Middle Class Problems: I'm falling out of love with Apple

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The Independent Online

It was love at first sight. April 1988, New York, staying with a friend who was looking after a cat in the downtown apartment of an architect. There, on a desk, stood a computer. An Apple Macintosh. We turned it on.

We had seen computers – well, Amstrads, glorified word processors, really – before. But this was different. We had not heard the term "user-friendly" back then, but we were users and this felt like an instant friend.

From that day on I became something of an evangelist for Apple products. Desktops, laptops, iPods, iPads, iPhones… I've owned and loved them all.

But the scales have started to fall now. First, there was the phone lead that cost about £25 to replace. Then there were the endless software upgrades, the "this product is not licensed" glitches and various reasons to have to visit an Apple store – those nightmarish visions of the future staffed entirely by people who make the team at Greggs the baker look charming and helpful. And as for having to book an appointment with a "Genius"…

There are, of course, other computers, smartphones and tablets available. But I'm not quite there yet. There will come a time when I'm resigned to that fate but now, with 25-plus years of loyalty behind me, I'm still a sucker for a shiny Apple product and can't quite imagine the past quarter century of my life without them.

But I'm not the only one falling out of love: Apple stores were one of the biggest casualties in the recent Which? Best and Worst Shops list. Like they say, it only takes one bad Apple…