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My Experience with Apple as a Photographer and Creative Professional…

By Pye Jirsa on February 5th 2019


Okay. Before I get started, let me say that I feel like the most unlucky person when it comes to electronics and major purchases. But, even with my bad luck, perhaps you will find this experience odd and worth sharing. What you are about to read is not doctored or manipulated to get more views, it’s simply my experience this past year with Apple products.

In the past, I respected and held Apple in high regard. However, I am by no means a “fanboy” of anything. I will use whatever it takes to get the job done, and I will tell you the pros and the cons of the tools I use. This is not a sponsored article, nor would Apple pay me to write this. They’d probably pay me not to. But that’s exactly why I feel it is important to share my experience using the new iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, and iPhone X. Here is a quick video that sums up my troubles:

Born Of PC

I was always a fan of Apple’s iPhone and iPad, but up until a year ago, I was by and large a PC user. Almost my entire world belonged in PC. It’s what I’d known since my teenage years, dividing my time between building my own computers, programming, and working at CompUSA (I really loved that job). I really loved PC for all the typical reasons. They are generally cheaper with plenty of DIY options for upgrades and more. Outside of that reason, I wasn’t particularly married to either side of the PC vs. Apple fence.

Over the years, I found myself having less and less time to build, modify and troubleshoot my own rigs. On top of that, Apple was consistently providing more reasons that made it possible to justify switching ecosystems. I loved their software to hardware integrations and the performance of Apple operating systems. A seamless experience between mobile and desktop seemed wonderful. On top of that, there was the App Store. However, what I appreciated most was the fact that their hardware/software systems were of the utmost quality and extremely reliable. At least, that was my perception.

Either way, less than a year ago (late 2017), I had enough motivation and justification to completely make the switch.

Swallowing The Bitter Cost Pill

When jumping into the Apple universe of products, we each have to accept the fact that we’re going to spend significantly more money than we would on other devices. For comparable performance results between a PC and an Apple, expect to pay 25-50% more on the Apple side of the spectrum. It’s no doubt a significant difference in price. However, we can accept this price difference more easily when we consider Apple’s sleek design, solid build quality, reliability, display quality, OS ecosystem, and more. That is until we can no longer expect those things from Apple. That’s where I stand today.

Let’s jump into the story.

Cupertino, We Have  A Problem

iPhone X

My business partner convinced me to jump into the new iPhone X upon release. Don’t get me wrong, Justin didn’t twist my arm. I’m always game for an upgrade. But, immediately upon receiving the new phone, I was frustrated by the fact that it felt as though Apple took a step backward in usability. The lack of a home button, the swiping left and right and from corners, all felt more difficult. Even getting the phone to flip on and recognize my face seemed more cumbersome than the simple home button design. Not to mention the new button layout leading to all sorts of wonderful screenshot mistakes. Still, I was game for learning the new design. However, even today, almost a year later, I still find the iPhone 7/8 to offer a better user experience.

Regardless, that was a small issue. Let’s get to the bigger one. Within roughly two weeks of using my new iPhone X, the smartphone started having issues. It would often freeze and crash. Very soon after, it completely died. I took it in for service and they said that it had a logic board failure. Then, they replaced the iPhone X without hassle. The Apple store is wonderful in that department. I also appreciated being able to take the phone into a store rather than having to mail it in for service. I made an appointment at the Genius Bar and they took care of it. Not a big deal.

Unfortunately, the issues haven’t stopped. The phone still crashes quite often. The OS is buggy, sometimes turning on and freezing for minutes. Now, with only a few months of use, my vibrate on/off toggle is also stuck.

Oh, by the way, my phone also fails to connect to the internet quite often. Despite having a full LTE signal (as you can see above), I can make calls, but I can’t send/receive data. T-Mobile and Apple do this amazing thing where they blame each other for the errors. T-Mobile says it’s the phone, Apple says it’s T-Mobile’s service. Odd, considering we have five iPhone Xs on the T-Mobile plan, and mine seems to be the only one having data issues. I’m siding with T-Mobile on this one.

No biggie, though; it’s just a phone, and AppleCare will take care of this latest issue. I just have to make the time to go get my third iPhone X back to the store. Something I’ve yet to do. Let’s move on.

MacBook Pro

In late 2017, I purchased a new MacBook Pro, which represents my first major step into the Apple ecosystem. This was the 2017 MacBook Pro and I purchased it nearly fully upgraded. It came equipped with a two-terabyte hard drive, as well as the fastest processor available at the time, 16 gigs of RAM, etc. I think the only additional option was a four-terabyte SSD. This required an amount of money that I wasn’t willing to pay.

Needless to say, this was an expensive piece of hardware. With Apple Care, I was looking to pay around $5,000 for this laptop, compared to $3,000-$4,000 for a comparable high-end PC. But, the price didn’t matter. I knew I was getting a reliable machine that I could use for live broadcasts, content creation and presentations with both CreativeLive and SLR Lounge. I expected a machine that could keep up with my need to edit images/video as I was preparing over 3,000 keynote slides over the next several months.

Unfortunately, a reliable machine is not what I received. Within a week of using the computer, I started noticing strange issues. For example, the mouse would regularly stutter; as I would move the trackpad, my mouse and keyboard would freeze temporarily as you can see in this video.

Later, depending on which USB-C ports were in use, the machine wouldn’t even start up which you can see here.

Shortly after, the laptop also started freezing and crashing on occasion. At the time, it was no more than a little odd considering it was a brand new machine and that it was an Apple. “Perhaps I just got a bad unit,” I thought to myself.

I took it to the Genius Bar to evaluate the situation. A day or two later, they said, “Your logic board is going bad and we need to replace it.” Just like before, when I took in my iPhone X, they replaced the logic board and it seemed like I had a new machine. Minus a day or so worth of time, I was back up and running. Sadly, within about week or two, it started having the same issues. This time, however, I started seeing other issues as well, like a graphics card failure. Here’s a video of the second machine.

Usually, when experiencing an issue with your computer, you can shut down the system or restart it. When I tried to do that here, the system went into a crazy, pixilated matrix view and it wouldn’t shut down properly.

Two different Apple MacBook Pros (2017 on the left, 2018 on the right), each with the same problem.

When I returned once more to the Genius Bar, they informed me that the logic board was failing again. They replaced the MacBook Pro, again. After having been replaced twice, it seemed to be operating pretty well until recently, when it started having the same issues once again as shown below.

I am on my third MacBook Pro, and it’s still not without problems. But, wait, you’ll find out that it gets even worse. For now, let’s move on to the iMac Pro.

iMac Pro

In January 2018, I made the final switch of upgrading my workstation to the iMac Pro. For the new workstation, I bought a specced out version of iMac Pro for roughly $7,000 with AppleCare. That represents a significant premium for what you’re actually getting. It has a beautiful screen and a beautiful design, but even then, you’d only spend $4,000-$5,000 on the PC side for the equivalent of $7,000 worth of Apple hardware. Again, I justified the premium because I wanted the quality and seamless experience Apple was known for.

In less than two weeks from the time I received the iMac Pro, I started experiencing the same exact stutter issues that I had with my MacBook Pro. Once again, I called into tech support. The cursor would freeze and stutter as you can see in the video above. Early on, it happened only upon startup. Within a few weeks, it started occurring during regular use of the computer as shown below.

While my MacBook Pro was in service, I had to make the iMac Pro work as it was my only machine. When I got my third MacBook Pro back, I finally reached out to Apple Support regarding the iMac Pro. This is where things went further south.

The Mysterious Disappearance Of Apple Support

I reached Apple Support fairly easily. I was quickly given an Apple Case Support person who was assigned to my case from beginning to end. She ran system analytics and other diagnostic before stating that she would need to send the information to the engineers for analysis. She told me they would be in touch within the next week. Meanwhile, the $7,000 iMac Pro sat on my desk as it would freeze/stutter too often to be used.

Keep in mind that during this time, I was using my MacBook Pro as my primary machine. I purchased external monitors just to be able to work more efficiently. Needing more screen real estate as I was creating content for the Complete Business Workshop, which we are currently releasing! (shameless plug).

At this point, taking the MacBook Pro or iMac Pro onto a production set was causing me severe anxiety. We always film with an in-studio audience, or via live online broadcasts. During each presentation and production event, I was constantly worried about the machines crashing or stuttering mid-presentation. My worries were justified when it did indeed happen. Oh, and by the way, the MacBook Pro we are currently editing this article on is also stuttering through nearly every word we type.

Back to the iMac Pro. After a week of waiting without any follow-up, I reached out to my caseworker. I could not get a hold of her, but I did leave a message and informed her about the status of my iMac Pro. She never responded, and I couldn’t get ahold of anyone who could help solve the issue. I soon found myself busy with productions for clients, Creative Live, and SLR Lounge. All of which took me out of the studio for a couple of weeks. When I got back, I still hadn’t heard back regarding the iMac Pro. In total, I sent four follow-up emails starting on March 23rd going to April 8th, and none of them had been responded to. The final email was sent to an escalated Case Manager to show them my experience (which we will discuss shortly).

Eventually, I just made an appointment with the Genius Bar and took the machine into the store. Apple of South Coast Plaza said that they needed a bit of time to run diagnostics, so I left it there. There was no loaner, despite the experience I had thus far. I was left without an office workstation while they attempted to fix the situation. During that time, it was back to using the MacBook Pro as a primary machine. Something that I am not a fan of considering it’s far more efficient to work from a more powerful desktop. A week later, I was informed that the issue was software related and that I’d have my computer back soon.

I relayed my doubts to them about the issue being software related. “If it’s just a software issue, why is it experiencing the same problems as my MacBook Pro?” I asked. I described to them the same stuttering, crashes, and graphics card failures, which mirrored what happened on the MacBook Pro when its logic board went out, not once, but twice.

Regardless, they repeated that it’s just a software issue and they told me I’d have my computer the next day. When the next day rolled around, they called to confirm that it was indeed a hardware issue, not a software issue. The said that the computer would soon be back with the engineers in Cupertino, and would take a few more days to complete. It took close to three weeks before I could get the iMac Pro back into my office, fixed and ready to go. And guess what? They had to replace the logic board and internal components once again.

Unfortunately, the story isn’t even over. The instant that I first turned the computer back on, I could see that my information had been wiped (this wasn’t the problem). The problem was that upon startup, it required an Apple ID set to an administrator Apple account that I wasn’t given the password to. Nobody from the store explained this. I soon found myself back on the phone again, calling Apple support, who then called the specific store at South Coast Plaza to provide me the password. Later that day, I was contacted and given that password to log in.  At that point, I had to log in, restore my account, then remove the administrative account manually. Typically, Apple support has always returned the machine ready to restore via Time Machine. 

Finally, A Breakthrough In Customer Service

After getting my computer setup, I reached out to customer service to let them know that I needed to talk to somebody about my overall experience with Apple. They sent me to a manager and I explained everything that’s happened. That’s when I also forwarded along the ghosted email correspondence. I also calmly shared with her my experience with my iPhone X, MacBook Pro and now iMac Pro.

In return, she responded with regret and asked, “Well, are there any products that you would like in the Apple store?” I initially declined the offer. I told her, “I kind of own what I want already. The only thing I don’t have is the HomePod, but not sure if I want that.” She then said, “How about I send you out a HomePod to thank you and compensate you for your troubles?” I explained the countless hours through the year that have been wasted on tech support. She responded back that sending me a HomePod was the best that could be done.

Honestly, I was grateful that they were willing to do even that. Few companies would do anything to acknowledge such an experience. So, that’s a small plus there. I knew there was nothing that could truly compensate me for my time or experience over the year. I accepted the HomePod, and just hoped this whole thing was done.

For those asking, “how was the HomePod.” Well, I don’t have much positive to report there. The speaker sounds great. It looks nice. But, beyond that, you shouldn’t be expecting much else. The HomePod is tricky to set up with the iMac Pro and once online, Siri can’t really do much. She can’t even play Spotify as she responds with “I’m sorry, I can’t do that” and requests that you use iTunes instead. Unfortunately, Siri has a long way to catch up to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.

It was in that moment, listening to this glorified speaker that I began wondering, “Where has Apple gone in their quality and product development? Where is the Apple that we all once knew?”

If Only It Were Over

I so desperately wished this was the end of this article, and of my experience. Unfortunately, it’s not. If you think I want to write/post more, you are wrong.

My third MacBook Pro is now experiencing the same issues that lead up to each of the previous logic board failures as can be seen here.

In addition, the iMac Pro has begun stuttering, freezing and crashing just as it did prior to being replaced. Now, it’s simply a matter of time before each machine stops working entirely, and has to go back to be serviced again.

Now, you won’t believe this part. I had an opportunity to upgrade to the 2018 MacBook Pro. A family member, knowing the issues with my 2017 model agreed to purchase it from me since it’s still so new and has AppleCare. So I bought the 2018 MacBook Pro. Can you guess what’s happened? Yep, already started to see issues with the 2018 MacBook Pro as can be seen in this image. This was, by the way, the same shutdown screen that we previously showed side-by-side on the 2017 model above. I see this lovely image every time I shut down the laptop.

Do I feel stupid? Yes. I feel like the idiot who’s made the same mistake repeatedly while giving Apple the benefit of the doubt that they clearly don’t deserve. Since publishing this piece my business partner, Justin, has had yet ANOTHER logic board failure on this iPhone X… I can’t make this stuff up.


Apple, as I once knew it, no longer exists in my mind today. In my opinion, the company that we all looked at as the pinnacle of innovation and quality control, is quickly vanishing.

If Apple were reading this right now, I would say that at a point in time I very much understood why someone would pay the extra money to buy Apple products. I understood what came with the Apple brand and you could say at that time that “you get what you pay for.” But today, that understanding,  quality, reliability, and goodwill behind the Apple brand have been completely eroded away. At least, in my experience.

When Steve Jobs passed away, I had my doubts about whether the company would continue to do what it did so well. Year after year, we’ve seen product lines receive modest updates as Apple throws out marketing terms like “revolutionary” for a touch bar that is anything but. Premature and underdeveloped products are released to capitalize on Apple’s goodwill (the HomePod). In the least, I expected Apple to keep up with the quality and reliability of the products that they have come to be known for. Unfortunately, it seems that year after year, quality control has dwindled as well.

On top of this, Apple’s product lines have expanded and become more complex. This goes directly against Steve Jobs mission to always simplify and focus on their core products and customers. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the Bluetooth AirPods. These were sold to me from a salesperson quoting a Steve Jobs line of “they just work.” Well, they work, most of the time. Sometimes I have to put them into the back into the base, reconnect, take them in and out of my ear, and after all of this… “they just work.” But, like all Apple products, when they work, I sure do love them.

Today, I buy AppleCare on every Apple Product I purchase. It’s not because I want it, it’s because I’m fearful that everything I’m going to buy is going to fail. This is a deceptive consumer practice. Apple has made each of us pay $300-$500 more for each product we buy because like me, other people are afraid that a day past their warranty they will fail, and they do! 

As it stands, I will use these products until they quit and AppleCare has expired. From there, unless Apple has changed, I have no reason to stick to a platform that has caused me so much more grief than the world of PC.

This has been my experience without bias or exaggeration. I will continue to always be open about my experiences with each of these companies and their products. I will also say that it’s not all negative. Beyond the hardware issues I’ve faced this year, I can honestly say that I love Apple’s ecosystem consisting of their OS, App Store, and software suite. In my mind, this is a huge reason to stay with the platform, if they can get everything else back on track. I genuinely hope that they are able to do so.


My question to you all, is when does all the Apple goodwill end? Recently, Apple became the world’s first trillion-dollar company. Most of that accomplishment seems to be due to the ecosystem and world created by its past founders, engineers, and designers.

Today, Apple continues to reap profits on the efforts, much of which was put in over a decade prior. Meanwhile, in recent years it seems as their product, its quality, and overall service seem to have dwindled. Yet,  we continue to reward this and I wonder why? What are they doing today to keep you happy as a consumer? What is Apple doing right now, to justify spending time waiting in a line to give them your money, or buying every newly updated product?

I didn’t write this article to bash Apple as a company. I still love Apple, and I appreciate the vision that Steve Jobs had for the brand. I wrote this article to hopefully create a dialogue that can lead to positive change within a company many of us creatives love. I firmly believe that Apple products and hardware used to be far more reliable than it is today. It’s something that I am hoping will change.

This is where I’d love to hear your experiences. Negative and positive. Let’s dismiss the inner fanboy/fangirl and have some real talk. As always, please keep it civil.

This was my experience, how about the rest of you?


This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ray Mas

    Hi Pye, I know you wrote this article a while ago, but I was only just catching up with SLR Lounge and found this very interesting. Firstly, before I bore you, go watch this excellent video by Linus Tech Tips:

    It may explain why so many have noticed a recent downturn in reliability with Apple products, Macs specifically.

    While I myself have not yet had any major Apple product hiccups, I am still using a 2014 MBP which seems like it’ll run forever. I do have the usual array of iphones, ipads, watches, appletvs, airpods that I use with my family at home. However I did experience their support service recently when I was trying to help a colleague at work deal with Apple support to get her brand new, over $2000NZD, iPhone XS Max replaced as it had arrived boxed with a tiny dent on it. Without going into specifics, it took a couple of weeks and what seemed like a whole team of support staff on their support line (we don’t have an Apple Store in NZ) before they were willing to replace their ‘damaged on arrival’ product. Some of the case managers were downright rude, which truly shocked me.  This was my friend’s first Apple purchase, and being a long time Android and Samsung fangirl, needless to say she wasn’t impressed, left her feeling quite drained actually. The phone was very pretty though ;) 

     I have been waiting for the right time to replace my MBP, I guess I’ll wait to see if Apple get better. Thanks for sharing your experience with so much detail.

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  2. Mark Sijka

    Hi Pye, I’m sorry for this truly insane experience and thank you for overcoming all this and still producing content for us! I have to agree with the other posters though, the odds of being this unlucky are astronomical. It’s possible but far more likely it’s something in your work area…  I would guess either heat related or be something you plug into your computers/phones…  headphones? usb adapters? external drives? network cables? video cables? Something is frying your hardware, It’s hard to believe they’re all faulty from the factory. Apple may be losing its quality touch but no manufacturer is this bad.  Maybe it’s time to install a security cam (and  temperature monitor) and see what happens when you’re not there :) I wish you better luck in the future!

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  3. Dave Smith

    Pye you’re spot on. I’ve only owned Apple computers in my home and they were ultra reliable , I mean I only change desktop every 8-10 years. But, for the most part those were Steve Jobs years. Now there is a CEO that doesn’t have a clue. He’s trying to bilk every last dime out of customers and only cares about iphones. I refuse to buy an apple laptop because of the quality control issues and lack a repairability.  You won’t see a change until Tim Cook is fired and Johnny Ive’s silly obsession over thinness over function is over. I miss the days when Steve Jobs would come on stage, introduce a new Desktop and it was the fastest thing on the market. Now tim cook updates the mac line ever 3-5 years.  It’s truly sad where apple is now. 

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  4. Andy Chang

    Definitely sharing this video. Sorry to hear about your continued troubles Pye. I currently own 1x iMac (main, 8 years old, still good), 1x Macbook Pro (also pretty old, water damage), 1x iPad 2nd gen., 3x iPad Air 2’s, 2x iPad Pros (2017), 1x iPhone XS, but also own 1x Surface Pro 3, 2x Surface Pro 4’s, 1x Surface Pro 2017, and 1x VAIO quad-core tablet, all running Windows 10. Photobooth software dictates my purchases, although iOS software that interfaces with DSLRs is rising. I’d have to agree with you about Apple’s recent decline and lack of emphasis on their desktop/laptop line. I think all their efforts and best people are in their smartphone and Apple Watch product line to be honest since that’s the most competitive area right now in this attention economy. Canon’s doing similar things by prioritizing mirrorless as opposed to improving their DSLR line. It’s competition unfortunately. Apple doesn’t want to be the computer company anymore. They’re not going to get enough eyeballs using just desktop and laptops like they would a mobile device like a phone or watch. I really hope Tim Cook and Co. really heed your message and prioritize creative working professionals like they touted in the old days instead of the masses quickly scrolling away their lives. 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      I agree with you, it’s very interesting to see where they are shifting their focus, and it’s very unfortunate. 

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  5. Kristy Berends

    I too jumped on Apple bandwagon about 6 years ago thinking it would “revolutionize” my workflows and found the opposite.  So, so slow, randomly shutting down, importing photos and finding that they unknowingly were going into THREE random places and junking up my drive. The list goes on.  I was PC prior and have been PC since.  I’ve learned that Apple, like so many other trendy brand names (*cough, Starbucks, *cough) you really are just paying for the name rather than a superior product.  The current PC I’m using is now 4 years old and fine.  I can easily update the system if I desire to do so, add memory, etc…at little cost. Win! 

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  6. Euell Ooluu

    Are you using an uninterrupted power supply to provide power for your computers?

    NEVER go without them, or a power conditioner to keep the voltage spikes and dips at bay. 

    From what you’ve written as having problems, I’d say that a power issue is in your building – or even the room circuit your equipment is plugged into is the culprit.

    Hardware doesn’t fail like that – there is something else going on. Check your power adapters – I trust you took them in as well when you had your systems serviced?

    Again, NEVER go without a UPS. (I’m currently running an 8-core MP3,1 that at 10 years old is running just fine, and it’s been on almost constantly since I got it.)

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Sure am, my machines run on clean power and UPS devices. Sorry, that’s not the culprit tho. 

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  7. Joe Towner

    You have upset the electronics gods, or something extremely crazy like that. Either that or there are serious power issues in your studio.  I hope that Apple replaced all the power adapters & USB-C power cables involved when the second mainboard was done.

    One thing I haven’t seen in these threads is JointVenture. The downside to Apple’s shift to consumers is that the Pro & business market needs more responsive service.  It is a relatively cheap way to push you to the front of the line.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Lol, that is for sure, trying to figure out what sacrifice is necessary to get back on their good side ;) 

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  8. Rick Garcia

    Something is definitely not right in your work area.  It can’t be 5 out 5 products that are all bad…. Are there other iMac Pro stations in your studio that are not having issues?  If so, this may require a deeper investigation than you think. 

    ps.. Answering your response. 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Unfortunately, we aren’t having this issue with any other systems in the studio. We see issues with systems on occasion, but nothing this blatant. Normal IT issues are expected, but this is something different. Nothing to do with clean/dirty power. 

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  9. Rick Garcia

    You are so busy and probably do not recall me asking you about the iMac Pro when you first received it.  I had mentioned to you that I was looking to purchase one and wanted your opinion.  Your answer to me was that you have not had enough time with the machine and would post something about it in a week or two. 

    I waited a few days and purchased the machine anyway. I bought the Mid level model with 3GHz processor / 2TB SSD / 64GBs Ram/ Vega 64 MB video.  I use this machine for everything.  Lightroom , Photoshop, Fundy, video, surfing and a slew of other programs and I have yet to have a problem.  

    I also own the iPhone X and have not experienced the issues you are describing.  What I do find interesting is the fact that something is happening to all of your systems and peripherals.  This caught my attention and had me wondering, is there a possibility that there is some sort of magnetic field disruption or some other source around the vicinity of your work station causing you havoc ?   I find that really strange that it is happening with all of your equipment not just one. 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Hey amigo, glad you’ve had good luck. I wish it were something explainable. I just got the new 2018 MBP, and sure enough, it will be going in for repair as well. I find explanations around power consistency or area affect type stuff to be a little impossible considering I’ve had decent luck with PC. Also considering this new machine is less than a couple weeks old before it started showing odd signs. 

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  10. Leif Sikorski

    Just out of curiousity it would be interesting what independent repair companies say about such problems. I think people should listen and care much more about what they’ve to say, despite the fact that Apple keeps trying to shut them down. Those companies are basically the only experts that see, experience and know which flaws each generation of products has. They’ve no reason to lie because they make their income from failing products, but also (unklike Apple) have no reason to hide any engineering / design failures that result to such errors.
    Jessa Jones from IPad Rehab and Louis Rossmann make pretty good and interesting contant about their daily repairs on Apple products. Maybe they could tell you what the reason could be that these errors happen over and over again. 

    One critique I’ve heard often is that Apple accepts much much higher temperatures inside the machine just to start the fans much less often than other PCs does. Bloggers and reviewers embraced for a long time how silent Macs are compared to some other older PC machines, but if it results in accepting much higher temperatures inside and risking a damage it’s definitely not worth it for a workhorse.  

    An interesting video about a few engineering failures in Apple products (from their standpoint and experience from repairing tons of Apple products)

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    • Jeff Bourgeois

      Of course you would use your AppleCare since you paid for it (I would too) but I also wonder what the outside repair experts would say about your issues. My MacBook Pro had display issues and the Genius said “new logic board is needed”. Canned response. I sent it in to Louis Rossman and they advised it was a Panicked 3rd Party Kernel (no idea what that means) but apparently it was a known issue for my model and year, and they’ve fixed hundreds of units with this issue. Good to know it was a known issue and yet frustrating at the same time. Anyway, I got it back in less than a week, for half the cost, and with the same logic board. I question Apple’s quailty today too and when my 2012 MBP finally kicks the boot, or become obsolete performance wise, I’ll probably go PC.

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  11. Sarah Murray

    It seems I am sadly comforted by the fact that others have random issues with Apple as well. Just 4 days ago I awoke to my Macbook Pro dead. DOA. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

    I’ve used it for culling and most recently travel editing until I can get home to the big machine. But it died. Just like that. No warning except a pretty folder with a question mark blinking away on my screen.

    I had no choice but to take my $2700 machine to the doctor and get a replacement drive for more $$ or it would have just sat there collecting dust.

    I was going to vent to Apple my frustration about reliability, quality along with expectations since Apple (was) such a good name. Now seeing your experience and many others below, I am not alone. I am small fish so I guess my experience won’t phase them…

    I am not going to leave my love for Apple behind but I will work harder to make the best choice on future gear. It’s a bummer that it’s pricier these days for lesser quality. Eventually that will catch up to them.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      It is a bummer. Sorry to hear of your issues. I guess there is some consolation in knowing we aren’t crazy, not much, but some. 

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  12. Lee Rushby

    Oh dear Pye!  This sounds like a pretty bad fail from Apple on all fronts here!

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  13. Matthew Saville

    I guess I’m just #blessed. My 2012 MBP that I bought on eBay 4-5 years ago is still purring like a kitten.

    It happens. Different people have different experiences.

    The important thing is to not listen to any kool-aid drinkers who try to shame you into switching to EITHER brand. Always make your buying decision based on real-world reports, such as this one.

    Neither system is perfect, and either one could leave you feeling “cursed” with that system. So, just do what works for you in the long run…

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    • Pye Jirsa

      You are blessed, but other important thing is to understand that you bought those machines during their height. Speak to me when you’ve experienced their 2017/2018 lineup. 

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  14. Dave Haynie

    I’ve never been an Apple fan. I actually tried, sort-of… I had a company in Germany back in the Mac Clone days making Mac compatibles. After that, though, I stayed far away from Apple. 

    That is, until my daughter “needed” a MacBook Pro for college. She was staring out in Broadcasting, and their classwork did all video stuff using Apple tools. The MacBook Pro I bought her was slightly less than twice the price of an ASUS I had speced out to meet all her needs, with nearly the same specs, except no Blu-ray drive.  The additional cost of adding Windows to it pushed it over the 2x price mark. 

    It did ok… perfectly average, I suppose, for a 2012 model.  I lasted nearly five years before it died — a GPU failure, they told us.  I’ve worked with people who have seen similar laptop lifespans, but everything I’ve used, for work on in the family, went more like 10 years. Still not sure what that extra $1100 bought us, other than MacOS… which she basicaly never used after changing from Broadcasting to Nursing that next year…. 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      5 years is pretty solid. I’d be happy with that mark before requiring maintenance or something. Especially based on how the new hardware is holding up. 

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  15. Photography Rogue

    Thanks for posting this Pye. Seems to me it is time to get back to the roots. :) I still love to get my machine assembled from scratch, looking up every piece of it, configuring it as far as my budget allows. I used to be in love with Apple in the early 90s for the same reasons you stated. But never went for one, cos I could not accept the idea of the closed ecosystem where there is no choice left for me as a user. You wrote: “the company that we all looked at as the pinnacle of innovation and quality control, is quickly vanishing.” I feel this is happening for some time already, and it has begun a few years before S. Jobs death. Your article just illustrates the Apple’s slow and inevitable downfall. In the beginning, it was about design and seamless use, of feeling different, now it is only about money and being like everyone else. 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      I agree. I was worried and have been speaking of this since and slightly before Steve Jobs passed away. Now it seems it’s coming to fruition, which is unfortunate. 

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  16. Michael Holmes

    Wow that is really bad! I have been very lucky because every Apple product I have owned has been very close to flawless, My 2012 rMBP is still running fine despite having fluff stuck in the fan, my 10 core iMac Pro is superfast and has no issues at all and my iphone X like all my previous iphones is perfect and I find it about 30% more convenient then a physical button with touch ID in fact I hate using my partners iphone 8 plus. I love Apple but I agree they really need to go back to the drawing board and rebuild their product from the ground up with quality, speed, innovation and end user requirements.

    I have recently been looking at getting a nice 2-1 for the conveyance of editing on the go without having to pack and setup my wacom with my macbook etc but I can’t find a model that’s perfect, I really liked the Surfacebook but with all the issue my mate has had with the graphics card deactivating, the lack of Thunderbolt and the fact it runs windows which often drives me crazy.

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    • Michael Holmes

      I forgot to mention the one device I can’t stomach from Apple is the iPad pro, I’m sure it’s lovely to draw on ect but on a device and software level its boxed in that much it’s practically useless to me

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Good to hear your solid experience with the iMac Pro. 

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  17. Peter La Rowe

    Excellent article Pye, it’s well written and objective. Having the years of prior PC experience gives you a good perspective for basis of comparison and truly your current misadventure with Apple is a genuine nightmare. The lost time spent chasing gremlins on what has traditionally been a stellar platform must be vexing to say the least.

    Disclaimer: I’m a lifelong Apple user dating back to the Apple IIe (yes, I just dated myself ;-) and have no real working exposure to the world of PC. The choice for Apple has always been software driven vs. hardware/cost. As a creative professional, there just wasn’t an option on platform choice in the early days of computer adoption to the creative fields unless you were in architecture and lived in the world of AutoCad. The applications that became industry staples for other design disciplines and eventually architecture as well,  were all Mac based. If you were a creative pro, you were a Mac user, period, and Apple catered to and courted this user demographic from this unique market standpoint. I still have three Apple systems in use in my studio, the oldest a 2004 G4 desktop to the “newest” early 2011 MacBook Pro, all of which function well and stand as a testament to the Apple of Steve Jobs. So…. I like Apple…. a lot.

    However, that was then and this is 2018. Macintosh internal hardware now mirrors that of it’s PC brethren albeit at a substantial surcharge and most design software plays nice with PC. Some are still PC/Windows only requiring a dual boot OS Mac to accommodate the best of both worlds. So if I have to run Windows anyways and the other design software plays nice on PC, why do I need to spend 2 -3 times more money to get an equivalently spec’d machine? Not so sure anymore….especially when I learn of current Apple experiences like yours and those of others.

    The other recent problematic development is the complete elimination of upgrade capability of RAM and other internal components. Yes, it can be done DIY in some instances, but not without technical savvy and voiding the warranty (iMac). It’s just not accessible nor practical for the typical end user. Being forced to buy the machine preconfigured at an excessive premium to get the combination of performance/features desired is a no go. In the past, having the ability to upgrade always meant being able to buy the better/faster processor with less RAM/smaller HD at time of purchase, knowing that in 6-12 months time when the budget recovered, I could build in more RAM, a bigger HD, swap video cards at will, and shop these components at competitive prices. It also meant that I could (and still do) extend the lifespan of my Apple hardware for many, many years. So if I can no longer make end user upgrades at competitive market prices to improve and extend my initial investment, or make DIY cost effective repairs when components fail,  why do I need to indulge Apple’s excessive pricing structure? Especially if Apple Care is no longer for peace of mind but a necessity, and quality is more of a guideline than a brand requirement.

    I still love my Apple gear, all of it, from my iPods, iPhone, iPads, to my computers. Fan boy aside, I run a business and at the end of the day as cliche as it is, time is money. If the machines I depend on to make my money are down, my revenue stream is compromised. A custom, hand built PC is starting to look like a very viable, attractive, and financially prudent alternative. Apple….. are you listening?

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Isn’t it sad that the creative professionals who helped Apple to leverage their brand and reputation are now being left in the dust? It’s probably the part that miffs me the most. After Hollywood, digital artists, engineers, etc have constantly praised their technology and computers. Countless featuring of their products throughout pop-culture, they become a consumer company and turn their backs on the pros. You are right, a custom PC is starting to seem like the best option, even for those in business for themselves. 

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  18. Andrew Clark

    My experience with Apple products over the years (since 1984) has been quite different from the one’s you and others have described Pye. However, I have recognized a big difference in Apple’s quality control. And I have heard multiple stories in recent years similar to yours about bad experiences with both Apple’s hardware and customer service.

    It’s because of the experiences others, like you, have shared — I began only purchasing used Apple hardware. My most recent Apple product purchase was a 15″ MacBook Pro (mid-2014) which I acquired just last year. While this laptop is going on almost 5 years old, it has been one of the most reliable MacBook Pros I’ve owned.

    Prior to that, my most recent purchase was several pre-owned Mac mini’s (2010, 2011 and 2012 models). I have experienced zero hardware issues with these used models.

    The last new Macintosh I purchased was a 27″ iMac (late-2013) in 2013. Similarly, no hardware issues with this model either.

    The conclusion I have drawn from my own experiences and those of others is that most of the Apple hardware issues I have seen or heard about, seem to be largely from hardware produced in 2015 and later. It’s for this reason that until I see a turnaround in Apple’s hardware issues and customer service response on solving those issues — I will not be purchasing any additional Apple hardware newer than 2014 models.

    I realize as my own Macs continue to age, various hardware issues are unavoidable and these Macs will only last so long. My only hope is, someone at Apple is paying attention to the increased number or hardware failures and other issues and the poor customer support issues. And that this person, or group of people, will build a strong enough case for getting Apple back to the roots Steve Jobs worked so hard to plant so many years ago. 

    After all, if everyone (or at least enough people), stop purchasing NEW Apple hardware and hit them where it hurts the most (the trillion dollar pocketbook), and instead voice our opinions on the issue — maybe — just maybe, Apple will get the hint. Maybe.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Yep, key is to stop. It took several bad experiences for me to realize that it’s the company, not my bad luck. 

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  19. Ty Yang

    Thanks for candidly and honestly sharing your  experience. I’ve been a PC user almost all my life.  But have recently  been thinking about the new MacBook Pros mainly because of the excellent screens and because of the new multi core cpus finally launched. But reading your experience has definitely put the brakes on this recent curiosity. The only apple products we have are iPad Pros and an iPhone 7 Plus… thankfully those have been solid. 

    As for workstations, with AMD Ryzen cpus pushing Intel to finally release something new, there’s never been a better time than now in the PC world no matter which camp (intel or amd) you’re in. The custom built Ryzen workstations we have now are purring along smoothly.  As you’ve shared, steer clear of questionable sites and your PCs will be rock solid. Stop trying to think more Apple products will make it better. Time to come back home. :) 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Agreed. It’s hard, because I love their product design and OS, but if the hardware/service doesn’t change, I will have no choice. 

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  20. Anthony Morrow

    I’m sorry to hear of your horrible experience.  I’ve been a Mac user since my first Powerbook, and have had about the same experience throughout the years.  The illusion of Apple products “just working” has largely been a byproduct of the Jobs reality distortion field.  That said, every product I’ve purchased since has had logic board issues and GPU issues, from laptops to Mac Pros for the last 11 years.  I have felt similarly let down by the hype. However, I’ve stuck with the brand largely due to the extremely positive customer support I have received, and have always purchased Apple Care since 2007 laptop failure on my MacBook Pro.  And it comes down to your conclusion, that when it works, it works extremely well for my needs.  I have also owned many PCs, but the convenience of an Apple appliance paired with the customer service has been the real benefit in my business.  I haven’t upgraded my hardware since 2016, so your experience is a provocative alert that stands as a service to us all, and a potential shift in the scale/service rift of larger organizations.  Thank you for sharing so openly.  I hope your experiences are resolved from here on out.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Anthony, sorry to hear that. It’s to be expected, Apple’s service is still superior to that of Dell or other companies where you have to mail in the product. Like you, I’m frustrated with that distortion field. Also with the fact that I know Apple is better than this. Better than the products they are making right now, and the service they are providing. The 2017/2018 lineup is just not what I hoped to see from them, neither is the service. Here’s to hoping amigo! 

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  21. Collin Pierson

    Pye, amigo, you and I have been having the same problems.  

    I’m on my 4th 15″ MacBook Pro in 2.5 years. Oh, and the last one, well, it had a complete logic/ssd failure 3 days before my wedding in January.  Skip customer support, and go STRAIT to “customer relations.”  With this current MBP, I see inconsistencies in how the SSD operates once again.  The previous units had GPU issues, Logic Issues, and SSD issues. I’ve probably spent 100 hours talking to apple, sitting with geniuses, talking to engineers about these MacBook Pros.  Only thing I’ll say is, what the heck, you got a freebie? I think that if they did that with anyone…they wouldn’t be worth 1 trillion.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      It’s becoming a club isn’t it? Oh, and nice to see someone else use the word amigo, lol. Yes, it’s insane how many hours we can spend on this, and yet our voices still get drown out by the fans that stand in line to throw Apple money. It was surprising I got a freebie, though lets be honest, I think they have a few homepods to lying around ;) 

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  22. Enoch Chao

    I just requested a MacBook Pro Touchbar 15″ as my work laptop because I wanted something that worked instead of a Dell that always seemed to have issues. Now I’m thinking either way I’m going to get screwed. 


    FWIW, I had an older Macbook Pro Late 2012 and I did a software update that broke my Trackpad and required an external mouse. It would work intermittently but it was really random. Out of frustration I started hammer fisting my keyboard which didn’t do anything. Genius bar said it wasn’t a software issue and what do you know, it’s the logic board that needs to be replaced for $500. I told the rep I’d take my $500 and buy a new windows laptop instead lol. I ended up with my fingers crossed for the next several software updates and it eventually fixed itself. I haven’t bothered updating the software on my Macbook Pro since.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      You lucked out with that update fix, haha. I LOLed when you said hammer fisted your keyboard. Definitely a frustration I’ve felt, though I have yet to act upon it ;) Nope, my Apple products are incredibly well taken care of, and still refuse to work, lol. Maybe I need to go with the hammer fist.

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  23. David Heintz

    Another good article, but it suffers from a bias that is impractical to correct. That is, how would your experience be if you purchased similar Windows-based gear over the same period? Are we looking at issues with Apple, or is this something pervasive in the high end personal computer market?

    With the success of the iPhone Apple has become predominantly a volume consumer products based company. The higher end Mac products no longer lead – either in technological innovation or market presence. Certainly not in unit sales or profits, where I suspect the iMac Pro and the MacBook Pro represent a diminishing share of Apple’s business. An example of this is the transition of the Mac operating system to the device operating system – IOS, and the  dearth of real innovation in the original Mac OS.

    The higher end PC business, it seems to me, has transitioned to game related technology. There, smaller, more focused companies have developed the kind of systems, or components that would help build these systems, with the leading developments that the Mac universe was looking at before the iPhone.

    If we confirm the loss of quality and customer service with Apple, along with the dulling of its former leading edge in technology appealing to high end (photography) users, what would keep us from going to the PC platform and building a high end system for a lot less  money? The answer: the operating system. Even with the issues you point out and I mention, above, Windows remains an unrepentant sludge, an OS that you have to fight every day, every step of the way. Even in 2018, Windows is still an OS residing on top of another OS; it has never been rebuilt from the ground up. Every time I contemplate making a switch I only have to spend a few minutes on my wife’s PC (which I maintain) look at the Visual C++ files Microsoft downloads to it without my permission, do some work with the File Explorer, shake my head and give up. Never. Just Never. 

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    • Kyle Stauffer

      Impractical to correct, or impractical to assume?

      Bias would be suggesting to pay 25-50% more for Apple after spending $13,000 and having that many issues!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying that it’s OK for Apple to release products that are unfinished, bugged, lack quality because the market for them is smaller? What about the bad experience with their support, being ghosted from all who were working on the issue, and then having them return an iMac weeks later, still not ready to be used (with a password/account from the store). To me, this has nothing to do with the high-end market, but rather a company that has shifted to an attitude of “good enough.” 

      In addition, bias it seems is to throw Windows under the bus with your statements. When in reality, the majority of the world uses the operating system. On top of that, many of us have never experienced the type of Windows that you describe. 

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    • Kayode Olorunfemi

      I own a 2017  Dell 9560 XPS and a Desktop I built myself, not had a single problem, prior to that I had an iMac and a customised MacBook Pro that both served me well, until my iMac died without warning.  I don’t know why you would say windows is a sludge, it works effortlessly… Yes the iOS is prettier and idiot proof but it isn’t any better the Windows in terms of performance. Given the law of numbers, all operating systems & hardware will develop issues so why sympathise with one and not give the other the same allowance?

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  24. Andy Gonzalez

    You are totally right. I also bought the iMac pro. Honestly not worth it. It’s not as fast as they say. It does have a lot of issues. Now that I see a lot of people have the same issues as I do. My older Mac models run a lot smoother than this new computer. Sucks knowing that these products are not cheap. Being that everything I own is apple. It will be something I will now look forward in changing because everything not only iMacs have issues. My iPhone X crashes left and right and has never worked like previous models as well. I think apple is slacking on their products but I can tell you they lost a loyal customer. Due to products not working like they say and the feel of false advertising and on top of that never being able to help on certain issues. 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      I agree with you 100% and mirror every one of those issues with my iPhone X, iMac Pro and MacBook Pro. iPhone X crashes are insane, camera crashes, texting crashes and hangs, phone stops receiving data, it’s nuts. 

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  25. Alexander Michl

    Good article Pye. I appreciate the candid, honest and (as much as possible) objective view of Apple and the company as a whole. One question I’d be curious to have answered is that if Apple is in the business of producing mass quantities of electronics, what’s the “threshold of errors” in which we can hold them accountable? 

    I think your case with Apple is both outrageously frustrating from a consumer’s perspective, yet, also very unique. Is your scenario the new status quo for Apple? Obviously, it was unheard of with Steve Jobs, but also remember the scale at which Apple has grown in the past 11 years. There is no doubt there will be mishaps in the production of devices, but how much is too much? 

    Apple is far from perfect, but when is perfection the standard to hold any electronics/ products company? Are they sliding? I think so. But is that enough to merit them as sub-standard? 

    Also, lastly, and this absolutely not an attack on you Pye, because what you do here at SLR Lounge is absolutely incredible and I am completely thankful for your team and all that you produce, but the common denominator throughout this whole experience is either Apple and their products, or the combination of user software/tools. Odds are it’s Apple, but I’ve had it before where the sequence of software tools and apps lead directly to errors. All a moot point if you throw 7,000 dollars at a machine and it can’t do what you’d like…. 

    I’m curious is this is a unique scenario or if secretly, this is the majority experience with the latest Apple products. Because you’re right, publicly, they are premium. But that might be just the facade of what Apple once was.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Look at all the claims currently regarding 2017/2018 products. We aren’t the only ones facing issues with all of these products. Just look online. I’ve never seen more complaints about logic boards, keyboard design, replacements, products being released unfinished (homepod), etc. 

      On top of that, if it was simply a case of bad luck. Wouldn’t each of the replacements taken care of the issue? Or is it justifiable to say I just had super super bad luck?

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  26. Chris Cockren

    Pye you are not alone my most recent 2017 Macbook Pro is garbage. I have had screen problems, Software Problems and Speed problems since the day I bought it. I have had a few other Macbook Pros that have been great devices but that’s what I except when I spend much more. My next laptop will be the Dell XPS. I could have gotten the same type of computer for over 1k less. 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Thanks for making your voice heard Chris! I think I’m going to be heading to the Microsoft store for a Surface the next go around. 

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  27. Lenzy Ruffin

    I switched to Apple around 2007 and I agree, the mystique is now gone. You paid extra for a premium experience, but it’s not like that anymore. 

    I’ll probably stick to iPhone because of the fractured landscape with the Android OS and updates being dependent upon your carrier, etc. But I’m pretty sure I’ve bought my last iPad. A Kindle Fire is insanely cheaper and will do everything I need. And all the iDevice to OS X integrations have never worked as easily or consistently (for me) as they should have anyway. I’m paying for ease-of-use that isn’t there.

    On the desktop, I need to take a serious look at the current state of Windows when I make my next purchase. I bought a low-end Windows laptop a few months ago to do in-person sales, but I need to evaluate a real system with proper specifications.

    One place where Apple has Windows beat is the delivery of a clean OS without a bunch of third-party software popping up nag screens trying to get me to buy this or that subscription. When you’re years removed from having to click through all that crap for weeks on a new machine, you forget how annoying it is.

    I’m getting more into video as a marketing tool and I need to move up from iMovie. Final Cut Pro is the logical move, which leaves me tied to OS X. It’s actually not OS X I have a problem with, it’s the premium pricing that’s not matched with a superior experience anymore.  

    So it’s not just you. The shine on Apple products is long gone. It’s still good stuff, but they’re nowhere close to justifying their pricing anymore. 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      I agree with the mobile landscape. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed my mobile experience and the App store. But, take a look at Windows again. I’ve never really had the issues of 3rd party software pop-ups/malware on PC over the past several years. I see this happening most often when PCs are used to browse suspect sites. Keep it clean, and you are good. Also, our studio along with a lot of other significant high-end studios and Hollywood cutting houses are or have already switched to Premiere. So you aren’t locked in on that side anymore. 

      If Apple acknowledges/changes these things, I don’t see a reason to switch back. But otherwise, I agree, the shine is gone. Now they are reaping as much profit as possible before people catch on. 

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    • Lenzy Ruffin

      I’m not talking about malware, Pye. I’m talking about all the crap from HP, Dell, [insert antivirus vendor], [insert some other third party], etc etc that comes right out of the box. So much stuff popping up as soon as you turn on a brand new computer and for the first couple of weeks. 

      I’m not a fan of the Adobe subscription model. I never got on that train and switched from Lightroom to Capture One. So Premiere (and the learning curve) is out for me.

      But all your points are well taken. We all have options, we just have to figure out what’s best for us from within the options available. 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Ohhhh, yes Lenzy. The bloatware installed by manufacturers is obnoxious. Fortunately, Microsoft Surface lines have come much better configured. They are clean for the most part. They’ve also done a good job creating good systems with the right hardware. But yes, HP/Compaq (when they were alive) had to be the worst about that stuff. It was just unpeeling an onion of crap software. 

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  28. Alexandria Swanson

    I have been having similar issues on 2 of my devices and for the last 6 months, I spend almost 10 hours a month dealing with Apple. I do not have dependable products and as for the updates I am at a point where I don’t want to install them.  Many of the updates I have installed block me from doing what I want or have caused a slowdown or crash.  Yep, I am another person who is disappointed with the product and I am also disappointed with my local Apple stores.  I am not sure if I would buy another Apple product at this point.  

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Very interesting to hear Alexandria. Given the number of machines I’ve seen with these issues, I’m wondering where all the voices are. Thank you for posting! I agree, as is, no point in buying more of these devices. 

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  29. Kyle Stauffer

    Pye, I think the common theme here is “new Apple hardware”. Most of the people commenting without issues have not made a total upgrade to the latest Apple products that you have.

    I was about to make the switch to Apple last year as well. I had my cart full several times. The sea of negative chatter online regarding new products from loyal Apple users kept me from making the investment.

    I was also looking to build a PC but the cost of parts last year (especially graphics) made it more expensive than buying a similar spec’d pre-built PC. I ended up with Dell and have been very happy. Best of luck to you in the future!

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Yes, it is the theme. Apple today is not what it was 5 or even 10 years ago. I remember having iPods that lasted years even after abuse. iPhones that worked, and worked well. Computers that were the pinnacle of reliability. AppleCare was only for the added convenience of the Genius Bar. Now AppleCare is a necessity. 

      Their product releases in the past few years have been marred with criticism. Unfinished products, buggy designs, etc. I’d steer clear for a while Kyle. If I had to make the choice now, I’d just walk over to the Microsoft store. Their surface products have done well from our limited usage tests. Seems like they are hungry for market share as well.

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  30. JJonathan LLong

    I have an iPhoneX.  I have noticed no quality issues in relation to the iPhone 6 or 7 that I previously owned.  I have a 5 year old iPad mini and MacBook Air to take with me on vacation.  Other than that, I build my own PC.  So, only one item that is of the newer generation you are referring to in the article.

    Your article is well written and keeps a measured and credible tone.  I say that only because your bad luck is beyond random which leads me to think of three possible explanations.

    1. You are not telling the truth (and I’ve already said that I have ruled that out by the manner in which you have communicated your experience).

    2. Apples quality has gone down.  With my one device that meets the criteria, I’ve not experienced what you have.  But, also, I’ve never heard anyone else with a bad iPhoneX experience (and everyone I know that isn’t an android user, has an iPhoneX I think.

    3. You have some malware on you network.  It could be old and made for a PC.  But it seems like Apple would have found it if it was an old and run of the mill virus.  

    3b.But if it was built by an intelligence agency, it could hide well.  There might be something wierd out there like an escaped version of the stuxnet virus that was never intended to run on a brand new Mac or even a computer—but instead, some type of industrial bios on a logic board in a nuclear reactor.  The malware may be made to hitch a ride, hidden from detection, on consumer items that might be taken into a power plant or nuclear centrefuge.  There’s a documentary about stuxnet that you should watch before you decide to call me a paranoid conspiracy guy.

    3c. If it was built by a domestic intelligence agency, there could be some type of legal requirement that Apple not reveal the software that is causing this issue for you.  Not that I want to make too many assumptions about you, but anyone who drops $12K on top of the line computer equipment and then buys a newer version just to test it out one more time probably has a little bit of disposable income.  And this is obviously something that’s really made you curious.  

    You might take your equipment to some type of forensics company for a second opinion.  Expensive.  But I’d be curious to know the results of you ever decide to do so.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Appreciate your comment Jonathan. Yes, regarding (1) this is literally just my experience, nothing more, nothing less. (2) This is where I am sitting today, Apple is not what they were 5 years ago. (3) Is doubtful, namely because we have 40-50 machines on this network, none of which have experienced these recurring issues. Most of these machines are PCs, some are prior gen Apples, a few are current gen. 3b/3c seem a little out there in the realm of possibilities. But, I don’t dismiss any possibilities these days. 

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  31. Howling Basset

    Been an Apple user since the late 80’s but on my last upgrade I found nothing really in the Apple store was what I needed. The current Mac Pro is old, the Mac Mini is old. The iMac Pro has a gloss screen, prefer my Eizo … so went down the retro route and got a professionally refurbished MacPro 5,1 … 64gb RAM, SSD, Raid, New 4gb Graphics card … goes like the wind and handy if I need to grate cheese too :-)

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    • Pye Jirsa

      This seems like a great route. I agree with the iMac Pro’s gloss screen, I wished it was matte as well. 

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  32. Ross Wilson

    That is a really bad string of luck. I wholeheartedly concour that Apple’s quality has gone down hill but I’ve not experienced anything to the extreme of what you’ve written here. I bought a 2017 MacBook Pro and have never had any of those issues. I use it as a desktop and under a pretty heavy load all day editing. That said I’ve found Apple and adobe don’t work quite so well together as they once did. I get some bugs regularly and it’s hard to figure out what side of the equation is to blame. I never had this problem 4 years ago with Apple and adobe editing the same file types so something has gone wrong somewhere. The iMac pro is way to expensive considering it’s not a long term solution and with no Desktop Mac Pro out for a while I feel weirdly cornered into using a laptop for the largest most complex project I’ve ever done. I know a lot of imac pro users experience my issues so I don think I can buy my way out of this hole even if I wanted too. Never so seriously considered a PC before.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Yes! Apple and Adobe do indeed seem to be having major issues these days. Each side blames one another of course. But, my Adobe software was running better on PC than it is on Apple these days! It’s insane considering what it used to be. I’m with you, thinking PC is the only way out right now. But, I’m also stuck for a while, so here’s to hoping that Apple gets their crap figured out! 

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  33. Ben Silverstein

    Pye, you bought Apples, but you got lemons! I have straddled the photography and technology worlds for several years now, and have seen good and bad on both sides of the Apple/PC debate. The older Apple hardware justified its higher price because it was actually higher quality e.g., SCSI hard drives instead of IDE. Since they dumped Motorola CPUs for Intel several years ago (and got a 4x speed boost!) they have used most of the same hardware. I have always built my own PCs and have never been an Apple laptop or desktop user. I have a couple of iPads and they have been fine. I’m too left-brained and right-handed to be able to use Apple’s systems intuitively.

    My current PC’s motherboard failed after four years of being run continuously, but because it was a quality board it had a five year warranty. Sent it in, got a new one, back online. Only one genius at this bar. :) This time it’s been running for more than a year without a hitch. This system is a six-core i7 with 64GB of RAM and a $600 graphics card. I don’t have a monitor as nice as the iMac’s 27″ display, but I can get one. I spent slightly more than half of what you did for your problematic iMac. I like being able to troubleshoot and fix my own hardware, but I realize not everyone has the ability or the inclination to.

    I would dearly love to be able to buy a machine that would do everything I need and be solid as a rock, but I know that it doesn’t exist. Apple built its OS on top of UNIX, which is one reason it’s so solid. They did that after they gave up on trying to adapt Steve Job’s NeXT OS that they paid $400M dollars for (mainly to get him to come back to the company). That’s when everything began to have an “i” (for Internet) in front of it, starting with the candy-colored iMacs. The rest is history.

    I don’t know what to tell you about your current dilemma, but if you think you have problems now, just wait until Apple starts making their own CPUs! Sometimes you have to stop hitting yourself in the head with a hammer just to see how good it feels. Best of luck.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Lol, loved your opening line amigo. Yes, all of your comments are on point. Scary to think what will happen with Apple CPUs and their current ability to control quality. I’m just disappointed that Apple today is no longer what they were, because in the past, I did feel like if you agreed to spend a little more money, you could get a machine that would do most anything and be rock solid. Today, you’re right, I don’t know that it exists. 

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    • Dave Haynie

      Current MacOS is based on many of the pieces that went into NeXTOS, Apple evolved that, perhaps, but never dumped it. They’re using BSD UNIX on top of the CMU Mach Kernel, the same underpinnings as NextOS. They’re doing all of their OOP stuff in Objective C, also inherited from NextOS. 

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  34. Cory Huff


    I have an iPhone 7, iPad touch 2, and a MacBook Pro 2017. 

    Never had any of the issues you’ve described. 

    Sorry to hear about this. 

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Good to hear amigo, my iPhone 7 was solid. Looks like you’ve had good luck with your MBP 2017. 

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  35. Arash Tebbi

    I pulled the trigger on the 10 core iMac pro right after you did. I had the same super slow mouse movement at startup until I logged in. It has become less frequent after the latest OS update. Apart from that, I’ve had 6 crashes where the computer has turned off while in sleep mode. I would also agree that it is ultimately less reliable than my mac pro desktop from 2010, which I still have, but do not use since it can’t cut 4K anywhere near the speed of the imac pro. The performance is in fact also better than the 12 core HP workstation I was coming from since that had it’s own lag. I think we can be more vocal about issues we encounter that are not resolved in the professional manner that Apple has been known for. On a side note, I had my Canon 5D IV die in the middle of a wedding, and a Canon specialist I spoke to on Twitter had my camera fixed in a hurry, along with a lens, and shipped back to me within 3 days. At least we can still count on Canon.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Yeah, I agree that Canon support and CPS have been models when it comes to customer support. On the Apple side, it’s absolutely crazy, almost the opposite experience all together. Like you, I’m hoping the stutters and slow downs don’t expand to complete failure. My iMac Pro has been replaced once, I’m just waiting for the moment it has to be replaced again. 

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  36. Jared Gant

    Wow, this is absolutely crazy. So sorry about all the bad luck you’re running into. I have actually never owned any Apple products. I’ve always built my own custom computers, and then a Android user since my first smartphone. I don’t think this is merely a coincidence though. I think you are probably a bit more of a conscious user with high expectations. I’ll be interested to come back and read comments to this article over the next few days.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Odd thing is I’ve never seen these issues with their older products. From phones to iPads to the laptops and machines we’ve got in the studio. I’ve never made the switch until recently (outside of phones/iPads), but their past hardware seemed fantastic. It’s the new stuff that I question. 

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    • Jared Gant

      Pye Jirsa you are not the only one. From afar I keep seeing similar complaints and more and more creatives moving to PC. 

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  37. Andy Chang

    Pye, I’m sorry (and quite surprised) you’re having bad experiences with Apple. I can comment on your article because I regularly have to switch between Mac and PC regularly. I use Apple products for the photography side and PC for the photobooth side since all major Canon-tethered booth software is PC-based. I do not have a need for the latest Apple tech, nor can I afford it at this time, but I can say my experience with the “older” Apple products has been quite good to me. Ok, so I do not do the volume and level of work you or your studio do but my i7 iMac and Macbook Pro (pre-Touch Bar) is still going strong after 7 years, no problems, no AppleCare. I own 4 Surface Pro tablets for the photobooth side and I’m constantly anxious/fearful about them failing on me or a Windows Update popping up when I told it not to. I also own 6 iPads currently, all for photobooth, no problems, even if I drop them by accident, no updating when I didn’t give permission. Some PC photobooth softwares do not do the best job of keeping up-to-date with Windows Updates and some even blame the customer for software crashes and fail to take responsibility for their mistakes. I recently had to reinstall the entire Windows OS on one tablet after an unexplained hardware failure. Installing Windows from scratch was the most aggravating thing ever with Windows Updates constantly failing. Never experienced that updating Apple products, rarely have to update at all. Having PC software I do not control also adds to my stress that it will crash during a wedding or corporate event, leading to a refund. The customer support though I’ve received from Microsoft is good, on par with Apple. In short, I’m still favoring Apple products much more over PC products just on the basis of overall experience and “how they make me feel.”  Hope the remainder of 2018 with Apple goes a little better for you.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      This is good to read, it’s also consistent with my experience with past products of a few years back. iPads, the older MacBooks and computers all seem to be going strong. It’s this 2017/2018 set that’s not. Appreciate your comment tho, please update us if you try out their new hardware.

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  38. Kim Farrelly

    WOW Pye. You are like the Bernie Lootz  of the IT world, that’s a crazy bad experience to have. 

    I’ve only had two issues with an Apple machine (2012 rMBP), batteries failed below expected performance after two years of use, Apple replaced them FOC & the other was a video issue similar to yours, they replaced the board also. Other than that still it’s flying along. 

    Your experience is beyond frustrating, I do hope they calm down for you and ‘just work’ from now on.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      I feel like their old hardware was far more reliable. Will be interesting to see if other people have these experiences with 2017/2018 hardware.

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