Why I think Apple device is a better choice for normal people

I have been a FOSS user and advocate for a few years now. My main computers run Linux, and I work for a company on Linux related stuff. However, I always have Apple devices around, some are my own purchase (iPhones and iPads) and some are passed on to me (Macs). Before you read on, this post is about the reasoning behind recommending Apple devices for non-technical users. It is subjective and heavily biased. You have been warned.

As a long time (well, since around 2010) mobile user and tech follower, I have to give Apple credits for their entire hardware and software solutions, especially if you are looking at it from a "normie's" perspective. The longevity of OS support, good privacy settings and general availability of battery service are the main reasons for me to say this. Full disclaimer: I used to be a Google/Android fan; I’ve owned several Google branded Android phones, including Nexus 4, the Original Pixel and Pixel 3.

Take my own experience as an example: I purchased a refurbished iPhone 8 on 2020 (it originally came out in Fall 2018); been using it for 2.5 years now and just had battery replaced. Now that I can keep using the phone until the end of 2023, when (presumably) iOS 16 stops being supported. For a device I paid roughly $300 CAD, that's hell out of a value. A startling contrast would be the Google Pixle 3 (Fall 2018), which lost support from Google after a mere 3 years. People may argue that you can root it and flash it with LineageOS. While it is technically feasible and might be fun for some, I wouldn't even consider this option for normal users.

The next major point is default privacy. I know some people may disagree and even spit on the idea that Apple is good for privacy, but the truth is that Apple’s centrally controlled App Store is doing a lot better than its competitors. For some reason people are forced to use third-party app markets other than the Play Store (stock ROM defaults to third-party store; certain apps are not available on the Play Store; or Play Store is just not accessible). Third-party app markets are a wild west, let's put it mildly, and their popularity is high in certain regions of the world. Again, I am not endorsing Apple but contrasting it with its Android counterparts. You can make up your own conclusion.

Lastly, the ease of battery replacement and modest cost ($49 CAD for iPhone 8, at the time of writing). Give me an example of Android phone battery replacement service that is universally available across North America and costs less than $100 CAD for a 3+ year device? Probably rarer than a dinosaur. For an iPhone, I can just walk into an authorized store and have it serviced in less than 40 minutes.

All in all, personally I would only recommend Apple devices for my family members. Non-technical people also deserve reasonably good privacy, serviceable battery and more than 3 years of security updates out of a device.