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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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I've heard sentiments like these before. People overspend on things they can't afford or don't need and then bemoan that fact. It might feel like you were duped or compelled as subsequent purchases increase the total expense or the complementary integrations encourage you to buy other products (known as the "halo effect").

But there's absolutely no force or coercion involved here, despite how the author ambivalently characterizes it:

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.

As for Martorana, his family's indentured servitude to Apple looks like it will continue indefinitely. He is looking to replace his MacBook with a newer model within a year or so, which he guesses will cost at least another $1,300. While he loves the products unreservedly, he sees no way out of the annual Apple tax.

Apple is quite adept at producing compelling products and the fact that so many people spend so much money with it is why they're one of the biggest, most profitable companies on the planet. It's basic economics that these people value Apple's merchandise more than they value the money they trade it for. It's also easy to lose sight of the volitional aspect of all this and the wide range of alternatives available.