And then I saw - a goddess.
Sleek. Slim. Curves in all the right places. Sophisticated. Bright. And likes to be touched.
No, I didn't meet Angelina Jolie. It was the iPhone 4.
Fine, so its not a goddess, and perhaps not even female (though I wonder why not). Yet, you have to admit that the new iPhone has been stirring up peoples interest for a while now, what with all the armies camping outside stores, waiting for the first shipment. It sounded extremely nifty in Steve Jobs trademark presentation, plus - well, it's an iPhone right?? What more could you want?!
Adding the magical lower case 'i' in front of anything has been the digital age Midas touch, turning any product into marketing gold. The mp3 player was not a new technology when the iPod came along, but Apple turned it into some form of status symbol. Then they made it smaller, and smaller, until you had the new Shuffle almost as big as your finger nail, and they make it sound as if that was a good thing. All I know is, if I pay that much money for something, I don't want there to be a chance of it vanishing in the first stiff breeze.
Then there was the iPad. I still don't know what that does.
And now the iPhone.
Make no mistake, I think it's very cool in its functionality, but from what I've gathered, the phones have never really been excellent at phone calls. You would think that they could at least devise some new technology that would make phone calls sound like they were right there with you, but no; call quality remains "good". I don't want good, I want flippin' fantastic for that price. As for the design, don't get me started. the old iPhones have just been slightly un-pretty, to say the least.
Perhaps it's just personal preference though. Of course, the phones are well engineered, and they have pushed the borders in many areas. Which is why with the new iPhone 4 launch, I was expecting it to be the real-life version of a Bond gadget, complete with satellite link-ups and cool exploding gizmos.
Instead, we got probably one of the worst PR disasters for Apple in a long time, with several phones either having yellow or white spots on their displays. And then there was the 'death grip'. Apparently, if you hold the phone in a particular way i.e., in your left hand like any normal phone, the attenas short out and you lose signal.
Yes, the iPhone 4 only makes calls if you use your right hand.
The legion of Apple maniacs have been quick to forgive this engineering defect, and even quicker to brush off Steve Job's arrogant response to this flaw ("Just don't hold it like that"). And who can blame them, they probably withstood rain and sleet to get their hands on one in the first place.
My point is, no other company could have survived this sort of disaster. People are already making fun of the 'death grip' like this Motorola Droid X ad and this article on how to fix your iPhone problem. It's a catastrophe on the face of it - a phone that makes calls sometimes.
Yes, yes, it's got a whole stash of nifty gadgets too and a mediocre camera, but for pete's sake it's a phone. It has to make calls whenever and however I want to, right handed, left handed, upside down and sideways.
So, my question is - have I been going about this the wrong way? Like I said before, I have no beef with Apple in general. I own a 4th generation iPod myself, and it does just fine except for the annoyance that is iTunes. But has marketing succeeded so much that we have lost the ability to judge electronics solely on merit? I would buy a phone if it worked well and perhaps looked good as well. It has to suit me. Some of the new smartphones in the market look like an expensive ornament that would shatter into a million pieces if it spent a day in someones pocket without heavy protection.
So dear Apple users; I envy your spending power, but try not to make it that easy for Steve Jobs to steal your money.
In closing, please please read this cartoon courtesy 'The Oatmeal' on what its like to own an Apple product. Hilarious!!