Over the years the relationship I have with technology has dramatically changed. I used to play lots of video games and was trying to keep up with the technological achievements like buying the latest mobile phones or DVD player when they were first released. My parents were a bit like that too. I remember buying one of the first VHS, CD and DVD players when they still were mostly unknown.
Now, things have changed. I don’t play video games on my PC anymore and I’m not that interested in even buying a console like a wii or a PS3. However, I love reading and I know the video games’ latest releases. I know for example when ‘Starcraft II’ will be released even if my laptop could never support it and load it. I also love going through gadget websites reading reviews of stuff I will probably never buy.
The latest buzz of course in all these websites is the new upcoming iPhone 4. Let me ask you the simplest of questions: why?
OK, I have to admit that I never had one and I am mostly commenting on other people’s experiences and what has been written. However, if you go through what the new version of the iphone has to offer are things that other phones had for years now. Some form of multitasking, a 5 MP camera, video recording and video calls are something that other phones had for years (for example my Nokia N95 had all that and was first released in 2007)! Bear also in mind that the video calls only works through iphones and if you are accessing the internet through wi-fi. That means that the iphone as a phone shouldn’t be that successful (in fact it’s crap). However Apple did something right and managed to win so many people over! (Not to forget that flash is not supported by iphone still).
The first thing I really have to give to them is marketing and product design! The iphone looks really good. The new version looks even better. It’s slick and tasteful. Even the box that you get with the phone is stylish like most Apple products. The marketing campaign supporting it is very good. It captures the eye and it is everywhere.
I also have to admit that releasing a version of their products with the minimum of possibilities and then reintroducing a new version with a little extra every time works like a charm. The second, third and now the fourth version of the iphone only introduced capabilities that even the first iphone should have (5MP camera on the 4th version? Really?). However, I know people that went through and bought every single one of them. The same will happen with ipad. There will be a new release of the ipad with a little extra each time to make people buy them.
I have to admit however that the only reason this not-so-great-as-a-phone gadget is successful are its applications. There are so many of them and it is impossible not to find something you will like. Nokia or Google applications are not near as varied although they are trying. Applications like ‘grindr’ or ‘Lose It!’ are things most of the gays love (and I don’t blame them).
I’ve always been a Nokia fan. I loved them since I was younger and I still own one. I’m trying to resist the temptation of getting an iphone even if it means that I am a minority between my friends (especially the gays). I might go for the next Android phone but I don’t know yet. I still think that Apple is all about looks and not about substance. They managed to be amazingly successful simply providing a platform that simply accepts applications which other developers created. Most of the people owning an iphone admit that is a lousy phone but they can’t now leave without one.
On the other hand I love the idea of developers earning so much money by creating applications for the iphone. I don’t want to upset people that love the iphone. I don’t blame them. I can see how easy to use it is, helpful and entertaining. I'm sorry, it is just not for me (at least yet).