my MacBook Pro be obsolete?”
So now what choice do I have? I’m left rooting against Apple, hoping that the announcements at WWDC are anything, but revolutionary; that Tim Cook proves all the skeptics right.
But I don’t want to root against a company whose products I enjoy so much. I do want to see a computer with an everlasting battery, an iWatch, and all the other goodies that may come. It’s just … not a good time for me right now. Can you come back in a few years?
The truth is there is no good time. The fact that consumers like me can’t keep up with the pace of innovation is affirmation for the company that gave us the iPhone, the iPad, and – critics be damned – is still among the most inventive in history. When that changes, well, that’s when Apple will be just another company.
In the meantime, I’ll have to endure with my brand spanking new machine. I mean, who needs an everlasting battery anyway? I’m really never away from an outlet for more than a few hours, which always leaves me with plenty of juice left. You just have to remember to charge it at night when you go to sleep. But you don’t have to be a genius to figure that out.
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