Opinion: The magnificent 7 - there are plenty of reasons to buy Apple products, thanks!

From smart design to longevity, here's why Apple is still at the top of the tech tree

We're a broad church here at T3. We all have opinions, and few of them are held unanimously. That's the nature of opinions. As a result, we print all manner of points of view.

Even so, I must admit my monocle popped out and I nearly dropped my pipe when I read yesterday's comment piece entitled "Reasons why you should never buy anything by Apple ever, or even touch any of its ropey gear with a shitty stick".

Like a furious social commenter, I immediately sat down to pen a lengthy and frequently obscene rebuttal, explaining precisely why my colleague Dom is, with the GREATEST of respect, a wrong-headed moron who should be killed.

Then I decided there's enough negatvity in the world. So it would be better to be positive and sing the virtues of Apple.

Ironically, I have to do this slightly through gritted teeth as it's recently annoyed me hugely with 3D Touch - I always end up getting it when all I'm trying to do is long press something, and I hate the noise it makes when you 3D touch an app that doesn't support 3D Touch: it's like a human spine being snapped by an assassin. At least to my ears.

And as for AirPlay's reliability and 'Smart Playlists' on iTunes, and the way they 'sync' with iPhone… Well, let's not even go there; some grief is best kept private.

That unforgiveable failingon Apple's part aside, I have never understood why people are so tribal about tech. Too many treat favoured brands who sell you stuff, for money, like football teams… or even religions.

If you feel that strongly about loving your largely insignificant electronic stuff, fine, but why reflect that in hating everyone else's largely insignificant electronic stuff? Are you like that with spanners, shirts, or toilet roll?

But then again, who is more responsible for layering quasi-mystical bollocks onto tech goods with a trowel than Apple? Who was it that elevated tech from consumer luxury to an intrinsic part of our 'lifestyles' than Apple? I'm T3's Lifestyle Editor, by the way…

But anyway, I digress. Here are some positive and uplifiting reasons why Apple's gear should still be celebrated.

Its design and finish are the best

Arguably, the S7 Edge looks nicer than iPhone 6S. Although it's doubtful Apple would do anything quite so "looks nice but does little" as the curvy bits at the edges of Samsung's flagship phone. Certainly, the likes of Dell have upped their style game massively in recent years, so MacBooks no longer leave everyone else trailing in their wake, looks-wise. The Apple Watch is square, therefore I personally don't want to wear it.

Even so, for consistent application of sound design principles, quality materials and anally-retentive attention to finishing details, across its whole portfolio of products, Apple is still the King of the Shiny Things.

It's also a nonsense to say that its designs don't change. The iPhone 6S looks exactly like the iPhone 6. But it looks nothing like the iPhone 4S, and not a lot like the iPhone 5. Yet are of these phones are instantly identifiable as being from the same stable. That's good design.

Now I know some will say, "Who cares if something looks nice?" To which I say, "Good luck with your oh-so-long and ongoing quest to feel the tender and loving touch of another human being. Maybe try a shirt made of something other than brown sackcloth."

Their stuff lasts

Well, who knows how long the current generation of products will last. I'm not Doctor Who. But I have a seven-year-old iMac that happily runs the latest OS X, has survived having its hard drive replaced twice, and only has a few dead pixels on its screen - and that was because I once drunkenly knocked it off the desk, anyway.

I've also got an iPhone 4S that's still going, er, well not going strong exactly… But it's going. And a functional iPod Classic that's probably older than some of the people reading this.

The customer service is great

Actualy, I have to caveat this one a bit. If you can't book a 'Genius appointment' with a 'Genius' at his or her 'Genius Bar', then customer service can be non-existent.

You don't have to go into an Apple Shop to get your Apple things fixed, but many punters do - not least because they don't want to ship their phones in particular off to a mending workshop somewhere for weeks on end. The result is that getting your iPhone looked at is now a bit like trying to secure the one cheap telly they always supposedly have in the Harrod's sale, or getting your hip replaced on the NHS.

However, once you have spoken to a 'Genius', you find that Apple does generally excellent customer relations. I once dropped an iPhone down the toilet, and I told them that. And yet despite the fact that I was clearly at fault, did not have a receipt, and was also HANDING THEM AN IPHONE COVERED IN PISS, the 'Genius' on duty just immediately flogged me a non-pissy replacement for about 150 quid, there and then, no questions asked.

Similarly, once you get past the people on their helpline who are there to filter you in the right direction, phone support can be absolutely stellar, too.

They try to do things properly

A common criticism of Apple is that it doesn't innovate so much as take other brand's ideas and do them better or market them more slickly. To which I say, "So what?" I'll take iPod over the MP3 players that preceded it, and iPhone/iOS over Windows Mobile on a brick, thanks.

There had been numerous attempts to get mobile payments off the ground before Apple Pay, but by tying up the right deals with vendors, adding fingerprint security and marketing it right, Apple helped it finally take off.

In fact, Apple has made other peoples' half-arsed ideas work so many times, it's now surprising when they don't pull it off. When Apple Watch came out, reviewers and consumers were noticeably deflated that Apple hadn't made them all go, "Ah THAT'S how you do it."

Even a quite minor Apple project like HomeKit is, in many ways, light years ahead of most of the competition, despite the near total lack of hardware for it. That's because they've thought about it and honed it.

They stick to core strengths

Granted, this could also be seen as a weakness. As much as everyone is gagging for Apple to make a car, fitness tracker, food processor and range of cuddly toys, its considerable fortunes still largely rest on a small range of phones, tablets and laptops.

Yet even from a relatively small palette of products, the way that products are targetted and delineated is very clever - apart from MacBook and MacBook Air. They're too similar. Different price points and use cases are hit effortlessly, and more niche requirements are simply ignored. Android fills in those gaps extremely well, of course.

In short: there's very little chaff in Apple's lineups, and the wheat is oh-so-nutritious.

The 'walled garden' works

Which is not to say that an open-source approach does not: we're lucky to have the choice of more choice or less choice. The way that Apple inegrates its hardware and software - and tightly controls so many aspects of how third parties can use them - means it runs slickly and speedily. Often on equipment that's less powerful, on paper.

One result of that, as Dom wrote yesterday, is that Apple Watch doesn't run on Android but seriously, have you tried using an Android Wear watch with iOS? Google at least has tried to make it work, but the results are so under-featured and underwhelming, you wonder why it bothered.

It also, at least so far, proven more resistant to hacking and viruses, and perhaps most importantly has given developers of apps and add-ons a platform from which they can make money. A virtuous circle of capitalism.

It's stuff is not THAT expensive

The idea that you must 'sell a kidney' to buy Apple stuff is maybe the most annoying of whinges. If that were the case, there'd be few of us left with our full complement of internal organs.

In fact, the really fiendishly clever thing Apple helped pioneer is the notion of 'affordable premium' pricing. It's expensive enough to be desirable, rather than putting huge swathes of the world's population off. Hence Apple's (perhaps vaguely distasteful) mega-profitability. As an individual, you can say, "This is priced higher than I like." However, you can't say Apple's things are "over-priced" per se, because people are buying millions of them. That's capitalism.

And anyway, seriously, you want something nice? Well sorry, but you have to pay. Samsung isn't giving away Galaxy S7 Edges with cornflakes, last I looked. There are plenty of cheaper phones that do much the same as the flagships of all the brands - not just Apple - but they just aren't as 'nice'. Again, that's capitalism, which I'm rather afraid we're stuck with.