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Pioneer/Onkyo just updated a few of their receivers that are not included in this article. I have the SX-S30 (great little unit btw) and just downloaded the new firmware. It now has airplay 2 and works beautifully with the HomePod. From their press release: AV Network Receiver VSX-S520, VSX-LX103, VSX-LX303, VSX-LX503 Network Stereo Receiver SX-S30
I think the trackpad alone is enough to rule out any Windows machine. The UX with the Apple trackpads is far superior than anything else on the market. Every Windows user I see with a laptop has a mouse, why? Yes Apple does have issues, but their customer support is amazing and usually handles the situation perfectly. The extra effort they put into their design and software is worth the additional price. Adding the resale value only makes the cost difference that much less important - try and buy an 8 year old Mac on eBay right now and compare that to an 8 year old PC ... exactly.
If they are selling the phone under the iPhone Upgrade Program then they should offer a phone that will work with ANY US carrier as the program definition states. They do say that you may need to speak to a specialist if you are an AT&T or T-Mobile customer but it isn't clear what that means. I am educated by the understanding of the differences of the devices, but Apple doesn't make this clear when they state that under the iPhone Upgrade program you can switch to other carriers - this implies ALL other carriers. Just because Apple wants to save money by using the Intel chip doesn't mean certain customer's should suffer. They simply should have a built in system at the store to swap the few customer's who need to switch to Verizon from T-Moble, it should have never been an issue.
Apple has explicitly written that you can change carriers if you want, and mention nothing about certain versions having limitations. If it was explained that buying a Verizon phone will allow you to switch to any carrier and a T-Mobile will only offer GSM carriers that would be fine, but they do not state this. The manager in this situation should have swapped out the phone based on the poor language on Apple's website. The store representatives also just state the device is unlocked and the phone is not tied to any carriers, something that is also incorrect. The customer is right in this situation. Apple's explanation of iPhone Upgrade Program on the website: "And if you ever decide to switch carriers after you activate your iPhone with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, you can easily do that, too.3 Footnote 3: AT&T and T-Mobile customers may need to visit an Apple Store to switch carriers. See a Specialist for details. Nowhere does it explain that the phone will not work, only that you need to visit an Apple Store to switch. Purposefully vague which is somewhat shameful. I would have pushed it harder with the store manager or escalated it higher with customer support. Good that he won the lawsuit.