Here are two articles that summarize, really, what my fundamental problem with Apple is:
Apple’s chief aesthetic is simplicity. “It just works,” as their ad-campaigns say. But when you’ve “designed” your devices–OS, hardware, and all–to be so simple as to not have room for confusion or error, then everything that follows is going to have to share all of those elements. By necessity. You cannot create a wheel without using a circle.
I do agree that other companies should take some risks to differentiate their products. And actually, most do. But they are not going to take risks in every part of the design. When working from the most basic form, it only takes a few additions of complexity and features to make a device unique. Especially this early in the game when nothing other than the most basic version has proven successful.
These two articles clarified for me why I don’t use Apple products. They have no strengths. They are so basic, intended to do everything, and so they do nothing particularly well. I want a product that is differentiated, that is designed to fit my particular use-case and needs. I am still waiting for a device that is actually designed to do something and fill a need.