Thursday, 28 January 2010

Back to Reality

After all the excitement of last night's iPad announcement (and thankfully an end to all the speculation and rumour mongering - for now!) it's time to wake up and smell the roses. The real world is still out there and Apple still has an existing product line to support. I see an increasing number of problems being reported in the press, in blogs and on Apple-related forums, that seem to suggest that the famous Apple quality standards may be slipping ever so slightly. An example is the serious issues with the latest 27inch iMacs which have seen numerous shipping delays. It's a fact of life that a business that built its reputation on the combination of innovative, elegant and high quality products cannot afford to let any one of those attributes be compromised. Of course, it may simply be that increased market share, as well as increasing numbers of products just means that there is more exposure of problems.

Traditionally Mac users have been very product aware. They don't just use their computers and software, they explore the systems and their possibilities and they understand the subtleties and nuances that make Macs so powerful. As more people migrate to Apple from traditional PC brands and Microsoft Windows we shouldn't necessarily expect that pioneering spirit to envelope the new breed of user.

So where am I going with all this?

My networking problems, documented in other entries in this blog have re-emerged, and I cannot find a satisfactory solution. However, I now find that I'm far from alone, which in some ways gives me comfort - working on the old adage of a problem shared being a problem halved (or even solved!). None of the suggestions that I've seen and tried have provided more than slight relief, and all of them involve tinkering with esoteric advanced network settings. Since this is a new problem (new in the sense that it didn't exist in my system six months ago) and is repeatable in other people's, differently configured, systems, the logical conclusion is that it is an OS bug that is causing a network failure.

What bothers me is that I never see any Apple presence on the Apple support forums, so we never know whether any of these problems are investigated at Apple HQ. Worse still, there is no way I can see for a normal user to be able to report a bug, other than as a result of a system crash - no crash no bug!

Apple needs to improve its customer facing support service to provide us with some reassurance that our problems are being investigated and that solutions, where applicable, are being sought. I'm on about genuine problems here, not the ones that plague support forums because people are too lazy or stupid to figure things out for themselves by picking up a book or doing a search on the internet.

Reputations built on quality will disintegrate overnight if that quality is compromised. Caveat Apple.

No comments:

Post a Comment