Michael Arrington has some bad luck with his Macs, thinks it means that everybody else does, too

“My first computer, purchased by my parents after nearly a year of begging, was an Apple II+. That was 1982. I was a Windows user for the next 20 years, but went back to Mac when they switched to Intel chips a couple of years ago. Since then I’ve bought seven Macs for myself, as well as at least one of every iPod and both iPhones. A lot of these were test devices that I’ve passed on to friends and family,” Michael Arrington writes for TechCrunch.

“My obvious enthusiasm for Apple products is fairly evident to readers of this blog. But recently I’ve had a string of bad apples come my way, so to speak. It’s time for Apple to stop screwing around and start paying attention to product quality,” Arrington pontificates.

According to Arrington, his “Mac Mini [sic], Macbook Air, Macbook Pro and Macbook ‘all failed.'”

Full article, in which Arrington also wrongly claims that MobileMe issues “are affecting everyone,” despite the fact that MobileMe (.Mac) only has about 2 million subscribers, Think Before You Click™, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lee in Oregon” for the heads up.]

First of all, Michael, stay away from Vegas, highways, and anything else involving luck and/or risk because if what you write is actually true, your luck sucks worse than Windows Vista and the Zune combined.

Second of all, Arrington seems to think, like a four-year-old, that his anecdotal evidence scales right on up to the population as a whole. Sorry, Mikey, good try, but that’s just not how it works. Nobody cares about your specific issues, be they real or imaginary, nor should they.

For proof, we need only to offer up today’s news: ACSI: Customer satisfaction rockets for Apple’s Mac; rest of Windows PC industry drops again: “The personal computer industry suffers a second consecutive drop in satisfaction, falling 1% to 74 and losing all gains made since 2005. Apple defies the industry by moving in the opposite direction and posting its largest gain ever to 85, a new all-time high for the industry. The 8% leap puts 10 points between Apple and its nearest rival, one of the largest gaps between first and second in any industry measured by ACSI. As Apple’s satisfaction improves, so too have its sales, market share, net income, and stock price.”

70 Comments

  1. @Ryan – I agree.
    You can be an Apple fan and still recognize that problems exist.
    To add to your list :
    First gen MacBook Pro overheating issues
    Leopard installation issues

    I like Apple products, recommend them, and continue to buy. But let’s get real. Early adopters have had issues recently. That’s why I will no longer buy a new product in the first three months.

  2. All my Macs work find, but the Quality issue does seem to be true. My wife’s MacBook has already been to the Apple Store once and her battery didn’t last even a year and a half with very light usage. So even though the Fan Boiz want to cover their ears, Apple is producing a lot more Macs then ever before. I am sure that by shear percentages more people will be having problems.

  3. Anecdotal evidence on teh interwebs are not worth the bandwidth they take … one cannot confirm the expertise of the one reporting it (there’s this old support cliché to check if the power cord is plugged in …).

    Arrington disqualifies himself in the way he reports: “The black MacBook had some sort of hardware problem.” WTF does this mean? HD failure? Power supply? Battery? What? What did he do at the time of failure? To me, this sentence reads like: “I’m too stupid and too lazy to find out. WAAA. It’s all Apple’s fault. MAMAAAAA!”. Hey, my MacBook froze in the middle of a meeting, too. Why? I had to open two Word docs, one Excel file and one PowerPoint file, with Office 2008 since they contained Excel graphs iWork cannot decode properly. It’s not testament of Apple’s problems, more showing the suckiness of Office 2008.

    It takes just one writer to stir up some stink on teh interwebs. The hundred satisfied users are silent. I remember reading one thread on an Apple support forum that some dork quoted to prove “Macs fail, too.” I counted the actual problems there. About thirty posts, of twenty people. How many problems were there? JUST THE ONE, of the OP. Which may or may not have been User Stupidity. But reading all the comments of the “I agree” and “Mac sucks” type made things look far worse than they are.

    MDN’s take is right on the money. Yeah, the survey may be skewed.

    It’s still better than to rely on interweb anecdotes.

  4. I just have to wonder at all these supposed problems with Apple products. My company has operated Macs since 1984. We’ve used dozens of Macs during that time. We installed Leopard on the first day it came out, and it’s worked extremely well. I’d say 90% of our Macs have worked almost flawlessly. My current MacBook Pro is as close to perfection as a computer can get. It’s a year old and there is nothing wrong with it, nor has there been. I’ve just not seen all these problems!

  5. “One idiot said that Macs are poor build quality. I’m guessing half of them just had faulty hard drives or a bad stick of RAM here and there. Both these items are made by other people (not Apple) and will take a system down pretty fast.”

    I just quoted another idiot who thinks even if it’s not Apple’s hardware that its not their problem. Guess who puts it all together and puts their name on it? APPLE.

    It’s called quality assurance… Don’t pass the blame.

  6. My iMac 2.8 works great. Two iPods work great. My two iPhone 3Gs work great. Fast sync. NO problems.
    My Apple 2e worked great also. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    My ex did have a problem with her Dell notebook with a Nvidia chip…

  7. It’s all about percentages. The more you sell in volume proportionately the larger that percentage of issue grows in relation.

    There are many people who have problems with their systems that are legitimate. Still others are user related. You can put together a great item be it car or computer or whatever but in the end the user of that device is partially responsible for it as well.

    I can’t tell you how many computers I see (mac and pc) that are “trashed”. That is they been dropped, shoved into book bags, bent, spilled on and so forth but the “issues” they have are not because of what they did to the machine but the item itself. It was always buggy, or not working right or failing. My beating it up didn’t effect it…

    I am not defending Apple, they make some buggy items like any manufacturer. But if the pc world had a similar setup as apple does in effect that all manufacturers had a store location regardless of brand to bring in their laptops and towers and so on and all their users where as vocal as Apple users can sometimes be, I think you would see about the same level proportionately of failure among them as well.

    Given the statistics mentioned by some of the sites however show that Apple’s rates are of failures are lower overall then PCs have less to do with build quality then not having windows on it and all the varying flavors of PCs it has to support.

    People complain about Apple because it gets them “hits” and notice. The real point they are complaining about and that frustrates them so much usually is if they wrote about that “HP Pavillion” or “Dell Inspiron” and so on, nobody would notice much less care overall.

    It’s always easier to gripe and point out the failures of others. What have the guys who devote so much time to doing so accomplished?

  8. My 1st gen. G5 is a beast, and has run flawlessly for years.

    My MacBook (1st gen. Mactel) on the other hand, has sucked. I am glad I rarely use it as it’s so buggy, slow, and crashes all the time.

    Will I buy another Mac? OF COURSE.

    Will I buy another 1st gen…. not so sure…

  9. @Jeff the Trader:

    Despite my one-year-old MacBook having some “side squeeky sounds”, it still looks pretty pristine. Except for the dirt in the corners.

    All other laptops I had (HP, Acer, Toshiba, Dell) showed serious usage signs after this time. Cracks, discoloration, broken support pieces.

    Does our two stories say anything about the quality of workmanship of these companies?

  10. i have to say that my experience with my intel macbook pro and maybe leopard in general has been less than ideal, i think there is enough anecdotal evidence that quality control has slipped a notch, i found the the very first OSX more stable than this current one, i only started getting those ‘restart your comp’ messages with this latest combo.

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