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"Why first generation Apple products suck"

Gundeep Hora at CoolTechZone has taken a critical eye to what some consider are Apple's recent and rocky 1st generation product launches. The article utilizes two examples - the iPod nano scratch issue and MacBook heat complaints - to illustrate what Gundeep argues is Apple's faulty process of releasing products and then reacting to serious flaws when the public outcry spreads across enough blogs and petition sites.

Whether you're already hastily typing a comment to flame Gundeep or you have one of those aforementioned petitions already open in a separate tab, Gundeep has written an interesting piece that I think could strike a deeper chord if he used a find/replace command to swap the word 'Apple' with 'the computing industry as a whole'. Similar criticism of Apple's 1st generation production quality crops up on the web every couple of months like clockwork, and I think it's because there is an unusually high level of expectation surrounding their products. I'm not saying Gundeep's criticism is misplaced; quite the contrary: my first Mac ever was the 1st generation of 12" PowerBooks (867 MHz baby!) and I had to go through four of them to get one that didn't overheat or have a hard drive that choked itself to death within hours of bringing it home. To make matters worse, the Apple Store, including its snotty manager, treated me only slightly better than that sticky stuff you try to scrape off the bottom of your shoe. My next Mac experience was the 1st gen 15" Aluminum PowerBook that was a part of the 'white spots' debacle - case in point: I feel Gundeep's pain, but Apple isn't the only computer and electronics company to exhibit these kinds of mass production complications. Other computer makers have had to recall batteries and entire batches of one computer model or another. Dell recently had to replace some faulty displays, and I can't remember which mobile phone company's batteries are exploding this week.

To wrap this all up: Apple sets the bar high with their unique design and flashy marketing, and because of that, I think their customers and the media at large simply hop on board for the honeymoon each and every time the company whips out a shiny new toy. Criticism like Gundeep's seems to appear when the fantasy inevitably hits speed-bumps that are simple facts of life and mass production. In the end Apple is a company, like any other, that is susceptible to hardware defects, firmware botches and software hiccups. Then the conversation turns to products, quality and accountability of the industry as a whole - but I think that discussion might be better suited for a different post. Granted, none of these issues are any fun when you're the one stuck with the bad apple (yes, a pun), but sensationalizing the situation isn't going to solve anything. Keeping a level head, however, and understanding that 1st gen hardware can sometimes be a gamble - no matter who it's from - just might save a few headaches, and perhaps then you won't need to sign that petition after all.

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