Preamble: I wrote this post about Apple products (and Apple pricing!) a few years ago. I’m re-sharing it today. Mainly because I re-found the ‘bad advice’ tumblr blog over at the Establishment (this sentence will make sense shortly). And spoiler alert: that tumblr blog is still awesome.
One of my favourite ways of occupying time is reading through the back catalogue of the tumblr blog “Here’s That Bad Advice You Were Hoping For“. It has pleased me. Greatly.
And I’ve been inspired. Because I suspect that I would take great delight in writing in sarcastic reductionist tones.
So I went onto Quora, and I found this:
The answers on offer to this question were refreshingly awkward. Lots of business theory and shareholder value maxims. Very…defensive.
So I can’t really offer bad advice here – but I can answer the question badly.
And here goes (with paraphrasing):
Help! Apple isn’t giving me any money!
Dear Rolling Alpha.
I have been a loyal Apple purchaser for years and years. Ever since the iPod, my birthdays and Christmases have been a festival of self-gifting – upgrades and accessories and iTunes gift vouchers. I have them all. And a mountain-load of credit card debt. But what I don’t understand is – why are all these things so expensive? Apple has so much profit and so much spare money – why doesn’t it just lower prices?
Regards – Cheaper would definitely be more Cheerful.
Dear Cheap and apparently-not-yet-Cheerful-enough
You’re absolutely right on the money with this one.
Businesses don’t exist to make profit off people like you and me. Businesses are there to be kind-hearted Santas, dishing out the goodies in exchange for side-plates of mince pies and glasses of skim milk.
You’ve been a loyal Apple consumer for all those years and years. It shouldn’t matter that you’ve been happily paying these “expensive” prices all along – how dare Apple accept all of the money that you hand them so willingly, those avaricious bastards?
After all, where would Apple be without you? You’re the customer, for Google’s sake! You are the centre of the retail Universe. You are the reason that Steve Jobs, and the guy that replaced him, and then Steve Jobs again, and now Timo Cookie-monster, built this massive multinational empire that’s larger than all but 20 of the world’s economies. But they’ve done that now. And now that they’ve done it, there’s no reason for them to make a profit.
Like, enough already. We should get free stuff!
Apple can afford it!!!
And as for Apple shareholders: the greedy scum. Why should all those pension funds have money to pay out pensions? And why should people that save their money and invest it in unit trusts and mutual funds get any benefit from them? Those people are so self-entitled, with their fancy financial advisors and careful retirement plans. What kind of world are we living in where those people get money returned to them and people like us don’t get free stuff?!
Hell. You’re more than right. You’re 100,000% right. Right squared. Right to the power of right, even.
And to all those naysayers out there – yes, we could go out into the world and buy Apple shares via an index fund; and yes, that would be a way to get our share of the money being returned while continuing to pay full price for the iPhone 8 plus-plus; but you need to quit being so negative.
Anyway. We’ve already driven ourselves into mountain-loads of credit card debt to live in the Apple ecosystem: so WE are already giving away iPhones for free in the form of interest payments to our credit card providers.
And if we can do it, then Apple can do it.
Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rollingalpha.