Why Pay For Quality?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by MeeMac, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. MeeMac macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2013
    Why Pay For Quality?

    Why pay top dollar for equipment that will last 20 years if the ever changing operating systems make that product unusable after 4 years?

    If so, why do we keep paying for high quality hardware?

    Are we buying top of the line automobiles each year; only to find that the gasoline companies are changing the octane ever year such that our automobiles will no longer perform as well using the new octane gasoline?

    If I can still drive to the post office and to the store in my 2002 Honda S2000; why can’t I email, shop online with my 2002 iMac G4?

    What we need is an automobile manufacture that ALSO manufactures and sells the gasoline. THAT company would never allow THEIR automobiles to become obsolete; would they?

    Are we dealing with a bait and & switch situation in which the operating systems are the real “planned obsolescence” as opposed to the hardware?

    It seems I ask myself this question more everyday.
    Your thoughts?
  2. meistervu macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I remembered back in 1990 there was a free computer magazine in Silicon Valley that I used to read. There was a writer who was really pragmatic. He reviewed both hardware and softwares. I liked his review because he was based his opinion on the practicality of his review subject and wasn't blinded by the state of the art.

    He wrote his last column one day in which he said he has the hardware and software he needed for the rest of his life, and that there is nothing else worth reviewing.

    I am wondering if he has written any review since.
  3. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Reliability. I want something that is not only durable, but also works well.

    Resale value. I pay for quality because value is retained when it's time to cycle it on to the next user.

    Because unlike roads, the nature of online commerce has changed. You couldn't rent HD or 4K videos online in 2002, so an iMac was not expected to effortlessly decode high bitrate, high resolution video. But today, we expect it out of our mobile devices, which now having computing power that exceeds an iMac G4 from 2002, to be able to do these things.

    By contrast, we expected our cars 30 years ago to take us to the store, and to work, and back, and sometimes longer trips. The same is true today. So if you've taken good care of a 1984 automobile, it will still work on the road today.

    Of course, there are concerns now about alternative fuel vehicles. but that's out of necessity. Eventually, we will run out of liquified dinosaur bones. So we'll eventually need to find something else to make our cars go.

    the analogy doesn't hold between our computers and our cars. The motivations for innovation in the two fields are different.

    Uhm, of course they would?

    I have no idea what you're going on about, is my thought.
  4. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    My thoughts?

    I like gadgets, and I have enough spare cash to buy them.
  5. oneMadRssn, Nov 26, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014

    oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    Remember that cars in their early days of their respective technology were essentially obsolete very quickly as well. Maybe not as quickly as a phone today, but relative to their high cost, they were obsolete quite quick. The octane rating was not invented until mid 1920s, and even then it did not become a standard against which consumers purchased gasoline for a while after. Before that, there were competing fuels and even competing engine technologies. That is also to say nothing of non-standard wheels or other parts that often broke and required custom replacement parts to be fabricated locally. It was not until post-WW2 that car technology matured to be reliable and long-lasting, and effective standards were put in place to ensure compatibility.

    As far as the technology timeline, smart phones are still fairly young. We have some standards emerging now, but they are not yet widely adopted. The standards that are widely adopted deal with the communication radios mostly. As for software, there aren't many standards that allow compatibility between OSes (java? but... no.) As time goes on, I think OS updates will support more older hardware and in general phones will be capable of lasting longer - whether or not the user actually uses them that long is a different story. If iOS9 supports the iPhone 5, then it will be the iPhone which has lasted through the most iOS updates.

    Look to desktops and laptops to see why paying for quality is worthwhile. Desktop or laptop computers are a technology that is closer in maturity to that of a car than to that of a smartphone. Absent any accidental damage, a macbook air purchased in 2011 will likely continue to receive OS updates until 2016. It will likely be perfectly fine for web, documents, and consuming media until 2021 or later. There are tons of users in this forum who still use their Powerbook G4 laptops and Powermac / iMac G5 desktops from before 2002. A high quality Mac can offer 10+ years of reliable service. The same cannot be said for low quality Dell, Toshiba, Acer, Asus, etc. Windows PC. To some degree, the same is true of cars - though cars tend to price luxury features higher than build quality.
  6. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    I think the main issue is that if something is built like junk, it will not be a very good user experience today or over the next 4 years. Therefore, quality build affects our interaction with a device today.

    When I was 16, I got a vehicle from my parents. The thing could still drive me to school, but it was a horrible experience. The liner on the roof detached, so it was hanging down, the handles for the doors came detached, so you had to pull the door shut by grabbing the outside of the door, it rattled constantly when you weren't parked, etc... It was made like junk and I felt it every day I drove it...even if the engine on the thing continued to run.
  7. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    Because you can't compare cars and devices (phones, laptops etc.) like that. Cars don't get twice as fast every two years and even if they did, the average consumer doesn't need more speed.

    Technology inspires innovation and innovation inspires technology. If Toyota made a Camry that was twice as fast, it wouldn't make a difference, there's no highways that you have to be doing a minimum of 200 miles an hour to use. The average consumer would have no use for it.

    If you get a device to someone that's twice as fast, they can play better games, do more multitasking, play 4k video smoother etc. And it's going to last longer because technology inspires innovation. More powerful software is always being made for the devices of tomorrow.

    On the other side of the coin, there's no such thing as the "new super dense air" that everybody's going to want to have a car that can get through. Self driving cars are really the only thing on the horizon that would across the board change how cars work.

    There are some similarities, I like high quality devices and I also like high quality cars. Even though I don't upgrade my car as quickly as my other devices, I'd still like (for however long I own them) to have a nice experience of high quality well thought out design.
  8. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Well by all means, if you can find Amazon.com from 2002 feel free to shop there. I'm sure it would work great on that hardware.

    But Amazon's not really interested in doing that. They're going to keep improving their page and that's going to keep raising the bar for what's needed to access it.

    The fact that software and services are continuously changing is the "problem" here. Not the hardware makers as you've somehow concluded. Back when all software came on a disk you really could "freeze" a system and just stop changing the software on it. But now that so much of what we do it network-based that's become almost impossible to do.

    In some ways that's a shame, but it's not the hardware-makers' fault.
  9. wxman2003 Suspended

    Apr 12, 2011
    At least the computer and smartphone industry is not as bad as the tv industry. They got people buying the hype of 4K tv. 4K is great if you have a 60 inch tv and sit less than 2 feet away from it. Any further away and you can't tell the difference between 4K and current 2K. But don't worry, in 2 to 3 years, they will be pushing out 8K tv. Mind you, nobody anytime soon will be broadcasting 4K material, and if they do, good luck with cable tv actually being able to transmit it without being horribly compressed like netflix.
  10. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
    I don't think phones can be compared to cars...
  11. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    That's your option. In my option, 1080p on a 50" at a reasonable viewing distance looks pretty bad. The thing that's desperately needed is a frame rate boost to 60 fps.
  12. wxman2003 Suspended

    Apr 12, 2011
    I agree with you 100% with boosting frame rate. Sports should be at 60 fps. It can be done and all tv's can handle that. NHL is the only sport that streams at 60fps and it looks really good. For 3D movies higher frame rate is needed. I know some directors are doing movies with HFR of 48 fps, but they get luke warm response because it's looks too much like the soap opera effect. As far as optimal viewing distance, for a 50 inch HDTV, the sweet spot is 6 feet.
  13. JamesMike macrumors demi-god


    Nov 3, 2014
    The optimal viewing distance is 6 feet? That seems a bit close.
  14. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    You can still freeze current tech. People just refuse to do so, and choose to rely on cloud/network related services.
  15. wxman2003 Suspended

    Apr 12, 2011
    Not really. Use this web site.


    Select 16:9, enter your screen size diagonally, hit calculate and use the Viewing Distances Based on Visual Acuity on the bottom of the web form and use the distance "Maximum Viewing Distance for HDTV(Fully resolved 1080i; 1920 x 1080)"

    You can also use the Recommended THX viewing distance, or the Maximum recommended SMPTE viewing distance. For 50 inch tv, they will vary from 5.6 to 6.8 feet.
  16. JamesMike macrumors demi-god


    Nov 3, 2014
    Thanks for the information.
  17. MeeMac thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2013
  18. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Its a good point...

    but then, "Why pay top dollar for a Lamborghini, if we're gonna sell it it in 10 years time anyway?."

    - because we can
    - we wanna waste money (in some small way)
    - Other (use your imagination for this one)
  19. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Install debian. Iceweasel is well supported and runs on a pretty broad range of hardware.
  20. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    This is the winning question.

    The answer is that you can. I have an iMac G4 2003 model running OS X Tiger, had it since new. Its still with me today and is still one of my daily drivers. I can email and shop online with it perfectly fine.

    However, if Apple had the choice, I wouldn't be able to. All of the software Apple contributed for it has now been deemed obsolete and dropped from support. If it wasn't for apps like TenFourFox, Spotify, Dropbox, Open XML Converter, YouView and Skype still supporting the PowerPC platform, then my G4 would be a beautiful paperweight.

    It is no secret that Apple like to drop support for their products far too early. It is up to the user to decide if legacy support is important to them because if so, Apple is probably the last company they should be buying from unless they're confident that 3rd party software will be available to extend the life of their computer beyond what Apple deems as acceptable.

    Due to the locked down nature of iOS, it isn't even possible on iPhones and iPads. Once Apple ditches you, buy a new phone sucker.
  21. turtle777 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2004
    What are you talking about ?

    There is no computer manufacturer that builds product that lasts 20 years.
    Heck, 10 years is a stretch these days.

    I find the whole mindset of "Why Pay For Quality" wrong.

    For me, it's "Why pay for crap ?"

  22. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    To have this discussion we need to first define what quality is.
  23. MacCruiskeen macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2011
    This would be less of an issue for Mac users if Apple weren't also making their computers extremely difficult to upgrade. In ye olde days, you could keep a computer going until there was a fatal motherboard failures. Reliability is certainly a concern when repairability is very limited. When I can no longer use the iMac I have now, I'm not entirely certain another Mac will replace it. I've been moving as much of my work as I can to my Linux laptop.
  24. JackieInCo Suspended

    Jul 18, 2013
    Exaclty. There are certainly people out in the world who have owned Macs who have had nothing but problems with them and would be very cautious on calling their make anything but a quality device.
  25. G4er? macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2009
    Temple, TX
    With non upgradable processors, soldered ram, etc it is starting to look foolish to make Macs with such robust cases. Just how long does the case need to last when the parts inside will be obsolete and useless in a few short years?

    You can still make the case look nice but a lot of money could be saved for both Apple and the end user if the cases were different.

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33 November 26, 2014