Apple products are getting more expensive

I’ve been thinking about Apple’s pricing a lot lately. It’s reached a point where I’m not going to be able to afford to update my Apple hardware as often as I would like.

My Apple devices are getting dated but for now, I won’t be upgrading to any new devices. I’m going to have to use my existing hardware until it becomes unusable. Instead of having an iMac, MacBook, iPad, and iPhone as I do now I’ll be more selective in the future. For example, my iMac is a late 2013 non-retina. It’s getting dated. It’s stuck on Sierra. I love it but when it fails I won’t be replacing it. Instead, I’ll use my 2015 MacBook for all my computing needs. I just can’t justify the cost of owning two macs anymore.

I’ll also be sticking with my iPhone 7 Plus for now. It works great and does everything that I need for it to do. At a $1,000 plus a new iPhone Xs model isn’t in my budget.

I’ve got a feeling I’m not the only one feeling this way. Here’s a Washington Post article that does a nice job of laying Apple’s price hikes and what you should do if the price of Apple loyalty is getting hard for you to swallow.

Geoffrey A. Fowler and Andrew Van Dam, writing for the Washington Post

Apple has never made cheap stuff. But this fall many of its prices increased 20 percent or more. The MacBook Air went from $1,000 to $1,200. A Mac Mini leaped from $500 to $800. It felt as though the value proposition that has made Apple products no-brainers might unravel.

What we learned: Being loyal to Apple is getting expensive. Many Apple product prices are rising faster than inflation — faster, even, than the price of prescription drugs or going to college. Yet when Apple offers cheaper options for its most important product, the iPhone, Americans tend to take the more expensive choice. So while Apple isn’t charging all customers more, it’s definitely extracting more money from frequent upgraders.

What we see is a reflection of a new reality for consumer tech. Most Americans who want a smartphone, tablet or laptop already have one and aren’t interested in changing to a new system. Without big subsidies from phone carriers and as product innovation slows, we also don’t mind holding on to these products for three or more years. Apple, hoping to charge more every time we do buy, is changing how it gets money from us. So we need to change how we think about its value.

But the specs hardly matter. As any member of the Apple tribe will profess, it’s selling far more than sexy hardware. It’s an Apple-only operating system that works with all its other Apple-only stuff, like iMessage and iCloud — a (mostly) happy trap that’s hard to leave. You’re buying access to all those Apple Stores and customer service, not to mention Apple’s aggressive stance on privacy.

The paradox is that many Apple customers think they must have the latest, trained by Apple marketing to future-proof ourselves. So this year, instead of buying a year-old iPhone 8 at a discount or an iPhone XR (a much less expensive compromise to the top iPhone XS), many customers are skipping out on an upgrade altogether.

The question is: How far can Apple’s latest and greatest prices stretch? “Apple is becoming aggressive, perhaps overly so, in pricing the top- of-the-line models of its products,” says Rafi Mohammed, a pricing strategy consultant. And that is “putting its loyal relationship with its core customers at risk.”

In 2014, Americans waited about 24 months to upgrade their phones at national carriers, according to BayStreet. Now we’re waiting almost 36 months. People will ride their iPhone 6S until its wheels come off.

“I could see it going to four years” for phones, says industry analyst Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies.

So what should you do if the price of Apple loyalty is getting hard to swallow?

Instead, you might ask: How many Apple products do you really need?

Beyond that, it’s about recalibrating our upgrade urge. Apple devices really do last a long time, all the more so with the inexpensive battery replacements Apple is offering through the end of the year. If your iPhone breaks, used ones available on eBay can still work great for far less money.

Or: Before buying the new thing following one of Apple’s launch events, wait a month until the buzz settles. If the product doesn’t still seem very revolutionary, it’s a safe bet to save your money by holding on for another year. Or four.

Magic Mouse randomly losing connection

I have been having issues with my Magic Mouse losing its connection. It was happening so often that it was driving me crazy. I had to do something about it.

I started by doing a google search for “Magic Mouse keeps losses connection”. I found a forum where other folks were having the same problem. This suggestion by sbeddoesdesign in an Apple Discussion Forum solved my problem:

I had this problem too, turns out a slight design flaw with the mouse is that smaller batteries come loose and power is lost, so the bluetooth dies. You’ll probably find that it loses connection when you’re moving it around quite a lot, in particular, when you lift it up off of the desk and put it back down again. See, different brands of battery tend to be ever so slightly varied in size, and smaller ones tend to be more ‘loose’ in the mouse and an be shaken loose when moving the mouse around.

The best solution (the one which worked for me) is to grab a set of Apple’s own rechargeable batteries from their store as they are just the right size to fit in the mouse without ever being shaken loose.

If you can’t do this, some people find that wedging a bunch of paper between the two batteries and between the batteries and the mouse door can help keep them in place.

Wedging a bunch of paper between the two batteries and between the batteries and the mouse door worked for me. If you’re experiencing the same problem with your Magic Mouse I hope this solves the problem for you as it did me.

iOS 12 keyboard trackpad on iPhone or iPad

Having a trackpad on my iPhone and iPad comes in really handy for moving the cursor around in a document versus trying to tap the cursor where I want it.

If you’re not using the trackpad feature you should give it a try. Here’s how:

If your device has 3D Touch – which includes most iPhones since 2015’s iPhone 6s – you can hard press the keyboard whenever it’s present onscreen, turning it into a makeshift trackpad. If you have an iPhone SE or iPhone XR with iOS 12 -both of which lack 3D Touch -you can now long-press the spacebar to invoke the same trackpad.

Via appleinsider

You may want to try iOS 12 on your current iPhone before buying one of the new ones

Every year at this time I toss and turn over whether I should get a new iPhone. My current iPhone is a 7 Plus that I purchased under Apple’s Upgrade Program. Last year I passed on upgrading to the iPhone X. I just didn’t see a compelling reason to do so other than to have the newest iPhone. I find myself in the same position this year. My 7 Plus does everything I want from a phone.

So here’s what I plan to do. I’m going to take this recommendation Don’t buy any of the new iPhones announced this week until you’ve downloaded iOS 12 to your current iPhone from Business Insider.

If you’re considering buying any of the fancy new iPhones that Apple announced on Wednesday and are already an iPhone user, wait until iOS 12 is released before deciding.

Apple will release iOS 12 on Monday.

iOS 12 brings a ton of changes to the iPhone, including faster performance on older devices. After you’ve tried it, you may not feel like upgrading.

Web Finds for September 13, 2018

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique and informative news, apps and websites that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

Credit Freezes Will Soon Be Free
With the one-year anniversary of the Equifax breach just behind us, here’s a reminder that you will be able to freeze your credit reports and sign up for year-long fraud alerts for free starting Sept. 21 thanks to a federal law passed earlier this year.
Via Lifehacker

IPHONE XS AND XS MAX: HANDS-ON WITH APPLE’S GIANT NEW PHONE
Apple just announced the iPhone XS and XS Max. They’re iterations on last year’s iPhone X, but the XS Max at least stands out in one very notable way: it’s so much larger. The Max has a 6.5-inch screen, making it a bigger phone than even the latest model in Samsung’s famously large Galaxy Note line.
Via The Verge

Apple iPhone XR hands-on: the new default iPhone
The new iPhone XR, which feels like it will be the default iPhone for many people this season. Not only does it have a very similar design to the more expensive iPhone XS model, it has many of the same features for a considerably lower price.
Via The Verge

Hello eSIM: Apple moves the iPhone away from physical SIMs
On Wednesday, Apple announced that its new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will use an eSIM—a purely electronic SIM that allows users to maintain a secondary phone line in a single device. That line could be a secondary domestic line (say you’re a journalist and don’t want to have separate personal and work iPhones), or the phone could have an American and Canadian number (if you travel across the border frequently).
Via Ars Technica

Previous Web Finds are here.