I gets the Apple welfare so I pays the Apple tax.

I had a little side quest to the Apple Shoppe yesterday. My Airpods Pro had developed this insanely annoying crackle. It seemed to be related to changes in air pressure. If I was in the gym and the doof-doof music was really pounding, I’d get this terrible white noise counterpoint in time to the baseline. If I was in the car it was even worse, with the static sort of syncing itself to the engine's RPMs.

It seems to be a known fault in the spendy line of tiny airpods, and I've had them replaced on that basis before.

It's always a bit nerve-wracking, however, taking yourself into the store and throwing yourself on the mercy of the genius bar. I keep expecting them to shrug one day and say, “Well, Tim really needs that gold plated hovercraft, so why don't you just buy a new pair.”

But we haven't got there yet.

Yesterday's genius listened to my tale of woe, took the pods out the back to run some tests, and eventually reappeared with two shiny new ones. He said both left and right had failed the test, not just right, the one that was giving me all the trouble. I left with my new shiny baubles, pleased to live in Apple's welfare state, but wondering how much of a hit to consolidated revenue they must be taking from whatever percentage of these things fail and need to be swapped out.