Has Apple gone crazy or is the company now trying to influence customer health?

30 11 2009

Good question.

Although I cannot lay claim to having a definitive answer on their motivations, Apple recently made waves with regards to computer warranties. According to reports from Apple customers, the company is sticking to their claim that smoking (cigarettes, pipes, cigars etc) within the vicinity of their laptop and desktop computers nullifies the computer warranties.

Does this make sense? Is Steve Jobs trying to be funny and nobody has realized the joke yet?

Before going any further, I should preface that I myself am not a smoker and am using my own personal Macbook Pro to write this post. Therefore, I have not developed a nervous tick while writing AND taking a drag for a nicotine fix. However, with that said, I think Apple is wadding into dangerous waters with this mysterious warrant voiding policy. I have elaborated on my reasoning below:

> Where is the evidence of a DIRECT link between smoke (casual, not as in a building fire) damage and Apple product destruction?

> As indicated by Apple owners who have contacted Apple, why is there no mention of this policy in the warrant materials?

> If smoke is so harmful towards Apple computers, why aren’t a plethora of other substances cited in warranty material as being capable of nullifying warranties?

(When was the last time you read a car warranty stating the radio, navigation system or the power door locks would be harmed by the act of smoking AND consequently nullify the warranty??)

> If Apple begins enacting and enforcing this mysterious policy, will it set a precedent for all computer manufacturers?

Smoking is harmful to humans, this has been scientifically proven through numerous scientific outlets. Computers however are not made of flesh and blood. I am wary of Apple’s motivations behind such a policy that seems to be cloaked in mystery. The company is not needing to pinch pennies by voided warranties as Apple’s profits have been riding high recently. So what gives? Is this an attempt to send a statement to their customers that they should change some of the choices they make, such as lighting up? I am curious for an answer. I am not Steve Jobs and neither can I try to formulate the exact motivations behind Apple’s decision to enforce this move. As an Apple customer, the move seems misguided as the intent is unclear and potentially invasive on customers personal lives and the decisions they chose to make.

I hope the air will be cleared on this topic when Apple is more forthcoming about the influence of smoking on its products.