My Letter to Apple
Dear Mr. Tim Cook,
I am an avid consumer of all things Apple. I am, in fact, an Apple fanboy.
But I am concerned. A friend recently asked me, “What is the latest hot thing from
Apple?” I paused. “You mean, you don’t know?” “No, I really don’t.”
I report this conversation to you because if you’re Apple — and as ceo, you’re Apple
— that’s not good. People don’t know what your latest tremendously innovative
product is! Everybody with an iPhone used to be up to speed, but now they’re not.
I do know the answer to my friend’s question. The latest great Apple product is the
wireless Bluetooth AirPods. They’re the one Apple product I can’t use, because I’m
deaf. But people who have them say the specially built microphones are amazing.
The AirPods come in a case that looks like dental floss, and they last three to five
hours on a charge.
One reason people haven’t heard about these things is scarcity. At first, no one could get them at all, because they were temporarily pulled
from production. Even now, from order to delivery takes six weeks. Six weeks! I can’t fathom that. (Just as I couldn’t fathom your admission
that Apple “misunderstood the demand” for the iPhone 7 Plus. Mind-boggling!)
In the meantime, you’ve made big news by promoting a woman from human resources, as The Verge reports, “to a newly created vp position
in charge of diversity and inclusion efforts.” Well, great. Your most recent announcements have focused on what you’ve been doing for lgbt
month, your work on “autonomous systems” for self-driving cars, and your new subsidiary, Apple Energy, which sells solar power.
But there haven’t been any product announcements, which your actual customers are actually hungering for. This matters to me greatly,
because there is nothing I want more than for Apple to flourish, and keep creating stupendous devices — which when they arrive make me feel
like it’s Christmas morning.
So, since your priorities are those of the social justice left, I guess I need to approach you by speaking your language, using the terminology
of the left:
1. Inclusivity. You are not being inclusive, Mr. Cook. There are people who would love AirPods who cannot get them, because Apple won’t make
enough of them. You are excluding people from the benefits of AirPod ownership.
2. Equality. A six-week wait creates inequalities of product receipt. You are discriminating against potential buyers, meaning all customers are
3. Fairness. It’s not fair that some customers have not yet received their orders. You’re creating AirPod haves and have-nots.
4. Sustainability. Apple is, sadly, coming up short. We haven’t even gotten to the point where the AirPods’ sustainability can be determined,
since there aren’t enough of them out there. This situation is clearly unsustainable.
Your celebration of diversity is apparently on the uptick, and I’m happy about that. And I’m thrilled about the clean energy solar farm, and
driverless car software. But when it comes to products, you fail all four pillars of liberalism: inclusivity, equality, fairness, and sustainability.
Which prompts me to play the biggest card in the liberal deck: “Apple fans are offended.”
I expect that word alone — as it always does — will create immediate panicked action by your industry to address these grievances.