Escaping the Cult of Cupertino
Like all good residents of the Bay Area the Grizzlies were loyal Apple Worshipers. Followers of the Cult of Cupertino, with the current High Priests Ive and Cook. We made our bi-annual pilgrimages to the local temple – known to many as the Apple Store. We paid our respects to the relics of Steve Jobs – it was rumored that our local store had one of his black turtlenecks. We handed over our offerings, usually somewhere around $2-3k in gold coins and a freshly slaughtered goat. And we left with a black or silver slab that proved our worth to the other converts – most of our friends and family.
We followed the rights of the cult rigorously. They included staring into the black and silver slabs for hours on end, lovingly caressing them with our fingers while ignoring all distractions such as actual conversation. Providing regular tithes in exchange for hymns downloaded into our smaller slabs. Watching the regular sermons issued by Cupertino on the newest forms of worship. And signing the praises of the cult to whoever was not a convert – this involved mainly heaping scorn on anyone lowly enough to showcase inferior devices. The greatest hatred was reserved for anyone who dared to tell us that some other black or silver slab might be a bit better than those from our beloved priests.
We were not alone in our worship. Millions and millions of other converts are spread across the globe, funneling their own offerings into the temple, building up a massive trove of gold for the promised days – when all the world will be covered in anodized aluminum and a smooth glass bezel. Everything stamped with the happy logo of the cult. Almost everyone we met in the bay area was a worshipper. Hundreds of thousands of souls huddled over the warm glowing light of their tablets for large portions of their waking lives.
Our Path Out
Needless to say – we bought a lot of Apple products. Both of us always had latest iPhone model. We each had our own iPad – a mini for Mrs. Grizzly a standard for myself. A dual apple laptop for both of us was a necessity – some sort of PowerBook or the latest Mac Air. Throw in a pair of iPods for good measure. An airport extreme provided our wireless signal. An Apple TV powered our television. And to round it all our we had a Mac desktop in our family room. I suspect if Apple had ever gotten around to releasing a car we would have purchased one of those as well. We followed the regularly prescribed upgrade cycle for all of our products and rarely missed a new edition. Our entire life was one giant Apple logo and we had the credit card receipts to prove it.
Then, a few months back, as we started on this little journey to freedom we realized two things. One, you don’t need so many damn devices, and two, other companies actually make things that do almost the exact same things for a fraction of the cost. They may not look as pretty, but what’s more valuable, your freedom or some fancy aluminum case?
Today marks the day when we are officially free of the Apple Cult, our old Mac Desktop finally bit the dust and we’ve decided not to replace it. If and when we do replace it (probably when Baby Bear gets old enough to start using a computer) we’ll go for something much cheaper.
It surprised even us when we realized exactly how much we were handing over to Cupertino every year. Once you add up every product we purchased and the normal replacement cycle, we spent over $5000 per year on just Apple Products. It varied by year, but I took a quick look back at some of our previous years and the average was pretty consistent.
We’ve pulled that average down to less than $1000 per year by getting rid of a few products we hardly ever used like the iPads. And switching to significantly cheaper (but still great!) products like Android Nexus phones and Samsung laptops. We haven’t yet noticed our lives becoming significantly less happy now that we don’t have an Apple product in our hands constantly, but we’ll let you know if that changes. It turns out you can be pretty happy with significantly cheaper tech products! Who would have guessed?!
But as with all of this. The important component of this is freedom. How many years of freedom were we giving up because we were locked in our Apple Cult? Was it worth it? Based on our calculations we were giving up about one year of our life. This wasn’t a good trade.