Advantages & Disadvantages of Apple Computers

The Macintosh computer has long stood out from its PC counterpart. Part of that comes from it having been the first home computer to use a mouse-based graphical interface, but a lot also comes from the "mystique" that Steve Jobs has built around his company. Apple computers are more "hip" and "cool" than PCs, and that also makes the person using them just as unique -- whether the person is an average Joe or scientific Josephine. Lost in all of this are the real advantages and disadvantages of Apple computers, so let's take a look at some of what these are.

Apple Reports Earnings, Day After Steve Jobs Announces Medical Leave
Apple store in San Francisco, CA.
credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Customer Service

Apple iPad Release
Genius Bar inside Apple store
credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

A computer can go bad no matter who makes it, and the Macintosh is no exception. But according to recent surveys, Apple's customer service gets high marks, in comparison to the low marks given PC makers such as Dell. Having good customer service takes the sting out of having a problem and promotes good will -- giving Apple computers a definite advantage over other computer makers when it comes to continued or repeat business.

Price

Apple Holds Media Preview For Its New Store In New York's Grand Central Station
Apple computers on display
credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Apple is the only one making their hardware, and so it sets the price for it without any competition. This is unlike the PC world, where there are dozens of makers of hardware all competing for the user's dollar. This results in lower costs for a PC, unlike Apples, which cost more.

Hardware Selections

IFA 2012 Consumer Electronics Trade Fair
PC vs. Apple
credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Apple computers are at a disadvantage when it comes to choice of computer hardware. PC users can choose from a wide number of Windows-based laptops, desktop models or netbooks from many different companies. This affords competition, which results in a much wider choice of models to buy with a wider choice of available features, too.

Integration With iPods And iPhones

Hotly Anticipated iPhone 5 Goes In Sale In Stores
Using the iPhone 5
credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images

As iPods and iPhones now proliferate among consumers, the fact that they integrate with Apple computers in order to work their best has made the computers more popular among those who otherwise wouldn't have considered using one. Bringing in the "first adopter" and the "PC switcher" has increased the number of Mac users, and this has come as a result of the advantage of having a Mac to use with one of the portable devices.

Hardware Integration

MBFWA S/S 2012/13 - Magdalena Veleveska Backstage
Model backstage having her picture taken by a iPad user
credit: Mark Nolan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Unlike PC makers, who make a lot of different hardware that often doesn't work with the Windows operating system correctly right off the bat, the Macintosh operating system (OSX) is tightly linked to the hardware, which only has to function correctly for the one "type" -- that being the hardware (i.e., computers) -- that Apple makes. As a result, hardware designed to work with Apple computers usually works immediately and without needing unique device drivers and other software.

Updates to Operating System

Apple Releases Snow Leopard Operating System Update
Copies of OSX Snow Leopard on display in store
credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Macintosh OSX updates such as Leopard, and more recently Snow Leopard, come in a single configuration and a single price. This is unlike those who use a PC, where the Windows operating system updates (such as Vista) come in a number of different configurations and prices, each with varying features. The Mac OSX updates are a simpler way to proceed.