A couple months ago, it occurred to me that I’ve had my old iPhone 4 for almost two years. Realizing the end of summer is near, and the iPhone 5S was released at about this time last year, I figured there might be a new iPhone coming out. And then I thought, “Hey I could use an upgrade!”
So I sent a text to my neighbor, who works at Apple, and asked him if there’s a new iPhone coming out.
Between the time I sent the text, and his response a couple weeks later (his answer was “I have no idea”), Apple had announced the date for the announcement of something new and special. “Perfect timing!” I thought. “I’ll wait patiently for a couple months, and before I know it, I have the latest iPhone upgrade, no big deal.”
Then, almost immediately, I realized that I had forgotten what kind of world I live in. Tech media outlets, predictably, went wild with speculation. Are they announcing the iPhone 6? The iWatch? Something else obscure that has nothing to do with me so I just ignored?
I saw videos of people playing with individual parts of the phone – the sapphire screen, or a single screw inside the phone, and a Russian video of a phone that looks like the final product. There’s even a Chinese poster that looks like the “supposed” iPhone 6 models, like they’re the actual thing.
Dun dun dunnnnnn……..
Scouring all these photos and videos of what may or may not be accurate, I just found myself getting more and more excited for whatevers coming out. Bring it on! I would announce with my fist in the air, like some kind of courageous
But then, when I think about it, i’ve already decided what kind of phone i’m going to buy. The iPhones aren’t the only phones coming out this year, but I have no interest in them at all. I feel that i’m engaging myself in some kind of confirmation bias.
In this world of tech, there seems to be camps of loyal followers who will defend their respective product to the death. I knew a guy in college who loved in Android, and I was a moron for owning an iPhone. Recently I met a guy who was absolutely certain that the Android is the best phone, or at least, iPhone is not the best phone. Preposterous! I thought loudly, pumped my fist in the air, which apparently is a characteristic of mine, ready to defend my product silently, in my head. The words that actually came out of my mouth were, “Oh really?” In a dull voice and passivity to match the words, listening contently as these colleagues of mine school me on the superiority of devices.
I let them talk. Like I said, I already made my decision. Nothing they can say will sway me, and likewise, nothing will sway them. They believe their gadget is the superior gadget, and they’ll get it no matter what, just like how I think my choice of gadget is the superior gadget.
I can imagine there’s a certain underdog appeal to choosing non-Apple smartphones over Apple smartphones. The Steve Job documentary has a scene that involves Bill Gates sharing the stage with Jobs after an investment Gates made for Apple. The audience, the “acolytes” as one speaker described them, acted in hostility towards Gates. They treated “…him as the anti-Christ… they had learned to hate him.” That sentiment clearly works vica versa. My aforementioned friend from college hated, what he called, “Apple fan-boys.” But it made me wonder – wasn’t he, himself, a kind of a fan-boy? One would think so by watching the fanaticism that he displayed as he used his Android to plug in directions to whatever bar we’re going to that night. “No!” He’d shout, as if his life was literally at risk, his entire humanity depending on how accurately his phone guided us to our location. When the other passenger in the car gave me directions off the top of his head, and I followed those directions, which worked out better, our previous navigator stopped talking and remained silent for most of the trip. It was a strange experience.
Whichever way people want to look at iPhones, they’re still highly regarded over most other phones. Just look at this NY Times blog post which flat out says the iPhone is the best.
There is something else, something that I look at when making any kind of purchase, and I feel it applies here. The thing I have with all the other smart phones out there is that they all seem like poseurs – shallow, cheap imitations of what was once the finest, most revolutionary product on the market. I think of it like The Beatles; they were revolutionary during their time, and today the world is oversaturated with shitty Beatles rip-off bands (the same goes for Nirvana, Bob Dylan, and for a very brief, extremely depressing while, Limp Bizkit). All the new smart phones just want to be iPhone, albeit their own unique twist and price. Ultimately, every smart phone is just an iPhone imitator. To me, that’s a major selling point. A personal point, but still a point.
Besides, even if I do sign for a new phone contract, which I probably will, I’ll get the phone for dirt cheap. And assuming I’ll be making a respectable (enough for college grad) income, the expenses won’t kill me.
My iPhone 4 currently, despite it being almost obsolete, it still runs fast and fluidly, and is easy to use, considering the software updates. And I like small phones – I really hope companies stop making big, gaudy devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Note (whatever). It feels like it’s only a time before they make the dinner plate phone – eat your dinner while speaking into the built-in speaker with your boss about the Belgium accounts.