My first computer wasn’t a Mac, but it should have been.
In 1983 I bought a Radio Shack computer with 128k RAM, two floppy drives, and a dot matrix printer for $3,500.
I should have bought an Apple II.
But I did what a computerization workshop presenter had done, and bought a Radio Shack. However, his advice was to get the most popular computer. So even If I had taken his advice, I wouldn’t have gone with the Apple computer, but it was really good advice at the time.
I don’t think that advice is as good nowadays because we have lots more history to consider. For instance the most popular operating system [OS] then and now is Microsoft’s. Popular and ‘good’ have clearly parted ways. Microsoft hasn’t produced a ‘good’ OS in 40 years of trying. Amazingly that hasn’t stopped them from being the most popular OS.
So I have owned between 30 and 60 copies of MS operating systems. None of them were free. All of them crashed periodically. Cost of operating systems estimate is 60 x $200 = $12,000. Maintenance, however was the killer. With MS operating systems we spent between $1,000 and $5,000 per year on IT support to fix problems that we couldn’t figure out. 30 years x $3,000 on average = $90,000. Lost productivity was probably 1.5 - 2 times that amount.
My first Apple product was an iPod 20 years after the first computer. Then two years later I bought an iMac for use at home. Both worked so well that I began to float the idea at the office that we should begin a transition to Macs. I found out how entrenched ‘popularity’ was.
So my experience with Apple has been as a consumer. Nevertheless I know we could have run our office file server and email server on a Mac Mini and the server software is dead simple to set up.
My actual experience with Apple OSs has never required help. Updating an Apple OS has always been a DIY project, so the cost of upgrading was the cost of the OS. For a few years I paid $128 to get a new OS. Then the price dropped to $28. For at least the past five upgrades the price has been $0. (MS still charges for each update even though you are likely updating to escape their last attempt.)
Since 2005 I have owned three Macs - the iMac, a MacBook and a MacBook Pro. During that time I have also owned five iPads. They are all in service, except the oldest, in the hands of children. The latest one is the new 12.9” iPad Pro. The latest iPadOS is so capable that I expect to be able to abandon/gift the MacBook Pro as soon as I learn how to “print to a PDF”. If I still used a Cad program, this transition away from an actual computer couldn’t happen ... just yet.
To summarize. I like Apple because they aren’t kidding when they say “it just works”. I like Apple because there aren’t extra costs for maintenance, and the aggravation that goes with maintenance. I like Apple because the total cost of ownership is less.
Mostly I like Apple because they delight.