Above is the first time I have ever acknowledged I am an Apple fanboy. People assign me the label, often to my face, often not. I’m fine with it. I try to explain I am a fanboy of quality and things working. I rarely get my point across. I run windows on my MacBook Pro, jailbroke my phones for years to make it work the way I wanted, and plenty of other examples of going against the grain of the Apple – but alas, I still receive, and perhaps appropriately, the label of Apple fanboy.
So be it. Certainly not the worst thing I have been called. So if I am to wear the badge, that I upgraded from a 6 to a 6s Plus, rather than the newly released 7is nothing less than pure disobedience.
Mind you, on the evening of the 8th, as I read in bed, I set a pre-emptive alarm for 11.55PM in case I nodded off. And of course I did. And upon awakening, had I not decided to add a Leather Case to my online order, thus forcing me to fill out a ‘delivery address’ form I hadn’t needed for the iPhone 7 itself, I might have one. Instead, when I hit submit, with some 45 seconds of latency, they were gone; like Keyser Soze.
That I couldn’t order one for pick up on the 16th gave me pause, actually I just wanted to go back to sleep. So over the past week or so I began comparing the models and my own needs. And I have to say, paying attention to your own needs around devices is an important perspective we aren’t trained to do as consumers. We are trained to consume. (That’s another post I am afraid)
Ultimately I arrived at upgrading to the 6s Plus, saving myself wait time, money and device envy. The crux of my ‘device awareness’ is as follows:
1. The 7 isn’t the real deal
Apple and other brands are so close to some major advancements that history will prove that the 7 was nothing more than an interstitial release to satisfy a marketing cadence rather than true and meaningful change.
Apple announced that the 3.5mm jack was removed as all devices are moving to be completely wireless. So power must be next. Metal is the main impediment to wireless charging, so the back of the phone is bound to be glass or ceramic or some new cosmic material we don’t know about yet (Gorilla Glass anyone?) Being water resistant will move to being water proof (because there will be no openings with the removal of power). And some respected analysts and leak masters are speculating that the home button is going away too.
The storage, power and camera are all good improvements. For some they will be more important than for others. I still like taking out my camera when I am capturing something I planned for. The battery uptick of an hour, meh, ok. And the storage – well, I’m a pretty heavy storage use, and even I don’t think I could hit 256GB. That’s more memory than my first half dozen computers.
2. The next jump will cost more
All of the changes I think are coming in the next release (likely an 8, skipping the 7s all together) will be enough change that our whole ecosystem of cords and accessories will need to change. Our behaviors will change more dramatically to adapt to the new device and of course, it will cost more financially. Regardless of the new leasing craze across all carriers and now Apple themselves, as consumers we are offered no relief. No subsidy, no incentive. Pay for it now, or pay for it later – but we will pay for it. That’s the economy we live in, and until we stop accepting every new device they put out – well, they’re not incentivized either (they’re being Apple, Samsung etc.)
3. The home button annoys me
The new home button, isn’t one. Instead it’s an indented circle with haptic responses. I like the home button. I like knowing it’s been pressed without having to feel a response. Which is why the new one annoys me. Each time I press it I get the sensation the whole bottom of the phone is pressing down. There was a blackberry device that did this years ago and that annoyed me too. Some analysts speculate that since the home button is the single most troublesome part of the phone for Apple, they simply removed/redesigned the element. I think it was poorly planned and not properly tested – Apple’s notable arrogance on such issues almost proves the latter. It doesn’t do anything for me, and I am the customer.
4. For the love of God, no more dongles
You’ve given me one proper port, and now I have to share it with headphones? I am an audiophile. I own six different headphones, most of them wireless already. So this should be an easy transition for me, yes? Yes, and no. Because I actually use my phone, well, as a phone. Nothing wirelessly seems to be able to replace the quality and assuredness of a hardwired mic and headphone.
What you are telling me is that you don’t care about my employees. Because now I can’t charge my phone and use wired headphones at the same time. And I often have to do this because I am on my mobile so much, I run down the battery. I run down the battery by being on calls and emails. I am on calls and emails in order to solve problems with customers or acquire new customers. I acquire new customers in order to grow business and retain all of my employees. So, by hijacking my ability to have calls and charge at the same time you are telling me you don’t care about my employees.
“Nay, nay you say. You can get a lightening splitter dongle and talk and charge at once, no problem.” Or, perhaps don’t force me to carry around a detachable tail to my mobile in order to achieve a basic use case. Or, and this is my favorite – put two lightening ports on the bottom of the phone – even better, one on the bottom, one the side, so I can stand the device on its bottom and charge at another angle.
5. Water resistance isn’t meaningful yet
I’ve been trained since 1997 when I got my first pager, 1999 when I got my flip phone and 2007 with the iPhone to not let my mobile devices near moisture of any kind. Now you give me something that is water resistant. Kudos. I’m still not going to get my mobile anywhere near moisture for the foreseeable future. So this isn’t a differentiator for me yet.
So, I upgraded to a Plus and to an S model. I’ve been on the whole number cadence (never an S model) since the beginning. And I thought here too I would be, but it just isn’t compelling enough. Moore’s law of computing power may be hampered by our ability as humans to make full use of it. That’s OK. I’m interested in seeing how as consumers, we coordinate our voices (aka buying power) to demand something different from our life enablement brands, rather than simply accepted what they have given us. Or if we can.