I’ve finally done it. After all these years, I’ve decided to walk away from all that I’ve recently come to believe in when communicating with the great unknown. In the words of the song “it’s like losing my religion”. And I’ve lost it. Yesterday, I divorced the iPhone.
The shock of my decision reverberated through my Facebook and Twitter circles. Expressions of incredulity: how was it possible I could do this and how now… so soon after the passing of St Steve of Jobs? The answer is simple: I need a PHONE that meets my needs.
There is an odd group dynamic I’ve found among followers of Apple products that projects a ‘you are either with us or against us’ mentality. I believe this all stems back to that old battle between the Apple Mac and the PC. I’ve not yet met a user of the Mac that has not wept into (mostly) his beer when forced to admit the overwhelming victory of the PC over the Mac in terms of global commercial success and domination. The Mac is still…to them…the best thing ever invented that most of the world no longer cares about. They may well be right but I’m not a geek and I wouldn’t know but I’ll still take their word for it. Apple-ites, as I’ve started to call them, seem to be adherents to a brand in terms I would recognise as quasi-religious. A reason I was often given not to ditch my iPhone (as I have threatened to do a number of times before now) was because it was Apple. The Apple brand was behind it and if it was in any way defective, Apple would fix it….but I would be a fool to leave the safety and aura of Appledom.
So what are my reasons for ditching the iPhone? Well, actually to a large degree that is due less to Apple’s shortcomings but to their success in the form of the iPad. This is my most prized piece of technology yet since its arrival at Maison Penwald, the need for all the benefits of the iPhone over and above telephony simply dissipated. iPad goes with me everywhere and while it does, there is no need for iPhone except to make a call if I need to. I have hardly used any of the dozens of apps I have on iPhone since its big brother came along.
So, take away all the apps…what good is iPhone? A music player? Yes true, but iPad does that and so does iTouch and Nano (both of which I have lying around plus an iPhone 3G somewhere). A camera? iPad takes far better pictures than iPhone with faster editing and sharing processes. A telephone then? Ah yes and so to the main reason I’m ditching the iPhone. It is by far the worst of all phones of any kind I have ever owned full stop. I’ve had 2 iPhone 4’s. One got stolen so I got a replacement on insurance. Both were as duff as each other. Both had poor reception, one I had to get a special cover for to aid reception as the way it had been designed meant holding it made it lose reception. They both dropped out of service in mid-call so often. There are numerous other niggles which in themselves are not huge in the scheme of things, but when iPad has taken away the previously only advantage iPhone had over any phone…then why settle for a substandard phone?
I’m shopping around at the moment contemplating the Samsung Galaxy 3, possibly Nokia, the one time global overlord of mobile telephony, or HTC. All will deliver a better phone service. Now it may well be that the iPhone 5, which ridiculous people have been camping out in front of Apple stores for days to buy, may have improved telephony but here’s the 3rd reason why I’m not going to bother: the shine is coming off the Apple brand fairly fast. To be expected in a way as the bigger you get, the more your failings are scrutinised. The last string of Apple product launches that I’ve seen have been flawed: over-heating products, poor telephony, bugs, glitches and just now the huge flaws in Apples new mapping app that has reverberated around the world with howls of derision from the media and fury from Apple users. Fortunately, I have not updated my products with the new iOS6 software. My golden rule with Apple now is not to be a ‘first adopter’ but to wait until Apple get it right. True, they have the capability to issue fixes and updates any time, but hardly a Rolls Royce performance.
While I am less enamoured with Apple, I would not throw out the baby with the bath water either. There is no doubt that Apple has revolutionised the way we live and iPhone gave a kick up the mobile telephone market’s backside that it needed. But it isn’t perfect and it isn’t the only kid on the block and I’m no longer of a mind that you have when you are an Apple-ite…that to leave the brand is betrayal or to step into the uncool. I’m just thinking about what I actually need from a phone and not what parallel universes it might seek to offer me that others can too but with better phone service. I may well return to iPhone in the future but for now, it will be nice to go to work on the Tube and have a phone that meets my needs and not necessarily one everyone else in the carriage is playing with…