I have to confess, I'm somewhat of an Apple fanboi. I've been using Apple kit for a long, long time. I started out with the Apple II and was also a user of the early Macs. I also had the misfortune to use Apple kit during the wilderness years of the early/mid-90s. After that I switched to a mix of Linux and Windows.
After Vista rendered all my PCs pretty much useless I returned to the Apple camp with a purchase of a MacPro. Followed later by a 13" MacBook. Unfortunately the MacBook had a glass of lemon squash spilled over it (It actually still works but the battery doesn't charge right any more) so I recently updated to a 15" MacBook Pro (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256MB SSD). I have also had an iPhone 3G and have recently upgraded to the iPhone4.
Sadly my new MacBook Pro has developed a serious fault related to the memory after just 3 months and has had to go in for repair. Hence the reason for this post....
Apple kit has always cost that little bit more, but for the most part I've always been happy to pay the premium. I have always found the hardware to be of exceptional quality both in terms of specification and build. I've also always found the software to that little bit better than anything else.
I really get the impression that this is now changing. Both my MacBooks have been the unibody design (which really beats the tacky plastic cases of other manufacturers) but both have be not quite as good as I hoped. The first has a DVD drive that doesn't always pick up the disk first time and the disk sometimes sticks when inserting. My newer machine has died after just 3 months. Also both machines have been less stable (i.e. more crashes) than my MacPro ever has.
Despite what people are saying on the web, I can't fault my iPhone 4. Antenna seems fine to me. However I've certainly found the newer iPhone 3.x and iOS 4 releases to be more buggy than the earlier versions that I had on my 3G.
I'm beginning to wonder if I'm now just paying for the Apple name rather than the extra quality that used to be built in for their premium price.
Also, 7 days lead time on an appointment at a Genius Bar in the London Apple stores!!!! Seriously, they must be joking. My MacBook is in with an authorised service provider as I just refuse to accept that no one at an Apple store can even look at non-starting MacBook for a week!
I'm still willing to pay my premium for Apple products (for the time being) but I certainly think they need to invest more of their cash mountain back into quality and customer service.