John Robb uses his ipad
John Robb uses his ipad
John Robb uses his ipad
John Robb uses his ipad

Dear Apple,


I know you are meant to be ‘one of us’ and ‘down with’ the counter culture and I have read all that stuff about your hippie roots. I’ve also loved a lot of the things you have made for years. Far better than those clunky PCs!

Apple, we have been friends for a long time and I appreciate you taking time out from counting up the mountains of dollars to read this letter from a former lover who has been driven mad by some of the recent developments in your binary world.

I’ve been using your gear for years and seen you grow from a tottering, cranky eccentric that was like the garden shed of computer companies. This was a place that used to talk about how it had months to survive.  Those were the days when people asked if there was any point in buying an Apple computer when the company could disappear within months (like the wonderful Psion did) and there would be no spare parts if you had problems.

From this I have seen you grow into this sleek and massive monster that, when it releases something new, gets the world’s attention with a pop culture ease like the fab Beatles used to do. I must admit to feeling proud of you when this happened, I was like a dumb and loyal friend cheering from the sidelines and some of the stuff you were releasing has defined our times like bubble cars defined 1970 or the invention of the fork defined the 18th century…

With great success comes great rewards and also, unfortunately, a great arrogance.

Yes, I know your shops with the banks of grinning and loveable Apple geniuses are great and I appreciate the help they give us and have a sneaking liking for the big shiny mega-shops but something in the last few months has really gone amiss hasn’t it?

I’ve been using Apple for years and at your peak you were unrivalled- you have made some great stuff- as sexy as a little machine can get but recently there seems to be a slackening going on and the recent upgrades of some of your basic computer stuff seems to be at the best cranky and at the worst infuriating.

It started with your new Mail upgrade- not only did it look worse but the search function in it is rubbish and slow and takes a lot of messing around to find an email when it used to take seconds. That’s ok if you are paying a staff to do this sort of thing but some of us don’t have a staff. Also if you take you eye of the ball and reply to someone’s email you end up emailing yourself- a nightmare if you are really busy.

But the biggest disaster has been upgrading to the new itunes to itunes 11.

Apple, I’m a big lover of music and love having it all there in front of me to listen to but your stupid new itunes just won’t recognise my rather large music library and load it up. I’ve been online asking about this and it seems a common problem and the most common reaction to your new itunes is  ‘nightmare’.

When I tried to put my iphone into the Macbook it then threatened to wipe out my iphone music library as well…Apple, I’m getting a bit frustrated now, just fuck off!

If only my mates could make computers then I wouldn’t have to pit myself against these corporations like your good self and, please don’t pretend to be the counter culture computer any more, these days you are about as alternative as Coldplay…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Given that this article begins with a poorly-written HTML tag, it would seem your problem with Apple products stems from a PICNIC error.

  2. oh i hear your pain Jon! i don’t know what u mean about mail, i haven’t had any problems with that but then I’m still on SnowLeopard, but i too am a bit disgusted by the new iTunes, particularly the disappearance of workable artwork windows. however, if you’re having difficulty getting the new iTunes to recognise old library tiles i can help u sort that – give me a bell dude x


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