Wednesday, June 15, 2011

iMacs: Like Ordering a Big Mac

My iMac died this past Sunday, and now I'm waiting for the replacement computer to arrive.  Let me tell you what it's like to buy a Mac.

First off, I'll admit that buying anything Apple is magical.  Everything they produce is a work of art.  The cases always look sexy.  Everything is plug-and-play.  You can hardly go wrong with Apple.

Or, at least that's what they'd like you to think.  <shifty eyes>

On the other hand, buying an Apple computer is also like ordering a hamburger at McDonalds.  When you get a Big Mac, you're going to get the beef, and the bread, and the lettuce, cheese, and secret sauce.  It's all laid out for you EVEN BEFORE YOU ORDER THE DANG THANG.  With an iMac, you get four different choices.
  • 21.5-inch: 2.5 GHz (the Cheeseburger)
  • 21.5-inch: 2.7 GHz (the Double Cheeseburger)
  • 27-inch: 2.7 GHz (the Quarter Pounder with Cheese)
  • 27-inch: 3.1 GHz (the Big Mac)
You can these with or without fries.  That is, you can order extra software at a slight discount.

They'll ship the computer to you in 24 hours unless you deviate from the standard order.  Just like saying, "I'll have a Big Mac without cheese," it's going to take longer.  I asked to switch out the tiny wireless keyboard for a wired standard keyboard, and to give me a magic trackpad instead of the magic mouse (I already have one of those).  Because of this change, they just now shipped it today, two days after I ordered.

Now, this is where I complain about the lack of choice.  As I explained in my previous post, a 27-inch monitor is not going to fit on my desk.  That kills off the "Quarter Pounder" and the "Big Mac".  But what if I want a 21.5-inch monitor with a 3.1 GHz chip?  I guess I'd be out of luck.

Do you know what I'd really want?  A red case!  White is so boring.  Why can't Apple sell me a computer in a red case?  Now, that would be sexy!  They used to sell iMacs in "flavors."

Then again, I'm silly for wanting a red case.  Steve Jobs knows what I want, and he's going to tell me what it is.  I can choose one of those four sandwiches, or I can go buy a <gasp> PC computer.  Now there are plenty of those "other" vendors who could sell me a computer in a red case.  But they're not going to give me a piece of art.  A piece of something else, I suppose.  So, Steve Jobs is right.  I really do want an iMac in a white case (like everyone else who's buying an iMac today).  Wow, we're becoming like the gray people in this video!

So instead of getting what I really want, I'm settling for what Apple has to offer.  I'll still enjoy it, but for the price, I could really enjoy it a lot more.

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