Reuters scolds Americanos for spending way too much money on Apple gear

By , Dec 11, 2012

Whenever one parts with one’s hard-earned cash in order to get one’s hands on a shiny Apple device, there’s always people questioning the buyer’s sanity.

The inevitable ‘Apple tax’ every now and then raises its ugly head through click-bait blog posts.

Even more worryingly, this non-topic somehow manages to find its way into write-ups of traffic-hungry newspapers. You can now totally put Reuters on your list of sensationalist media outlets. The otherwise respectable news gathering organization yesterday published an article titled ‘Your Money: The “Apple Tax” – America’s costly obsession’.

Here’s what’s wrong with their story and why I’m bitching about it on a lazy Tuesday afternoon…

Pageview journalism, much?

As you may have guessed, the article exploits the Apple tax meme and aims to prove that Americans are spending way too much money on Apple devices. Please, I thought we’ve long gone beyond criticizing buyers for their purchasing decisions.

Unless you’re enchanted by Apple, the world’s greatest marketing machine, and have no clue why you bough that ‘overpriced’ gadget in your pocket, save yourself time and skip the Reuters story.

Those who have been struck by buyer’s remorse in the past, listen up as Chris Taylor, a Reuters contributor, educates us on the so-called ‘Apple tax':

The analogy of an Apple tax might sound facetious, but think about it. Median U.S. household income was $50,054 in 2011, according to the Census Bureau. That means a sizable chunk of that is getting diverted to Apple headquarters in Cupertino.

Remember, this is not something that consumers are being forced to pay. They are dipping willingly into their own pockets, because they’re essentially slaves to the devices.

“Slaves to their devices”?

Now, that’s rich!

So, let me get this straight: Reuters, of all media organizations, thinks Apple should be the fall guy for the poor state of your family budget?

Last time I checked, all of my Apple-totting friends bought their Macs, iPhones and iPads because they deemed Apple devices a good value for money. Those are the people who know their gadgets inside out. And, they all came from the Windows world.

Every. Single. One. Of. Them.


Have we as a society really become mindless drones and slaves to Apple devices?

It’s not like Apple puts a gun against a person’s head, threatening to pull the trigger unless they pull a credit card out of their pocket. Yet to Reuters, folks spend more each year on Apple products due to the “unexpected Apple taxes”, which in their view means music, movies and games on iTunes, along with subscriptions and accessories.

No, really – I ain’t making this up!

I doubt a prospective Apple buyer is totally oblivious to the fact that iTunes and other content stores offer free and paid warez. I also am pretty sure Apple Store employees listen to customers’ needs rather than shove gadgets down their throat just to earn their bonuses, like they do at some other places I won’t name here.

And what’s up with accessories?

It’s like saying that an average cell phone or tablet buyer is being pushed into buying a case or a sleeve they otherwise wouldn’t have purchased. Reuters’ write-up implies that Apple somehow hides this “tax”, forcing people to plunk down their money into apps and accessories.

Seriously?

This immediately comes into mind.

Reuters can try all they can proving that Apple users are a dumb bunch unable to pick a needle from the haystack. I think the opposite is true. And unlike other people’s confusing product lines, Apple’s entire lineup is beautifully simple.

You’ve got two major iPhones, two iPads, four iPods, a few Macs, some wireless accessories and that’s it.

Look, nobody’s saying that Apple is an inexpensive brand because it’s not. Apple products cost money and the so-called Apple tax reflects the added value and seamlessly integrated experiences they enable.


Are you Apple’s bitch, too?

Worry-free computing does exist.

But, as is the case with all quality things in life, it costs money.

I have no problem admitting that Apple’s products command a premium, but there’s definitely an important distinction between being pricey and overpriced. Reuters knows it and yet they couldn’t resist publishing such a stupid click-bait.

And this passes for journalism these days?

Even if “Americans are shelling out big bucks annually to outfit the entire household with Apple products”, how’s that newsworthy? Who the heck cares if a certain group of people spends more money buying certain products than they can afford?


I can’t help but love Apple’s in-store banners, a different one for each product.

It’s a personal finance issue rather than a problem the general public should be rallied around.

In the grand scheme of things, I’d be more worried about this.

By the way, I’d bet my ugly sweater somebody out there is plotting ways to cash in on that joke as we speak.

Anyways, I love Reuters and track their technology channel as part of my blogging routine, but this particular story has been ticking me off so I had to share my feelings with you.

There’s more of the same at the source link so please indulge yourself if you will.

The rest of us will be waiting for you down in the comments.

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  • Chaotic Buddhist

    What I buy is what I buy. I work my ass off to make my money and I’ll spend it as I see fit. Fuck Reuters.

    • http://www.facebook.com/terry.short.524 Terry Short

      I Infinity this statement!

  • Lordthree

    Rather give the money to Apple than to the south koreans. What a joke article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/xxLIUZHENYUxx Liu Zhenyu

    Americanos? Americanos is a fucking cup of coffee.

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

      it’s a refernce to the embedded youtube music vid

      • RarestName

        But we speak no Americano…

    • http://www.facebook.com/terry.short.524 Terry Short

      Coffee Bitches…a Phucking cup!

  • The carpenter

    I’m with the Buddhist

  • http://twitter.com/bslenter Bill Slenter

    Before the iPhone and iPad existed, I owned a compact camera, a stand-alone GPS, a PDA, a fancy pocket calculator, a cell phone, a music player, a portable DVD player, etc. My iOS devices replace ALL of these. The Apple tax is a myth.

    • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

      Exactly, since iPhone 4S, I don’t even bring DC for vacation.

  • mattkin22

    This is one of the most biased articles I’ve ever read. Sad to see this site degrading with rumor posts and random rants like this. Sad.

  • Falk M.

    Well, I’m not American but I hand over some nice cash to Apple per year (devices, services, software, media).

    I can honestly say that I’d rather give the money to a company that cares about what’s important to me with devices and software and the ecosystem than a company that drops features all the time, doesn’t have a decent customer support, produces hardware that has an expiration date due to breaking, etc…

    I know I’m paying a premium, but that premium goes towards superior design, customer care, service (web services suck a little though, I’m totally giving Google the cookie here) and a complete, well integrated ecosystem that’s all about vertical integration (although Apple is slacking a little here leaving out many possibilities, but who knows what’s ahead and how my ideas suck compared to what they are working on? :D)

    I think, the premium is well spent and I flipping want it so.
    Suck it Reuters :P

  • AppleBits

    I’m with Buddhist, as well.
    In fact, just ordered my new 27″ iMac last night. Gonna be a long wait till January….but look at me not give a crap. I’ve “budgeted” for this moment. (As opposed to say….Tax & Co.) I’m spending MY money the way I WANT to spend it! And I better do it now, before the fair-share minded come steal it.
    It’s not an obsession. I just really like the way Apple products are built, and work. Period. (And I’ve been a PC user forever….)
    Am I owned by Apple, or some made-up fake tax by them…nope. Do I love excellent products, yep. Once the Mac arrives, it’ll sit here IN PLACE OF MY PC, with my MacBook Pro right next to it…..and all my other iStuff I have CHOSEN OUT OF FREE WILL to purchase. I love them all.
    And Bill made a good point, too. No need to own all that other crap, each ONE item to do ONE thing. Multitasking gadgets is all the rage nowadays. I find it time saving and very useful when all my gadgets work together.
    Personally, I do not see this blog post as biased. Maybe some ranting in there, but I’m all over that part, myself.

  • http://twitter.com/Rirath Rirath

    I’m not quite as into the Apple ecosystem as some, and I don’t see Apple as ‘worry free computing’ either, but regardless I’ve been happy with every Apple product I’ve freely chosen, budgeted for, and purchased.

    Technology is my passion and one of my hobbies, and hand-in-hand related to my profession and other hobbies. Hobbies are expensive, from painting to photography, and gadgets are no different. As Bill points out, the iPhone / iPad each replace a whole host of other costly devices.

  • Onebiggboss

    The Reuters writer undoubtedly has a point. He’s arguing the point that even though our economy is in a whirlwind people keep spending a lot of money on apple products. He never says Apple puts a gun to people’s head, just that people are “hooked”/”slaves” to their products. Which isn’t hard to see as they’re the most valuable company in the world. You are obviously one of the people he’s talking about seeing how you let it bother you so much you just “had” to write about it defending apple at every turn even though the writer never accused apple of anything except understanding people’s desire for connectivity. It’s sad to see people have such love for material things. And just a reminder, it states clearly that the article is from a Reuters contributor and the thoughts expressed are his own. Reuters is only showcasing a story about the most valuable company in the world, sounds like a smart executive decision to me.