“So, we’re going to reinvent the phone,” said the guy in the black turtle-neck and blue jeans, as simple as that! And then the spectacled genius, who we knew as the great Steve Jobs, made his magic work and just reinvented the phone. Still regarded as one of the most brilliant keynote speakers in this world, Jobs’ 2007 keynote was a case-study in public speaking, a master-class in presentation. That was Apple, the company of the crazy ones, the one founded in a garage, the one which loved to revolutionize things for the sake of revolutionizing itself. Now, it’s not only the biggest company in the world but also the most valuable brand and a symbol of premium quality. But, where is the soul?
Herein, lies my beef with Apple. The reason why I won’t buy an iPhone isn’t because an iPhone isn’t a good phone, it’s a brilliant phone to its very core, a perfect phone in many ways and Apple keeps improving it every year, but, my problem lies with the symbol it has become. The very first iPhone was a symbol of revolution, an act of defiance to the dull mobile phones of the world, a true “smart”phone and a carrier of incredible new technologies. Can you say the same for the iPhone 6S?
Today, when the devices you own and use represent you more than your the clothes you wear, choosing a smartphone is a tricky choice. An iPhone is really a symbol of the status quo. People don’t buy an iPhone for its features, for its uniqueness or even for its innovative new technologies(which are scarce now, even if present), they buy it because it’s an iPhone. The success of an iPhone can be predicted by the hype before the event because people don’t really care about what it looks like or even if it has any new features, they are just going to buy it because it’s an iPhone. Apple may say that the “i” in the iPhone is for internet connectivity but I’ll give you a better explanation, it stands for “icon”, which the Apple phone has become for the higher-class of our society. It’s more like a piece of jewellery, used to flaunt about instead of being actually used as the tool it was intended it to be.
Owning an iPhone is like owning a Rolls Royce or a Range Rover, you don’t necessarily buy it because you want to buy it, but you buy it because you want to fit in. With the iPhone, Apple isn’t the underdog to the Big Brother anymore, the roles have changed, Apple is the Big Brother now.
As if that’s not enough, Apple also follows the market trend of releasing iPhone annually, not because it has some huge improvements or innovations to put in, but just because it can. Of course every other manufacturer does that too but Apple takes it one step further: one year they release a completely updated version, but the next year they just give the internals a little boost, make some very minor improvements, add an “S” to the name and release it for the masses. Half the people don’t even know why the new iPhone is the “new” iPhone. Maybe it has a couple of new features, but seriously, if it has got the honour of being the latest iPhone, who cares if it’s even better? It’s popular, it’s hip, everyone has one and maybe that’s why they should get one! That’s what an iPhone is all about, isn’t it?
Innovation is there, somewhere, hidden behind that corporate identity of world’s most valuable brand. There is a glimpse of it here and there, like the magnetic clicking ability of the Macbook Air’s touchpad called the Force Touch or the new iPhone’s 3D touch, also a variation of Force Touch, but it is minuscule compared to what Apple is really capable of.
Even though the iPhone is a brilliant phone due to Apple’s incredible hardware+software ability and it probably still has one of the best cameras around the smartphone industry, it still doesn’t appeal to my taste personally. It’s too costly, especially with no contracts in Pakistan. It’s too closed, too restricted, too chained. On the other hand, Android phones are not only less expensive, but also offer a more compelling set of services over all. There are Nexus devices which sell for half the price as a new iPhone, and yet are able to offer almost the same standard of specifications and the gorgeous stock Android software, which I am a personal fan of. Then there are Motorola’s new phones like the Moto G and the Moto X Pure Edition, which not only cost tens of thousands less than the latest iPhone, but also offer much more customization in physical way possible.
As I said before, today your phone is a representative of you, and owning an iPhone isn’t exactly unique anymore, it’s everywhere. Steve Jobs was famous for his“Think Different” philosophy, so why should I not think different? Google one upped it a while ago with their own series of cute little Android ads with a motto of “Be together, not the same”, and I believe they have a point.
Apple may go on to break more records by selling millions and millions of iPhones and I am perfectly okay with that, but I won’t be contributing to their billions of dollars in revenue, at least not anytime soon.
Source Image: The Verge